Archived Q&A and Reviews

Related page: Mexican Food caterers, restaurants

Dec 2008

Hi, We're moving to Berkeley just before Christmas, and I need a recommendation for a place I can order tamales for Christmas. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks! Kim

We like Cactus Taqueria (on Solano Ave or Rockridge - www.cactustaqueria.com) and have used their takeout/catering for parties before. I've also heard good things about La Borinqueqa in downtown Oakland (www.tamalegirl.com) for ordering tamales but haven't tried it. Yum

I highly recommend this place in Oakland. I have only ordered the pork tamales and they are really good. They do have a variety to choose from, so check out their website first. Good luck...... http://www.tamalegirl.com/

We like to get tamales from Taqueria La Bamba: 12345 San Pablo Ave Richmond, CA 94805 (510)235-2288. It is a few freeway exits up 80 from Berkeley at the San Pablo Ave exit on your immediate right as you exit the highway. Yelp review: http://www.yelp.com/biz/taqueria-la-bamba-richmond The tamales are really moist. They come wrapped in banana leaves. Sandra

Hello Kim, I HIGHLY recommend Lourdes Jensen. She makes wholesome, authentic tamales (with an amazing sauce) and other delicious mexican food for events such as yours. Her family has been doing this for years as a means to raise money for her daughters' missions trips to Latin America. Her food is fresh and super tasty, she's local, and her rates are really reasonable! Here's her info: myupmost [at] sbcglobal.net Josie

May 2007

I'm looking for a place where I can buy freshly made, really good tamales, including vegetarian. I'd like to buy 15-20 for a dinner gathering. Any suggestions? jenny

I can't recommend highly enough the delish tamales made at La Borinquena in Old Oakland near Broadway. They lovingly make them as they have over the many decades that they've been open at that location. Here is their Yelp review: http://www.yelp.com/biz/fVmZSQunIQmSwUZ3AWhLjg ---in love with Borinquena's tamales---

I've heard that the tamales at La Borinquena in Oakland (7th Street between Jefferson & Clay) are good. I've never actually tried them (and I'm probably not the best judge of tamales, anyway) but they got several positive reviews on Yelp.com. Carrie

Will you need a total of 15-20 tamales? If yes, stop by La Borinquena Mexi-catessen in downtown Oakland. They have delicious tamales. Their number is 510-444-9954 and their address is 582-7th Street. Year-round Tamale Lover

I finally found somewhere that has great tasting filling, and firm yet moist masa. For our events, whether small or large gatherings, or just for a quiet lunch -- the best tamales around are at The World Cup Cafe aka The Tamale Queen on Fruitvale at 12st street. You can get them ready cooked, or frozen (ask her for the secret way to steam). It's amazing how the frozen turn out so fresh -- better than re-heating. Check out the outdoor patio, too!! She has live music on occasional weekends. And she's a character, too!! http://tamalequeen.com/ finally tamale satisfied

We love the tamales at Cactus Taqueria (top of Solano Avenue). We used Cactus' catering for a recent birthday party (25-30 people); they were great about taking our order in advance and having everything ready for pick up at the arranged time. Check out the catering menu: http://www.cactustaqueria.com/catering.html. robin

November 2003

For many years, we have followed the tradition of tamale making for the Christmas holiday. This year, we're not going to be able to do it, but I'd like to buy tamales for family and friends. Anyone know of a Mexican bakery/restaurant with really good ones that sells by the dozen? I'd prefer locations between and including Berkeley and Richmond. Thanks. Lori

My absolute favorite tamales are at the Farmers' Market in Walnut Creek on Sunday mornings. I'm not sure what other Farmers' Markets she does, but these are made without lard or unhealthy oils and in many varieties,some vegetarian. elaine

I buy tamales in ''mi tierra foods'' is an store on San Pablo Av. and University Ave. they are really good. gvbrown

The best tamales I've found in the East Bay are from the taqueria in the Emeryville Public Market. (I confess that I actually haven't looked very hard for better ones, since those are so yummy.) During the year they sell pork and chicken tamales; I'm not sure if they offer anything special for Christmas or sell packaged tamales in bulk. Happy eating! Janice

I don't remember the name of the woman, but at the El Cerrito Plaza farmer's market there is a woman who sells her homemade tamales and other delicious items. They are outstanding!!! also a tamale lover

For the person looking for tamales, I really enjoy Donna's Tamales. They're tasty, and I think all are made veggie or vegan. I especially recommend the cheese w/ green chilies and the tofu chipotle (I think that's what its called). They're stellar, and have become my Tuesday tradition at the SF Farmers' Market at the Ferry building.

I checked the web, and they do sell them at shops in the east bay, presumably in quantity. Take a look at their website (http://www.donnastamales.com/)and under ''purchase'' you'll see listings of east bay shops (also SF and Marin).

Cool - I may have to buy these for home so my husband can have them too. Good luck. Rebecca

Have you tried the tamales at Mi Tierra? It's been a while since I've had them, but they were yummy. Mi Tierra is on San Pablo one block south of University. Nancy

There is a cart vendor that sells tamales outside of St. Cornelius Church (on MacDonald across from the Civic Center) in Richmond. He is there every Sunday after the masses until at least 1, and I think on Saturday evenings too. You could buy some and see if you like them, then ask if you can order the dozens you need. Rose

Have you checked out the ones at El Cerrito naturals on san Pablo? They have about ten different great flavors with some organic ingredients. about $7 for 4 of them. You'll find them to the left or armand's meat counter.

You can find authentic mexican tamales at Pepito's Deli in Richmond. It's located on the corner of 23rd st. and Rheem Ave. They are about $12 for a dozen they have chicken or pork. Last year at x-mas my grandmother ordered enchiladas, chile rellenos, and tamales for 20 people and everything was only around $75. You can also get homemade tamales at La Borinquena deli on 7th and jefferson in Oakland right across from the police department. They do catering and they have a restaurant there. Everything's great. Good luck! alex

You can also try www.tamalegirl.com skito