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The Tamale Guy

2018 W. Chicago Ave

Chicago, Illinois 60622

The Tamale Guy has birria down to a science. Theirs melds oxtail, beef cheek, and chuck roast, which creates a tenderly textured taco. I talked with chef and co-owner Pierre Vega, and he explained that those cuts were his favorite parts “for braising purposes.” And after eating here, I totally see why. The char on both the birria and the chihuahua cheese is crispy, and consider yourself lucky if you can get one before they run out.

Open for takeout and delivery

Anyone who spent time in their 20s at a bar in Chicago has probably gotten a tamale from The Tamale Guy (even if they don’t remember it), myself included. And when Claudio Velez, the actual Tamale Guy, finally opened up his own physical restaurant, a whole lot of people (myself included) ordered his tamales - so many of us that he kept selling out. And it turns out that his perfectly fluffy tamales are even better than I remember (or don’t remember).

It’s official: The Tamale Guy has finally opened a restaurant in Ukrainian Village. It’s carryout only, and the menu is full of (you guessed it) tamales.

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