(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)


If you like Tamales, then you could not have chosen a better area than Orange County to live in. Orange County offers your choice of all types from a myriad of delicious restaurants. From beef, chicken, pork and everything else in between, we’ve chosen the best places in Orange County to get your tamale fix.

(credit: Cantina Laredo)

(credit: Cantina Laredo)


Ricardo’s Place
32082 Camino Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 493-4941
www.ricardosplace.net

Ricardo’s offers beef, chicken or pork tamales a la carte or as part of a combination plate. One thing is clear after the first bite: these are the sort of tamales your mami would make if she made tamales. Whatever filling you choose, you can get your tamale smothered with green or red sauce and topped with cheese. The masa crumbles at the touch of your fork and the taste of the warm meat and sauce says you made the right choice whether you’re savoring it by itself or as part of a combination.

Related: Best Comfort Food in Orange County

(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)


Laguna Niguel Farmers Market
Plaza de La Paz (Intersection of La Paz and Pacific Park)
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
(714) 573-0374

A farmers market may not seem like a likely place to find tamales, but you’ll find two different vendors at the Laguna Niguel market. Mr. Corn offers a cheese tamale with Anaheim chilies that is delicious. It also offers you the option of frozen tamales that you can take home and prepare for dinner if you’re not ready for a tamale before noon.

(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)


El Molina de Oro
31886 Plaza Drive
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 489-9230

One of the great things about living in Southern California is that legitimate Mexican food is always within easy reach. El Molina de Oro offers legitimate Mexican food, including some delicious tamales. When you put your fork into the tamale of your choice, you’ll notice that it is packed with meat. The beef tamale includes pieces of meat so large, you’ll need to cut it with a knife. Also, at less than two dollars, the price is unbeatable. Be sure to ask for sauce when you order your tamale.

(credit: Olamendi’s)

(credit: Olamendi’s)


Olamendi’s
34664 E Pacific Coast Highway
Dana Point, CA 92624
(949) 661-1005
www.originalolamendis.com

A restaurant that has been in business for 40 years must be doing something right. When you head to Olamendi’s, you’ll see why the place has been around that long. You can order one tamale or a combination of two tamales. Either way, you’ll get it smothered with sauce and served with Olamendi’s delicious rice and beans. In addition to getting a really good tamale, you’ll also get an unbeatable view of the Pacific and might also see the Pacific Coastliner go by while you’re enjoying your meal and Olamendi’s signature tequila.

(credit: Miguel Malo/Getty Images)

(credit: Miguel Malo/Getty Images)


Sariñana’s Tamale Factory
2218 W 5th St.
Santa Ana, CA 92703
(714) 558-8650

There are many reasons to go to Sarinana’s for a tamale. First, The prices are excellent with each tamale costing less than two dollars. The quality is as good, as you would expect from a place called a tamale factory. Another reason is that this is one of those places you discover and want to tell all of your friends about. Be sure to try the sweet tamale, filled with pineapple and raisins, and seasoned with such a healthy dose of cinnamon that it smells like apple pie when you open it.

Related: SoCal’s Ethnic Christmas Traditions

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Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.