Where to Score Your Vegan Tamales

Squash Blossom Tamales from Michael's Restaurant, Santa MonicaNowadays vegans are able to partake in all of the international cuisine, desserts and holiday foods they once missed out on. And that includes tamales! But you have to be careful because even tamales with vegan fillings sometimes have lard in the masa. Here is a list of guaranteed 100% vegan tamales to go.

California Tamale House

California Tamale House on Nordoff in North Hills and California Fiesta Tamales in the Burbank Town Center are run by the same family. California Tamale House has a variety of vegan tamales. You need to order by the 21st and leave a deposit.

Mole $29.99/dozen

Vegetables $29.99/dozen

Beans $29.99/dozen

Sweet:  Strawberry, Sweet Corn, Pineapple, Cinnamon Raisin $29.99/dozen

Corn Maiden 

Corn Maiden’s website has a selection of three vegan tamales this year:

Blue Corn, Soy Chorizo, Tomato & Spaghetti Squash $34.20/dozen

Grilled Vegetables, Red Bee Potatoes & Balsamic Vinaigrette $29.10/dozen

Spinach, Artichoke Hearts, Fresh Corn & Chipotle $31/dozen

Gracias Madre

Executive Chef Chandra Gilbert offers two vegan Christmas tamales, one savory and one sweet. Orders must be placed by the end of the day on Sunday, December 21st, and picked up prior to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, December 23rd. Call (323) 978-2170 to pre-order the tamales.

“Calabazas Con Mole” features Butternut Squash from the restaurant founders’ Be Love Farm in Vacaville $36/dozen

“Tamales de Manzana” for breakfast or dessert contain a Gravenstein apple filling. $36/dozen.

Leonore’s in the San Fernando Valley has three different vegan tamales, and the woman who answers the phone calls you “my love.” You can order a dozen mixed. Pick up on the 23rd at the latest.

Soy Chicken $18/dozen

Soy Cheese $18/dozen

Soy Steak with Tomatoes, Onions and Cilantro $18/dozen


The Santa Monica small-batch company uses only organic and locally grown ingredients for their tamales and Guatemalan tamalitos. Double-check the ingredients, because the menu doesn’t differentiate which ones are vegetarian or vegan. I am going by the listed fillings.

Red Bell Pepper and Chipotle: organic corn masa, red bell peppers, onions, chipotle peppers, garlic

Roasted Tomato and Spinach: organic corn masa, tomatoes, organic spinach, onions, cilantro, garlic

Corn, Jalapeño and Scallions: organic corn masa, organic corn kernels, jalapeño peppers, scallions, cane sugar

Sweet Green Corn: organic corn masa, sweet organic corn kernels, cane sugar

Cilantro, Potato and Jalapeño* organic corn masa, cilantro, potatoes, scallions, jalapeño peppers

Mushroom and Roasted Garlic* organic corn masa, mushrooms, garlic, jalapeño peppers, scallions

MASA Artisan Gourmet Tamales are available at:

Co- Opportunity on Broadway and 15th Street in Santa Monica

Rainbow Acres Health Food Store on 13208 W. Washington Blvd 90066

Bob’s Market on Ocean Park and 17th St in Santa Monica.

The Spot

The Spot in Hermosa Beach is one of LA’s oldest and most popular vegetarian restaurants. They used to cater for Paul and Linda McCartney when they were in town. The Spot doesn’t normally sell tamales by the dozen, but they are willing to take special orders if you give them enough lead time. Double check the price, because they were uncertain about how much to charge when I spoke to them.

Pinto beans, corn, vegetables and Mexican spices @30/dozen

If you know of any other vegan tamales, or have feedback on the above restaurants, please let us know so we can keep the list current. Happy holidays!!!

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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