Located in Pilsen, Dia De Los Tamales is a purveyor of Revolutionary Tamales from the mind of chef Keith Carlson.

Photos by matthew garza




A tamale (rendered into English from tamales, the plural of the Spanishtamal [taˈmal], from Nahuatltamalli /taˈmalːi/) is a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa (a starchy dough, usually corn-based), which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. The wrapping is discarded before eating. Tamales can be filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, chilies or any preparation according to taste, and both the filling and the cooking liquid may be seasoned.

Tamales have been traced back to the Ancient Maya people, who prepared them for feasts as early as the Preclassic period (1200–250 BC). Maya people called their corn tortillas and tamales both utah.

Tamales originated in Mesoamerica as early as 8000 to 5000 BC. Aztec and Maya civilizations, as well as the Olmecaand Tolteca before them, used tamales as portable food, often to support their armies, but also for hunters and travelers. Tamale use in the Inca Empire had been reported long before the Spanish visited the New World 




-       involving or causing a complete or dramatic change.

-       constituting or bringing about a major or fundamental change  <a revolutionary new product>







939 W 18th St
at Sangamon
Chicago, IL  60608



Su-Th 11a–9p
F-Sa 11a–10p



tamale entrees



Fountain Soda  $2          20 oz Soda $2.50          20 oz Water $2.50          Mexican Sodas $2.00          Assorted Filberts Soda $2.00

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Dia De Los Tamales Catering

Click below to view a printable catering menu:

Click on the link below to inquire about having Dia De Los Tamales cater your next event!

Looking for more than just our standard menu offerings? Check out our Rock-N-Roll catering division:

Get Off The Couch Catering!



All Natural Hot Sauces

Our Hot Sauces are created by hand with all natural ingredients and are never cooked, capturing the essence of the peppers' flavors. The hand-milled peppers are aged to perfection before being individually bottled. Explore the variety of flavors and heat levels to find the perfect match for your favorite dishes. 

Apocalypse Sauce

Apocalypse Sauce

Riot Sauce

Apocalypse Sauce

The first hot sauce to be made by Executive Chef Keith Carlson. This sauce is made using Ghost Peppers (Bhut Jolokia), one of the worlds hottest peppers. We receive all natural, dried ghost peppers that we rehydrate, combine with garlic and vinegar and blend. Unlike our other hot sauces, Apocalypse Sauce is not filtered, leaving in all of the seeds for the ultimate burn.

The excellent flavor in Apocalypse Sauce is featured in the Atomic Pork Tamale at Dia De Los Tamales. Apocalypse Sauce is perfect in chili, on burgers, or as an addition to that recipe that needs a hardcore kick.

Riot Sauce

Riot Sauce is the first of our fresh pepper hot sauces. Green Jalapeños are pulverized with salt and fermented briefly before being combined with vinegar to age for seven days. After aging we hand-mill the peppers and bottle them in house. Never cooking the peppers keeps the delicious flavor of the vegetable alive and kicking.

Riot Sauce is our least spicy hot sauce with heat level akin to jalapeños. Riot sauce is perfect to splash on your favorite Latin foods and a great way to add heat to your guacamole or salsa.

Ajo en Fuego

Molotov Sauce

Ajo en Feugo

You must love garlic to enjoy this hot sauce. The delicious flavor of hot peppers and garlic combine to create a hot sauce that is as tasty as it is spicy. Made in our fresh hot pepper style the ratio of 4:1 peppers to garlic gives a rich garlic flavor carried by the perfect level of spice. 

Ajo en Fuego is spicier than average, but nowhere near the face-burning Apocalypse Sauce. Ajo en Fuego remains at an approachable heat level where you'll want to splash the garlic flavor on everything. We enjoy it in our soups, on popcorn, and as a great way to spice up a sandwich.

Molotov Sauce

Hickory Smoked Serranos take this hot sauce to a whole new place. We smoke a portion of the fresh serrano peppers we use with real hickory woodchips. The smoked peppers are combined with fresh serranos and made in our fresh hot pepper style. 

The smoking of the serranos help to calm this sauce down making it just a little spicier than Jalapeños. The delicious smoke flavor works great with BBQ, chilis, and mac-n-cheese.

Meltdown Sauce

Tree Sauce

 Meltdown Sauce

Habeñeros are hot, but so tasty! This hot sauce is made in our fresh pepper style bringing out the delicious flavors of the habañero peppers. Aged to perfection before being hand-bottled, this sauce keeps it's radioactive orange color to let you know it's not messing around.

The spice level of Meltdown Sauce should be the hottest thing we offer, but since we're crazy it's only the third hottest, hot like habañero. Meltdown Sauce has a great flavor similar to citrus that makes it great with seafood, breakfast foods, and on Asian cuisine.


Torment sauce

Once fresh Ghost Peppers were available, Chef Keith knew he had to make a new hot sauce. Made in the fresh pepper style, this sauce is a Devilish red color after aging and filtering. 

The battle on whether or not this sauce is the hottest or second hottest rages on. Either way it's packing some serious heat, so use with caution! Like it's almost as hot cousin, Habeñero, this hot sauce get's a hint of citrus flavor. Perfect for adding heat to soups, sandwiches, pasta, and anything else that isn't tickling your tongue. 

Tree Sauce

Arbol means 'Tree' in Spanish and this sauce derives it's pure chile pepper flavor from the Chile de Arbol. Tree sauce is the first of our dried-pepper hot sauces. Made from Chile de Arbol peppers that are rehydrated and combined with garlic & salt. After aging, this sauce is filtered and hand-bottled.

The Chile de Arbol being a dried pepper gives this sauce a great earthy flavor with a heat level slightly above jalapeño, making it easy to add a lot to your food. Tree is great with steaks, baked potatoes, and french fries.