The Tamale Festival
One of the lesser known celebrations in Mexico, Día de la Candelaria (or, Candlemas) is celebrated across the country with parades, carnivals, and fiesta music. The build-up to Candlemas starts in January on Epiphany—Día de los Reyes—which is commemorated with a traditional Rosca de Reyes cake. Each cake has a figurine baked inside of it, and whoever gets the figurine is responsible for buying or making tamales for the whole family on Candlemas, which falls on February 2nd.
It’s too late for Rosca, but you can still celebrate Candlemas—as if you need an excuse to feast on tamales. You can find sweet and savory versions of these steamed masa dumplings on menus all over the city, or in any of these casual eateries:
La Cueva del Chango—literally, Cave of the Monkey—serve their own version of a tamale, wrapped in a banana leaf in place of corn husk.
Nativo serve fantastic juices and smoothies, as well as tamales, making this a good option for breakfast or lunch.
La Tamalería del Abuela specializes in Veracruz-style tamales. With savory and sweet options, this is the only place in playa dedicated to tamales.