There's nothing more clutch than the tamale guy popping into the bar you're at, at the exact moment you're thinking about food (so... anytime). Thing is, there are actually a lot of other great places (not in dive bars) to get tamales in Chicago.
The lady behind this tamaleria is a long-time Chicago tamalera (just go with it) who, after earning enough money selling her specialty on the streets, moved into this corner store brick-and-mortar on Kedzie in Albany Park.
When I first tried this place over a decade ago, it was the red pork tamales that brought me in -- and to this day, I still get cravings for them. Take a dozen to-go and share a few, because that’s what your Grandma would tell you to do.
This place has flown under-the-radar for a while now, but I've seen them picking up ever since they got their liquor license... since I can now enjoy a fresh margarita outside on the sidewalk while filling up on their top-notch tacos.
Luckily, you can always count on Manolo's to do exactly that. Most folks stopping in buy them by the dozen (in particular, the pork with roja sauce), and a batch is pretty much always ready at one of their two South Side locations.