Food We Love: The Most Satisfying Tamale in Seattle

By Chelsea Lin

April 24, 2019

This Green Lake shop specializes in flavorful tamales born from a family recipe

This article originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of Seattle Magazine.

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Image Credit: 

Alex Crook


This article appears in print in the May 2019 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Of all the Mexican dishes I adore, tamales don’t usually top the list—I’d rather have a taco (or three) any day. But Frelard Tamales (Green Lake, 6412 Latona Ave. NE; 206.370.9296), for now a take-out-only shop, has changed my mind. The business was opened last year by Osbaldo Hernandez and Dennis Ramey, and contrary to what its name implies, is located in the Green Lake neighborhood. Frelard’s tamale dough—made with masa harina, which is frequently bland and boring at other places—has a subtle, satisfying flavor.

The fillings (both meat and vegetarian) pack even more punch, particularly the salsa roja pork (juicy pork loin in a garlicky red chile sauce, $5), a recipe handed down through generations of Hernandez’s Puerto Vallarta–based family. Swing by the shop for a steaming tamale to go, or do as I do: Order a bag of frozen tamales to store at home and you’ll never go hungry again. 

Take part in an Italian-American tradition while enjoying Seattle's fantastic seafood