Serves meat, vegan options available. Changed ownership at the end of 2011 and has different owner and food as the former Mama's Hot Tamales Cafe. Open Tue-Fri 11:00am-6:00pm, Sat-Sun 10:00am-6:00pm.

Venue map for Mama's International Tamales
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20 Reviews

First Review by Chia


Points +3304

16 Nov 2023

What a find…

This is a definite must try if you’re in the Los Angeles area. It’s a bit of a hole in the wall, but the food is excellent. They have a good selection of vegan items on their vegan menu. I tried one of their vegan pupusas paired with their vegan pozole. I was quite impressed. I also pre-ordered some vegan tamales which were quite literally the best vegan tamales I have ever had. I will definitely be making another order for Christmas. I highly recommend.

Pros: Great tasting food , Great service

Cons: Restaurant space leaves much to be desired , Street parking is tricky



Points +135

11 Jul 2023

Five Stars A+

I’d give it 5 stars if that was permitted by HC. Verrry good. There’s an extensive separate 2 page vegan menu (pictured). I don’t usually like tamales but I loved these. Mole vegan tamales A , vegan pozole A . Restaurant is friendly, good vibe. Sketch neighborhood across from MacArthur Park, but it seemed just fine when I was there for lunch.

Pros: 2-page vegan menu, Superior, fresh tamales, pozole, Good friendly vibe


11 Jul 2023


Points +94

05 Jul 2023

Best Vegan Torta

I love that they have an entire vegan menu and the staff is knowledgeable. I would easily give them a 5 star review if I could and they are better than some of the all vegan places I've been. Their pupusas are great and their breakfast dishes like the plantanos but thier Asada and carnita tortas are the best out their right now! I've had a bunch of tortas and neither one comes close to these. They are a must order every time I go now. The horchata is also really good if they have it. But sometimes it is sold out because it is that good. One of the best places in LA and I will recommend to anyone who ask about best vegan dishes in Southern California.

Pros: Customer service, A full vegan menu

Cons: Parking, They close early


Points +293

Mostly Veg
16 Jun 2023

Vegan pupusas

I never thought vegan pupusas would be an option. This lovely family owned establishment is worth the visit for vegans and nonvegans alike. They offer separate menus, are kind, attentive, and genuinely care about their guests. I got the revuelta pupusa with agua fresca de tamarindo and a picadillo empanada, all vegan and very delicious. I learned how to properly eat pupusas, I've been doing it wrong all this time. I really enjoyed the curtido, fresh salsas, and savory fillings. I believe they use follow your heart cheese. They even had vegan flan. Unfortunately, I was too full to partake in dessert. The Vegan picadillo empanada was perfectly crispy from being fried, and the filling was a traditional picadillo filling minus the beef with potatoes and carrots. The tamarindo agua Fresca was so refreshing and perfectly sweetened. I love the variety of salvadorian vegan options. I can't wait to come back one day.


Points +128

04 Apr 2023

Wonderful vegan tamales and pupusas

I saw their tent at a vegan pop up and am so glad I went! I got a jackfruit tamale and a bean and cheese pupusa. Both were so good I went back for seconds! They were fresh and well made and delicious. I am planning on going to their brick and mortar location soon because I need more!

Pros: Great prices, Wonderful vegan options, Friendly staff


Points +17

29 Apr 2022

Delicious and authentic

the food is really good, there is a lot of options and they even have vegan flan

Pros: friendly staff

Cons: water taste bad


Points +78

07 Jul 2021

Wish I could give them five stars!

The pupusas are incredible! I couldn’t believe they were vegan! I would come back to LA just to eat here

Pros: Tons of vegan options, Delicious, Gluten free options


Points +772

14 May 2021


It’s rare to find vegan tamales and pupusas in NY, so I had to make a stop here as I passed by this run down neighborhood, and glad I did!

The waiter was beyond accommodating, attentive and lovely. They push the vegan menu first although they have non-vegan items making me believe they really stand behind their vegan dishes most, and most of all the food is slamming good and mama-made fresh!

The jalapeño cheese tamale was one of the best tamales I ever had! (Don’t tell my mom)


Points +72

01 Aug 2019

Delicious pupusas

I had the 2 tamales combo with rice and beans. I had the cheese with jalapeño vegan tamal and the other one was a jackfruit tamal. The tamales were good. I had to take one of tamales to go because it was to large of a portion for me. Overall, I had a great experience.

Pros: Good vegan options , The pupusas and tamales are delicious

Cons: Street parking


Points +314

01 Mar 2019

Some Of The BEST Vegan Food In Los Angeles!

I absolutely LOVED Mamma’s International Tamales! The food was awesome, authentic AF AND they have vegan cheese, sour cream, jackfruit etc. I will probably become a regular! Highly recommend 👍🏻

Pros: DELICIOUS food!, Friendly and knowledgable staff., Fast service with good prices!

Cons: I honestly can’t think of one.


Points +119

01 Mar 2019

Great vegan wet burrito!

Everything was excellent, I left stuffed but also looking forward to my next visit. Stephanie was nice and offered us even more vegan options than were available on the menu. I would give 5 stars if this place was all vegan. I will be back again and again.

Pros: Great vegan options., Vegan cheese!!!!, Great friendly service.


Points +2921

11 Dec 2018

Perfect Tamales!

Mama knows best! All of their vegan food is delicious. Seriously, you need to try their tamales!

Pros: Lots of vegan options

Cons: Odd hours


Points +311

24 Sep 2017

Pretty Good!!!

The food here is pretty good. I use to love pupusas when I was a meat eater so theirs is pretty good but not too crazy about the cheese they used. The tortilla soup was pretty good as well. I never had a green tortilla soup before. I prefer green over red anything (ie salsa, sauces, etc)

Pros: The food is pretty good, The customer service is pretty good , Prices for the meals are pretty good

Cons: Hard to find parking


Points +222

30 Jul 2017

Not bad at all.

I'm extremely particular about tamales. I'm not impressed by the majority I've had. I tried Mama's fully prepared not to like them, but I was pleasantly surprised. It always helps when fresh ingredients are used.

Pros: Fresh ingredients , Good recipe


Points +26

26 Apr 2017

great vegan options

Looks like what a place called mamas should. It still exist in contrary to other reviews and the vegan tamales were excellent


Points +254

04 Mar 2017

Best vegan tamales

They had a stand at the Eat Drink Vegan Beer and Food Fest in Pasadena. They were dozens of vendors and Mama's had the longest line of customers, and of course we were intrigued. They have super awesome tamales, especially the corn tamales, they were out of this world. My non vegan friend declared them the best tamales he's ever had. On a second trip to LA I visited their store and bought 10 dozen tamales to go, they're that good. The people there are super friendly. They are a non for profit organization helping people get jobs.

Pros: Great food, Very friendly staff, Helping others succeed


Points +20

14 Nov 2016

Excellent spot

Very good vegan tamales and vegan horchata, and particularly good vegan papusas: the dough is nice and thin and the bean and cheese filling is perfect.

There are three vegan tamale options and two vegan papusa options. They have a range of aguas frescas, including two types of vegan horchata: Mexican and Salvadorean. I'd never tried Salvadorean horchata before: it's thicker and more flavorful, a bit smoky.

Aside from the food, the restaurant itself is a nice place to sit down and have a meal. The people who run the place are very pleasant and advised us that a full vegan menu will be introduced soon, one that will include vegan ceviche.

Pros: Excellent food., Pleasant service, More vegan options to come


Points +30

20 Sep 2014

Mamas is awesome!

This place is great! I just moved to the neighborhood a few weeks ago and I've already been here 10 times! Great place to take you non-veg*n friends when you want to stuff your face too!

Ryan MTB

Points +477

07 May 2012

Delish Tamales!

Mama's makes excellent vegan tamales- just make sure you ask which one's are vegan, since the restaurant is not. Too many tamales out there, restaurant or store bought, consist of a mass of cornbread and two strips of soggy onion inside. This place finally does tamales justice. Had the black bean tamale & chocolate tamale. Both excellent. Guacamole was disappointing. It was a pile of chopped tomato & onion, with a little avocado mixed in. Where's the avocado? Plantains were OK, but I've had much better. They were definitely on the dry side. The black bean soup served with them was good though.

Pros: Great tamales, Friendly staff, Clean and inviting

Cons: Sketchy hood, Parking is a challenge


Points +3635

14 Apr 2012

Yummy Vegan Tamales

Had read about this place on HappyCow and finally made it out to this part of Los Angeles. Here's my Mama's Hot Tamales Cafe review.

Was just here a couple days ago for lunch. It's situated directly opposite Mac Arthur Park in/near downtown Los Angeles. Parking is on street only.

The tables and chairs inside were all painted Mexcian-style with lots of lively colors of flowers, plants, and vegetable. It did seem a bit stagnant and grungy to me, though.

The chalkboard menu lists the tamales on offered that day. Of the six, 2 were vegan suitable (I asked): beans & herbs and spinach & mushroom. I got a bit of hot salsa to eat with the tamales, which were both quite delicious. I would definitely return to get the vegan tamales.

I also got a serving of the fried plantains, served with refried black beans (without the sour cream). While sweet, the plantains were too much charred (blackened) for my liking.

I would come back for the espresso as well, because the Americano I had (espresso + hot water) was quite good. Who knew a tamales restaurant would offer good coffee?!

Pros: authentic Mexican, good espresso

Cons: interior a bit grungy

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