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Our History

Since 1958, the Tamale House has always been a neighborhood spot. Back then, Grandma Carmen and Grandpa Moses Vasquez served the downtown Austin community. That community included the Mexican-American and African-American and Greek-American business people who had their own small businesses lining Congress Avenue. It included working class folks, senators and even a president. What they all had in common was a love of the authentic, handmade, fresh Mexican food that was served out of a tiny window from a tiny kitchen on a tiny sliver of land. It was the very same food that Carmen served at her own kitchen table at home.

The tradition continued with a spot on Austin’s famous Drag. UT students, professors and neighborhood folks flocked to the tiny space to fill up on delicious  hand made tacos.

At about the same time, the beloved Tamale House Airport opened up, serving the Delwood neighborhood of working class folks who faithfully picked up food every day before work for 50 years. Uncle Bobby literally fed starving artists both local, and those just passing through for a gig, who helped spread the word far and wide about Austin’s delicious breakfast tacos when they went back on tour.

In the 1980s our Mother Diana decided to try something new, and opened up Mexico Tipico on the Eastside. It was the first full-service spot opened by the family serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. She served her primarily Mexican and Mexican-American neighbors day in and day out. She even had Juan Sr. even build an apartment above the restaurant, to keep her children close, while she ran the family business.

In 2012, we opened up Tamale House East. The conversation was literally kids, do you want me to lease the building or do you want to open a restaurant? Two weeks later, we served our very first customers during SXSW.

At Tamale House East, you will find all 8 of the items that our Grandmother and Mother served on Congress. You can also enjoy  favorites from Mexico Tipico, and unique and delicious items created from traditional and original recipes alike.

True to form, we remain a neighborhood spot. And while the neighborhood has changed, we remain steadfast in cooking the old-fashioned way, making everything fresh and from scratch.

You can relax and enjoy the beautiful and famous Magical Secret Tamale House gardens while you get a taste of old Austin as you sip on an amazing margarita or glass of wine.

While Tamale House is a local business, to us and our loyal customers, it is more than a business and more than a restaurant. It is our unique contribution to all that makes the Eastside and Austin beloved. Above all, it is our home and we welcome you to it.