If you don't have a Mexican grandmother/mother of your own, here's where to get the best tamales in the Bay Area to unwrap on Christmas Eve.
The tamale lady may need to up her game; she’s got some competition.
San Francisco’s first tamale cart launches today with an opening reception in Justin Herman Plaza (One Market St) 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas joins the food truck scene serving up organic maize dough tamales and other traditional dishes inspired by the Sinaloa region of Mexico (think Mazatlan area, across the Gulf of California from Cabo).
Tamales, love to eat them, pain in the arse to make them.
My favorite place in town to get a tamale remains the unlikely little Sutter Cafe (330 Sutter St.) in the Sutter Stockton garage across from the elevators. Nice and small, stuffed with chicken, green olives and chilies, they're made there by a Chinese woman who lived in Mexico.
But if you're looking to buy more than one or two, Mijita—at both locations—is taking orders now for their homemade tamales. I've never had them but by the looks of this photo above, they look mighty fine.