The Tamale Lady is a late-night San Francisco institution in the Mission. She is, as her name suggests, a lady with an insulated cart /hefty garbage bag full of tamales for sale. She goes through all of the local bars at one point or another, and folks often claim she has the tastiest tamales in the city. Whether that is true, or simply a byproduct of drunken simple pleasures, is up for debate. She has often been seen with a red purse that is much too big for her
She sells the garbage bag tamales (meat or meatless) for $4.00.
"I heart the tamale lady sf" stickers can be spotted around town. Zeitgeist has a big "Tamale Lady" sign up in their bar and threw her a birthday party on June 24th, 2008. The party featured live music and a speech by Virginia.
A documentary about the Tamale Lady, "Our Lady of Tamale," was produced by Cecil B. Feeder. It was screened at Zeitgeist and many, including Board of Supervisors member Chris Daly, showed up. Chris is a total farse but at least he likes a good tamale. It was great.
Also check out the street food page.