There is a guy who sells homemade tamales from a cart in front of a Supermercado at California & Elston. His wife makes 'em. $6/dozen. He also sells 'elote', hot corn on the cob slathered with mayo and rolled in cheese, then sprinkled with chili powder and a squeeze of butter. The supermarket sells great tacos, too. Or, if you don't want your tamales from a cart, try Ernesto's tamales on Ashland at 18th St...green and red tamales, both are fabulous.
It is common to find such vendors in the hispanic hoods. I get my tamales in front of SuperMercado Roman at Clark & Lunt. That's a husband & wife op too, and also $6/dz. They offer red (rojo, chicken) and verde(green, pork) -- I ask by color, as is not so good English. Fantastico! But high in fat -- these babies are made with lard in the masa.