Serves meat, veg options available. Specializes in tamales and uses canola oil rather than lard. Some vegetarian choices. There is a small dining area to eat and also packages of tamales to take home. Price: Inexpensive more-less
Lacto, Ovo, Take-out, Mexican, Catering, Non-veg
8101 Elder Creek Rd Unit P
Sacramento, California 95824

Mon-Thu 10:00am-3:00pm, Fri 11:00am-7:00pm, Sat 10:00am-3:00pm

  • Wheelchair accessible


First Review by johnsonfamilyzoo
  • vegetarian

Great Tamales!

Posted on 10 / 01 / 2010

A hidden, slightly-out-of-the-way gem in Sacramento. I've purchased Emma's tamales many times from Whole Foods, but until recently didn't realize they were made locally, and that I could buy them directly from Emma's.

There are numerous vegetarian and vegan tamale options. My husband and I have tried them all, and they're all delicious.

The rice, beans, and mole are also vegetarian. The thick, just-made tortilla chips and salsa are excellent; be sure to order some.

The "dining room" is a few tables in their warehouse space -- but if what you're looking for is great food at great prices, and some friendly conversation from the nice people behind the counter, you're not going to be concerned about the lack of "ambiance."

Grab several packages of tamales from the refrigerator case to take home and eat later.

Pros: Delicious, Big selection of veg/vegan tamales, Great prices
  • vegan

Don't let the location fool you...

Posted on 09 / 11 / 2010

Not too long ago, I discovered a package of Emma's Tamales in the Whole Foods Market. I took a package home & steamed- they were delicious! I had to look up their website online! Not only are they locally made, but I discovered they had their own restaurant. I HAD to visit! I did visit a few days ago. Emma's Tamales (the place) is in kind of an odd location- in a strip of warehouses in the same plaza as a few auto repair places. There is though a BBQ joint next door. Emma's is not a "sit down restaurant" in the traditional sense. It's not really a restaurant as I had thought...They do their tamale magic somewhere in the back. They have a small storefront with a food cart where you can buy FRESH and steamy hot tamales and other items. They also sell packaged tamales and other items you may take home- including soy chorizo. There is a single table where you may sit and enjoy your food. There are several varieties of tamales to choose from. There are many more vegetarian choices thank meat choices- 4 of which are vegan! I first tried the Chipotle Tofu tamale. It was very good! It had tofu, veggies & sauce on the inside. The second I tried was the Mother Earth. It was a soft veggie meat filling that simply melts in your mouth! I took a package of these home and ate them for dinner and breakfast the next morning- yummy! Did I mention the tamales are lard free? This is a big must!
Susan was very helpful and fun to talk to. It's nice when staff understands vegetarianism/veganism.
The food and service was simply wonderful! However, if you are looking for the usual sit down restaurant experience, go elsewhere. If you are looking for a a quick and yummy bite to eat, you've found the right place! Make sure to pick up some packaged food to go too! The prices and portions for both dine-in and take home packages are great!
PS- Emma's Tamales was voted the best vegan tamales by Sacramento Magazine back in 2006.

Pros: food is great, friendly staff, many vegetarian choices
Cons: Location/outside atmosphere


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Last updated: 2014/09/03


Added: 2010/09/09


Added by: johnsonfamilyzoo