This morning I woke up to what seemed like every neighbor dressed in traditional Mexican costumes, like those colorful dolls sold in Mexico (pic below). A parade down 23rd Street was about to start.
Went to the closest church for Mass, but the celebration at that churh is tommorrow at 6 pm where there will be people dressed in native costume, mariachis, another parade and ... here's the food part, a free food festival after Mass.
Also, like in Mexico City, in the Richmond area churches, after Spanish Mass vendors gather outside selling food. So tommorrow should be a big blowout. I've never checked out the food vendors since I don't go to the Spanish masses. Driving by it seems like the standard rolling cart stuff ... corn on the cob, paletas, cotton candy, some orange fried porky things.
Early ... early ... tommorrow, Mission Dolores may be having their celebration of Guadalupe with food after, so maybe check it out on the way to work. From a 2003 SF Chronicle article below, it says about the Mission Dolores celebration:
"Las Mañanitas. 4:45 a.m., Dec. 12, Mission Dolores Basilica, 3321 16th St. (at Dolores); 239-9107. Free. After a very early but very popular bilingual mass honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe, complete with mariachi music and thousands of rose petals, this event ends with pork tamales, Mexican hot chocolate, pastries and hot toddies."
If you drop by for the food and not the maass, figure about an hour after the scheduled Mass for the food to be served.
Other churches may have something similar, but those are the only two I know about.
One year I went to this celebration at the actual Cathedral of Guadalupe. It has little to do with the Catholic religion. The Mexican Indians fill the huge plaza dancing to ancient dances and playing ancient songs. Very weird being in the packed Mass and hear the drums beating outside the church.
That same site had a similar Aztec story that dates back to the time of the pyramids that a mysterious lady appeared on the same hill.
The streets are literally covered with miles of tents selling all sorts of items and all sorts of food.
While the local festivals won't be as large, they will probably have some authentic food and be colorful.