I’ve been going to California Street Market for the last 20 years. I live just a few doors down from this friendly little neighborhood store and they’ve been great neighbors. They’re at the intersection of California and Mariposa streets. It’s family owned and operated. I talked with Roberto Luna this week. His family took over the market in 1974. He grew-up in Mountain View and has lots of great stories about the neighborhood. Roberto told me about when Corona beer was first imported to the United States back in the 1980s. It was very popular with Stanford students, however the beer was only sold in boxes of 20 because that’s how it was sold in Mexico. Americans were used to buying beer in 6 packs. The students would probably buy more of it if it were sold by the 6 pack. So Roberto’s father (Roberto Luna senior) decided that they would save 6 pack containers from Pepsi and put Corona in them and sell the only 6 packs of Corona that were available! Tons of Stanford students came to the California Street Market by to buy their special 6 packs of Corona. Now that’s what I call a good entrepreneur!
I’ve purchased hundreds of tamales from this little market over the years. The tamales are handmade in San Jose with the secret family recipe. The market has all kinds of Mexican items, like fresh chorizo, Mexican candy, and “La Mexicana” brand tortillas that are made the old-fashioned way. I’m addicted to the Mexican sour crème that they sell. They have 4 different kinds of fresh salsa in the refrigerator section. It’s also made in San Jose. And they carry a wide variety of “La Fiesta” brand .99 packaged spices. I love their popsicle selection. If you don’t know about Mexican popsicles, you need to learn. If you want to go hard-core with your popsicle, get the Pico De Galla. It’s got hot chili and cucumber in it!
I love this store and the fact that they were the first Mexican market in Mountain View. Stop by the next time you’re driving down California Street and get a few tamales to take home, grab some Corona and a few limes and a Mexican popsicle. I just love Mountain View and the California Street Market.