Inside the new and improved location of the mainstay Persian market

Rose International Market managers and employees, from left — general manager Ebi Nasiri, stock clerk Ahmad Alfagem, Mountain View store manager Ramin Mehranfar, stock clerk Abdullah Alamoush and cashier Saghar Norouzi — stand in the new Mountain View store. (Photo by Veronica Weber)

Rose International Market is back. The longtime Persian market reopened on Monday, Feb. 18, in Mountain View, an employee confirmed.

The market closed temporarily in 2015 while a large apartment complex was built at the corner of Castro Street and El Camino Real in Mountain View. After community backlash, the developer agreed to sign affordable long-term leases for several small businesses at the site, including Rose Market, so they could remain on the ground floor of the new four-story building once it opened.

The renovated market carries the same specialty grocery items, fresh produce and prepared foods that have made it a local favorite for decades. With “coming soon” notes posted on the windows in recent weeks, customers have been eagerly peering in for a glimpse of the renovated space.

Clockwise from top: Rose International Market has long been known for its kebabs; Ebi Nasiri, general manager of Rose International Market, stocks refrigerators at the store’s new location; an interior shot of the Rose International Market at its previous location on Castro Street. (Photos by Michelle Le and Veronica Weber)

Saied Mehranfar, who is from Iran, opened the original Rose International Market with his brothers on Castro Street 31 years ago. He eventually moved to the larger location at the corner of Castro and El Camino and later opened additional markets in Cupertino and Saratoga, which both remain open. He proudly claims to serve the “best kebab in the Bay Area.”

The new Rose International Market is updated and larger but longtime customers will recognize many of the same Middle Eastern products, from imported Persian candies and pickled everything to massive tubs of tahini and blocks of fresh feta cheese. The market makes its own yogurt and jams. The market also now stocks Indian items like lentils and Italian pestos and dried pasta.

Rose International Market’s aisles are stocked with pickled everything, imported spices, grains and Golchin rose water. (Photos by Veronica Weber)

The kitchen, led by Rose Market’s longtime Iranian chef, is again churning out kebabs, koubideh, khoresh (stews), tahdig (crispy-bottomed rice), wraps, salads and other dishes. Rose International Market will now serve chicken koubideh, a kebab made from ground chicken, onion and spices, which customers had often requested at the old store, according to staff.

You can order kebabs with lavash bread, on top of white basmati rice or as a “super sandwich,” wrapped with vegetables, onion and tomato. All meats are halal.

The falafel sandwich at Rose International Market (left) and the Soltani kebab (barg, koubideh and tomatoes). (Images via Yelp)

The produce section includes both standard and specialty produce, such as Persian cucumbers, sour cherries (when in season) and green almonds.

The new development offers plenty of outdoor seating — and, crucially, parking. There’s a handful of one-hour parking spots behind the market, off Castro Street, as well as an underground garage.

Rose International Market’s hours are Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. The grill opens at 11 a.m. and closes one hour before the store does.

Rose International Market, 1060 Castro St., Mountain View //

Ebi Nasiri, general manager of Rose International Market walks the aisles of the new Mountain View location (top right), which is fully stocked with Persian and other hard-to-find Middle Eastern goods. (Photos by Veronica Weber and Elena Kadvany)

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Elena Kadvany

A writer with a passion for investigative reporting, telling untold stories and public-service journalism, I have built my career covering education and restaurants in the Bay Area. My blog and biweekly newsletter, Peninsula Foodist, is the go-to source for restaurant news in Silicon Valley. My work has been published in The Guardian, Eater, Bon Appetit’s Healthyish, SF Weekly and The Six Fifty.

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