The international district in Albuquerque is aptly named. There is probably no more diverse area of the city, and it teems with ethnic restaurants and unique shopping experiences. Its population is made up of Native Americans, New Mexicans, and immigrants from Central and South America, Mexico, Asia, Europe, Africa and other places around the globe.
The area has overcome its share of challenges. One of the more economically depressed parts of the city, it was long known by locals as "The War Zone," but it is coming out of that, becoming a go-to destination for locals and visitors. The city and state now recognize the area as the International District and have named it that officially, thanks to local representatives. With the remodeling and expansion of Talin Market, which is a key stakeholder in the area, the area has begun a resurgence. Well known for its ethnic diversity and great food, the district is a regular place to visit for locals and visitors.
The international district is close to the University of New Mexico, Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia Labs, CNM and the Albuquerque airport. Living options range from condos and townhomes to detached homes with large yards. The area is one of the more affordable parts of the city, with housing prices averaging about $145,000.
The international district is bounded by Lomas on the north, Gibson on the south, San Mateo on the west and Wyoming on the east.
Shopping in the Area
A visit to the district wouldn't be complete without stopping off at Talin Market, where specialty foods from around the world are housed in one place. Find fresh tofu, teas, fresh seafood, produce and international items. Whether you're on the lookout for a Chinese hot sauce or a can of British beans, you'll find it there.
Ganesh Indian Grocery store is located across from the New Mexico State Fairgrounds.
Every weekend, the flea market at New Mexico Expo has treasures and finds for bargain hunters. It opens at 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Shopping is nearby in the Uptown neighborhood, which is a short drive of under 10 minutes.
Hotels and Transportation
Routes 777 and Route 66 run along Central Avenue; Route 11 runs along Lomas; routes 140 and 141 runs along San Mateo, and several routes can be found along Gibson and Wyoming. Check the ABQ RIDE bus routes.
Grabbing a Bite to Eat
Albuquerque steakhouse favorite The Cooperage is within the district; hear their live entertainment on weekends. For a bit of Colombia, try El Pollo Real, known for its charbroiled chicken and fresh juices. Have a taste for Vietnamese food? Don't miss May Cafe or Cafe Trang.
A pod of food trucks arrives at Talin Market every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The wide variety of trucks parked outside Talin gives hungry customers a wide variety of choices, such as bbq, Jamaican, desserts and much, much more.
The district is known for its diversity and its deep neighborhood roots. It is solidly represented by the Southeast Heights Neighborhood Association. There are several community gardens and community centers, La Mesa and Cesar Chavez. The New Mexico Veterans' Memorial is located on Louisiana, north of Gibson.
Albuquerque Public Schools has several schools in the district. Both La Mesa Elementary and Van Buren Middle Schools lie within the area's boundaries. Students from the area attend Highland High School.