Martineztown, Albuquerque Neighborhood Guide

Sculpture of the Virgin Mary at church named after Saint Ignacio Loyola.
••• Sculpture of the Virgin Mary at church named after Saint Ignacio Loyola. Getty Images/Ray Laskowitz

One of the oldest Albuquerque neighborhoods, the area of Martineztown is rich in history, with many of the descendants of original settlers still living there. What was once an agricultural area has become a mix of residential, business and government buildings. The narrow streets are similar to the lanes and alleyways of Old Town and parts of the South Valley.

Martineztown at a Glance

The area now known as Martineztown was once sand hills and used for sheep grazing in the late 1700s.

There was also an acequia running through the area. Around 1850, Manuel Martin, an Old Town resident, left the area to settle in the sand hills to the east. The story goes that Mr. Martin wanted his children educated, and the Catholic church, San Felipe de Neri Church in Old Town, couldn't or wouldn't provide that. So he broke away from the church, moved east, and settled in what would become a village named after him. The Presbyterian church built a church in the area, prior to the Catholic church of San Ignacio, which came later.

The area became a community. Farming took place near the acequia, and there were ranches. The area to the west was industrial, and many residents found employment in the commercial businesses. Albuquerque grew around Martineztown, which became more urban as the 20th century progressed. A good place to find out more about the history of the area is at Manuel's Market.

The clerks have many stories about how the area grew and even know about the families who lived there.

Martineztown is near the east downtown or EDo area, and its nearby restaurants such as the Grove Cafe, Hartford Square, Artichoke Cafe and Farina Pizzeria.

Boundaries and Real Estate

Martineztown and the Santa Barbara neighborhood is bordered by the train tracks to the west, the freeway, I-25, to the east, Menaul Boulevard to the north, and Martin Luther King Boulevard to the south.

These boundaries are inclusive of the "old" Martineztown and encompass the Santa Barbara/Martineztown neighborhood as well as the area south of Lomas.

The Martineztown and Santa Barbara neighborhoods are close to downtown, EDo and Huning Highland, and the University of New Mexico. Living options are mainly small, single family homes and rental homes with yards. Many homes are older, as this is one of the most historic areas of the city. The average price for homes in the Martineztown/Santa Barbara neighborhoods is $97,000.

Shopping, Accommodations and Where to Eat

Manuel's Market is an old-fashioned neighborhood store that was once a way station for carts and horses traveling through town. The shop now serves as a neighborhood store, where it's easy to pick up a loaf of bread or a locally made tamale.

Relax at Albuquerque Baths, an urban spa with a solar heated hot tub and an authentic Finnish cedar sauna. If you are looking for a decent place to lay your head, the Embassy Suites Hotel and Spa is located at Lomas and I-25.

Taqueria Mexico specializes in Mexican dishes. Daily specials include menudo and soft tacos. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this small spot offers real Mexican specialties and is a local favorite.

Essential Info

The Santa Barbara/Martinez Park is located at 1825 Edith. The 12-acre park contains a picnic area, basketball courts, playground and a baseball field. Martineztown Park to the north of Longfellow Elementary has a play area, basketball court, and shade structures. Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park is located at 801 Odelia and has baseball fields and a play area.