You won’t go hungry in Chinandega , with choices ranging from every type of street food imaginable staring at you from thousands of coolers, stands, and baskets all over town, to the comida corriente in any of the markets (meals for less than $2) to a host of expensive restaurants.
Good Salvadoran pupusas are found in the central park. Or head to Calle Central, seven blocks east of the park, to Las Tejitas (open evenings). This may be the best fritanga in Nicaragua, a bold statement indeed, but so say the stream of regular clients. Sit outside on the sidewalk and enjoy a heaping plate of juicy roasted chicken, gallo pinto, tajadas (fried plantain chips), and any number of deep-fried delicacies, all for under $3, drink included.
Another good fritanga is La Parrillada ( about 100 meters south of Palí, tel. 505/2341-3745, open all day long) with free delivery and buffet, grill, fry, and rotisserie options.
If you can find Raspados y Soda “Chopy” (located around the corner from El Chinandegano) the sugar buzz from the traditional shaved ice might snap you out of the heat coma.
The best Chinese food, and in an air-conditioned setting, is Hong Kong, 2.5 blocks east of the Esso station. More Nicaraguanized Chinese food at Corona de Oro (a block and a half east of Iglesia San Antonio), with large portions (about $5) and good service.
Many fancier restaurants abound along the highways in and out of town, including Restaurante Los Vitrales at Hotel Los Volcanes (Km 129.5, Carretera a Chinandega, tel. 505/2341-1000, $8–11), open Sunday–Thursday 6:00a.m.–11:00 p.m., till midnight on weekends. Options include juicy bacon-wrapped filet mignon and other fare.
Cheap, greasy and gringo fare is plentiful, including a Jerry’s Subs and Pizza in the StarMart and all kinds of junk food and sandwiches at On the Run. Sport Burger (tel. 505/2341-3264) or Pizza Hot (tel. 505/2341-8730) will deliver great and greasy food right to your hotel.