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They’re a staple of Mexican restaurants everywhere, but are chimichangas really Mexican food? More than one story of their origins is floating around the internet. Some claim that the chimichanga is genuinely Mexican, while others say it was first made in the southwestern United States. Whatever the case may be, chimichangas are now a favorite of diners in Mexican restaurants, and Vallarta Restaurants in Manchester, NH, are no exception. Let’s delve into the history of chimichangas. Next time you go out to dinner, you can impress your friends with your food knowledge.


What’s in a name?

Most chimichanga origin stories share a particular detail: the invention of chimichangas was an accident. A chimichanga is basically a fried burrito, and the stories say that the first time it went into the fryer, it was by mistake. The most popular version of the story is that in 1922 the founder of the famous El Charro restaurant in Tuscon, Arizona, was making a burrito in a hurry. She accidentally dropped the burrito in the deep fryer and—to stop herself from swearing in a family restaurant—uttered the nonsense word “chimichanga!” when she realized her mistake. Lucky for her—and luckier for us—fried burritos are delicious.

Other restaurant owners also claim to have been the first to accidentally fry a burrito, but the gist of the story remains the same. The other possibility is that Mexican immigrants brought a version of the chimichanga from Sonora into Arizona. Even if the name “chimichanga” was chosen deliberately, the word’s origin does lend credence to the El Charro story. The words chimi and changa derive from Mexican Spanish terms. Chimi comes from chamuscado, which means “singed” or “seared,” and changa is related to chinga, a rude expression of surprise.


What’s inside?

Whether you order chimichangas in restaurants in Machester, NH, or in Arizona, there are as many chimichanga fillings as there are Mexican restaurants. Flour or corn tortillas are filled with meat, cheese, rice, vegetables, or beans before they are fried and served. At Vallarta Restaurants, we fill flour tortillas with shredded beef or chicken and put cheese dip on top. Served with sour cream, guacamole salad, and rice or beans, it’s a mouth-watering experience every time.

restaurants manchester nh

Vallarta Restaurants, Manchester, NH

If you’re craving chimichangas—or any Mexican fare—now, we can’t blame you! Come visit Vallarta Restaurants in Manchester, NH. Our authentic Mexican menu has something that everyone in your family or friend group will love.


Visit one of our two locations to try our chimichangas, burritos, tacos, and more!