Whether it’s hitting the eggnog too hard at Christmas or downing one too many glasses of bubbly as the ball drops, ’tis the season for pushing past our normal drinking limits and feeling the consequences the next morning. Whenever those holiday spirits have betrayed us and leave us waking up with all of the regrets (and a pounding headache), there are always those foods that will ease any alcohol-induced pain and just make us feel instantly better. On a mission to discover which dishes might help heal a hangover best, we asked a bunch of Boston chefs what they like to eat when recovering from a boozy night out. Here are the plates they reach for—likely after lying in bed for a bit and questioning their life choices—as their trusty hangover remedies.
“My hangover fix never involves me cooking. It is either cold food out of the fridge or more likely a greasy meal out of the house. This might look like a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich on a roll with a lot of aioli. Please note the cheese cannot be sophisticated. Any lab made cheese will probably work best in this situation. On the side is a good portion of fried potatoes. I would avoid highly acidic things and then probably hop back in bed to finish off the hangover cure.”
"Chilaquilles is my favorite hangover food. Spicy tomato sauce, crunchy chips, runny eggs, citrusy crema. Just something about the spicy sauce and the runny egg that can cure all ills."
"I can't really say I have many hangovers anymore. I have a glass of wine and feel it the next day… That's being 45, haha. Plus, waking up at 6 a.m. with the kids would ruin me. When it does rarely happen, though, my go-to is definitely the Catalyst burger. It's juicy and delicious as is, but I add a sunny side up egg on top of it to make it even richer and more decadent—perfect for sopping up a night out."
"I'm a firm believer that hangovers are cured with anything that is super fatty, comforting and carb-loaded. At Casa Caña, we serve up braised oxtail with sweet potato gnocchi and parsnips—all tossed in butter and a Llujua salsa. It's my go-to dish that packs a warm, comfort food feel, but in a refined way."
“My hangover cure is a toss up between a Colombian soup and birria tacos. The nutrients and fats from both the soup and the birria broth that are released from the meats are the best when it comes to replacing fat cells that get dehydrated in the body. The soup also replenishes electrolytes that help to build back my energy and get me back in the kitchen.”
“My favorite food for curing any hangover is undoubtedly a burger from Five Guys. They’re always consistent, always accessible (they are literally everywhere these days), and they are always a total guilty pleasure.”
“Has to be my hangover hash. Linguica sausage fried with onions and peppers, chopped up tater tots, pepper jack cheese and a runny fried egg right on top—with an ice cold IPA, of course.“
“In the anglophone world, a sure way to deal with a hangover is some variant of the English breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon and toast. Because I hail from Rome, the Eternal City’s counterpart to the English Breakfast is without a doubt the imperial Rigatoni alla Carbonara: crispy dry-aged guanciale, creamy egg yolks and rigatoni al dente. More pecorino, please!”
“A bowl of spicy Peruvian ceviche. The acid and fresh seafood help to take the pain away, as well as a cold beer with it."
“My go to is fried egg sandwiches: sunny side up, with melted Cabot cheddar cheese and pickles on Dave’s Good Seed bread. But here’s the kicker, I sprinkle it with brewer’s yeast, which is practically tasteless but has a zillion health benefits including tons of B vitamins!”
“My go-to comfort food after a night of excess is without a doubt pho—nourishing, soothing and helpful with balancing electrolytes. Chicken bone broth enriched with ginger and green onions, finished with rice noodles and poached chicken thigh, crispy fried chicken skin and fresh herbs and bean sprouts.”
“My old go-to was S.O.S. (Sh*t on a Shingle). It's an old Army breakfast dish. Essentially, it's beef gravy on toast. I would make mine a little different, though. I use ground beef, ground breakfast sausage and diced bacon. I render everything together and, with the fat in the pan, I sprinkle some flour to create a roux to bind. I add a little beef stock and cream, bring to a boil, turn off the heat and adjust the thickness with cream. Serve on any toasted bread (recommend a nice sourdough or Texas Toast) and enjoy.”
“I’ll be sipping our new Winter Warmer juice—a festive, seasonal special available at all locations. This organic cold pressed juice is made with beets, elderberry, mulling spices, ginger, pineapple, carrots, celery and lemon, and is the antidote to your holiday celebrations. If you're feeling a little worse for wear, beets help increase oxygenation and blood flow, while warming spices like cinnamon and clove, alongside ginger and lemon will help settle a queasy stomach. Celery to the rescue for hydration, and elderberry is a known powerhouse for your immune system that will help right your ship.”
“A migas breakfast taco and a very cold orange soda. Used to be a tiny hole in the wall taco place next to my place in Austin that saw a lot of business from me.”