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Coffee cocktail at Stella Barra.
Photograph: Martha Williams Coffee cocktail at Stella Barra.

New Year's Day brunches and hangover cures

Spend January 1 right with one of these special New Year's Day brunches, with Bloody Marys, eggs benedict and more

By Maggie Hennessy

We all strive to begin a brand-new year in a positive way, but unfortunately, hungover is often the first thing many of us feel on January 1. If you find yourself suffering from the aftereffects of bidding 2015 farewell, drag yourself out of those pajamas (or maybe stay in them, no judgment here) for one of these 10 deep-fried, sauce-smothered, detoxing, caffeinated or hair-of-the-dog hangover cures, with Bloody Maryseggs benedict and more. You can worry about those New Year’s resolutions on January 2.

RECOMMENDED: New Year's Eve Chicago

Core power at The Dawson
Photograph: Jessica Lynn Capron

The Dawson

Restaurants American River West/West Town

For those craving liquid resuscitation, The Dawson’s first-ever Bloody Mary bar is here for you. From noon–4pm, and for $16, you get a choice of two bases and a bounty of meat, cheese and veggie garnishes—from hot links to cocktail shrimp, jalapeno jack cheese to sriracha cream cheese olives, pickled green beans, celery and horseradish. An assortment of hot sauce and spice toppers will help you sweat out your hangover. If the hefty garnishes aren’t enough to fill you up, The Dawson’s regular brunch favorites will be available, like cheesy grits, eggs in purgatory and smoked salmon benedict.

David Burke’s Primehouse

Restaurants Steakhouse River North

Come back to life the all-you-can-eat-and-drink way at Primehouse’s hangover brunch. From 10:30am–2pm and for $32 apiece, feast on buffet-style favorites from bacon and eggs to pancakes and—of course—dry-aged beef, paired with either bottomless mimosas or Bloody Marys. 

Delightful Pastries
Photograph: Cindy Kurman

Delightful Pastries

Restaurants Bakeries Portage Park

Sometimes all you need is a little breaded meat on meat to bring you back to life. Delightful Pastries’ Old Town has you covered from 8am on with its hulking pork schnitzel sandwich, layering crisp quadruple-breaded pork schnitzel, smoked Polish bacon and spicy aioli on an everything bun. You can find eggy cures here too, from expert quiches and frittatas to a chorizo breakfast sandwich. If you’re looking to detox, the Green Giant smoothie is chock-full of spinach, kale, celery, apple, cucumber and stomach-soothing ginger.

Kit Kat Passion
Photograph: Layton Ehmke

Kit Kat Lounge

Restaurants American Lake View

If you need a little fabulousness to lift your mental fog, head to Kit Kat Lounge for a recovery brunch complete with live diva entertainment. From 11am–4pm, feast on hangover busters like chicken and waffles, Rice Krispies French toast, crab cake benedict and chilaquiles. A brunch drink package is $14.95 and features free-flowing champagne, build-your-own Bloody Marys, mimosas, sangria and bellinis. Diva Madam X will make you shimmy your hangover away with live musical performances, while Kit Kat's mixologists shake up half-priced martinis from 11am–2am.

Assorted pastry abbondanza at Nico Osteria
Photograph: Amy Cavanaugh

Nico Osteria

Restaurants Seafood Gold Coast

Attack your hangover the Italian way, with carbs and pork at Nico Osteria’s New Year’s Day brunch. From 9am–4:30pm, nosh on à la carte favorites such as the porchetta sandwich, spaghetti carbonara and pigs in a blanket with maple breakfast sausage and cranberry compote. Bartender Matty Eggleston’s Wallflower cocktail with botanical Modest vodka, clover honey, citrus, Campari and Leopold Cranberry with fresh rosemary is a surefire hangover cure.

Sink | Swim

Restaurants Seafood Logan Square

If fried shellfish is your brand of hangover cure, sea-focused Sink | Swim has you covered, starting at 10am. The fried oyster benedict with poached egg, white barbecue, hollandaise and smoked pimento is a sauce-smothered, fried dream, while land lovers will find carby relief in the egg sandwich with bacon, horseradish cream, watercress, gruyere and tomato on buttery brioche. For a little liquid replenishment, try the Clamato #5, with Miller High Life, tomato, clam and spices.


Stella Barra Pizzeria

Restaurants Pizza Lincoln Park

No need to even get out of your pajamas (assuming they include pants) for this New Year’s Day brunch. Roll in anytime from 11am–4pm for favorite hangover-curing dishes like breakfast pizzas, bacon and cheese frittatas and green eggs and ham with arugula pesto. Brunch cocktails and build-your-own Bloody Marys are available as well.

Taus Authentic

Restaurants Contemporary American Wicker Park

For those whose mornings start closer to the dinner hour on New Year's Day, Taus Authentic will dish out comfort food cures to bring you back to life starting at 5pm. Aunt Reba's fried chicken with lemon honey butter and the sinfully delicious hamburger with Havarti cheese and tomato remoulade on a house-made dill roll will soak up the lingering remains of New Year’s Eve. If you’re ready to tie one on again, the recently added Drunken Poet, with David Nicholson bourbon, Gancia Aperitivo, Carpano Antica and Sparrow cold press coffee will wake you up and get you ready for round two. 

The Trench Double Burger at Trenchermen.
Photograph: Nathan Michael


Restaurants Contemporary American Wicker Park

If you're looking for a bit of luck to kick off 2016, Trenchermen’s Bucktown Ramen is full of good karma, with sauerkraut (cabbage shreds mean riches in the German tradition), noodles for longevity, plus smoked pork loin, kielbasa and poached egg in mustard tonkotsu broth. If hangover relief takes precedence over good fortune, remedies include a hot fried chicken sandwich, breakfast burger with sunny-side up egg and the Wake and Bake cocktail with cold brew, coffee liqueur and Kringle Cream.

Winchester eggs benedict
Photograph: Martha Williams

The Winchester

Restaurants American East Village

For a little Mexican-inspired TLC, head to the Winchester starting at 10am for the hangover-antidote chilaquiles, with corn chips, tomatillo salsa, queso fresco pumpkin seeds, black beans, pickled onions, sour cream and a fried egg. Or cure what ails you with one of the city’s best benedicts, featuring braised bacon, creamed kale and apple over waffles. Soothe your stomach with a hot toddy with warm ginger syrup, or a bubbly spritz with Cappelletti, vermouth and cava.


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