We’ve all been there. It could have started from one innocent drink, or there was intent behind a full night of boozing. Either way, no one is exempt from a hangover. We’ve compiled a list of foods, drinks and even things in between that can help ease the pain of the morning after. We’ve separated this guide into two sections, because depending on the severity of your hangover, you’re either dried out like the Sahara and probably very close to alcohol poisoning, or you’re ready to eat everything in sight, including the hummus with the layer of pink fuzz that’s been hanging out in your fridge for a bit too long.
Whatever path you choose, don’t forget to hydrate. If you think about it, you’ve just spent the entire night before poisoning yourself.
For when you want to die
Order this: Zest 4
There’s coconut, cucumber, pineapple and lemon in this and it apparently tastes like a Pina Colada, which shouldn’t be too far a shout from last night’s antics. This blend is designed for nourishing your skin and hydrating you, which is exactly what you need now that you’re a husk of a human being. If it is too intense for you, we’d recommend doing a 50/50 blend of this and soda water. Thank us later.
Order this: Anything that isn’t dairy-based
If you’re not quite ready for juice, we’d highly recommend going for gelato. It’s cold, it’s full of sugar and a step up from sucking on ice chips, which will only make you feel like you should be in hospital. As for the flavour, stick to the seasonal fruit-based gelatos because if you’re not ready for food, you’re definitely not ready for dairy. Keep those sunglasses on and eat in the shade.
Order this: Pho bo dac biet
It’s a widely known fact that pho saves lives, but we believe that its a good broth that does it. You know how all those people carry on about bone broth, collagen and gut health? They should just be eating pho. As for why we suggested you get the bowl with the lot, offal features in hangover cures all over the world from Mexico to Greece, and everywhere in between.
Order this: Teishoku with eggplant and agedashi tofu
If you eat all the colours, surely you can heal yourself, right? The amazing thing about the teishoku plates at Neko Neko is that they’re filled with pickles, salads and other vegetables in very measured portions as to not overwhelm you. If you’ve decided you’ve worked your way around the rainbow of virtue and it’s time to attack something fried, this plate has you sorted as well. Pair it with green tea or even a kombucha when you're going through super tough times.
Order this: Bloody Mary
Sometimes only the hair of the dog will cure you, and if that’s the case, you’d better make it a huge, double-shot Bloody Mary that you can be sure has enough spice to wake you up. The celery here is always fresh, and as much as it may seem like a useless garnish, never turn away electrolytes when you’re trying to come back to the land of the living.
For when you want to eat everything on Earth
Order this: Saigon Breakfast
Banh mis are fantastic hangover cures, especially when you're ready to chew your arm off. Head to Pho Nom for the Saigon Breakfast, a banh mi stuffed with pickled carrots, cucumber, coriander, spring onion, sliced steak and two, runny, deep-fried eggs. Supplement it with a caffeine and sugar kick in the form of a Vietnamese iced coffee and prepare to take on the world.
Order this: Fondue special
Maker and Monger may be a temple dedicated entirely to cheese, but never forget its toastie menu. For the cheesiest hangover fix, order the fondue special, which in a way, is a fondue pot between bread. It’s a toastie packed with a mix of melted gruyere and comte punched up with shallots, garlic and wine. To embrace Melbourne’s cultural melting pot in a Swiss-inspired toastie, throw on some Lao Man Ga chilli oil from their condiments station for a spicy, MSG hit.
You know what is better than you going to food? Food that comes to you. Secret Kitchen does the best yum cha in the CBD and you can get all your favourites from har gow, sui mai, ham sui gok (those sweet-savoury football-shaped fried dumplings filled with ground pork) and crispy, roast pork. If you’re brave enough, you can dip into their surprisingly strong drinks list, or walk the virtuous line and drink endless cups of antioxidant-filled tea.
Order: Ful medammes
Sure, you can pretty much buy every single pie and pastry for $10, but for $9, you can have the rib-sticking fava bean-based stew topped with chickpeas, served with their house-made pita, pickles and fresh vegetables. Plus, the pickles and vegetables will give you the vitamins and minerals you are so clearly lacking. Win-win.
Order: Grandma’s square pie
We all know that insatiable hunger that finally arrives just as you’re about to come good from a hangover. Plug that hole with Capitano’s square pie, built off a thick, doughy, Sicilian-style, sourdough base topped with their house-made tomato sauce, topped with mozzarella, pecorino and stracciatella. You could share, but we’d advise against it under these circumstances.
Order: Bun bo hue, large
Pho is gentle and is there to settle your stomach, whereas bun bo hue is packed full of flavour, spice and textures to send you off to win at life. While Dong Ba may not be in Hue where bun bo hue originates, it serves up one of the best examples of this noodle soup in Melbourne. This lemongrass and chilli-based beef broth is particularly lemongrassy (like really lemongrassy), balanced with a light, chilli hum and supported by rare or well-done slices of beef, blood jelly, pork loaf and refreshing slices of raw onion over thick rice noodles. If this doesn’t make you feel better, we suggest you order a second bowl.
Order: Chicken tenders with fries, as hot as you can handle
We wouldn’t usually recommend you eat the spiciest level you could handle, but when you’re hungover, your senses are muted and you also need to sweat a bit to get the booze out. There is no better time. Go for the tenders so you’re not gnawing and fighting against bones (it's just an obstacle when you're hungover) and pair it with fries because your body’s probably lacking some serious carbohydrates.
Order: Hawaiian Burger
Sometimes only the dirtiest food will do. Andrew’s Burgers are famously and unashamedly Australian with their soft burger buns crammed with beef patties, double cheese, pineapple, onion, beetroot, lettuce and an obligatory squeeze of tomato sauce. Delicious sacrilege.
Order: The Pope Joan
Even the crew behind this namesake sandwich back its ability to cure your hangover. A warm, white roll is filled with thick slices of free-range bacon, fried eggs and a house-made brown sauce. If you’re really suffering, pair it with their Bloody Mary, which you can order as spicy as you like. Flex at your own risk.