14 delicious hangover cures, according to chefs

Like death and taxes, hangovers are one of life’s few certainties. Now that bars around the world are finally reopening their doors, we’re all getting acquainted with those morning-after pains. The only small upside of a throbbing headache is the fact that it’s typically followed by an overflowing plate of greasy food and a colossal mug of piping-hot coffee. Everyone’s got a hangover cure they swear by – whether it’s the entire McDonald’s breakfast menu or a boozy brunch spread. (Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little hair of the dog.)

Ready to up your hangover cure game and put an end to that throbbing headache? We have the anecdote, thanks to some of the best chefs in the world. You see, we asked them for their all-time favorite hangover cures, and they delivered with delicious recommendations that range from pho and dim sum to birria and leche de tigre. Keep these recs handy for the next time you have one too many.

Craving more insider insight from the world’s best chefs? You’re in the right place. Talk to the Chef! is a weekly food series that taps into the minds of culinary leaders around the globe. The conversation changes just as often, and we’ll chat with chefs about everything from podcasts and kitchen equipment to travel and trends.

Chef-approved hangover cures

Steak, eggs and hashbrowns

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Steak, eggs and hashbrowns

‘Steak and eggs with hashbrowns is my go-to hangover cure. Not sure if the protein helps with the recovery or if it’s the fats that you get from the steak and eggs, but you can find it at most diners, so that helps as well. Add a couple pancakes, and you’ll be back to normal in no time.’—Brian Jupiter, chef-owner of Ina Mae Tavern and Frontier in Chicago

Udon noodles

Photograph: Koya

Udon noodles

‘Udon noodles from Koya in Soho, which is open for breakfast. It’s filling and warming, and I add a good amount of their spice mix for a kick, alongside a fresh ginger and honey tea. It clears the head and packs enough calories to get you through the morning.’—Max Venning, co-owner of Top Cuvée in London

In-N-Out Double Double

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In-N-Out Double Double

‘It used to be an In-N-Out Double Double and a chocolate milkshake. The salty-sweet-savory combo of a greasy burger and fries with a milkshake on the side used to bring me back to life. Now that I’m in my mid-30s, nothing works!’—Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer, chefs and co-owners of Boia De in Miami

Sloppy Joe (and beer)

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Sloppy Joe (and beer)

‘We have a saying in India: To cure a hangover, have a beer. Which really works. But my go-to food would be a Sloppy Joe-style sandwich. Something greasy always works. But my recommendation is still a beer.’—Prashant Chipkar, executive chef and culinary director at Masti and chef at Time Out Market in Dubai

Soup

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Soup

‘My go-to hangover food is anything brothy. I adore soups and stews – they hug the soul in a way no other dish can! Also bacon. Salty, fatty bacon does the trick when you want something quick and easy.’—Nyesha Arrington, Los Angeles-based chef and former Top Chef contestant

Pho

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Pho

‘My go-to food for curing a hangover has to be pho! The savoury beef broth with slurpy noodles accompanied by fresh herbs makes me feel alive. I personally adjust the spice level in my soup for any given hangover to maximize healing potential.’—Chanthy Yen, founder of Touk and chef of Parliament Pub & Parlour in Montreal

Green smoothie

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Green smoothie

‘After many failed attempts, I have come to the realization that there is simply no way to cure a hangover. To ease the pain, I suggest fresh coconut water, water-rich fruit or a dense green smoothie with dates, like our Boom Smoothie. I must also say I always go for a big bowl of pasta once that digests.’—Heather Costa, chef-owner of Revolution Health Kitchen at Time Out Market in Boston

Dim sum

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Dim sum

‘I have two. The first is dim sum with an ice-cold Coke. I order shrimp dumplings, shrimp and scallion dumplings, chicken feet, and roasted baked pork buns. The second is a Colombian-style beef rib sancocho, which is a traditional soup with potatoes, yucca, green plantains, corn and lots of cilantro. This is a big hug.’—Cesar Zapata, chef of Phuc Yea and Pho Mo at Time Out Market in Miami

Dal and rice

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Dal and rice

‘A big fry up with scrambled eggs on toast with crispy bacon and baked beans is just the perfect hangover cure for me. Sometimes I also love a simple dal and rice, which is very simple, nutritious and – most importantly – very comforting. Reminds me of home in Bangalore.’—Avinash Shashidhara, head chef of Pali Hill in London

Mexican brunch

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Mexican brunch

‘Obviously, I try very hard never to get a hangover – that is why I love tequila so much: It rarely makes you feel bad the next day. When I have overdone it and am feeling worn out – often due to a lack of sleep as well as over-indulging – I almost always swear by a hearty brunch. I will start the morning just drinking as much water as possible, with tea, coffee and possibly some kind of juice, but then mid-morning, I will prepare the perfect Mexican brunch. Some type of egg dish doused in large amounts of salsa. Chilies are a kind of wonder food – they’re high in antioxidants, great for getting one’s system moving, packed with vitamins and minerals – they really do make you feel better the next day.’—Thomasina Miers, founder of Wahaca in London

Birria

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Birria

‘It would be birria – I love the birria: It’s spicy, and if the meat is lamb, it’s even better. You add diced onion, cilantro, lemon juice and some tortillas on the side… just perfect.’—Carlos Gaytán, chef-owner of Tzuco in Chicago

Leche de tigre

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Leche de tigre

‘The best cure is leche de tigre from ceviche. I learned this when I worked in a Nikkei restaurant in Buenos Aires, where many of the cooks were from Peru. I don’t really know the science of why it works, but it works really well. It has celery, lime, lemon, ginger, fish trimmings, salt and red onion.’—Agustin Ferrando Balbi, chef-founder of Andō in Hong Kong

Chicken stock and rice

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Chicken stock and rice

‘Well, it’s best to drink quality wines that will not give you a hangover, but I suggest rooibos tea – that cleans up. And for something more complete, try chicken stock with rice.’—Miguel Castro e Silva, chef-owner of Cantina de Ventozelo, Casario and deCastro Gaia in Portugal

Spicy pizza pocket

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Spicy pizza pocket

‘For me, it’s got to be spicy. I’ll grab some pizza dough, form it into a roll and cook it in our wood oven. You then slather the inside with n’duja and a fried egg, add some rocket and some extra chilli oil (depending on how bad I’m feeling). It’s got everything you need – carbs, protein, greens and, most importantly, loads of fat. Serve it with one or two double espressos and you’ll be ready for service in no time!’—Joe Moore, founder at Crust Bros in London.

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