No matter where you are in the world, gastronomic traditions from all over have evolved to include dishes to cure you of your brain-crushing hangover. No matter how culturally rich a nation’s food is, there will always be at least one disturbingly greasy, fatty, awesome concoction that can be used to make the day after a night of heavy drinking seem grossly pleasant. Below, I´ve tried to find the best culinary monstrosities for your recovery after your international evenings of drunken merriment. Enjoy, you greasy foodies of the Internet.
Let’s focus first on the country I live in. Spain has some of the greatest hangover food because of an abundance of olive oil, cheap crunchy bread, and piles upon piles of tasty ham. If you happen to wake up completely hungover in some hostel, or on the couch of a nameless hook-up (you fancy bastard, you), be sure to snag some jamon serrano (well, Iberico if you’re moneyed) and manchego cheese on a freshly baked baguette. Or, try churros y chocolate (fried tubes of dough dipped in thick hot chocolate). Disturbingly delicious, and designed to make your night of cerveza, vino, and regional beverages seem like nothing at all. And, of course, munch on some patatas bravas if you dig.
Other parts of Europe offer fantastic options for the hungover sloth-human. England has the full English breakfast, which you should really only eat when immensely hungover, and Italy has pizza (they may be concerned if you order a full pizza in the morning, but when do you care what other folks think when the hangover is dragging you into a headachy abyss?). Germany, of course, serves full sausages for every meal (currywurst is the greatest thing), and if you can snag a slab of roasted pork for a hungover lunch, you’ll be made in the shade. And Greece has patsas, a traditional, fatty, meat laden soup.
Mexico has this soup called menudo, which sounds awesome, especially because of tripe and fiery spices. Vietnam introduced pho to the world, which serves as a great hangover food, as it’s quenching broth and savory beef. Really, no matter where you go, there is a hangover food.
Canada has one of the greatest inventions ever, serving as a hangover food and drunk munchable alike. Poutine, popular mostly in Quebec, consists of french fries, cheese curds, and goddamn gravy. This, my friends, is the perfect food.
Of course, the United States has the mightiest and most varied of hangover cuisine, the foundation of American food practically constructed on the idea that most folks will need this sort of gastronomy any given morning or early afternoon. No matter where you are in the country, you can get a trucker breakfast, consisting of flapjacks, bacon, sausage, eggs, toast, and potatoes, and of course endless coffee. More specifically, though different regions of the country have developed different wonderful hangover foods. Rochester, New York, for instance, has the Garbage Plate, a ridiculous pile of food invented at Nick Tahou Hots. The dish is a grand mix of pasta salad, potatoes, a grilled meat or two, onions, mustard, and a flood of spicy meat sauce. If that doesn’t cure your hangover, then you might already be dead. Boston has Eagle’s Deli, which’ll serve the biggest damn grease burger you’ve ever seen. Western Massachusetts still has chicken wing delivery places open at all hours, and New York City has everything ever plus pizza that’s 90% liquid fat.
Ultimately, the hangover is a great excuse to eat junky foods, as you’re going to feel pretty terrible most of the day anyway. Why not pile on the grease? If you’re on the east coast of the states, slather everything with maple syrup, and if you’re on the west coast, eat a second burrito. If you’re in New Mexico, you get to eat green chili, so there’s that (most legendary foodstuff in all the land). However, if you have the spins, stay away from rich foods entirely and eat simple soups or some toast (with nothing!).
For those looking for gross hangover ideas, check out Epic Meal Time for their New Years pancake stack thing, or try to emulate any of the dishes I’ve written about here. And for vegans and vegetarians, so long as you keep your hangover foods greasy, you’re going to be right as rain (like that senior in college who still shows up for his thesis defense even though the floor is upside down). Happy hangovers!