Food

Hungover? 11 Cures from Experts in the Bar and Restaurant Industry

Take the advice of those who know best.
Caphe Banh Mi's Vietnamese sandwiches in Alexandria are one go-to cure. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

If you’re still feeling green after St. Patrick’s Day (in a bad way), these remedies from bar and restaurant industry experts may offer comfort. Some are crowd-pleasers–where to find great sandwiches, soothing soups. Others are a little extreme (shots of vinegar?). Either way, if anyone knows how to absolve a night out, it’s these guys.

Casey Patten, co-owner, Taylor Gourmet

“Two words: Houng Viet,” says Patten. Casey’s standard carry-out order at this Eden Center Vietnamese: #1 spring rolls, #2 garden roll, #3 shredded pork rolls, #6 sweet and sour tamarind soup with shrimp, #16 rare beef salad with peanuts, #103 crispy noodle with chicken and mixed vegetables. “Nurse yourself all day long.”

Christine Kim, head bartender, Tico

“A bowl of Shin instant ramen (because it’s the only one worth really having at home), lots of kimchi, water, and 365 Italian Natural grapefruit soda [Whole Foods brand]. I don’t like soda or anything really carbonated, but the bubbles just make me feel a hundred times better. This, coupled with my couch and Netflix or the Bravo channel, is perfection. “

Tony Burke, beverage director, Mason Social

“I’ve got a few. The first one is veggie pho from Caphe Banh Mi in Old Town, washed down with a combo of dry ginger ale, lemon, and Angostura bitters. The second is cashew chicken from Mai Thai, and any flavored Mio water. For absolutely abusive hangovers, lemon Vitamin Water and a Holy Cow burger, loaded with everything but the kitchen sink.”

Brett Robison, bar manager, Republic

“One shot of apple cider vinegar to quell the nausea, then lots of water. Follow this with a Taylor ham, egg, and cheese on a hard roll doused in Sriracha, with a low-alcohol coffee beer to quench the crushing heat. You resolve any immediate stomach issues with the vinegar, and make your body more receptive to the water you’ll take in. The sandwich, plus one to two coffee beers, takes you through an intense internal exercise. You literally begin sweating from your face, and it sets you up for a great nap once you come down from the buzzing head high.

Stefan Trummer, co-owner, Trummer’s on Main

“My hangover remedy comes from my home country of Austria: the Kaiser Melange, a Viennese coffee drink. It’s a great pick-me-up after a long night. It is made with very strong coffee, an egg yolk, honey, and a shot of Cognac. You have the coffee, some protein, and a little hair of the dog. It works, and it tastes good, too.”

Daisuke Utagawa, co-owner, Daikaya

“Ramen is a hangover cure and prevention. Our body craves the amino acids found in ramen soup when we are depleted of them in a hungover state, so many people crave ramen after a night of drinking. Thats why when you go to a ramen shop late night in Japan, they’re all packed! I don’t know if there’s a scientific study on it, but that’s what is commonly known in Japan. Plus, ramen tastes mighty good when drinking.”

Nahem Simon, beer director, Jack Rose Dining Saloon

“Wheat beers. They have oodles of Vitamin B-12 and are full of antioxidants. Plus, they’re really considered breakfast beers in Germany.”

Woong Chang, beverage director, Stanton & Greene and Sonoma

“Pho, ramen, any noodle soup. And a tall glass of spicy ginger beer like Fever Tree with a ton of angostura bitters, and a lemon wedge. Or I just keep drinking. Just remember, a hangover is only a problem when you stop drinking.”

Jochem Zijp, beverage director, BLT Steak

“I went to college in Canada and we swore by Caesars. It’s essentially a Bloody Mary with the addition of clam juice. The brininess of the clams and vitamin kick from the tomato juice sets you straight. In summer, sub cheap beer for vodka if you want something more refreshing.”

Megan Barnes, bartender/general manager, McClellan’s Retreat

“This is an old recipe that I use, learned from Shawn Kelly at Breadsoda years ago: Freshly squeezed orange juice from one orange; half-ounce of lemon juice; half ounce of Angostura Bitters. Top it with soda water, and add a dash of spicy ginger ale/ginger beer (if you have it).”

Gavin Coleman, co-owner, the Dubliner

“Only an amateur is sober enough to have a hangover.”

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Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.