There are hangovers, and then there are hangovers, those times when you wake up to discover that you may or may not have thrown up inside a pair of shoes next to your bed. This is a guide for the latter. Because when you finally recover enough to move without sprinting to the nearest bathroom, you’re going to have to eat. And while we can’t do anything about the regret soaking inside of you, or whatever’s in those shoes, we can tell you where to go when you’re looking to recover.
According to leading scientists, there’s nothing that cures a hangover faster than a bagel and cream cheese - except for maybe a bagel and cream cheese and some of the best cured fish in Los Angeles. When we’re looking for that, we go to Maury’s in Silver Lake. Almost everything at this former pop-up pairs well with a Sunday afternoon and vague feelings of regret, from whitefish salad to labneh to traditional nova lox, but our favorite is the sable, which comes with buttery black cod, cream cheese, pickled onions, and tomatoes.
There are plenty of excellent bars in Koreatown, so it makes sense that there are also plenty of places to nurse a hangover. When we’re really in pain, we prefer porridge, and Bonjuk makes our favorite. It’s thick, hearty, and, according to the menu, healthy, including one bowl that’s supposed to cure weariness, and another that aids in detoxification. So basically, perfect for a hangover. We usually go for the pumpkin, the chicken ginseng, or the beef and mushroom - all of them come pretty unseasoned, which is good if you’re having stomach issues, but you can add in banchan to make them more flavorful.
We get it - you’re hungover and the only thing you want is to stay in bed and pretend to be all four grandparents in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But what your alcohol-ridden body really needs is a warm bowl of Korean soul food. Located between a Papa John’s and a GameStop in a Beverly Grove strip mall, Spoon By H’s menu is filled with dishes like Spam fried rice, kimchi cold noodles, and the de-facto hangover cure, pork belly dumpling soup. Filled with dumplings, mung bean noodles, tteok, and, of course, giant cuts of pork belly, eating/drinking/absorbing this powerful soup is the culinary equivalent of winning a golden ticket.
Doubting Thomas is where you come to see the full spectrum of the human experience - on any given weekend, you’ll witness everything from smiling children enjoying morning buns and couples sharing the same newspaper over cappuccinos to recent college grads reflecting on the night before with very strong cold brews and thousand-yard stares. With its large, floor-to-ceiling windows and plant-filled interior, this cafe in Historic Filipinotown is one of the nicest places in LA to nurse a hangover. They’ve also got a bevy of tools to reanimate that corpse you call a body, including excellent coffee, a wide variety of pastries (we like the aforementioned morning buns and tiny jam-filled financiers), as well as their takes on LA breakfast faves like tomato toast with almond pesto and a very good pork shoulder breakfast burrito.
The breakfast burrito, by all laboratory analysis, was created for battling hangovers. Which is why, when it’s Sunday morning and you’re working through something brutal happening inside your head, you need to remember Phanny’s. The tiny spot in Redondo has truly life-saving breakfast burrito on their menu. They offer a few different protein options, but the carne asada with avocado is your order. This thing is big and salty, with a crunch from the crispy potatoes inside, and it’s served all day, if you really overdid it last night.
Don’t be confused by the name - Sapp Coffee Shop is one of the best lunch spots not just in Thai Town, but all of Los Angeles, and an ideal place to make a vow to your liver to never drink again. Most of the things on their massive menu are great (we would eat the brothless, BBQ pork-covered jade noodles every day), but what they’re best known for is their boat noodle soup. The incredibly complex and cinnamon-y broth is filled with beef filet, tripe, tendon, pork skin, crunchy bean sprouts, and rice flour noodles, and if you still feel hungover after eating it, you might need to consult a medical professional.
Bone broth is trendy, yes, but there’s a reason - it’s really good for when you’re feeling like a large pile of human garbage, because it’s got the nutrients your body needs following a night filled with sambuca shots. The sul lung tang (oxbone soup) at Han Bat is some of the best in Koreatown - and one of the quickest meals anywhere, if you want to minimize the amount of time you’re spending without a pillow under your head. Minutes after you order, a cloudy, salty, broth, filled with the protein of your choice (we like the brisket) arrives at your table, ready to be loaded up with accompanying sides like green onions, salt, pepper, and a couple different kimchis.
26 Beach is not a very good restaurant. But that doesn’t matter, because they do have one thing we like very much when we have a hangover: A 13-item menu of French toasts. There are traditional ones involving maple syrup and churro flavors, but when we’re hungover, the ideal combination is as much oil and carbs as possible. That means we go for the weirder ones - like a surprisingly good toast that includes ham, Swiss, and blackberry jam, and another featuring toast stuffed with sausage, fried eggs, American cheese, and sweet potato fries.
With three locations across the city, you’re never too far from a Wexler’s. But when we’re hungover, our preference is the one in Santa Monica, because it doesn’t require a trip to Grand Central Market or the Westfield Mall. The menu is huge, and all the sandwiches are good. Our focus, though, tends to be on the breakfast section - specifically, the Big Poppa, a bagel sandwich with pastrami, eggs, cheddar, and cream cheese. If this doesn’t make you feel better, then you’re f*cked.
Bone Kettle is an upscale Indonesian restaurant in Old Town Pasadena, which might not seem like the kind of place to recuperate from a hangover. But at brunch, they serve huge, hangover-busting (and legitimately great) plates like pandan waffles with confit duck, loco moco topped with a duck egg, and spicy oxtail hash that chases the hangover straight out of you. But if you’re really feeling terrible, your move should be the namesake 36-hour bone broth - it’s super flavorful, and comes with great options like prime sirloin, fatty brisket, or our favorite, braised oxtails. They’ve also got excellent mango mimosas, if the thought of alcohol doesn’t have you looking for the nearest bowl-shaped object.
We’re not sure there’s a breakfast we’ve eaten while hungover more often than the Game Over from the Yeastie Boys’ truck. It involves peppered bacon, tomato, egg, beer cheese, and jalapeño schmear on a cheddar bagel. It’s excessive, yes, but it’s also (maybe literally) exactly what the doctor ordered when you’re so hungover that you’re technically still drunk. Yeastie Boys has a couple trucks, and their schedule changes, but they’re usually in Venice and Los Feliz on Saturday, and Weho and Silver Lake on Sunday (we recommend checking their Instagram account to confirm).
Yes, the rumors are true. Drinking water helps relieve a hangover. But do you know what pairs really well with water? A spicy panang curry. Sticky Rice has two locations in LA, but the easiest option is their Echo Park outpost (the other one is in Grand Central Market, a.k.a. not a place you can visit with anything less than full brain capacity). There’s a ton to like at this Thai restaurant, including the namesake mango sticky rice and a deep fried roti with green curry, but if you’re really serious about your recovery journey, get the panang curry. It’s sweet, savory, and a little spicy, and one of the best in the city.
This Historic Filipinotown spot makes us think that Goldilocks might have been onto something - not the whole breaking-and-entering thing - but rather, that you can solve your problems with a big, warm bowl of porridge. The menu rotates seasonally, but our favorite, the poultry and mushroom, is available year-round. Creamy, savory, and topped with soy-sauce braised chicken and crispy shallots, this bowl is incredibly well-balanced and nourishing. And although we can’t really advocate for you treating yourself considering what you did last night, you should still order the brown butter mochi for dessert.
If there was ever an all-star roster of hangover foods, pho would be a first-round draft pick. There’s just something about the fragrant mix of herbs, broth, and rice noodles that instantly brings us back from that next-day brink of death. And Pho 87 is one of our favorite places in LA to get our fix - located in an unmarked building in Chinatown, the nourishing pho dac biet, which comes with a combination of meats, is straight up ambrosia-level god food, plus almost everything on the menu is under $13.
Many of the hangover cures on this guide are going to include some sort of rice/protein/sauce combo, but to be honest, they all pale in comparison to the loco moco. Originally from Hawaii, this giant plate of white rice, hamburger patties, over-easy eggs, and thick brown gravy basically wrote the entire book on next-day recovery. There are a few places in LA that serve this GOAT meal, but one of our favorites is at Back Home in Lahaina. Located in Carson, this is also a great place for Hawaiian staples like poke on wonton chips and haupia (coconut cream custard) cheesecake.