PW's Guide to Hangover Cures

Six edible hangover cures for drinkers not quite ready for the 12 steps.

By Tim McGinnis
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 2 | Posted Nov. 17, 2009

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Your eyelids peel away from what feels like sockets lined with sandpaper to reveal a spider web of red capillaries. There’s crust caking the corners of your mouth, your pillow, your hair and the pair of jeans you’ve unceremoniously tossed in a crumpled heap on your bedroom floor. As you drag your body Night-of-the-Living-Dead -style toward the sink for a giant glass of water, your head painfully thumps in unison with each beat of your heart and your stomach feels like a family of gerbils have set up shop in your innards—exercise wheel and all. While visions of last night’s beers, shots and Toasted Almond—it seemed like a good idea at the time—dance excruciatingly in your bleary head, you realize you’ve done it again. You’re hungover and you need a fix. Let this list be your go-to guide when you need to get through the worst of it. And try to look on the bright side: You didn’t bring home a fugly … this time.


No, not the Puerto Rican boy band that launched the careers of no-talent assclowns like Ricky Martin. We’re talking about the spicy Mexican soup made with honeycomb tripe (cow stomach), a vinegar-spiked beef stock and a bright red, almost-neon chile paste. Add chopped onion, lime wedges and cilantro to adjust the flavor to your liking and dip the house-made corn tortillas into the soothing broth. The traditional thought behind this hangover cure is that it makes you sweat, releasing last night’s toxins from your system and into the air for the rest of us to smell.

PW Recommends: La Lupe, 1201 S. Ninth St. 215.551.9920 


This staple in Vietnam made with a star anise, ginger and cinnamon-infused beef broth and rice noodles is usually eaten for breakfast, but whatever time you regain consciousness after a night of hard drinking will do just fine. At Pho 75 they’re all about the beef. Try a mix-and-match combination of flank steak, fatty brisket, soft tendon, beef tripe or meatballs, or have them toss all of them into this swimming pool-sized bowl of soup. The beefy broth is comforting and effective at fighting the Irish flu, but we think it’s the plate of add-ons that do the most good against a hangover. Jalapeño’s capsaicin is a known brain pain inhibitor, the essential oils in Thai basil calm the stomach and the nerves, and lime wedges are used to fight everything from fatigue to kidney toxins to scurvy.

PW Recommends: Pho 75, 1122 Washington Ave. 215.271.5866

Coffee + Recovery Shake

The Recovery Shakes at Mugshots are meant to replenish the electrolytes you’ve shed during a long, hard workout, but if you need to recover from a long, hard night with your two best friends Jack and Ginger, it’ll set you straight. Try one made with acai berry spiked with the beneficial bacteria spirulina; both aid in cell reproduction so you just might regenerate some of those brain cells you obliterated last night. If all else fails, go with the caffeine cocktail Mugshot, a cup of coffee with a shot of espresso.

PW Recommends: Mugshots, 2100 Fairmount Ave. 267.514.7145.

Pickle Juice

The Russians believe the only way to get over a hangover is to drink the juice of a pickle, but then again they also thought that invading Afghanistan was a good idea. If you’re going to go the Ruskie route, why not drink the juice of a really good pickle? AJ Pickle Patch in the Reading Terminal Market pickles everything from green tomatoes to cucumbers to beets. The theory is that the magnesium and potassium in the pickle will help with headaches and fatigue. We think when you’re hungover and dehydrated, you just crave salt.

PW Recommends: AJ Pickle Patch, 12th and Arch sts.

Hae Jang Guk

If you’ve ever hung out with a bunch of Koreans you know one thing they love is drinking. We’re talking Ted Kennedy before Chappaquiddick drinking. Shane MacGowan with a handful of fifties drinking. Ernest Hemingway holed up in a Spanish hotel drinking. Sure, it’s a 
stereotype, but in our experience, it’s one based in truth. Koreans also have the perfect cure for hangovers: Hae Jang Guk, translated to stomach relief soup or “hangover soup,” made with digestion aids like napa cabbage, mung bean sprouts, scallion as well as odd cuts of beef and a beefy Korean miso broth (both boosting protein levels and providing the energy for another round). This is sure to knock last night’s booze right out of you.

PW Recommends: Pastoral Korean Restaurant, 205 S. 13th St. 215.545.8511

Bloody Mary

Hair of the dog is an obvious choice, but it’s the only surefire solution to your alcohol ailments. While your body is being numbed by the vodka-induced dopamine surge, the tomato juice will actually do some good. Lycopene helps your blood flow and clears your head. Potassium brings you out of the general state of malaise brought on by uber-consumption, and vitamin C boosts your immune system and kills any viruses you picked up while “accidentally” kissing that stranger the night before.

PW Recommends: Royal Tavern, 937 E. Passyunk Ave. 215.389.6694.

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1. Hangover Cure Man said... on Jan 10, 2010 at 11:24PM

“This is a great piece. What I've come to find, is curing a hangover takes a good mix of moderation, physical activity, positive mind set and sometimes an little medication. HangoverSchool is a lead hangover curing site. Pretty cool”

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2. Hangover School said... on Jan 23, 2011 at 11:24PM

“Mahi-Mahi is one of the best hangover cures and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is hungover. The fish is rich in vitamins, helps you bounce right back. Add hot rice and tea and you will feel much better, especially if you out a little alcohol in the tea! Cheers!”


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