Fun nights out don't always equal fun following days. And sometimes, no matter how many painkillers you pop, no matter how much water you drink, no matter how much tossing-and-turning-filled sleep you attempt to have, the only solution to an insistent hangover is to drown your headache, achiness and upset stomach with some seriously unhealthy food.
But hangovers, like people, are each unique in nature—and unique in solution. Cheesy omelets, salty snacks, mayhap a donut: Whatever it takes to get you upright again, indulge.
Get greasy eats at any hour at White Palace Grill
Open 24 hours every damn day of the year, the White Palace Grill may be located further south than the last bar you find yourself at, but it's worth the trek for the cheap, greasy goodness. Unsettled stomachs should load up on bountiful breakfast fare like the smothered-in-chili Texas Omelet, a salami and egg sandwich or extra-thick wedges of giant French toast. Suburbanites can relive those high school trips to Denny's without losing your cool with an order of the 2222: two eggs, bacon, sausage and buttermilk pancakes. Meals are cooked in a hefty amount of butter and eaten alongside an eclectic crowd of neighborhood types and nightclubbers on their way home (or out).
Sip on a side of booze at breakfast at Twisted Spoke
If you're of the mindset that the only true cure for a hangover is the hair of the dog, Twisted Spoke's Road Rash Mary, a $6.95 veggie- and Guinness-infused bloody mary that comes complete with a meat garnish and a beer back, should do the trick. Assuming you have a little room left after downing a 16-ounce tomato-juice cocktail, move on to something a little heartier. No wussy meals served here, you can load up on breakfast fare like Real Oats for Real Men and Bloody Eggs (basically a bloody mary scrambled with eggs). If you're more the Manwich type, try a Philly cheese steak or shrimp po'boy—if the cheese doesn't heal you, the deep-fry will.
Chow on cheap, simple goodness at Wiener's Circle
Yep. Wiener's Circle's charred, fried goodness is available at 2 p.m. as well as 2 a.m. Featuring hot dogs (of course), thick mustard- and ketchup-soaked burgers and gigantic servings of French fries, the menu may not be huge, but it does get you stomach-comforting food...even if you're a veg-head (no, thank you, veggieburger). Daytime service tends to be more low-key than the late-night insult-fueled funfest of drunks versus Wiener's Circle staff—during daylight you just order and eat, for less than $10. Seating is somewhat sparse, but in warm weather outdoor picnic benches provide extra leg room. There's also a small parking lot in back for those too hungover to walk (but no bathroom if you're feeling too hungover to not yarf).
Order classed-up hangover food at Kitsch'n River North
Kitsch'n's swank River North spot is typically less crowded than the Roscoe Village original, making it easier to snag a seat for its hangover brunch. Served from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, you can load up on yummies like the Borracho Breakfast Burrito (a flour tortilla filled with eggs, two cheeses, black beans, salsa and veggies) and Coconut Crusted French Toast, complete with raspberry sauce and fresh pineapple. And since you're in a restaurant that actually has a waitress and a decorating scheme, you can feel impressed that you've bypassed those IHOP days for good. Skip the L with free validated parking at a nearby garage, unless you want to swing for a cab...and several chipotle bloody marys.
Dive into healthy hangover food at Earwax Cafe
Can't stand the wait? Earwax Cafe keeps the line at a minimum for during weekend brunch, despite the fact it's a frequent runover spot from its neighbor, The Bongo Room. Part circus and part hippie mainstay, don't let the nasty name fool you: Earwax serves up delish huevos rancheros, messy burgers topped with caramelized onions, slaw and chipotle BBQ sauce, and spicy fries. Create your own omelet from a list of almost a dozen ingredients; suck down French toast made with pastry cream or try to recalibrate with healthier fare like soy milk oatmeal or the vegan tofu veggie hash. And Earwax doesn't have you on a strict schedule. Hangovers served all night? Breakfast served all day.