London’s Best Hangover Food
The morning after the night before calls for a special kind of soothing grub to sort you out. Some people find their pounding head wants for something light, bright and virtuous, whereas others need full-on stringy, cheesy stodge and the dirtiest burger available to see off last night’s ills.
Whatever your personal preference, we reckon we’ve found the means to blow away those cobwebs and bring you back to the land of the living. Knock yourself out…
Made of Dough
The latest player in London’s strong line up of posh pizzerias, Made of Dough started with a truck and now have a new set up down in Peckham, where their Neapolitan style pizzas are pulling in the crowds. Their dough is fermented for 60 hours, topped with mozzarella driven from Campania twice weekly and incredible tomatoes from Mt. Vesuvius, then wood fired.
Pizza is many a hungover person’s lunch of choice, and rightly so with the holy trinity of carbs, cheese and meat making it a winning combination to settle even the dodgiest of tums. We’d go for the chorizo on account of it coming from Brindisa.
P.S. We also highly rate the pizza at Santa Maria, Pizza Pilgrims and L’Antica (Hampstead, not da Michele) but we’ve only room for one.
This one won’t be for everyone, but my gosh it is for us. Oysters contain hefty amounts of zinc, which is basically what is needed to metabolise alcohol and bring you back from the brink. The saltiness will also help, but of course many people will struggle to actually get them down — especially when feeling delicate.
If you can’t manage them raw, order a selection of the hot ones at this new Covent Garden shrine to bivalves. There are hot buffalo oysters or a gratin of pancetta, breadcrumbs, fennel and parmesan — force six down and that’s 8x your RDA of zinc: you’ll be a new person. You can always get some of their delicious Old Bay Chips on the side, too.
The Oystermen, 32 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8NA
The offspring of Chik’n’Sours and serving the same, unbelievably good fried chicken (free range, higher welfare, tiny bit healthier than the bad stuff) every which way, this is where you need to head for a life-changing chicken burger on a hangover day.
Every sandwich has flavoursome, juicy chicken encased in their secret crispy coating and fried to perfection (except the Not So CHIK’N, which is a veggie version), and comes served with anything from sriracha sour cream, lettuce and spicy slaw (that’s the CHIK’N Hot) to the latest limited edition of hot sauce, buttermilk mayo, lettuce, pineapple, bacon and cheese. You’ll be needing some wings on the side too, because: hanging.
CHIK’N, 134 Baker Street, W1U 6UB
Mexican food tends to be high up on the list of hangover-busting cuisines, so it’s off to Battersea we go for some decent tacos and — whisper it — tequilas to banish the last of that fuzzy head. Choose from Mexican street food choices, like tempura Baja cod with avocado, pico de gallo and lime mayo or Mezcal garlic and lemon chicken, all served in hand pressed tacos.
There’s also a strong quesadilla offering (chorizo and potato; pulled pork and red onion; peppers and chipotle mayo) and the life-restoring properties of the guac are something we can all be thankful for. Do try and explore the incredible range of Mezcal if you can contemplate it.
Cartel, 517–519 Battersea Park Road, SW11 3BN
From time to time, one’s hangover guilt is such that it becomes impossible to imagine ever putting anything unhealthy into one’s body again. And on those occasions, we’ll head to Healthy Stuff in Dalston, where things are green, clean, organic and definitely have not been pickled in alcohol, unlike our innards.
Bread is from E5 Bakehouse, salads are farm-fresh, seasonal and all the rest of it, as well as being actually nice. Order a fresh juice to restore some vitamins to your sorry self (perhaps, the Detox of beetroot, carrot, celery, apple and lemon, no?) and decide between health-inducing sandwiches (GF or rye available), salads and nourishing soups, with feel-good ingredients like pumpkin seeds, wakame seaweed and sauerkraut aplenty.
Healthy Stuff, 168 Dalston Lane, E8 1NG
South East Londoners who haven’t made it over to Deptford Market Yard should do, sharpish, and even more so if encumbered by a splitting head, dry mouth and generalised ABV-induced paranoia, because it turns out it’s a little hidden foodie gem. A mix of independents and start-ups now call a series of SE8 railway arches home, and we’re particularly interested in Archie’s Bar, with a good line in melted cheese.
There’s Mexican-inspired fondue, classic grilled cheese sandwiches, mac’n’cheese and so much more to sort you out. The Mexican fondue (queso fundido) has a reputation as a hangover cure — and considering it’s a skillet of melted cheese topped with chilli and served with tortilla, we can see why. The toasties are serious too.
Archie’s Bar, Arch 12, Deptford Market Yard, SE8 4BX
The jury’s still out on whether the French actually get hangovers or if they’re just intrinsically too chic, but if they did, we’d bet they’d be found at Bon Vivant the next day. We suggest The Morning After breakfast, which is a Parisian twist on the full English, comprising your choice of eggs, a steak, bacon, potato and the signature secret BV sauce, available on weekends. You can also get back on the wagon with bottomless mimosas, bellinis or prosecco for 90 minutes at £18.
Bon Vivant, 75–77 Marchmont Street, WC1N 1AP
Meat lovers have several options at Mac’n’Wild, London’s shrine to the highlands. You could go for the Scottish breakfast (homecured bacon, homemade tattie scone, white pudding, mushroom, black pudding and Lorne sausage with scrambled egg), or the award winning Veni-Moo burger (a beastly venison patty, a beef patty, cheese, béarnaise and caramelised onion on brioche), but personally we’d like to think we could exercise a little restraint a plump simply for the traditional cure-all of a bacon sandwich. OK, fine: it’s candied bacon, with béchamel sauce and bone marrow gravy.
Mac & Wild, 65 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7PS; and 9A Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YN
The first word on most of our lips after a session is ‘coffee’, and where else to head but to one of the original mavericks of the London coffee revolution: Caravan. It has some of the best coffee to be found (single origin beans and house blends roasted in London), served with all-day global-inspired plates like lamb meatballs with braised tomato, bulgur, cumin yoghurt and peanuts or wholesome red quinoa and buckwheat bowl with tenderstem, sweet potato, peanuts and miso tahini dressing. If you can get yourself moving early enough then their breakfasts are pretty epic too — we love the cornbread.
If you can get yourself moving early enough then their breakfasts are pretty epic too — we love the cornbread.
Caravan, Granary Square, N1C 4AA; Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QD; Bankside, SE1 0HS; and coming soon to the City
The Ugly Dumplings
If dumplings are your cure-all, then mosey over to the ex-Little-Pitt site in Soho for some goodies from The Ugly Dumplings. Hailing from a market stall background, this newly opened restaurant is their first bricks-and-mortar opportunity, where you can get your hands on their well-received British/Asian fusion-style dumplings with fillings like aromatic duck in hoisin and spring onion, prawn and chive or halloumi and courgette.
They’re cheap too, around £3-£5 for a choice of three, or five for £6. A mix of steamed, fried and with gf options too — and even sweet dumplings — you’ll find something that will do the trick.
The Ugly Dumplings, 1 Newburgh Street, W1F 7RB; and various street food locations
Our delicate stomachs may struggle with the meat-fest that we’d usually order up at Hawksmoor (bone-in rib -eye, bone marrow and creamed spinach, since you ask), but we’re very up for the new Big Matt Meal. Boasting two dry-aged British beef patties smothered in Red Leicester (an often overlooked cheese), iceberg lettuce, house pickles and a secret relish in a sesame seed bun, this is essentially a Big Mac on crack, and we’re very much on board with it.
It comes with beef dripping fried and a Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew, which has restorative properties of its very own. Check out the new Borough branch, where its on-menu at the moment.
Hawksmoor, various locations
There are so many good ramen places now (Tonkotsu, Bone Daddies and Koya Bar, we love you), but when we’re feeling under par, a trip to one of the Kanada-Yas is needed. Of course, it’s no reservations, but go alone or in a sad, sorry twosome and you’ll soon be served your steaming bowl of ramen.
People have long waxed lyrical on the powers of broth for illness, and it will help you out no end for anything self-inflicted too — there’s just something about that deeply nourishing blend of collagen-rich stock, with cobweb-clearing chilli and noodles for substance and much-needed carbohydrate. The Gekikara of pork and corn fed chicken bone broth, spicy tan tan minced pork belly chashu, wood ear fungus and spring onion will have you fighting fit in no time.
Kanada-Ya, 3 Panton Street, SW1Y 4DL; and 64 St Giles High Street, WC2H 8LE