Hangovers feel like an inevitable part of life. Sunday mornings, New Year’s Day, Black Fridays, fifth of July, those Thursday mornings when Wednesdays were just too much — we’ve all been there with a pounding head, dry mouth, and acid-filled stomach. A mighty hangover needs a comforting cure. Water, bacon, Netflix, naps, and more water are in order. Then you have to drag yourself somewhere to eat a big meal to let your body know everything is going to be okay.
We all have our go-to down-and-dirty fast food joints we crave when we’re hungover. So we popped over to Ranker to find out where the masses like to go when they’re feeling rusty. Turns out that the people like going where we like going. Greasy-spoon diners dominated, alongside national fast food chains.
We decided to take things a step further with this one and put in our favorite hungover order at each of these places just to help you along with your hangover — should you ever find yourself standing in a Taco Bell at eight AM on a Sunday with a pounding head. As you make your way down to the comments, we have to ask: What’s your go-to hangover food? Did the masses get it right this time around?
10. Jack in the Box
Jack in the Box rides the perfect line of being both amazing drunk food and worthwhile hangover fare. While this is a classic burger joint and no one can deny the power of a Jumbo Jack with cheese, it’s the two tacos that shine brightest on the menu. The crunchy corn shell, mystery meat ground beef, askew slice of American cheese, the scant lettuce, and that “spicy” sauce are all terrible and delicious at the same time.
The perfect hangover order: Sourdough Jack, Curly Fries, two Tacos, fresh-brewed Iced Tea.
9. Carl’s Jr.
Good ol’ Carl’s Jr. is a pretty solid choice when you’re hungover, especially if we’re talking breakfast. For our money, the burger chain has one of the better fast food breakfasts out there. Their secret weapon is focusing on biscuits as the centerpiece of that breakfast (though their breakfast burritos are pretty spot on, too). Their “made from scratch” biscuit sandwiches and biscuits and gravy are pretty legit ways to get fat and calories (and cheese) into your body fast, which is all you need when you’re nursing that hangover.
The perfect hangover order: Biscuits ‘n’ Gravy, large Hash Rounds, Powerade.
8. White Castle
White Castle is a very regional choice and we’re okay with that. Although, if you’re not from a part of the country with White Castle this may ring truer as a stoner stop rather than a hangover stop. Still, steamed burger sliders are small and fill you up. So, this makes sense as a great way to cure a hangover in the long run.
The perfect hangover order: 2 Breakfast Slider Combo (two egg, cheese, bacon sliders with Hash Brown Nibblers and a cup of black coffee).
There’s something about the dark brick interior of a Wendy’s that feels super comforting when you’re hungover. There are no bright lights, white walls, and flashing screens anywhere inside a Wendy’s and we like it that way. Wendy’s also knows how to do comfort food. Cheesy baked potatoes and bowls of piping hot chili scream hangover cure. Add a medium chocolate frosty and you’re sorted for the rest of the day.
The perfect hangover order: Dave’s Double, bowl of Chili, Cheese Baked Potato, medium chocolate Frosty.
6. Five Guys
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Five Guys has the feel of a greasy spoon disguised as a fast food joint. Their open kitchen concept just needs a row of seats along the burger station and you’d feel like you’re in a diner, especially given how fatty and greasy the food is (we’re not saying that’s a bad thing when you’re hungover). What’s great at Five Guys is that you can have it your way, so to speak. The burgers are 100 percent customizable, so it’s on you to make it how you like to cure that hangover.
The perfect hangover order: Cheese Dog, Bacon Cheeseburger, Cajun Style Fries, freestyle soda.
This west of the Mississippi option is pretty iconic if you’re in a state where In-N-Out reigns supreme. For one, it’s fresh. It’s also very affordable. Lastly, it’s great for what it is. Anyplace that can give you a made-to-order burger in less than five minutes for a couple bucks while still treating their employees like human beings is a win. Just remember to ask for the fries “well-done.”
The perfect hangover order: Double-Double Animal Style with jalapeños, Animal Style well-done Fries, Neapolitan shake.
Denny’s Diner is another joint that bridges drunk food and hangover cure. The diner has a certain feel to it that brings on a sense of shame for what you did to your body the night before, yet no one in Denny’s will ever judge you for your bad decisions. They’ll just make sure you have a topped up cup of drip coffee and plenty of greasy spoon fare to help you get through the day.
The perfect hangover order: Lumberjack Slam (sunnyside up eggs), a slice of apple pie a la mode, black coffee.
3. Taco Bell
A trip to Taco Bell is an essential part of curing a hangover. There’s just something about Tex-Mex food that hits the perfect spot of not-too carb heavy while still packing in tons of fat and protein. It’s almost as if this food was scientifically devised to cure a hangover.
The perfect hangover order [from UPROXX Life editorial director, Steve Bramucci]: Two beef Meximelts, two hard tacos, two soft tacos, two bean burritos, Mexican Pizza add nacho cheese.
IHOP makes a lot of sense at number two in this ranking. It’s nationwide for one, making it very accessible. It’s also a pancake house and if there’s ever a time for a carbo-load, it’s when you’re hungover and your body is in recovery. Sweet syrups, whipped butter, pancakes of every variety, and surly servers is what you need to get your body restarted after the damaging effects of a long night boozing.
The perfect hangover order: Onion Rings “for the table,” Nutella Crepes, side of bacon, water.
1. Waffle House
This mostly east of the Mississippi chain of iconic American diners is good any time of the day but really shines when you’re in need of a hangover cure (it’s also perfect if you’re a little high). Waffle House’s menu is all Southern-American comfort food turned up to eleven. Grits, chili, cheese on everything, hash browns, biscuits and gravy, pecan waffles, and sugar-bomb pies dominate here. That’s really all a good hangover needs.
The perfect hangover order: Pecan Waffle, large hash browns topped with Bert’s Chili (and cheese), bowl of cheese grits, Triple Chocolate Pie, classic coffee.