One of the trademark coming-of-age experiences for young adults is their first night of drunken debauchery. It’s certainly an unforgettable experience that combines newfound freedom and mischievous thrills. Equally unforgettable is the hangover felt the next day.
Unfortunately, the thrill of alcohol drinking lessens over time. Even more unfortunate is how hangovers get worse with age. Still, there are various methods to prevent or cure a hangover.
Often the best thing we can do is lessen the effects of a hangover by soaking it up with a mid-morning hangover meal. As far as hangover food goes, the greasier, meatier, and more carbohydrate-laden, the better.
While there are assorted foods to cure a hangover, fast food options are a great way to grab something quick and easy.
Luckily, there’s an entire fast food industry perfect for curing hangovers.
Best Fast Food for Hangovers
Below, I’ll list the best hangover fast food options.
Named for founder Dave Thomas’ daughter, Wendy’s opened as an old-fashioned burger stand in Ohio in 1969.
Today, Wendy’s is one of the premier fast food burger restaurants with thousands of locations nationwide.
Their menu now includes fried and grilled chicken sandwiches, salads, baked potatoes, and other novel dishes.
Still, their old-fashioned square-shaped burger patties, thick-cut french fries, and thick chocolate frosty reign supreme when it comes to Wendy’s favorites.
I always go for large french fries to eat along with my chocolate frosty to satisfy my sweet and savory craving.
For a hangover, I’d avoid the milk and sweetness, swapping the chocolate frosty for a cheeseburger.
Jack in the Box
Jack in the Box is a whimsical and edgier fast food restaurant that began as a California burger stand with a circus theme in 1951.
Since then, the Jack in the Box menu became a favorite for late-night fast food smorgasbords that run the culinary gamut, from sandwiches to eggrolls, to crispy tacos.
Jack in the Box is open later than many fast-food counterparts, so it’s an especially ideal location for drunken snacks that may prevent a hangover the next day.
Their signature sandwich is the sourdough jack, a burger with swiss cheese, bacon, tomato, and special sauce between two thick slices of sourdough.
The use of sourdough and Swiss sets it apart from the average burger.
I love a Sourdough Jack, but my favorite hangover cure is their crispy hard-shelled tacos that only cost a dollar.
Founded by Glen Bell in 1962, Taco Bell has gained a cult following from hipsters, young adults, and vegetarians.
Taking inspiration from Mexican cuisine, Taco Bell put an American twist on tacos by making them with:
- Fried tortilla shells
- Ground, seasoned beef
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Shredded lettuce
Since then, Taco Bell constantly invents newer and more outrageous variations on tacos, burritos, nachos, and quesadillas, often combining one or more into a decadent hybrid.
Mexican food is the ultimate hangover cure due to its spicy, meaty, and greasy nature. Taco Bell adds to the greasy, meaty Mexican signature by adding cheese to the mix.
My favorite hangover item at Taco Bell is the Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch with nacho cheese.
Burger King originated as the East Coast’s counterpart to the West Coast’s newly opened McDonald’s franchise.
Originating in Miami in 1954, Burger King is a fast food burger, sandwich, French fry, and milkshake restaurant with over 7000 locations in the US.
Its signature burger is the Whopper, which continues to be the biggest seller.
Burger King was one of the first fast food restaurants to offer Impossible burgers, making it popular with vegetarians and vegans.
I always went to Burger King for their coke and cherry slushies. I recommend their bacon cheeseburger and fries for the ultimate hangover cure.
Their chili cheese dogs and tamales earned them enough revenue to open Carl’s Drive-in Barbecue joint. Carl’s Jr. restaurants opened as smaller versions of Carl’s Drive-in Barbecue.
Today, Carl’s Jr. is an all-encompassing American comfort food fast food joint, selling:
- Burgers and sandwiches
- French fries
It’s hard to wake up early after a night of heavy drinking, but I’d set my alarm to catch their hefty breakfast meals.
There’s no better hangover fast food breakfast than Carl’s Jr.’s Loaded Breakfast Burrito.
Dunkin Donuts opened its doors in 1948 as founder Bill Rosenberg’s brainchild after his successes as a coffee and donut vendor at factories and construction sites around Quincy Massachusetts.
Rosenberg’s notion that coffee and donuts would be equally popular with the general population paid off as Dunkin Donuts has become the nation’s favorite fast-casual coffee house.
The coffee at Dunkin Donuts is so good that it’s now sold in supermarkets nationwide. Coffee is certainly an important drink to counter the effects of a hangover.
A strong cup of coffee paired with a rich and pillowy donut is a hangover breakfast of champions. Just don’t forget to wash it down with water if you want to beat the next-day blues.
Founded by Esther and Harry Snyder in 1948 in California, In-N-Out is a regional burger chain that serves the Southwest some of the best hangover fast food.
In-N-Out remains a family business, with the Snyder’s son taking over as current CEO.
Unlike most fast-food restaurants, In-N-Out never went public, so you can expect a higher standard of authenticity and food quality.
In-N-Out’s simple menu has three varieties of hamburgers, french fries, and three milkshake flavors.
In my opinion, the smaller the menu, the better each dish is because the Chefs have time and practice perfecting a smaller culinary repertoire.
When I’m hungover, their Double Double two-patty cheeseburger smothered in their Thousand Island spread is a lifesaver.
Named for the state in which it was founded, KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) is one of the nation’s oldest fast-food chains.
Colonel Sanders opened the first KFC in 1930, and you can see his friendly face on every KFC sign, chicken bucket, and commercial. KFC currently has over 24000 locations worldwide.
There’s nothing tastier than a bucket of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and a buttery biscuit to cure a hangover and comfort your soul.
My favorite hangover meal at KFC is the KFC Chicken Sandwich box with a thick, crispy filet, pickles, and mayo on a brioche bun with a side of mac n cheese, French fries, and coleslaw.
The world’s largest restaurant chain, McDonald’s opened in San Bernadino, California in 1940 under the direction of Richard and Maurice McDonald.
Today, there are over 40,000 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide. No matter what continent you’re on, everyone knows about those golden arches.
What I find fascinating is how McDonald’s menu changes from country to country, offering a unique and culturally-appropriate comfort food selection.
In the states, McDonald’s menu is classic burgers, sandwiches, fries, and desserts.
Their chicken nuggets and fries will always be my go-to order whether I’m hungover or not.
Hangovers are a rude awakening that most of us suffer after a fun night out. You can end your suffering and make up for the consequences of irresponsible drinking decisions with a greasy meal of fast food.
Whether you want fried chicken, burgers, or coffee and donuts, you’ll find the best hangover fast foods on my list of well-known and treasured fast food chains.
Did I leave out your favorite next-day meal? Leave me a comment, and I’ll check it out!
Don’t forget to hydrate with the best hangover drinks as well!