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Food & Drink

Top Hangover Helpers: Where to Find Them in NOLA

New Orleans’ reputation as a party town means there are many food traditions that have popped up over the years to help us handle a hangover.

shrimp poboy
The fried shrimp po-boy from Parkway. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

New Orleans’ reputation as a party town means that not only are there a lot of places and ways to spend a sophisticated (or, you know, not so much) evening drinking, but also there are many food traditions that have popped up over the years to help us handle the stress of the following morning and early afternoon. It’s as much a part of the party as the nighttime activities that precede it. So choose wisely, otherwise your day may not go as planned.

New Orleans Hangover Helpers

Bloody Mary Bar at Atchafalaya 

901 Louisiana Ave, (504) 891-9626

DIY Bloody Marys at Atchafalaya. (Photo via Atchafalaya on Facebook)

The Bloody Mary bar at Atchafalaya restaurant Uptown is a sight to behold: two different house tomato juice blends (red and green), dozens of hot sauces, and enough garnishes to truly consider this brunch drink a salad. Pickled okra, green beans, and peppers alongside celery, olives, cocktail onions, bacon, and other options make this the perfect opportunity to create your hangover helper exactly the way you need it. Extra lemon or horseradish sauce? No problem. Believe in the healing power of Worcestershire sauce? They’ve got you covered. Just order your glass of vodka over ice and head up to the bar for instant, hair-of-the-dog relief. Their brunch dishes are also excellent — try the duck hash to go with the blessed Bloody Mary in your hand. Open for brunch Thursday through Monday.

Katie’s Crawfish Beignet

3701 Iberville St, (504) 488-6582

This Mid-City neighborhood joint offers its signature crawfish beignet stuffed, with crawfish, two different cheeses, pepper, and onion topped with jalapeño aioli, every day, but if you go for brunch on Sundays, you can also enjoy bottomless Bloody Marys, mimosas, and sangria. Regardless of when, the time-honored tradition of fried cheesy items for hangovers is field tested and Katie’s approved.

Parkway’s Fried Shrimp Po-Boy

538 Hagan Ave, (504) 482-3047

Also in Mid-City right off the Canal Street streetcar line, Parkway Bakery and Tavern serves its acclaimed fried shrimp po-boy. Local fresh shrimp, lightly battered and fried, are joined with Leidenheimer French bread, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo (because you have to get it “dressed”) for a heavenly po-boy experience. The fried shrimp give good hangover grease, but they don’t sit in your stomach like lumps afterward. This is a sandwich that can help you take over the world. Parkway’s gotten pretty much every award for its fried shrimp po-boy, so just come on over and check it out. Don’t be frightened by the long line: it moves fast and is expertly handled. Open every day except Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Barbecue from The Joint 

701 Mazant St, (504) 949-3232

Barbecue from The Joint. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

Bywater barbecue pioneer The Joint brings smoked meat to the hungry and hungover every day of the week except Sunday, starting at 11:30 a.m. It’s hard to go wrong with ordering, and combo plate options are a godsend to any undecided diners. If you still can’t decide but know you can’t polish off a 3-meat combo, try the “A little pork, a little brisket, and 2 ribs” plate with a side of potato salad. And get the pecan or peanut butter pie for dessert.

Mopho’s Pho

514 City Park Ave, (504) 482-6845

In a town full of delicious pho, Mopho has the edge in variety of broths and ingredients. Choose from the beef broth (made with bones, marrow, spices, and fish sauce), fowl broth made with duck and chicken bones, or the vegan and gluten-free vegetarian broth, then add traditional items like flank steak, meatball, oxtail, chicken thigh, or marinated roasted tofu as well as more creative options like crispy shallots, grilled greens, duck confit, pork shoulder, cocks comb, or head cheese. Just the way you want it, executed to perfection. Open daily from 11 a.m.

Miss Linda’s Yakamein

Location varies

A pho-nomenal substitute to pho is Yakamein, a locally developed beef and noodle soup. If you time it right, you can order it from Miss Linda the Yakamein Lady, who frequently caters festivals and the Freret Market on the first Saturday of every month, or from a food truck. For a more reliably available option, try it from Three Muses Maple at 7537 Maple St. 

Yakamein from Miss Linda’s. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Surrey’s Shrimp and Grits

1418 Magazine Street/4807 Magazine Street

This breakfast place with two locations on Magazine Street — one in the Lower Garden District, and one Uptown next to Bon Temps Roulez bar and music club — offers a bowl of shrimp and grits that’s available starting at 8 a.m. every damn day of the week. This version offers the flavor profiles of New Orleans’ traditional barbecue shrimp, and when washed down with fresh squeezed juice (add some ginger to settle your stomach) and a cup of joe, it will get you ready to face the rest of the day head on.

Pagoda Cafe’s Breakfast Tacos

1430 N Dorgenois St, (504) 644-4178

Pagoda Cafe. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Breakfast tacos are a proven hangover cure — egg and beans for protein, cheese for deliciousness and stomach-coating fat, and spicy sauce to clear the head. On Tuesday through Friday mornings, from 7 until 11 a.m., check out Cafe Pagoda for their variations on the theme. The refried beans are made in-house, and you can get your tacos with crispy potatoes and even bacon if you like. Three bucks for one and $5.50 for two ($3.50 for one and $6.50 for two if you get bacon) means you get the chance to fill up and caffeinate all for less than $10.

Brennan’s Eggs Benedict

417 Royal St, (504) 525-9711

If you can manage to make yourself look respectable, head over to the pink palace of fancy breakfast: reopened Brennan’s Restaurant on Royal Street in the French Quarter. Brennan’s has the traditional Eggs Benedict, along with variations like Eggs Hussarde (prosciutto substitutes for Canadian bacon, and a classic marchand de vin sauce joins the hollandaise party); Eggs Sardou with crispy artichoke and creamed spinach; or Eggs Cardinal (crispy lobster and shrimp boudin patty with spinach and eggs, topped with Creole mustard hollandaise). Brennan’s is open for breakfast starting at 8 a.m. except on Mondays. If you’re looking for additional Benedict diversity, check out the “Daily Benedict” specials up the street at Criollo restaurant at the Hotel Monteleone.

Bananas Foster French Toast at Stanley’s 

547 St Ann St, (504) 587-0093

Take one of New Orleans’ famous desserts and turn it into a breakfast dish? Achievement unlocked over at Stanley’s in Jackson Square, where they serve breakfast all day. The battered French bread toast is topped with sliced bananas, vanilla ice cream, and toasted walnuts then drizzled with a brown sugar, butter, rum, banana liqueur, and cinnamon sauce. It’s sweet, satisfying, and since there’s fresh fruit involved, it’s totally healthy. Open seven days a week starting at 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. during the week, and until 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Nora McGunnigle is a freelance beer and food writer in New Orleans, where she focuses on the unique food and beer culture of Louisiana and the Gulf region. Her work can be found in publications like Beer Advocate, Thrillist, and Eater NOLA. You can often find her holding important meetings at the Avenue Pub. Follow her on Twitter at @noradeirdre and keep up with her work at NOLAbeerblog.com

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