Fried chicken & waffle sandwich
Root & BoneAddress and Info
There’s arguably no better hangover cure than a plate of chicken and waffles, and here to appease (in hand-held form, no less!) are Top Chef contestants Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth. Their towering sweet-and-savory sandwich at the East Village's Root & Bone features tender yet crunchy chicken tucked between two buckwheat waffles covered in cheddar cheese and served with whiskey-infused maple syrup. Motion to eat waffles with our hands from this day forward.
Cheeky SandwichesAddress and Info
Lower East Side
If you can manage to emerge from your dimly lit cave, nurse your hangover like they do in NOLA. This tiny sandwich shop offers Big Easy-inspired bites and drinks like Zapp’s potato chips, Ben-Yays, chicory coffee, and Big Shot soda -- but the real morning-after rescue is the half-and-half po-boy that’s packed with fried shrimp and oysters, lettuce, tomatoes, mayo, hot sauce, and pickles between two slices of bread shipped directly from NOLA’s own John Gendusa Bakery. While the end might feel near, one look at the white picket fence, colorful shutters, and bright bar stools will instantly restore you.
ColonieAddress and Info
Sure, there are plenty of places to get a great, hangover-helping burger in New York. But when you need something to take the aching away ASAP, the heavy-loaded namesake burger at this Brooklyn Heights fave is a must: a hefty grass-fed patty topped with Applewood-smoked bacon, aged cheddar, pickles, lettuce, beet ketchup, and a runny egg safely sandwiched between a house-made potato milk sesame roll.
Queens ComfortAddress and Info
After that fourth round of pickleback shots last night, you desperately need to bring out the big guns. And although pretty much anything on this menu (a Cap’n Crunch-crusted chicken sandwich, deep-fried mac & cheese balls with Sriracha, breakfast lasagna Benedict) will soak up every last bit of the night before, the real knight in shining armor is the breakfast burrito. The combo of scrambled eggs, sausage, crinkle-cut fries, cheddar, Sriracha aioli, and scallions will have you feeling like a human again after just one bite.
Lox and tobiko spread sandwich
Black Seed BagelsAddress and Info
Often, a bagel is all you need, and when that’s the case, look no further than Black Seed’s lox-and-tobiko spread number. The Montreal-style bagels are given extra love and care -- that is, they’re hand-rolled, boiled in honey water, then baked in a wood-fired oven before being dressed with salmon, tobiko spread, and butter lettuce. And because it’s always prudent to stock up on carbs, double up with its first cousin -- a bagel with smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, tomatoes, and onions -- which also works its magic on throbbing headaches.
Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao
The BaoAddress and Info
Nothing sounds worse than sweating out a hangover at the gym. But breaking a sweat while stuffing your face with steaming soup dumplings may actually be the ideal antidote. The hangover hero at this Shanghainese restaurant is the Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao -- the piping hot pork broth, which is boiled daily and cocooned in a thinly hand-rolled dough, will warm you up and have you feeling better in no time.
El AtoraderoAddress and Info
If there’s a comfort food that can rectify the roughest of nights, it’s a heaping plate of nachos -- specifically the kind served at this Prospect Heights Mexican joint. Order a plate piled high with crispy chips, plenty of cheese, cream, and salsa, and slowly feel that hangover wash away. It's an option to add chorizo, but you'd be completely crazy not to.
Grilled cheese French toast
ShopsinsAddress and Info
Lower East Side
Kenny Shopsin's pint-sized LES eatery boasts literally hundreds of menu items, many of which are insanely creative, hangover-worthy mashups (looking at you, mac & cheese pancakes). But the real Saturday-morning go-to here is the grilled cheese. And this is no wimpy white bread diner grilled cheese, either -- we're talking about a two-layer French toast grilled cheese, stuffed with cheddar and topped with poached eggs. It's probably not the worst idea to throw in those mac & cheese pancakes, too.
Mango pitaya bowl
DimesAddress and Info
Devouring that entire box of greasy pizza last night in your wobbly state probably wasn’t a great idea, but luckily, the folks behind this SoCal-inspired joint have your back with a refreshingly restorative breakfast bowl that’ll make you feel good, and good about yourself. Brimming with superfoods (hemp seed, berries) and other crunchy, fruity things (raspberry, banana, coconut, milk, sunflower seeds, and mint), it’s sure to right even your most catastrophic wrongs from last night.
Pecan pie French toast
Buttermilk ChannelAddress and Info
The pecan pie French toast at this Brooklyn comfort food spot proves there’s quite literally nothing that sugar and carbs can’t cure. Breakfast, dessert, and all-around weekend-reviver, the plate showcases two hefty pieces of bread capped with toasted pecans, powdered sugar, and whipped cream. The perfect finishing touch -- bourbon molasses -- is alone worth rolling out of bed for.
Zizi LimonaAddress and Info
For those mornings where the sound of someone breathing resembles the siren of a fire truck, you need something soothing -- like the shakshuka at this Williamsburg hangout. The steaming skillet is filled with two poached eggs, matbucha (a sauce made with tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, chili pepper, and garlic), chickpeas, harissa, and unexpected touches of tahini and eggplant. And there’s more where that came from, too. Drawing from places like Spain, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, and Morocco, the kitchen also serves up flavorful falafel and lamb kebab with black baba ghannouj, grilled onions, and tomato salsa -- both of which are the perfect remedy to one too many vodka sodas.
Arepas CafeAddress and Info
The palm-sized arepas at this unassuming Queens spot may seem small, but they're loaded with enough fillings (from flavorful Venezuelan-style shredded beef; to Guyanese cheese; to beef, black beans, fried sweet plantains, and white cheese) to give woozy post-partiers a much-needed reboot. If chewing sounds like too much work, go for the brown sugar lemonade, or the traditional chicha: a sweet, thick drink made of rice and cinnamon.
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1. Root & Bone200 E 3rd St, New York
2. Cheeky Sandwiches35 Orchard St, New York
3. Colonie127 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn
4. Queens Comfort4009 30th Ave, Astoria
5. Black Seed170 Elizabeth St, New York
6. The Bao13 Saint Marks Pl, New York
7. El Atoradero Brooklyn708 Washington Ave, Brooklyn
8. Shopsin's General Store120 Essex St, New York
9. Dimes49 Canal Street, New York
10. Buttermilk Channel524 Court St, Brooklyn
11. Zizi Limona129 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn
12. Arepas Cafe33-07 36th Ave, Astoria
Top Chef veterans Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth dominate Alphabet City's fried chicken scene with Root & Bone. It's a Southern kitchen doing takeout-able, down-home (yet sneakily refined) eats, in a spot that could easily be the ground floor of some country B&B somewhere. Irresistible offerings include gooey corn spoonbread, BBQ brisket biscuits, and, of course, fried chicken.
Cheeky Sandwiches bring the best flavors from New Orleans to the Lower East Side, offering a heavenly variety of po' boys as well as sweet and savory sides. The secret behind the sandwiches is the bread, shipped directly from John Gendusa Bakery in New Orleans. The Creole and Cajun spot wouldn't be complete without its Big Shot soda, Zapp’s potato chips, beignets, Chicory coffee, and other NOLA natives and staples. The small snack shop is full of charm and warmth, decorated with a white picket fence in front, brightly painted shutters, and red bar stools to match.
Colonie is an upscale but unpretentious neighborhood restaurant in Brooklyn Heights -- it's the kind of place you go when you feel like treating yourself to a quality dinner and don't want somewhere sceney. You know what we mean. The menu has a little bit of everything: oysters, kale salad, burrata, pasta, and one very fine burger topped with aged cheddar, a fried egg, bacon, and beet ketchup. There is, of course, brunch, where you'll find that damn good burger again, plus monkey bread, buttermilk pancakes, and eggs Benedict. The space is simple with exposed brick walls, wooden ceilings, and touches of greenery.
Bacon-jalapeño-potato nuggets and spaghetti squash burgers make up just some of the creative (to say the least) items at this Queens joint that's doling out comfort foods you never knew you liked. All the fatty and fried carbs you know and love are on the menu, but it's the "why didn't I think of that?" touches -- like Sriracha aioli and Cocoa Puffs on donuts -- that pack the two-hour brunch waits. Oh, and the BYOB deal might be a little enticing, too.
Black Seed subscribes to the Montreal school of bagel-making, meaning its bagels, which are smaller than the quintessential New York ones, are rolled by hand, boiled in honey water, then baked in a wood-fired oven. Sandwiches made with a variety of smoked fishes and speciality spreads -- like the house-cured beet lox number with horseradish cream cheese -- continuously draw weekend crowds in search of their morning bagel fix.
Amid the clutter of smoke shops, ramen counters, and all-night pizza joints on St. Mark's, there's The Bao, the cool younger sibling to Flushing's Fu Xiao Long Bao. The Shanghainese restaurant serves show-stopping soup dumplings, each made with a delicate wrapper and brothy filling. Whereas most of the contenders for New York's best dumplings are overshadowed on dim sum carts or hidden behind unmarked storefronts, The Bao's dumplings are the spotlight of the menu, and the space is clean cut with repurposed bamboo decor and wooden tables.
El Atoradero evolved out of a bodega next door to its original (now closed) Bronx location, where proprietress Denisse Lina Chavez became known for her renowned carnitas that she served out of a gargantuan cauldron in the middle of the store. Now, she has a proper sit-down restaurant in Prospect Heights serving a roster of homey Mexican fare. Alongside exemplary forms of the standard tacos, tortas, and cemitas, El Atoradero also offers incredible daily specials, like mole poblano, braised ribs, and quail egg-stuffed meatballs.
Not only can you eat the best breakfast in New York here, but we'd go so far to say that Shopsin's has some of the best breakfast dishes in America. The tiny Lower East Side diner boasts a 900-item menu filled with things like mac & cheese pancakes and donut sliders...need we say more?
This effortlessly cool Chinatown/Lower East Side eatery focuses on health-conscious California cuisine. The all-day menu features fruity breakfast bowls and grain-centric plates like farro risotto, spiced quinoa, and chicken couscous. Dimes may emphasize vegetables and superfoods (açai, goji berries, and hemp seed are some of the kitchen's essential ingredients), but the breakfast sandwich, made with scrambled eggs, avocado, cheddar, jalapeño, and signature hot sauce, is one for the books.
This charming, Carroll Gardens cafe is known for its popular brunch offerings, which include a variety of American comfort food dishes. Among pancakes, housemade granola, and burgers, Buttermilk Channel also boasts creative scrambles (with lox, sausage, or mushrooms) and a sought-after pecan pie French toast: a gloriously decadent plate of custardy brioche that's smothered in bourbon molasses and toasted nuts. Dinner includes the signature buttermilk fried chicken, in addition to oysters and other comforting plates.
The food Zizi Limona isn't so much Mediterranean as much as it's a combination of the distinct cuisines of the Middle East. The menu is meant to be shared and as such, it's split into three different categories, or "Zi's"; small Zi's like falafel and charred hummus work well as appetizers, while classic Zi's like shakshuka and shawarma are a familiar comfort alongside the large Zi's -- lamb kebab, chicken tagine, and five-hour braised short ribs with freekah risotto. The Williamsburg spot is tucked away from the main drag on Havemayer and South 1st.
Wonderfully satisfying arepas are waiting for you at this unassuming Astoria spot. The corn-based cakes are split are in half and packed with cheese and meat combos, like Guyanese cheese and Venezuelan-style shredded beef. The arepas fit in your hand almost perfectly, which means they're tiny enough to order multiples of.