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By Imogen Baker
October 06, 2017

Where to Become Human Again in Melbourne After a Big Night Out

Some of Melbourne's best places to turn your hangover around.
By Imogen Baker
October 06, 2017


in partnership with

Some of Melbourne's best places to turn your hangover around.

So, what did you get up to last night? Did you have a big one? Hey, no judgement. That's the fun of living in Melbourne — there's always something to do, and one wine can always turn into many, or quiet beers into a loud, lengthy evening. But then the not-fun bit arrives: the pounding hangover with the dry mouth and churning stomach. Thankfully, as well as an abundance of bars, Melbourne has an abundance of understanding cafes and restaurants to cure what ails you, even if what ails you is self-inflicted.

What makes a good place to eat away your hangover? The food, obviously — and a good balance between grease and carb, savoury and sweet. You need food that will restore you but not put you into a food coma for the rest of the day. A hungover person has other requirements, such as a quiet atmosphere, friendly service and uncomplicated menus. And absolutely no children. Their joyful laughter and hopeful faces aren't what you need in a post-boozing state, and we wouldn't put you through that.

With all of that in mind, we've teamed up with American Express to uncover the definitive list of Melbourne's best places to turn your hangover around — or at the very least, where you can tap your American Express® Card and go with the least amount of human contact as possible. Add these spots to your rotation, and you'll start to feel human again in no time.

Got yourself in another dining situation and need some guidance? Whatever it is, we know a place. Visit The Shortlist and we'll sort you out.

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    Archie's All Day

    No matter what time of day you roll out of bed, Archie’s All Day can help get you fed. For them, it’s literally the name of the game. If you’re there before 3pm (and good on you, if you are) get the Dirty Eggs served with tater tots, jalapeño-infused Monterrey Jack cheddar, fried eggs, black beans, avo, chipotle mayo and tomatillo salsa. It’s as good as it sounds.

    If you’re there past 5pm, go for the ricotta gnocchi with butternut pumpkin, hazelnut, sage and brown butter for a hearty, restorative meal. Or just be a normal hungover person and beeline for the wagyu double cheeseburger. Plus, the space itself is serene. You can expect friendly service, calm white walls and light chatter that won’t cause your head to explode. And the courtyard is ideal for lounging or napping on warmer days.

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    A trip to Mammoth will require a bit of travel given that it’s based out in Armadale, but the unique menu will make it worthwhile, we swear. Once you’ve downed your coffee (the pour-over is good, just so you know), we obviously recommend the breakfast ramen. It’s served with mushroom broth, kaiserfleich, subtle herbs, and, of course, an egg. If that sounds like too much for you right now, opt for the chicken salad, a surprisingly simple and soulful dish served with avo, broccoli, toasted nuts, and roasted lemon dressing.

    And, as an added bonus, the interior is the perfect set-up for sore heads — aka light, bright and calming, with white walls, pale timber furniture and soaring ceilings. You’ll definitely leave feeling better than when you arrived.

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    Dexter is known colloquially as ‘the meat doughnut place’, so from that information alone you can presume it’s a fine location for a hangover lunch. What are meat doughnuts, you ask? Well, assuming you misheard, they’re rich, savoury, brisket-filled deep-fried batter balls dusted with sugar and paprika for sweetness. After all, Dexter describes itself as taking a ‘no rules approach’ to American barbecue.

    When you arrive, choose from a meat plate or a brioche burger bun with pickles, both served with your choice of meat. If you’re going all out with a meat plate, don’t go past the caramel short rib if you can help it. It’s served with mash, pickles and bone marrow-rubbed sourdough. Throw in a couple of meat doughnuts, obviously, plus a cheeky pickleback at the bar, and you’ll be cured.

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    Yellow Bird is a good hangover venue for when you want a rock ’n’ roll form of recovery — you know, when you really want to lean into the hangover and maybe top it off a little. The crowd is chill, the music is loud and they serve coffee, breakfast and booze all day.

    Yellow Bird boasts a hearty, all-day menu of stacked burgers and sandwiches, as well as tacos and lighter snackables to fuel your recovery. If you want to dance with danger, try the Death Benedict on the all-day breakfast menu, with hash brown, bacon, poached eggs and hollandaise. They also run a mean happy hour every day from 4pm to 7pm, if you think you can handle $3 tacos and $5 jugs.

    Image: Leah Hulst.

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    George Calombaris must be a man who knows what it’s like to be hungover and miserable. His chain Jimmy Grants serves up souvas, which are basically a hangover cure wrapped in a crispy but soft pita. They’re stuffed with the likes of chicken, lamb, falafel, prawns or beef short-rib, some salady bits, and (most importantly) oregano and feta-sprinkled chips. Top it off with a dessert (try the baklava choc-top) and you’ll be back to your normal self again.

    The atmosphere at a Jimmy Grants is pretty casual, so don’t stress about pre-booking. And while they have room for diners to sit in, they also do takeaway and delivery through UberEATS, just in case you can’t peel yourself off the couch.

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    BOY & Co.

    All your hungover brain needs to know about BOY & Co. is that they specialise in creamy milkshakes and ridiculously hearty fries. Not to disparage Beyoncé, but she was wrong when she said all you need in this life of sin is you and your boyfriend — no lover will ever compare to these fries.

    BOY & Co. is the ideal westside hangover destination because it’s cheap and the menu is simple. What kind of fries do you like? What do you want to put on top of them? What flavour milkshake? That’s it. We recommend the sweet potato fries with the sriracha and lime mayo. Or the gravy and cheese fries, served with Cajun seasoning, grated cheese and spring onions if you’re really feeling the effects of last night. And top it off with an indulgent PB and choc shake.

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    If your recovery food of choice is Mexican, you’re probably already en route to Trippy Taco. It’s one of Melbourne’s best Mexican venues, and it’s also ideal for hangover food — if you go for the soy cheese option, your turbulent belly will thank you.

    They serve the usual, of course: mouth-watering tacos, burritos and quesadillas with vegan soy cheese and some bangin’ nachos. And it comes out super quickly, so no waiting around feeling average for an hour before your burrito arrives. Just make sure you rock up before the crowds rush in, as the no-frills cantina can only seat 45 amigos (and it can get a bit squishy).

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    Chew Burger is the name of one of Melbourne’s best burger joints, and also a gentle instruction to your hungover brain for when your food arrives. Now, you’re going to need two hands for this one — and a pile of serviettes to mop up your mouth because these burgers are juicy.

    The menu caters to all types of burger lovers: classics wagyu fans, double classic wagyu devotees, chicken schnitty aficionados, grilled chicken fiends, vegos, vegans and spice heads. They also cater to the disgusting, with a towering Commando burger stuffed with a wagyu pattie, bacon, cheddar, onion rings, lettuce and lava mayo. It’s truly a sight to behold; if that thing can’t settle your hangover, nothing will.

    Also, Chew Burger isn’t too busy on weekdays, and the service is pleasant. Most importantly for hungover folk, the music isn’t too loud, so you’ll be able to recover in peace.

    Image: Leah Hulst.

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    We know there’s a good chance you were just at Magic Mountain Saloon last night getting drunk, but hear us out — it’s also a great venue choice for your next-day recovery. The daytime atmosphere is more relaxed and quieter than a weekend night, with restorative natural light and friendly service.

    If you’re up in time, the breakfast menu is amazing, offering a fascinating blend of western and Thai staples. Try the roti bread with almond butter, grilled banana and condensed milk. Or go savoury with the sticky pork sticks and shrimp rice, served with shredded omelette and an apple/mint salad. On the lunch menu, the drunken noodles are an apt choice with rice noodles, ground pork, tomatoes and chilli, but if you’re still feeling the effects of last night, make sure you flee before the bar gets dark and rowdy again.


As you drink and dine with your American Express, reap all the sweet rewards of being a Card Member. Explore the many ways American Express has your back here.

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