Credit: Andrew Zimmer
By: Dave Infante
If you're anything like us, your Christmas tree is probably still decorated, your New Year's Eve plans came together at the last second, and locking down a New Year's Day brunch was an impossible dream. Regardless, you'll still need food on the first day of 2015, so when you wake up -- in a strange city, or a stranger's bed, or both -- we've got you covered. Behold our definitive guide to the best, most hangover-busting-est order you can get from these 15 major fast-food chains. According to OpenForNewYears (a very trustworthy blog that absolutely dominates SEO one week each year), each of these beloved brands have franchises doing business on New Year's Day, and according to math or something, there's almost definitely one serving near you. Figure out which, find some pants, and stumble in. Your perfect hangover-busting order awaits.
Regular menus. We tried to ignore tantalizing special items, because they aren't always available.
Greasiness. According to WebMD -- the also-trustworthy website you visit to convince yourself that your minor headache is actually a combination of SARS and AIDS -- grease and fat act better as a preventative hangover tactic, rather than a day-after repair move. Anecdotally, though: Yep, grease'll work.
Carb content. No bread, you're dead! Beat it with wheat! Eat grain, no pain! And so forth.
Heartiness. Unlike the person you'll kiss at midnight tonight, these orders have substance.
Absence of spice. Obviously there are exceptions based on personal taste, but by and large, we reached a consensus that mega-spicy foods were not optimal for alcohol-addled stomachs.
Stay safe tonight, party hard, buy the expedited bathroom access bracelet, then tomorrow, order one of these picks, and you're guaranteed to spend 2015 as a much wealthier, more beautiful, significantly less hungover person.
What you're getting: Beef 'n Cheddar XL meal, curly fries, mozzarella sticks
If you can find an Arby's willing to make you a Meat Mountain, for God's sake, don't miss the opportunity. That's rare, though. Assuming you can't, you're going to want to snag a Beef 'n Cheddar -- with its onion roll & cheesy sauce, it's more robust than the original -- and tack on curly fries & extra sauce. Pro tip: Start with a side of mozzarella sticks. It's the smart way to ease your stomach into the New Year.
What you're getting: Two cheeseburgers, 20-piece chicken nuggets
Look, you can wake up with the King if you want. Cool Teens™ do it, when they're not too busy tweeting at Denny's, and, like, "vaping." But we recommend a very specific, very non-brekkie tack if you tied one/several/all on the night before. First, double up with two basic cheeseburgers off the value menu. Do NOT buy the double cheeseburger; you want two sandwiches. Why? Buns, man! That double-dose of carbs (or whatever fast-food buns are made out of these days) will sustain your energy as you start stage two: the nuggets. Now, the King's nuggets are solidly average on a normal day. But this is no normal day; this is the first day of the rest of your life. Or 2015. Yeah, that. And today, you will appreciate their excellent breading and one-bite density, because you'll be able to line your vodka-addled tummy with a half-score of 'em in one sitting.
Credit: Andrew Zimmer
What you're getting: Chicken-and-rice bowl, guacamole, no beans, sour cream and cheese on the side
Despite being truly magnificent, it's the opinion of this hungover fast-food guide that a standard Chipotle burrito is a misstep for your substance-addled stomach. The thing is, 'Potle is healthy-ish (no grease!), but it's still a gut-busting volume of food. That's why you're dropping the tortilla and beans; there's only so much room in there before you burst, and you need to make sure it's all occupied by either meat or carbs. Keep the dairy on the edges, and pray heavenly angels manning the line may take pity on you and load up your bowl with extra chicken.
What you're getting: The 1/3lb Guacamole Bacon Thickburger, a side of CrissCut fries
You need the avocado, because it contains those omega-3 fatty acids to keep your heart ticking, plus potassium, and a lot of fiber so you can, you know, be rid of the night before. You need the bacon because it's got that protein, a lot of thiamin, and will elevate your mood. You need that beef because it will fill your stomach up, and tastes delicious with melted cheese on it. You need those veggies and the bun because you're trying to have a well-balanced meal here. And you need the CrissCut fries because waffle fries are the best kind of fries.
What you're getting: Spicy Chicken Biscuit, nuggets with no fewer than three things of Polynesian (for later)
Chick-fil-A is always closed on Sunday. But New Year's Day 2015 falls on a Thursday, which means there's a chance this Southern institution is not closed (it varies by franchise location). Huzzah! If you find one with the lights on and the fryers bubbling, this is your move. The cayenne/pepper sting of the chicken's breading is moderate, and when combined with the buttery biscuit, it cuts through brain-fog without causing a heartburn flare-up. Eat this immediately. Break into the nuggets & tangy sauce only once you've found a couch on which to sprawl and watch the bowls.
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