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Staff Picks: The Best Hangover Food In State College

We’ve all been there — an exciting night out on the town with friends all around. Drinks pouring (of God knows what) endlessly and carelessly. Alas, the happy-go-lucky nighttime fun doesn’t come without a price. For those of us who still have not mastered the proper techniques of drinking (or for those of you who say you have, but really haven’t), you may find yourself waking up feeling like, for lack of better terminology, complete crap.

The notorious “hangover” is truly only “cured” with time, but we beg to differ. In a town like State College with tons of delicious restaurants and greasy foods, there are plenty of options to aid your throbbing headache and uneasy stomach. With so many choices, of which the selection is not limited to breakfast foods, here’s our staff picks for the best places to get “hangover food” in State College.

Carolyn Popescu — The Dining Halls

You wake up after a fun and amazing night feeling…not quite as fun and amazing. Even the slightest trace of sun feels blinding and the mere thought of walking anywhere too far is a burden. This is when the dining hall brunch during the weekends comes to save your groggy, hungover soul. With five locations (North’s Warnock, South’s Redifer, East’s Findlay, West’s Waring, and Pollock’s Pollock Commons), odds are you’re conveniently located next to at least one of them.

Not on a meal plan? A friendly underclassman buddy can swipe you in, or pay for yourself with cash. What really makes this hangover cure superior to all the others is the quantity and convenience. Sure, the dining hall isn’t five-star dining — so what? You essentially have every breakfast/lunch/brunch food item you could dream of all for one price. And for the record, what hungover college kid is honestly really craving a fancy lox-and-mimosa brunch?

The dining commons give you options ranging from classic morning foods like eggs and French toast, to more DIY options like bagels, cereal, and sandwich ingredients. Adding to the appeal? The brunch is open until 2 p.m., truly giving you some buffer time for when you REALLY aren’t feeling too, er, “with it” in the morning. In addition, there is always the “to-go” option for those who just want to put something in their stomach and get back to bed immediately.

West Halls Stock Waring Commons
Waring Commons, one of the delicious destinations for dining hall brunch, and the only destination for hangover-curing West Cookies.

Allison Doluisio — The Waffle Shop

Despite its name, the Waffle Shop seems to have the best of pretty much every food one can dream of at 11 a.m. on a Saturday. Although the out-the-door line can be deceiving, you typically get seated quickly and receive fast service throughout the meal. I’m not sure if it’s the excitement of someone waiting on you after multiple self-serve meals or the thrill of being somewhere off campus, but I always seem to go overboard on the drink order. Coffee, water, and some type of juice always seem to be in constant refill, which is perfect in helping the body to rehydrate.

In addition to the quick rehydration, the food is a sure fix. If a stack of perfectly golden-brown pancakes isn’t the cure for a hangover, then I don’t know what is. The menu is full of delicious options to put your stomach right back at ease.

The best thing of all is that misery loves company. The Waffle Shop is the perfect place to see a whole restaurant full of other hungover students, all of whom did the same ten-minute drive in baggy sweatpants they picked up off their floor from the day before.

Waffle Shop
Though the Waffle Shop has a few off-campus locations, the one nestled conveniently downtown is by far the most popular for students.

Steffen Blanco — Big Bowl Noodle House

If you could find a hangover cure in State College, it would be mixed in with the deliciousness that is Big Bowl Noodle House. Sure you can go with the basic breakfast choices like the Waffle Shop or Bagel Crust like some of my colleagues have, but there’s something special about a restaurant I can depend on to cure a hangover in the morning and go on a dinner date that night and still not be bored with the food. Even with its cash-only and no-delivery policies, on any given Saturday or Sunday morning you can find the place booming with people who made the trek to enjoy the MSG-enriched goodness that is Big Bowl.

My personal favorite from Big Bowl is the crispy tender chicken over fried rice with soy sauce (with some sriracha mixed in, just cause). However, this place has EVERYTHING to satisfy your hangover-induced food cravings. Paired with generous portions and prices that are friendly on the wallet, Big Bowl Noodle House reigns supreme among hangover food destinations. If it didn’t make it for the “Great Chinese Food Showdown” just because they don’t deliver, it’s going to win this one damnit.

big bowl noodle house
Cozy and tucked in away from the hustle and bustle of the downtown crowds, Big Bowl Noodle House serves as the perfect place to recover and replenish in a soothing, quiet environment after a fun, noisy night. 

David Abruzzese — Bagel Crust

Everybody has their go-to hungover breakfast spot. It’s a ritual of sorts, a cleansing of the mind, spirit, and mostly body. Now, my hungover breakfast spot just happens to be a little slice of heaven known as Bagel Crust. Some may argue that Bagel Crust is simply “alright,” or “just another restaurant,” but I beg to differ.

Bagel Crust holds a special place in my heart for those mornings when I stagger half-consciously down the street from West Halls while ingesting unhealthy amounts of caffeine into my bloodstream. The asiago egg and cheese bagel sandwich, drenched in Tabasco of course, cures any and all ailments that may befall one after a night of enjoyment and drinking. Of course, that wonderful feast is complimented by even more coffee, in an attempt to recover from the morning hungover haze. What makes this feast so great, is the relatively cheap pricetag that comes along. Totaling at around $5, Bagel Crust does minimal damage on the wallet, and gets my post-alcohol mornings started on a high note.
While there are plenty of other eateries around town, the trek to Bagel Crust — even in the dead of winter — is worth it for me. To this day, there is no other restaurant that I trust to purge the alcoholic toxins that reduce me to something resembling a zombie the next morning more than good old Bagel Crust.
Bagel Crust Menu Board
Bagel Crust may seem like plain old bagels at first,but their extensive menu offers more than enough selection and variety for any student.

Lexi Shimkonis — Irving’s

When I finally roll out of bed after a crazy night out (at the library studying, of course, Mom and Dad), there’s only one thing I want to ingest besides water and copious amounts of black coffee: a bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich from Irving’s.
There’s a few things making Irving’s the best spot for hangover grub. First, it’s not loud or busy, which are two things I try to avoid when I’m hungover. Everyone is quietly eating or chatting, and there’s enough room between the upstairs and downstairs that you’re not sitting on top of someone else while trying to enjoy (or at least digest) your breakfast (looking at you, Bagel Crust).
As for the food, the “Breakfast Special” as it’s called is all you could want if you’re hungover (or just hungry). The bagel, made fresh, is always just crispy enough to contrast the egg, cheese, and my preference, bacon. Additionally, a bagel is the perfect carb to replenish and refill an empty stomach. The egg is always cooked well, appropriately absent of the all-yolk surprise bite no one wants to take. Most prominently, the bacon is never too crunchy, chewy, or greasy. While this may not seem important, it means the sandwich as a whole isn’t greasy. When your stomach is already uneasy, what good is a greasy breakfast sandwich?
To top it all off, the coffee is also fresh and delicious. Nothing’s worse than sacrificing your coffee for your food, or vice versa, and at Irving’s you never have to. To make things even better yet, you can keep refilling your cup until you’ve decided you’re sufficiently caffeinated (or, in my case, you’ve been there all day and it’s probably time to leave).
irvings stock
Located right in the middle of downtown State College, Irving’s serves as both the breakfast and lunch go-to for students.

Ben Rappaport — Wings Over 

We all know about Wings Over by now. It doesn’t matter which delectable flavor you choose (I’m a sweet chili guy, myself) a nice pound of wings or a “Hang Glider,” stacked with waffle fries, is easily the perfect cure for any hangover. I have fond memories of waking up on cold fall Sundays, close to death, in need of sustenance. Wings Over was always my go to. Maybe it’s something to do with the combination of NFL games and wings or the fact that you can order Wings Over from the comfort of your own bed, but I can’t tell you how much money I’ve spent there my freshman year alone.
The succulent chicken fried to perfection combined is somehow the ideal cure for a pounding headache. I’ve found nothing distracts me more from a rough hangover than the simplicity of friend chicken. There really is no other option. People will say Waffle Shop or Big Bowl or Bagel Crust…but you have to leave the confines of your cold dark room to get those. Wings Over is convenient and delicious and perfect. Try it out next time you’re in need of recovery food. Considering I’m currently eating them now while writing hungover is a testament to its powers.
You may be accustomed to wings being your trusty drunk food, but Your Wings Over experience doesn’t have to be ~over~ after your wild night.

So whether you’re in State College now or will be returning in the fall, keep these go-to establishments in mind. They just might be your savior during one unfavorable morning as a Penn State student!

What’s your go-to grub after a night out? Let us know in the comments!

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