Where Vancouver Bartenders Go For Hangover Recovery Brunches

Killer hangover? Nurse yourself back to health with bacon, eggs, and other goodies at one of these 10 local restaurants

Credit: The Union

Ten brunches to cure what ails you the morning after

Ah, the hangover recovery brunch, a time-honoured Saturday or Sunday tradition that is as much a part of your weekend as the drinking session that got you crawling from your pit, desperate for Caesars and bacon, in the first place. We decided that no one in the city knows how to get you from flailing hot mess to bright-eyed and bushy-tailed better than a bartender, so we asked 10 of the city’s finest for their top tips on where to go for Vancouver’s most essential hangover recovery brunches.

In no particular order, here they are… 

Nomad, 3950 Main Street

Recommended by Shoel Davidson, Gringo

“My weekend and liquor-supplied brunch vote would go to Nomad on Main Street. It’s still (surprisingly) relatively unknown, but absolutely fantastic! Every time I go in, I tell myself I’m going to try something new, but always end up ordering the Nomad Breakfast: two eggs (I vote soft poached to mix them in with the haystack of hash browns) and a choice of turkey sausage or house bacon steak – but who I am kidding? I always order both, plus toast with homemade jam. It’s a real lifesaver. The room is nice and airy with lots of natural light, which helps you pry your eyes open, while coffee restarts your circulatory system. If something boozy is required to level you out, you’ll find Matt (recent first-place winner of both the Havana Club and Hennessey cocktail competitions) behind the bar, who’s more than happy to mix up a concoction of your choosing. He has an amazing rotating tap selection, wine on tap, and certainly a knack for crafting delicious cocktails.”

Paul’s Omelettery, 2211 Granville Street

Recommended by David Wolowidnyk, West

“We could easily fit a few more breakfast places into the Vancouver restaurant scene, since many of the good ones seem to have no problem gathering a lineup of people looking for the cure for the night before. I really don’t like lining up, so I tend to go early when places first open – although recovery usually happens at home, drinking lots of water and taking a vitamin B complex. When I do go out, I head to Paul’s Omelettery and have the Corned Beef Hash and an orange juice. The hash is served rustic and in a large portion – just how I like it. Don’t forget to add a dash of the Scotch Bonnet Hot sauce. There’s a bottle of it on every table.”

Mamie Taylor’s, 251 East Georgia Street

Recommended by Carolyn Yu, Bauhaus Restaurant

“Get Ron or Simon at Mamie Taylor’s to make you a Bloody Mamie with both gin and tequila, and order the Chili Braised Pork Shoulder with poached eggs, corn bread, hollandaise and salsa verde. Your drink comes with a deviled egg, which you can dip in your hollandaise. Embrace Mamie Taylor’s unique décor and play a game of hunting-trophy ‘I Spy’ with your dining companions during your meal for maximum entertainment value – taxidermy does weird things to people.”

Locus, 4121 Main Street

Recommended by Kevin Brownlee, Anna Lena

Locus on Main Street is a little spot some friends introduced me to nearly ten years ago and I have been going there ever since. It’s the kind of place that has a family feel to it. The layout is interesting and the décor is a bit strange, yet very warm and comfortable. The dark wooden pillars formed in the shapes of branches give the illusion of sitting in a forest. The lighting inside is low, so it’s a relaxing place to wake up and Fred, the owner, is an absolute gem. I order the Main Street Breakfast with spicy lamb sausage – every time. It’s pretty much like having a proper English breakfast, without having to be all proper or English. I usually don’t drink at breakfast, but if I’m feeling a need for a kick-start, I’ll have a Le Petit Cafe, an espresso with Drambuie and whipped cream. Their smoothies are also great, as are all of their coffees.”

Wildebeest, 120 West Hastings Street

Recommended by Ron Oliver, Mamie Taylor’s

“I’ve been going to Wildebeest since they started their brunch. It’s such a good room for making you feel better on a Sunday after a long Saturday, especially in the wintertime. All the staff are super friendly and knowledgeable, plus the restaurant has a slushy machine. It depends on what’s in it, but if it’s something with Campari, of course I’ll have one of those. Wildebeest serves all the brunch staples, but its chefs put their own stamp on them. You can get something easy, like bacon and eggs or a Benedict, or something adventurous, like bone marrow scrambled eggs, depending on how badly you’re hungover. Personally, I like things straightforward when I’m trying to recover. I’ll drink anything with bubbles and they do a Corpse Reviver with bubbles that will bring you back from the dead.”

Credit: Facebook/Burdock & Co.

Burdock & Co., 2701 Main Street

Recommended by Lauren Mote, UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar

Burdock & Co. is one of my brunch go-tos. Chef Andrea’s subtle hand, the fried eats that absorb the prior evening’s debauchery, along with local and seasonal vegetables and eggs make it a winner every time. Their gluten-free scones are always a hit with the table — especially with their homemade fruit preserves — and I love their smoked salmon on rye and poached eggs with dill hollandaise. Of course, brunch wouldn’t be complete without a cocktail. I love the Burdock Boilermaker with Canadian whisky, ginger beer, Driftwood Farmhand Saison, Burdock Root Cordial, and Bittered Sling Plum and Rootbeer Bitters – so good!”


Credit: The Union

The Union, 219 Union Street

Recommended by Arthur Wynne, Mackenzie Room

“I go to The Union for their Southeast Asian brunch. My usual order is the Jimi short rib beef with lemon grass pork sausage, bacon, hollandaise, and arugula. I always ask for a side of cauliflower purée, too. If I’m feeling up to having a drink, I get a half pint of the beer that’s on feature, plus a coffee and freshly squeezed juice.”

Café Medina, 780 Richards Street

Recommended by Satoshi Yonemori, Grapes & Soda

Café Medina’s food is consistently stellar. For the morning after a late night, I love their Fricassée with braised short ribs, roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, Applewood smoked cheddar, and two fried eggs. I always sit at the bar and my daytime drink of choice is their Scarlet’s Aperitif with Lillet, yuzu citrus juice, crab apple bitters, Fentimans Tonic, and fresh cucumber – you can’t go wrong with this one! Pro tip: Medina serves brunch daily — a plus for us bartenders – so you can also visit during the week when it’s slightly quieter.

Queens Cross Pub, 2989 Lonsdale Avenue

Recommended by Robyn Gray, Prohibition at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia

“The Queens Cross is an old-style English pub and I love it because it’s basically my local. I live in North Van and that’s where I hide out on my days off, when I don’t go downtown and am just looking for a quiet spot. My day off is Sunday, so I tend to need a recovery brunch on Monday, but I don’t get up till after 2 p.m., so I miss breakfast. For me, the real-deal hangover cure is a massive Yorkshire pudding with roast beef and gravy; it’s very English and it’s fantastic. I love beer when I’m hungover, too; it’s the best cure. A good stout does you well, so I’ll have a pint (or more) of Guinness.”

Pete’s Meat Butcher Shop & Deli, 2817 Arbutus Street

Recommended by Jay Jones, Vij’s

“In terms of recovery brunches, there are some tremendous options for hangover meals in this city. That said, there’s nothing quite like spending a Sunday entirely in the house, wearing pyjamas on the sofa and relaxing in dimly lit comfort. It’s even better with friends, so the veteran drinker keeps a stocked fridge for such occasions and is able to confidently invite their suffering confederates to a morning-after party. So your body wants another drink? Give it one and you will feel better. My preferred morning drink after a big night out is an ice-cold, dry apple cider. My personal favourite: Merridale House Craft Cider. Made from 100% Cowichan Valley fruit, it’s clean, pure and refreshing in the morning. Fatty, salty protein is on the morning-after menu in my kitchen. Pete’s Meat Butcher Shop & Deli on Arbutus at 12th has incredible heritage smoked bacon, several kinds of handmade sausages (air-dried chorizo and Toulouse are my favourites), farm-fresh eggs (ask at the counter), and Cows Creamery butter to cook it all in. As the cider has now rejuvenated you, continue to open up the throttle. Vancouver-made craft beers Bomber Brewing ‘Park Life’ Passion Fruit Ale and Parallel 49 ‘Jerkface 9000’ West Coast Wheat Ale are flavourful yet mellow morning/afternoon beers to keep the happy going without flooring it – unless you want to. If you’re feeling creative, combine Vancouver’s own Long Table Distillery Bourbon Barrel Aged Gin (one-and-a-half ounces) with Bittered Sling Cascade Celery Bitters (half an ounce), tomato juice (two ounces), freshly squeezed orange (one ounce) and lime (half an ounce) juices, Tabasco (three dashes), and Worcestershire sauce (four dashes) for a Sangrita-inspired treat to pair with your meats from Pete’s.”

SEE ALSO: Where Vancouver Chefs Go for Burgers