Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day. This meal is often heavily connected to a country’s traditions and can tell you much about it. Breakfast around the world offers a window into different cultures and regional variations.
While breakfast around the world may not be the rich, heavy meals they once were, they are still an important way of getting your day started off right. To explore this, here are 35 delicious breakfast food ideas and breakfast dishes around the world:
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35 Delicious Food Ideas For Breakfast Around The World
Whichever part of the world we are in, the first meal of the day (breakfast) is very important. While in some places the first meal of the day may be special with varieties to choose from, in other parts it may be just like any other meal. Just like the people who eat them, they come in different shapes and sizes. So here’s a list of delicious spreads of breakfast around the world.
Breakfast is not the biggest meal of the day in Brazil. It is more of a simpler meal compared to any other part of the world. This is reflected in the Portuguese word for breakfast, café da manhã, which literally means “morning coffee”. The most important part of the morning ritual is a cup of strong coffee. Strong coffee is usually accompanied by dishes like pão de queijo (cheese-flavored rolls), ham, cheese, pao frances (small loaves of bread eaten with butter), fruits like papayas or any other seasonal fruit.
A popular Cambodian breakfast is kuy teav which has taken great influence from Chinese cuisine. This rice noodle soup is made with pork or beef broth, along with shallots, garlic, and herbs. Other ingredients like bean-sprout, vegetables, dry onion are added to make the dish tastier. It is served with pork or fish balls, chili paste, soya sauce and half a lime.
Also read: 13 Cambodian dishes you must try.
China being a large country, breakfast can look different from region to region. With vegetables, meat and noodles included in the breakfast menu, breakfast in China is a lot like eating lunch or dinner. It consists of noodles, rice, sticky chicken, fried veggies, dim sums, steamed buns, and hot soups like congee. However, one common feature is fried dough sticks (called you tiao), which are meant to be dipped in warm soy milk.
If you are exploring breakfast food ideas, there are many regional varieties to Colombian breakfasts. However, two popular dishes are arepas (dense, slightly sweet corn cakes) served with butter, or eggs, meat, and jam, and the changua (an egg, cheese, and milk soup). Beans and rice are everyday items for dinner, so the leftovers are reheated and served with arepa and changua for breakfast. A traditional Colombian breakfast also calls for a strong cup of coffee to kick start a busy day.
5. Costa Rica
For the people of Costa Rica breakfast is the main meal of the day, so finding a grab-and-go breakfast can be difficult. The most popular breakfast in Costa Rica is gallo pinto. It is made with leftover rice stir-fried with black beans, red pepper, and onions. It is topped with salsa and sour cream and served with eggs, avocado, cheese, sausages or tortillas.
Breakfast in Denmark, like most Nordic countries, is light, fresh and simple. It is usually an open-faced sandwich covered with various spreads, sometimes accompanied by a pastry. The base is usually rye bread, which is covered with everything from cheeses, cold cuts, pâté, honey, jam, vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, and even chocolate. Other popular breakfast dishes among the Danes are cereals and porridge. Danish breakfasts are always paired with a cup of hot coffee or tea.
An Egyptian breakfast is not complete without ‘Ful’. Ful medames is the most popular breakfast item that’s made with fava beans and chickpeas stewed and spiced with cumin, parsley, onion, lemon, and chilli. It is served with hard-boiled eggs, diced veggies, or a piece of pita. The traditional breakfast is packed with nutrition and gives a great start to the day. It is always served with an ancient Egyptian flatbread called the baladi flatbread.
Also read: 11 things you must not miss while in Egypt.
A French breakfast is not usually heavy, they generally like to start the day with simple food. It usually consists of coffee or tea or fresh juice along with bread and butter or pastries and croissants. Salty foods (like meat and eggs) are not often eaten, making place for the richer dishes to be eaten for lunch and dinner. Butter is the most important ingredient in French breakfasts and are used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Also read: French food customs to keep in mind.
A traditional German breakfast, or frühstuck, is a simple affair. It often consists of an assortment of fresh bread, sausages, cold sliced meats, local cheeses, butter, and jam. This is washed down with coffee, milk, or tea. However, in the German state of Bavaria, a common breakfast is white veal sausages with sweet mustard, pretzels, and beer (Weisswurstfrühstück). Breakfasts in Germany are not a very social affair as you will hardly find people talking while eating.
Greek and Mediterranean breakfasts are made up of various dishes. The most popular are savory pies (such as spanakopita) or kagianas (scrambled eggs with tomatoes and feta). This can be accompanied with yoghurt with honey and walnuts, pastries, bread, and cold cuts. In Crete, a full breakfast has olives, cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, yoghurt, bread, paximadia, honey, hard-boiled eggs, orange juice and coffee or tea. A wholesome Greek breakfast is always high in nutrition and provides good energy.
Also read: Delicious authentic Greek food to try.
Hungarians mostly prefer sweet and savory dishes instead of spicy meals for breakfast. A typical Hungarian breakfast very often consists of pogácsa, a focaccia-like bread that can be stuffed with potatoes, ground beef, or cheese. Different ingredients can also be sprinkled on top before baking. Hot drinks like a cup of tea, coffee, or milk are often a part of breakfast.
Breakfast cuisine in India varies hugely depending on the region but South Indian breakfasts commonly consist of idlis (fermented rice and lentils steamed to form a soft cake) or dosas (similar to crepes or pancakes but made with fermented batter usually with rice or black gram) with sambar (a vegetable stew) and chutney. Other common breakfast items are poha (flattened rice) and upma (a savoury dish made from semolina). In North India, breakfasts may include various parathas, aloo-puri, and other dishes.
A staple of a traditional Iranian breakfast is varieties of flatbreads (such as barbari, noon-e sangak, lavash, or noon-e tâftoon), served with butter, fruit jams, honey, heavy cream, feta cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, and walnuts. However, other breakfasts, which require more preparation, are omelettes, kaleh pâcheh (a stew of lamb’s head and hoof), haleem (thick wheatmeal porridge with meat), and adasi (lentil soup). This is accompanied with tea, and much like Italians who have cappuccino just with breakfast, Iranians have chai shirin, tea with granulated sugar, only at breakfast. (Throughout the day, other sweeteners like sugar cubes, dates, or raisins, are used).
Israel is known for its kibbutz breakfast of various dishes like breads with a variety of cheeses, omelette, tuna, olives, butter, jams, salad and spreads. However, another popular dish the Shakshouka (eggs poached in a tomato sauce) is the most easily identifiable Israeli breakfast item. Plenty of fruits, vegetables and juices, completes the breakfast spread.
An Italian breakfast, much like the French and Spanish, is very light. They tend to stick to simple uncooked breakfasts like bread, butter, and jam. Consisting of a cappuccino e cornetto, or a cappuccino and Italian croissant, or biscotti. Many households serve delicious pastries or pancakes alongside Italian coffee. Also, like the French, it allows for the more heavy meals eaten for lunch and dinner.
Jamaicans often eat a savory dish of ackee and saltfish in the morning. It is also the country’s official national dish. Ackee is a fruit that looks like scrambled eggs when cooked. It’s served with salted cod, onions, tomatoes, spices, rice, and fried plantains. They also serve porridge made of grated banana or plantain simmered with milk, vanilla, and sweetener.
A typical breakfast in Japan is a nutritious affair that is mistaken for lunch or dinner because it has everything from rice to veggies and soups to salads. Traditional Japanese breakfasts (known as wafuu breakfast) are made up of many little dishes. These include rice, miso soup, sticky soybeans, nori seaweed, pickled vegetables, and fish or omelettes. Dishes like tamagoyaki are served both for breakfast and lunch here.
Korean breakfasts are very similar to their lunch or dinner, much like in China. So the leftovers from dinner the night before are eaten as breakfast the next day. Isn’t that a great idea! There is usually a bowl of rice, vegetable soup, some fish or beef, and a plate of kimchi which is a traditional spicy pickled cabbage. The side dishes are too many even to count. Some like to pick food from the street food breakfast carts that are truly delicious.
Lebanese breakfasts often consist of a combination of various staples. These include flatbreads (manakish) covered in zata’ar, creamy labne, cheese, tomatoes, olives, eggs, foul mudammas, shakshuka, tea, and savoury pastries called mouajanet. Manakish also called the “Lebanese pizza” is the most favorite Lebanese breakfast and no breakfast is complete without this crispy flatbread. It is so famous throughout the middleast that it’s eaten not just as breakfast but also as brunch or lunch.
Breakfast in Mexico is a hearty meal which consists of dishes like chilaquiles (fried tortillas topped with green or red salsa, refried beans, and shredded chicken, or even leftovers). Huevos rancheros (traditional Mexican eggs) is another popular choice. Some opt for the simpler meal such as a churro which is a deep fried dough topped with sugar and cinnamon. It is generally served with coffee or hot chocolate.
Moroccan breakfasts are often sweet, consisting of bread and semolina pancakes with some chutney, jam, cheese or butter, honey, eggs, olives, and dates, as well as Turkish coffee and mint tea. The simplest of them all is a khobz bread with a drizzle of olive oil and a cup of hot tea. For a more indulgent breakfast, people use a popular flatbread called msemmen with butter and honey. This way or that, a traditional Moroccan breakfast is quite a simple affair.
Myanmar’s most iconic breakfast dish is the mohinga. Also the country’s national dish, this comforting rice noodle and fish soup is flavored with lemongrass, fish paste, ginger, onions and chickpeas. It is served at roadside stalls across the country and has many regional variations. Another popular breakfast snack in Myanmar is the Kaung Nyin Paung which is a steamed glutinous rice seasoned with sesame salt. This dish is available in ready to eat packets as a quick and easy meal.
People in the Netherlands usually eat slices of buttered spiced bread (ontbijtkoeken) topped with various things like ham, cheese, jam, eggs or hagelsag (sweet, flavoured sprinkles). Cereals and fry-ups (called een uitsmijter), ham/cheese sandwich and sweet spice cake are also common breakfast items that people in the Netherlands like to start their day with.
Breakfast in Nigeria differs based on region, community and tribe. However, a popular dish is Ogi and Akara (cornmeal and bean cakes) often accompanied with yam, fried eggs, and fried plantain. There is also the spicy moin-moin which is paired with akamu, a sweet and creamy cornmeal custard. This sweet and savory combination is another most popular breakfast dish in Nigeria.
In Pakistan (and parts of North India), a common breakfast is stuffed parathas (flatbread stuffed with various vegetables, usually potatoes and cooked) eaten with butter, yoghurt, and pickle. Another popular dish is aloo-poori (potato curry with fried dough), or halwa-poori (poori with a sweet mixture). Nihari (a spicy meat curry) served with naan is also eaten. They are served with coffee or tea.
Unlike in other places, breakfast in the Philippines is usually the largest meal of the day. It often consists of fruit, pan de sal (bread rolls), and hearty rice dishes like tapsilog (rice with dried meat and eggs) or little sausages, known as longganisa, which can be fried with garlic, eggs, meats, and beans or hotsilog (hot dog with rice), and spamsilog (spam with rice). As long as it’s rice for breakfast, Filipinos don’t care about what they eat. All the breakfast dishes require basic cooking skills and are easy to make.
Traditional Polish breakfast is often jajecznica, scrambled eggs topped with kielbasa (sausages) and potato pancakes. It may also feature an open sandwich, topped with a range of ingredients like cold cuts, cheese, sausages, or eggs. During spring and summer time they increase the intake of fruits and veggies. For people who want to begin the day on a sweet note, donuts filled with jam and honey with fresh bread and rolls are great options.
Russians often start their morning with a hot cup of coffee or tea. The most popular type of breakfast is made of eggs. It could be either a boiled egg, scrambled, fried or an omelet. Another popular Russian breakfast is small girdle cakes. They come in many varieties like the cheese-stuffed syrniki, the crepe-like blini (made with kefir), and the fluffy oladi. These are often served with soured cream, honey, jam or fresh berries.
Singaporean food is inspired by various cuisines, such as Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, and European. So, their breakfast food is a mixture of all of these. However, one of the most popular breakfast foods is kaya toast. This sweet sandwich is made with white bread spread with butter and kaya jam, a Southeast Asian spread made of coconut, egg, and sugar.
A popular Spanish breakfast is the Pan a la Catalana, or Pan con Tomate. Originating in the Catalan region they consist of bread rubbed with garlic and tomato drizzled with olive oil. This can be topped with cheese, ham, or sausages if required, and is served with café con leche. Other popular Spanish breakfast foods include pastries, churros and sandwiches. Finally a coffee or tea or some fresh juice to flush it all down.
Swedish breakfast also often consists of Nordic open sandwiches covered with cold cuts, fish, cheese, or vegetables (knäckebröd). However, another popular dish is pannkakor. These thin crepe-like cakes are usually topped with sweet fruity fillings made with cloudberries or lingonberries. Porridge made mostly of oatmeal, yogurt either natural or flavored or fil, a kind of cultured buttermilk are other breakfast options in Sweden.
When it comes to breakfast, Turkey is a country that has endless options. A classic breakfast consists of bread, cheeses, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, spicy Turkish sausages, honey, jams, omelet, and fruit. This is accompanied by baked dishes like börek (filled phyllo pastry) and served with delicious Turkish tea or coffee. For a lavish breakfast spread, try “Kahvalti” which has something for every pallet.
33. United Kingdom
The famous British fry-up, popularly known as a full English breakfast usually includes eggs, sausage, thick-cut bacon, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, hash browns, and toast. Regional varieties include the Scottish breakfast which has added black pudding and haggis and the Irish breakfast which has white pudding and soda bread. Whatever version, it is often accompanied by a cup of tea.
34. United States
The contrasting textures, sweet and salty flavors makes US breakfast as diverse as its landscape. Much like the full English breakfast, American breakfasts usually include eggs, crispy bacon, hash browns and toast. This can be accompanied with thick, fluffy, pancakes and maple syrup. There are any number of variations and combinations of these dishes, though they are often accompanied by orange juice.
Thanks to Venezuela’s breakfast ingredients like starch, meat, fruit, and cheese that will keep you full until dinner. A typical breakfast in Venezuela is arepas (flat corn cakes). As with many other countries, arepas accompany most meals. For breakfast, they are fried or baked and topped with cheese, ham, chicken, pork, or fish. Another popular dish is empanadas (pastries filled with fresh cheese, minced meat or any combination of veggies and beans).
Of course, these are just a few of the many dishes that serve as breakfast around the world. Which is your favorite breakfast? Be sure to share them in the comments below.
Some FAQ’s On Breakfast Around The World
The word breakfast says it all, “break” means – breaking the period and “fast” means – to go without food. When we combine both together it means – breaking the fast. Ideally it signifies the act of breaking the fast that was observed since you went to sleep the previous night.
There are around 9 different types of breakfast around the world: Continental, American, English, Italian, Indonesian, Middle East, Japanese, Chinese and Indian Breakfast.
Breakfast being the first meal of the day after a big gap of over 8 to 10 hours, is something that everyone looks forward to having. So it’s advisable to start your day with healthy foods that will provide necessary fuel to your body and brain. The best breakfasts should have carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, and fiber, all in the right proportion. Avoid processed food and ingredients that have saturated fats.
As per a survey conducted, Iceland takes the top spot followed by Japan at the second place and Spain at the third spot. Iceland’s healthy breakfast that consists of oatmeal, SKyr yoghurt, fruit, coffee and cod liver oil helped them gain the first spot.
As per experts, the best time to eat breakfast is within the first two hours of waking up. During this time your body will effortlessly break down food and release energy to keep you energized throughout the day. Make sure you do not delay your breakfast beyond 10:00am.