What breakfast looks like around the world

Written by:
June 5, 2018

What breakfast looks like around the world

What's not to love about breakfast? From Lorne sausages in Glasgow to rice congee in Bangkok, people all over the world are munching on their favorite morning meals. Some cities' dwellers use their fingers to dip pastries into hot cocoa, others insist on the need to keep elbows off the breakfast table.

Stacker traveled the virtual globe to explore the traditional and typical breakfast food of 50 different cities around the world. Travel and etiquette guides were utilized from each country to let the morning light shine on breakfast tables from pole to pole.

Readers beware—this article is mouthwatering.

If those delicious images aren't enough, click here to check out the best ice-cream shops in every state.

United States

Traditional breakfast: pancakes or waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit, toast, orange juice, and coffee. Interesting fact: 31 million Americans skip breakfast.

Mexico City, Mexico

A typical breakfast in Mexico City includes sweet breads and pastries—think donuts—and freshly squeezed fruit juice. Traveler’s tip: grab a concha at Panadería Rosetta in Juárez.

San Jose, Costa Rica

A traditional breakfast includes gallo pinto, a mixture of rice and beans. It’s often served with scrambled or fried eggs, fried plantains, sour cream, cheese, cilantro, and coffee.

Havana, Cuba

Typical breakfast: Toast dipped into a cup of café con lechecoffee with milk. Interesting fact: Most Cubans pass their recipes down orally from generation to generation, not by writing them down.

Bogota, Columbia

Traditional breakfast in Bogota, Columbia is rice and beans from dinner the night before, reheated and served with arepas (freshly-made cornmeal bread), eggs, grilled beef, and hot chocolate or coffee. Insider info: Colombians drink their coffee black—bold and simple.

Glasgow, Scotland

A full Scottish breakfast is not for the faint of heart: Lorne sausage, bacon, fried eggs, baked beans, black pudding, haggis, fried mushrooms and tomatoes, toast or "tattie" (potato) scones, and coffee or tea. Crazy tidbit: Haggis, a savory pudding containing bits of the liver, heart, and lungs of a sheep—traditionally cooked  in a sheep's stomach, has been banned in the United States since 1971.

São Paulo, Brazil

Typical breakfast: French bread, deli-style meats, sliced cheeses, papaya, and most importantly, coffee. Coffee is considered the most critical component of breakfast—drink up!

Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Typical breakfast: salteñaa stuffed baked pastry, and coffee with milk. Salteñas are filled with seasoned pork, chicken, or beef and occasionally contain eggs, peas, potatoes, or other savory fillings.

Santiago, Chile

Typical breakfast: toast, and sweet tea or coffee with milk. It's short and sweet.

Reykjavík, Iceland

Typical breakfast: skyr—a popular cultured dairy product similar to Greek yogurt, served with berries and grains. Nutritional value: 6 ounces of skyr contains 110 calories, 19 grams of protein, and zero grams of fat.

Stockholm, Sweden

Typical breakfast: yogurt or milk with cereal. Interesting fact: In 2017, Sweden spent more than $800 billion in U.S. dollars on imported cereal. This is especially impressive considering there are only about 10 million people in Sweden.

London, England

A typical English breakfast includes: eggs, bacon, pork sausage, baked beans, fried mushrooms and tomatoes, toast, and tea or coffee. Looking to sink your teeth into traditional British breakfast perfection? Eat at London’s famous Parlour Kensal.

Dubin, Ireland

Traditional breakfast: eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and black and white puddingfried in butter. It is usually accompanied by soda bread, and with a breakfast tea and juice. 

Paris, France

Typical breakfast: a baguette or pastry with butter or jam with juice, coffee, or tea. Lunch and dinner are the heavier meals in this food-minded country.

Munich, Germany

Traditional breakfast: bread roll or toast with marmalade or honey, eggs, cold cuts, cheese, and a strong pot of coffee. During the work week, many people in Munich opt for cereal.

Brussels, Belgium

Typical breakfast: cheese, bread, and buttered ontbijtkoeksweet spiced rye cake topped with jam or honey, and served with coffee. It’s true, Belgians do not eat Belgian waffles every morning.

Zagreb, Croatia

A typical breakfast in Croatia is bread and coffee. However, throughout time eggs, cold cuts, and pickles have found a way onto plates. 

Barcelona, Spain

Typical breakfast: hot chocolate or coffee with milk, and a sweet roll or churro. Interesting fact: Mealtimes are not to be changed or trifled with—the Spanish eat at the same times every day.

Lisbon, Portugal

Typical breakfast: freshly baked bread with butter, cold cuts, cheese, or jam with milk, tea, hot chocolate, or coffee. Pastries are a morning go-to as well. Fun fact: Custard tarts, called pastéis de nata, are enjoyed in Portugal as an “anytime” meal or snack.

Casablanca, Morocco

Traditional breakfast: khlea (dried beef or lamb), fried eggs, generous slices of bread, and mint tea, milk, orange juice, or coffee with milk. Interesting tidbit: When houseguests arrive, they’re offered tea and food within minutes of crossing the threshold.

Warsaw, Poland

Traditional breakfast: hard or soft-boiled eggs, open-faced sandwiches with cold cuts, cheese, kielbasaa traditional Polish sausage, and sliced beets, pickles, and tomatoes. Warning: Thanking a server too soon after paying the bill indicates a patron does not want change. That could end up being quite the tip.

Kiev, Ukraine

Typical breakfast: coffee or tea with pastries, or bread with butter. When in Kiev, grab sweet baked goods and a latte from Wolkonsky on Khreschatyk Street.

Yerevan, Armenia

Typical breakfast: scrambled eggs, tomatoes, cheese, flatbread, fruit, and tea. Fun fact: Armenians love to throw big breakfast gatherings on weekends—the more the merrier.

Florence, Italy

Typical breakfast: espresso or cappuccino with a pastry. Breakfast in Florence is an on-the-go affair, as most Florentines take their espresso and pastry standing up at a café bar.

Athens, Greece

Typical breakfast: pastry pies filled with cheese and greens, yogurt, cold cuts, cheese, bread, olives, eggs, honey, and marmalade. Mind your manners: It’s considered rude to begin eating before the host of the house invites guests to dig in. 

Istanbul, Turkey

Traditional breakfast: hard and soft cheeses, lentil soup, spicy egg and sausage scrambles, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, flatbreads, dried fruit, and tea. In Istanbul, it’s go big or go home.

Tehran, Iran

Typical breakfast: bread roll with butter and spiced milk tea. Iranians commonly eat feta cheese during breakfast, as well. If invited over for breakfast, be careful not to gush too much about items in the host’s house—the host may gift it to the guest.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Typical breakfast: labneh, a thick, strained yogurt, topped with a spice mix called za’atar and served with flatbread and coffee or tea. Saudis routinely wash their hands before and after meals.

Amman, Jordan

Traditional breakfast: hummus, falafel, pita bread, salad, olives, dates, cheese, and tea. Eating with your hands is acceptable in many instances. If you don’t see knives and forks, feel free to use your fingers or flatbread to dig in.

Tel Aviv, Israel

Traditional breakfast: cucumber and tomato salad, hard and soft cheeses, fresh bread, olives, eggs, and juice, coffee, or tea. History morsel: The first location of Israel’s popular chain Aroma Espresso Bar, famous for iced coffee, opened in 1994, and is still going strong. 

Cairo, Egypt

Typical breakfast: pita stuffed with cooked, mashed fava beans called fuul. Ancient Egyptian breakfast fact: Morning meals consisted of energy-dense beer, bread, and onions.

Accra, Ghana

Traditional meal: waakye, a spiced rice and bean dish, served with noodles, fish, meat, and fried plantains. That said, according to World Food Programme, 27% of households in the upper-east region of Ghana are food-insecure.

Moscow, Russia

Typical breakfast: kasha (steamed buckwheat grains), with milk and sweetened tea or coffee. Tipping tip: It’s customary to leave a restaurant server a modest 10%.

Johannesburg, South Africa

Typical breakfast: beskuits—a sweet, crunchy bread—and coffee or tea. Beskuits can be quite hard, so dipping them into a warm drink is recommended.

Mumbai, India

Traditional breakfast: Depending on the region, visitors will find things like savory stuffed flatbreads and dosas, which are rice and lentil crepes, to light vegetable-based curries with rice. Egg sandwiches are popular any time of day, as well, and a common item on menus is idli—a rice cake served with chutney. If meeting someone at the office, expect to have a chai or coffee upon arrival

Beijing, China

Typical breakfast: soybean milk and fried pastry sticks called yutiaoTable no-no: do not leave chopsticks standing upright in a bowl of rice—a symbol typically included in Chinese funerals. 

Bangkok, Thailand

Traditional breakfast: rice porridge called congee, served with an egg, pork meatballs, cilantro, and ginger. Insider tip: Eating alone in a restaurant is considered bad luck, so don't forget to bring friends.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Typical breakfast: pho, in all its shapes and forms. Choose from chicken or beef broth, sliced meats, rice noodles, sprouts, cilantro, lime, and condiments. History tidbit: This dish was influenced by both Chinese and French culinary traditions.

Tokyo, Japan

Traditional breakfast: white rice, grilled fish, omelet, pickled vegetables, and miso soup. Fascinating fact: Japan has been cultivating rice crops for more than 2,000 years.

Naga, Philippines

Typical breakfast: pandesal, known as “bread of salt,” dipped in coffee, as well as rice, fried eggs, sausage, and dried beef or fish. Fun fact: Classy guests will send a thank-you note to the hosts of a meal.

Jakarta, Indonesia

Traditional breakfast: fried rice or rice porridge topped with eggs, chicken, shrimp crackers, and soybeans. Table manners: Do not eat with your left hand—for reasons not to be discussed while dining. 

Sydney, Australia

Traditional breakfast: fresh eggs, bacon, sausages, hash browns, beans, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, and coffee. Interesting fact: the peak coffee hour in Sydney is 8 a.m., so plan ahead to beat the rush.

Christchurch, New Zealand

Typical breakfast: cerealWeetabix is extremely popularand coffee, tea, or juice. During the workweek, breakfast is casual, as bigger meals are saved for weekends and special occasions.

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Typical breakfast: mangu—mashed plantain garnished with fried onions, served alongside salami and cheese. Want to get someone’s attention across the breakfast table? Hiss, don’t shout.

Kingston, Jamaica

Traditional breakfast: ackeea relative of lychee, and cod, with sautéed tomatoes, onions, and stewed leafy greens. Breadfruit and plantains are also commonly eaten at breakfast. Beware: Unripe ackee is poisonous until the fruit is fully ripe, and the only edible part is the yellow portion around the seeds.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Typical breakfast: medialunas, sweet or savory crescent-shaped pastries, a toasted baguette with butter, jam, or cheese, and juice or coffee. Business is typically conducted over meals during long dinner meetings.

Tampines, Singapore

Typical breakfast: poached eggs, toasted bread with butter or margarine, and kaya, which is a jam made from coconut, egg, and pandan leaves. Don't forget the coffee or tea. Creation story: kaya is said to have been created by Hainanese galley hands who worked on British ships in Singapore.

Malé, Maldives

Traditional breakfast: mas huni, a spicy mixture of coconut and tuna, piled onto baked flatbread, and served with tea. Interesting fact: Locals do not drink alcohol—spirits are only allowed within tourist resorts.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Traditional breakfast: green lemongrass fish curry served with rice noodles. Cambodians eat early—breakfast is generally served between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Typical breakfast: balaleet, a dish of vermicelli noodles combined with eggs, raisins, cardamom, and saffron, served with tea or coffee. It’s a hearty balance of sweet and salty. 

Vienna, Austria

Typical breakfast: a bread roll or croissant with butter or jam, and coffee or tea. Dining no-no: showing up late. Austrians are famously punctual.

Toronto, Canada

Traditional breakfast: eggs, pork sausages, bacon, fried potatoes, toast, French toast or pancakes with syrup, and plenty of hot coffee. Keep elbows off the table—it’s rude in formal settings.

Budapest, Hungary

Typical breakfast: briós (a sweet pastry) or bagel with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Tipping is common in Budapest, but leaving cash on the table is not. A tip should be verbalized to a server, who will add it to the bill.

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