What breakfast looks like around the world
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.
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.
Typical breakfast: Toast dipped into a cup of café con leche—coffee with milk. Interesting fact: Most Cubans pass their recipes down orally from generation to generation, not by writing them down.
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.
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: salteña—a 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.
Typical breakfast: toast, and sweet tea or coffee with milk. It's short and sweet.
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.
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.
Traditional breakfast: eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and black and white pudding—fried in butter. It is usually accompanied by soda bread, and with a breakfast tea and juice.
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.
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.
Typical breakfast: cheese, bread, and buttered ontbijtkoek—sweet spiced rye cake topped with jam or honey, and served with coffee. It’s true, Belgians do not eat Belgian waffles every morning.
A typical breakfast in Croatia is bread and coffee. However, throughout time eggs, cold cuts, and pickles have found a way onto plates.
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.
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.
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.
Traditional breakfast: hard or soft-boiled eggs, open-faced sandwiches with cold cuts, cheese, kielbasa—a 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Typical breakfast: soybean milk and fried pastry sticks called yutiao. Table no-no: do not leave chopsticks standing upright in a bowl of rice—a symbol typically included in Chinese funerals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: cereal—Weetabix is extremely popular—and 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.
Traditional breakfast: ackee—a 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.