18 Traditional Breakfasts from Around the World

How do people start the day in Mexico, Japan, France, or Kenya? Take a delicious journey through 18 countries and discover just how different this meal can be.

The Netherlands - Hagelslag

The Netherlands - Hagelslag

Dutch sprinkle bread is one of the happiest surprises that tourists with a sweet tooth happen upon when visiting this country. All it basically is is bread, butter (or another spread, such as Nutella), and sprinkles. How can you really complain?

Venezuela - Cachapas

Venezuela - Cachapas

Made from masa harina, traditional corn flour, these little cheese-filled corn cakes are super easy to make and a great balance between sweet and savory. If you're not really in the mood for cheese in the morning, you can do what some Venezuelans prefer and opt for buttering the corn cake instead.

Singapore - Teochew Moey

Singapore - Teochew Moey

Teochew Moey, also called Teochew-style congee, is a versatile rice porridge that can be served and enjoyed at any meal throughout the day. The only thing that changes is what you serve it with. Find out how to make it in breakfast style with this authentic recipe!

Russia - Syrniki

Russia - Syrniki

In Russia and certain other Eastern Europe countries, syrniki (derived from the word for "cheese") are a light and simple breakfast food of choice. They're basically fluffy cheese pancakes, and you can serve them with a variety of different toppings. This recipe opts for a sweet homemade strawberry sauce – yum!

Kenya - Mandazi

Kenya - Mandazi

Also known as the Swahili Bun, these little donut-like treats are popular in Kenya as well as many other East African countries. Flavored with coconut milk, cardamom, and fresh coconut shavings, they're definitely not your average "street food"!

Japan - Tamagoyaki

Japan - Tamagoyaki

Commonly enjoyed for the first meal of the day or as a side in a bento lunch, this Japanese-style rolled omelet has a very distinct flavor from the omelets you might be more familiar with. Although it may take you a few tries to master the technique and get beautiful-looking Tamagoyaki at home, they will taste great no matter what!

Mexico - Chilaquiles

Mexico - Chilaquiles

If you're a savory breakfast person, you're going to fit right in here! Chilaquiles are a nacho-like dish made up of tortilla chips topped with red or green salsa, avocado, cheese, onions, and a dollop of sour cream. If this is all a bit daunting for you first thing in the morning, we recommend you save this recipe for a late weekend brunch!

France - Pain Au Chocolat

France - Pain Au Chocolat

It's no surprise that the country famous for bread and sweets would start the day like this. In France, coffee and croissants are the typical breakfast of choice, and you'll find no shortage of variety at the bakeries. Our favorite is probably the Pain au Chocolat, an airy chocolate-filled patisserie, which you can learn how to make at home using this recipe.

Egypt - Ful Medames

Egypt - Ful Medames

Here's another one for the savory breakfast lovers. Ful Medames is a Mediterranean-style dish originating in Egypt but now also popular in many Middle Eastern countries. The hummus-like dish is made up primarily of fava beans and is typically served in the morning with bread or vegetables.

Colombia - Pandebono

Colombia - Pandebono

Sometimes called the Colombian bagel, these fluffy, cheesy breakfast rolls are 100% gluten free and make for a wonderfully light breakfast. Just like any other roll, you can add butter or other spreads or toppings, but they're perfectly capable of standing alone or accompanied by coffee as well.

Bulgaria - Banitza

Bulgaria - Banitza

To start the mornings in the Bulgarian way, bake this classic egg and cheese pastry and serve it with yogurt, ayran (a salted yogurt drink), or boza (a malt drink). You might also find other versions of this throughout the country, such as savory spinach or sweet pumpkin banitza.

Israel - Shakshuka

Israel - Shakshuka

You'll find this wholesome eggy dish all across the Middle East and North Africa, and in Israel it's a popular choice for breakfast and dinner alike. After all, when something is this good...why limit yourself to one time of day that you can enjoy it?! The plate is loaded with spices and flavor, so it's sure to wake you up in the most delicious of ways.

Malaysia - Nasi Lemak

Malaysia - Nasi Lemak

If you love fragrant foods, this Malaysian specialty is one you've got to try. The rice is made with coconut milk and pandan leaves and is commonly accompanied by a variety of sides, such as eggs, anchovies, roasted peanuts, or cucumbers. Although you'll find it served at pretty much any time of day, it's typically considered a breakfast treat.

England - Full English Breakfast

England - Full English Breakfast

Not many countries love their breakfast so much as to have a national one...but England is one of those rare places! What will you find in a traditional Full English Breakfast? Sausage, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, black pudding, and bread. Now that will keep you full till lunch!

Cuba - Tostadas

Cuba - Tostadas

In addition to a steaming hot cup of Cuban coffee, a day’s start on this Caribbean island typically includes tostadas, or toasted bread. The bread is a special Cuban variety that uses lard to give it a unique texture and taste. Here's an authentic recipe so you can try it at home!

Pakistan - Halwa Poori

Pakistan - Halwa Poori

Incredibly popular throughout many regions of India as well, poori is a kind of fried bread that can be eaten with any number of savory or sweet sides. In Pakistan, it's typically enjoyed with halwa, a sweet candied treat. Find out how to make poori bread here!

Brazil - Feijoada

Brazil - Feijoada

There isn't a meal in the day where a big, steaming bowl of this Brazilian meat stew doesn't belong. The national dish of the country, Feijoada takes some time to make, but we guarantee it's worth the wait. And if you're one for hearty breakfasts, you'll be happy to hear that restaurants all over Brazil won't hesitate to put it on the menu first thing in the morning.

China - Youtiao

China - Youtiao

It's truly hard to resist the temptation of these fried dough specialities. Sometimes called Chinese crullers (or "oil fried devil" in Cantonese), Youtiao are commonly dipped in soy milk, congee, or sticky rice, or you can make shaobing, a sort of flatbread, and wrap them up like a sandwich. The consensus? They're delicious and can be eaten just about any which way.

by Anna H