This Is What Breakfast Looks Like Around The World

Eggs and bacon are not everybody’s breakfast of choice. If you’ve ever had leftover cold pizza for breakfast, you know that breakfast is just what you make of it. Some countries, like Japan, will have a full-on meal with noodles and soup for breakfast, while places like Brazil just focus on coffee.

Keep reading to learn about how people around the world start their day.

Eastern China

dumplings
Photo: Jason Leung / Unsplash
Photo: Jason Leung / Unsplash

A typical breakfast in eastern China can include items like porridge, dumplings, rice and vegetable soup, fried sponge cake, and sometimes a steamed creamy custard bun. If you go for breakfast in Chinese hotels, you’ll often also find fried rice, fried noodles, ham, pork, pancakes, boiled eggs, and vegetables.

Argentina

medialunas
Photo: Sergio Arze / Unsplash
Photo: Sergio Arze / Unsplash

Locals like to keep it sweet for breakfast and will typically eat one of two things: tostadas (toast) or medialunas (“half-moons”), which are pastries that look like croissants except smaller and sweeter. They’ll almost always pair it with a cup of hot coffee.

Iran

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Photo: ATTA KENARE / AFP / Getty Images
Photo: ATTA KENARE / AFP / Getty Images

Naan bread is a frequent breakfast item, and it’s usually paired with butter and jam. Some Iranians prefer “halim,” which is made of wheat, cinnamon, butter, and sugar. It’s cooked in a big pot with shredded meat and can be served hot or cold.

Switzerland

pancake
Photo: ashwini chaudhary/ Unsplash
Photo: ashwini chaudhary/ Unsplash

The Swiss have the traditional birchermüesli, which is a granola-style blend of oats with fruit and nuts that’s usually served over yogurt. Swiss breakfasts can also include rösti (potato pancakes), and zopf, which is an egg bread similar to brioche.

Guyana

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Photo: Sean Drakes / LatinContent via Getty Images
Photo: Sean Drakes / LatinContent via Getty Images

A typical breakfast in Guyana is quite heavy and will usually include fried bread dough and saltfish, which is a whitefish preserved in salt, according to Quora user Britt Smith. Freshly baked bread is also quite common.

Australia

eggs
Photo: Eiliv Sonas Aceron / Unsplash
Photo: Eiliv Sonas Aceron / Unsplash

If you have an Australian breakfast, it will likely include vegemite, a staple that is either loved or hated. It is a thick, black spread that’s made from brewer’s yeast extract, and it usually goes over toast. Other typical breakfasts will include eggs, bacon, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, sausages, beans, and hash browns.

Philippines

tropical
Photo: miguel maldonado/ Unsplash
Photo: miguel maldonado/ Unsplash

You’ll often find a spread for breakfast, with local fruits like mangos, rice, longganisa (a small sausage), and garlic-fried rice, known as sinangag. The sinangag is also often served with eggs, meats, and beans.

Japan

japanese
Photo: Miguel Maldonado / Unsplash
Photo: Miguel Maldonado / Unsplash

Savory Japanese breakfasts often include food that you could have for any meal of the day, such as salmon, mackerel, miso soup, pickled vegetables, and rice. There are also some sweet items you can have, like tamagoyaki, which is a sweet omelet that’s usually made in rectangle shape.

France

pastries
Photo: Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash
Photo: Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash

A French breakfast is ideal for anyone with a sweet tooth. It skips eggs and opts for pastries, like baguettes with jam or butter, paired with tea or coffee and juice. Some also have cereal or yogurt.

India

indian food
Photo: Lior Shapira / Unsplash
Photo: Lior Shapira / Unsplash

Although they can vary between regions, typical Indian breakfasts look more like lunch or dinner with items like roti (flatbread), dosas (thin crepes made of lentils), or idlis (steamed rice dough pancakes), spicy dips, and spiced potatoes.

Egypt

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Photo: Gehad Hamdy / picture alliance via Getty Images
Photo: Gehad Hamdy / picture alliance via Getty Images

An Egyptian breakfast often includes traditional ful medames, which is made of fava beans cooked with oil and salt. Although those can be eaten at any meal, for breakfast they are paired with cheese, eggs, pita, and other dips.

Bangladesh

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Photo: Nic Antaya for The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Photo: Nic Antaya for The Boston Globe via Getty Images

In Bangladesh, you’ll find a variety of breads and pancakes. Some of the most famous ones are wheat flour flatbreads called chapattis, which are often served with potato curry or scrambled eggs. You can also find roti (flatbread) and paratha (a kind of thick pancake) that are served with Sabji (cooked cold vegetables) and Dahl (lentils).

Turkey

charcuterie
Photo: Erik Dungan / Unsplash
Photo: Erik Dungan / Unsplash

The Turks enjoy a heavy and rich breakfast. It will usually have a selection of cheeses (beyaz peynir, kaşar etc.), butter, olives, eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, jam, honey, kaymak, sucuk (sausages), and soups. Maybe just not all at the same time.

Brazil

coffee
Photo: Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash
Photo: Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash

A Brazilian breakfast is pretty light. Along with coffee, they usually have some fresh fruit like papayas, ham and cheese, and French bread. The importance is all on the coffee, though, and they tend to have a bigger lunch instead of a full breakfast.

Bulgaria

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Photo: Michelle Henderson / Unsplash
Photo: Michelle Henderson / Unsplash

In Bulgaria, you can expect banitsa for breakfast, which is a baked pastry made with layers of whisked eggs and cheese between sheets of filo pastry. It can be served both hot and cold, but it’s most traditionally enjoyed with plain yogurt.

Germany

breaky
Photo: Heather Ford Tevun / Unsplash
Photo: Heather Ford Tevun / Unsplash

A German breakfast is not far off from the typical continental breakfast, with a few German variations such as Brot (breads) and Brötchen (rolls), which are usually paired with butter, jams, cold cuts, cheese, and local honey.

Nigeria

plantain
Photo: Chris Raltson / Unsplash
Photo: Chris Raltson / Unsplash

There is plenty of sweet and salty in a Nigerian breakfast, with a mix of Akara (peeled beans) and Ogi (fermented cereal pudding typically made from maize, sorghum, or millet). Ogi can be swapped out for oats or custard instead. Other breakfast options also include fried plantain and fried eggs.

Venezuela

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Photo: Ben McCanna / Portland Press Herald / Getty Images
Photo: Ben McCanna / Portland Press Herald / Getty Images

A Venezuelan breakfast is quite varied and ranges all the way from fresh fruit to fish. In between, a spread can often include baked cornflour bread (arepas), which is served with cheese, fish, beef, or chicken, or used to dip into shredded beef and black beans. Other sides include white cheese and avocados.

Lebanon

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Photo: Cristiano Pinto / Unsplash
Photo: Cristiano Pinto / Unsplash

A traditional Lebanese breakfast is made of dips like creamy labneh (yogurt-like dip) and olive oil, along with cheese (specifically baladi or halloumi), olives, zaatar, cucumbers, tomatoes, and fresh mint leaves. Usually with a side of espresso or tea.

Singapore

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Photo: Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post / Getty Images
Photo: Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post / Getty Images

A Singaporean breakfast starts with kaya—which is basically toast with a jam made of custard and coconut milk, eggs, and vibrant greens from the pandan leaf. It’s not uncommon, however, to also grab some savory curry noodles to start the day.