Breakfast around the world

What’s for breakfast where you are? In some countries, sweet foods are the norm. In others, breakfast is always savoury. Sometimes it’s a light meal, other times it’s a filling dish that will keep you going for many hours.

Selected from our previous posts and photos posted in our Picture Postcards photo group, here’s what PocketCultures readers and contributors around the world are eating for breakfast.


Photo by Marcello

The classic Italian breakfast of cappuccino and brioche (also called pasta) is eaten in the bar. Breakfast at home is biscuits and milky coffee for most Italians.


Turkish breakfast
Photo by Lucy

The Turkish kahvaltı tabağı (breakfast plate) usually includes cheese, butter, tomatoes, cucumber and olives. It’s eaten with plenty of bread and jam.


Cafe con leche con medialunas, the typical Argentinean breakfast
Photo by Ana.

Cafe con leche y medialunas, the typical Argentinian breakfast. Not too different from the Italian one, right?


Photo by Kitty

Kitty says: In Thailand we eat them with sweet condensed milk for breakfast.


Breakfast in Japan
Photo by Lucy

Read the discussion in our post on Traditional Japanese breakfast.


Nasi Goreng
Nasi Goreng, by sambayogi

She said: My favorite breakfast ever! Indonesia fried rice topped with an egg

Costa Rica

gallo-pinto from Costa Rica
Photo by Nuria

Read more about Costa Rica’s typical breakfast dish in Nuria’s post on Gallo Pinto.

New Zealand

veggie brekky
Photo by Marie

The Kiwi big breakfast is popular for brunch at the weekends in New Zealand cafes.


American Breakfast
US breakfast, by xiaojhuli

Read more:
When to drink cappuccino in Italy
Superstitions around the world
The world in 23 posts: our best of 2010

About the author

Lucy (Liz) Chatburn
Lucy is English and first ventured out of the UK she was 19. Since then she has lived in 4 different countries and tried to see as much of the world as possible. She loves learning languages, learning about different cultures and hearing different points of view.
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  • Penny

    This is making me so hungry (all I had this AM was a cup of yogurt). To me, the Turkish breakfast looks absolutely amazing – simple, but delicious ingredients.

  • Penny, I live in Turkey so I can confirm the Turkish breakfast is amazing. Although sadly I am too lazy to prepare it like that every day haha

  • Liz is right. Preparing a proper Turkish breakfast takes ages. Therefore most Turks usually prefer to have it on weekends, like brunch.

    In weekdays, working people eat pastries called poğaça, similar to croissant or simit, similar to bagel for breakfast. We consume lots of tea with breakfast. I mean, lots of it :)

    And don’t forget the Turkish coffee after the breakfast :) In Turkish, breakfast is called kahvaltı (kahve-altı, literally “under the coffee”), that roughly means “before coffee” :)

    Did I mention we drink lots of tea?

  • Can we contribute breakfasts from other countries and complement?
    Just one clarification: America should be substituted with USA. There are many countries in America, the continent.

  • Rosa Maria, thanks very much for your comments.

    First, thanks for the clarification. You are absolutely right and I’ve corrected America to say USA.

    Secondly, we’d love to receive contributions. We have a Flickr group for sharing photos –

    If we get enough we’ll make a new post. Since PocketCultures is about making connections between people in different parts of the world, we’d especially like to see photos of what our readers in different places are eating.


  • It was only recently that I learned that people from other countries consider “America” to refer to the continent as a whole. Maybe it is Canada’s vicinity to the USA, but we would never consider ourselves as being from America. We make big distinctions between North America, South America, and the United States of America.

    It’s good to be aware!

    Also: Delicious!

  • Our breakfast (Spain) is very similar to that of Argentina. We can also have bread + olive oil + a pinch of salt + manchego cheese + iberico ham for example, or churros + hot thick chocolate, but that’s just for a relaxed Sunday :)

  • The breakfast from Thailand is similar to churros! Amazing! And the breakfast from Turkey is so big it’s almost lunch! Everything looks delicious!

  • Nuria

    @Kelly: There’s also Central America, don’t forget! ;) I particularly relate to what Rosa Maria said because the United States is only one country in America, which is the whole continent. Many people in Europe and Asia refer to the US as “America”, and it is wrong because it can be offensive to the other inhabitants of the continent :)

  • Corinne

    I have never seen people fries for breakfast in the US. Chicken and waffles, maybe, but never fries. What region is that picture from?

  • I am from the USA and I don’t think the American breakfast is accurate. The US is vast and every region has its own version (bagels in the northeast, ranchero eggs in Texas, grits and sausage gravy in the south, avocado variations in Calufornia, etc)
    However the most typical Sunday breakfast is pancakes with maple syrup, eggs / omelettes, bacon/ sausage and toast.

  • Hi Sara, actually we were just talking about breakfast with the other PocketCultures contributors (can you tell we are a bunch or food lovers?) and Anu said the same thing about Indian breakfast – each region has its own version. Who knows, maybe one day we will have contributors from enough states to make a whole post about US breakfasts.

  • Lindsey

    Yeah, I’m going to second the US breakfast. I’ve never seen fries for breakfast, that’s strange… hahhaha

    Toast, jam, eggs, sausage, bacon, bagels, oatmeal, cereal, pancakes, waffles, and traditionally fruit on the side, like an orange, or melon. But everyone’s different.

    Great post!

  • Leah J.

    This was a very interesting post, and I love learning unique things about various cultures.

    I must say, though, that I am a little insulted to see french fries as an example of breakfast in the USA (so unhealthy!) . I have never seen fries on a US breakfast menu. Eggs, orange juice, cereal, or oatmeal would be more appropriate.

    • Hi Leah! Thanks for your comment. Seems we need to update our post… if you have a photo you can send I’d love to include it