Top National Breakfasts from All Over the World



Top National Breakfasts from All Over the World

It’s no secret that global cuisine has a wide variety of commonly enjoyed meals, snacks, and options. Depending on where you live, food culture is influenced by many aspects of life. Religion, farming, culture, location, and ethnicity all impact the food that people eat. Within diverse countries, meals can show even more variance, but national staples are still easy to point out.

For the first meal of the day, plates hold a wide array of ingredients from around the world as people rise from their restful nights of sleep and chow down on fish, rice, eggs, bacon, beans, and more! The options are seemingly endless, but as a traveler, you probably want to know what you’re in for when you visit your next international destination.

In this article, we’ll cover the top national breakfasts from all over the world. From Asia to the Middle East and South America to North America, these delicious breakfasts each provide unique insights into the cultures of their origin. So, let’s explore the top national breakfasts!

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 10 minutes read

What is Considered Breakfast

First and foremost, what is considered breakfast? The origin of the word in English suggests the breaking of the fasting period as we sleep, which is why breakfast is typically enjoyed in the morning. Starting the morning off with enough energy to get through your day is almost human nature. It seems like humans have always been eating breakfast, but in fact, the tradition of eating a meal to get your day started is seemingly complicated.

In Europe in the Middle Ages, breakfast was avoided completely! According to The Atlantic, this breakfast avoidance was due to the thought that eating right when you woke up was gluttonous. There are other examples of breakfast avoidance at other times throughout history around the world also. Otherwise, most cultures agree that calories are necessary to perform tasks, and as most tasks happen after you have woken up, a morning meal is essential.

It seems like humans have always been eating breakfast, but in fact, the tradition of eating a meal to get your day started is seemingly complicated.Photo: Santorines /


In Spain, breakfast is robust in nature and can be sweet, savory, or both. A typical Spanish breakfast consists of a diverse spread, and many people prefer to mix and match their food options! However, a Spanish breakfast is supposed to be light and not too filling. The Spanish prefer to eat their filling options in the later meals of the day.

That is not to say that you will not still enjoy a Spanish breakfast, but if you are used to a big breakfast in the morning, it might take some getting used to. The best part of a Spanish breakfast is that it is what you make of it. If you would prefer to snack on cookies and cakes, that is culturally appropriate! Alternatively, if you would rather stick to eggs and potatoes with a tostada, you’re still eating according to Spanish culture.

A Spanish breakfast is supposed to be light and not too filling.Photo: vasanty /


If you were hoping for pasta for breakfast, you might find yourself disappointed by the traditional Italian breakfast. Breakfasts in Italy are very similar to what you might expect from any other country in Europe. They are not as savory and are more focused on getting a sweet start to the day.

In Italy, breakfast is straightforward, simple, and quick to the point. Simply put, the Italians like to get a quicker start to their days than most of the other countries on this list. But just because the breakfast in Italy is simple, doesn’t mean that it is not just as delicious! You won’t be disappointed by an Italian breakfast, just as you won’t be disappointed by the country’s other delicious cuisine!

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