Breakfast Around the World

Breakfast. The first meal of the day. Whether a person starts with a journal, exercise, a meditation, or time with family, everyone has to eat a meal at some point. When they do, what they eat is a reflection of their cultural identity.

Literally meaning “to break fast,” some people consider breakfast the most important meal of the day! (I’d tend to agree.) Here, I’ve rounded up some of the ways different countries enjoy breakfast around the world.


Argentines stick to a very simple breakfast of coffee and juice paired with baked goods such as empanadas or toast. Media lunas (or half moons) are another favorite. In Argentina, they are prepared with flour and butter. Media lunas are an original take on the traditional French croissant, except they are a bit sweeter and smaller. Sometimes media lunas are cut in half and filled with sweet flavors, such as jam, or with savory fillings, such as ham and cheese.

Costa Rica

The most popular breakfast in Costa Rica, of course, is made up of two staple foods in the Costa Rican diet: rice and beans. The dish is referred to as gallo pinto or spotted rooster. According to tradition, a man invited his friends over to eat a rooster, but he ran out of meat. He served rice and beans mixed together, instead, and called it spotted rooster. The name stuck. Gallo pinto is coupled with a traditional coffee, fresh fruit, fried plantains, fresh cheese, and even freshly-made juices.


English breakfasts are BIG and can even be served all day! They consist of fried eggs, bacon and sausage (usually), mushrooms, tomatoes, beans, and buttered toast. These foods are accompanied by traditional English tea or coffee. The breakfast is meant to fill a person up for a good portion of the day.


India’s breakfasts are not so different from lunch and dinner and, of course, they include lots of curry flavors. For their carbohydrate, they serve roti flatbread, dosas (flatbreads made from lentils), or idlis (rice dough pancakes). Then, they add spiced potatoes and different dips and chutneys. It’s a perfect combination of carbohydrates, fat, and protein to fuel the day.


Not surprisingly, you will find seafood on the breakfast menu in Jamaica. Popular breakfasts include the unique steamed cabbage and saltfish or a Johnny cake with salt mackrel. Saltfish fritters and calaloo with spiced, steamed vegetables is another favorite.


Japan’s traditional breakfast includes soup, which I think is so fascinating! In general, breakfast dishes tend to be lighter and are accompanied by a steaming cup of green tea. Miso soup, steamed rice, and a protein, such as fish or chicken, complete the typical meal.

United States

The American breakfast is known throughout the world as bacon and eggs with toast, orange juice, and coffee. You will find this breakfast titled “The American Breakfast” on menus all over the globe. In true American fashion, though, breakfasts are as diverse as our population. They can be anything from oatmeal to baked goods, such a muffins, to ethnic foods, such as Mexican chilaquiles. All these items, and more, might grace our brunch menus and be consumed at home.

How about you? What are popular breakfast items where your family lives?

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Hi, I'm Christa- writer, photographer, world traveler, foodie, voracious reader and bilingual mom. I love all things Costa Rica- including my soccer loving husband and two bicultural daughters. You can find me at
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