Wherever it is being eaten, breakfast is the most important meal of the day / Getty Images

From pastries in France to the sweeping event that is a Korean breakfast, the meal varies wildly across the globe

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, keeping us healthy and sharp. But breakfast foods vary wildly from place to place. 

In European countries like Spain, France, and Italy, the first meal of the day is a quick piece of bread or pastry and strong coffee. Meanwhile in Korea, breakfast is a sweeping event that crowds the table just as much as dinner. 

Below, we take a look at some classic breakfast choices from around the world:

CHINA: Traditional breakfasts vary by region, but the combination of fried dough sticks (or "you tiao") and warm soy milk is beloved by millions. Dim sum and hot soups like congee are also popular.

Flickr/Lian Cheng

Sources: Lonely PlanetCNN

The importance of starting the day with a healthy breakfast

AUSTRALIA: Australians love Vegemite enough to eat it every day. They also eat a lot of fruit and sometimes indulge in a full English breakfast.


Sources: Food by CountryReddit

BRAZIL: Strong coffee and milk is enjoyed with a plate of ham, cheese, and bread. Feijoada, a thick soup made with black beans and different meats, is also served in the morning.


Sources: HostelBookersSerious Eats

COLOMBIA: Breakfast in Colombia revolves around the arepa, a dense, slightly sweet corn cake that's served simply with butter or topped with eggs, meat, or jam.

Flickr/Gabriel Garcia Marengo

Sources: QuoraMy Colombian Recipes

CUBA: The typical breakfast tostada (grilled, buttered bread) is served alongside or dunked into cafe con leche.

Flickr/Jorge Gonzalez

Sources: HostelBookers, Food By Co

ENGLAND: The fortifying English breakfast includes eggs, sausage, bacon, beans, mushrooms, and cooked tomato.


Sources: HostelBookersFood By Co

FRANCE: A traditional breakfast is coffee and either baguette or croissant. Like Cubans, the French often dip their buttered bread into coffee.

Flickr/Jeremy Keith

Sources: HostelBookersFood By Country

GERMANY: Germans dig into an assortment of fresh breads, cold meats, local cheeses, butter, and jam.


Sources: HostelBookersFood By Country

INDIA: Breakfasts in India vary by region, but often you'll find a tray like this one, crowded with chutneys, dips, and breads like dosa, roti, or idli.

Flickr/Steven Levin

Sources: Food By CountryUSA Today

ITALY: Many Italians begin their day with a cappuccino and brioche slathered with jam or stuffed with chocolate.

Flickr/Evelyn Hill

Sources: HostelBookersFood By Country

MEXICO: The first meal of the day is hearty, with dishes like chilaquiles (below) and huevos rancheros being popular choices. Sweet rolls and coffee are lighter options.

Flickr/Jeff Kramer

Sources: HostelBookers, Food By Country

JAPAN: Traditional breakfasts include miso soup, steamed white rice, pickled vegetables, and proteins like fish and Japanese omelet (or "tamagoyaki").


Sources: Food By CountryUSA Today

RUSSIA: Griddle cakes are huge in Russia. There's cheese-stuffed syrniki, crepe-like blini made with kefir, and fluffy oladi, which are about the size of a biscuit.


Sources: My Russian FoodHostelBookers

TURKEY: A traditional breakfast consists of bread, cheese, butter, olives, eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, jam, honey, and kaymak. It can also include sucuk, a spicy Turkish sausage, and Turkish tea.

Wikimedia Commons

Source: HostelBookers

SPAIN: Pan con tomate, or toast with grated tomato spread, is a popular savory breakfast in Spain. For a treat, many restaurants and vendors sell churros.


Sources: HostelBookersSaveur

SOUTH AFRICA: Hot cereal or porridge, often made with corn and called "putu pap," is a common first meal here.

Wikimedia/Virtual Steve

Source: Food By Country

KOREA: A Korean breakfast looks strikingly similar to a Korean dinner. There's rice, soup, the ever-present kimchi, some type of fish or beef, and other leftovers from the previous night's dinner.

Flickr/Lisa Risager

Sources: Food By CountryAbout Food

JAMAICA: Ackee, a type of fruit that looks like scrambled eggs when it's cooked, is a favorite Jamaican breakfast food. It can be accompanied by fried plantains, salted fish, and fresh fruit.

Flickr/Christina Xu

Sources: Serious EatsFood By Country

SWEDEN: A typical breakfast at home is an open-face sandwich layered with either fish or cold cuts, cheese, mayonnaise, and vegetables like cucumber and tomato.

Flickr/Ewan Munro

Sources: Food By CountryUSA Today

UNITED STATES: Breakfast foods vary widely from place to place, but eggs, potatoes, and bacon or sausage is the common trinity.


Max Rosenberg contributed to an earlier version of this article. 

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