10 Breakfasts from Around the World, Because Not Everyone Starts the Day with an Everything Bagel

If you live stateside, your idea of starting the day might range from an everything bagel schmeared with scallion cream cheese…to overnight oats and matcha…to black coffee and nothing else. But venture outside of the U.S. and you’re likely to find a totally different meal. From Vietnamese phở to Jamaican ackee and saltfish, here are ten breakfasts from around the world—because regardless of what’s on your plate, there’s no better way to say “good morning” than with food.

Is Breakfast *Really* the Most Important Meal of the Day? Plus, 6 Other Questions We Asked a Food Therapist

breakfasts around the world: avocado toast
Adam Calaitzis/Getty Images

1. Australia

Australian breakfast—affectionately known as brekkie—is as luxurious as a stack of pancakes, but a bit more nutritious. Think veggie-forward plates like avocado toast made with fresh, locally grown produce and topped with a poached egg, or yogurt with fresh fruit. Wash it all down with a flat white, which is a lot like a latte but with less milk foam and more coffee.

breakfasts around the world: japanese breakfast
triocean/Getty Images

2. Japan

A traditional Japanese breakfast often consists of steamed white rice, miso soup, cooked seafood, egg, nori and various pickled vegetables. On the other hand, western-style meals are also served (think buttered toast and orange juice) for their convenience.

breakfasts around the world: hagelslag
Lucy Labriex/Getty Images

3. The Netherlands

Ever heard of hagelslag? You probably have, except you call them chocolate sprinkles. The Dutch serve these tiny, sugary confetti atop buttered, toasted biscuits as a breakfast or snack.

breakfasts around the world: pho
Carlina Teteris/Getty Images

4. Vietnam

While it’s certainly available to eat throughout the day, phở, a soup made with a rich, aromatic broth, rice noodles and ultra-thin slices of beef, is commonly eaten at breakfast in Vietnam. Waking up to hot soup? That sounds delightful.

breakfasts around the world: ful medames
John Wreford/Getty Images

5. Egypt

In Egypt, ful medames is a common breakfast course. It’s a type of fava bean stew served with olive oil, cumin, parsley, lemon, garlic, onion and other vegetables on the side. (There’s also ful medames salad, another breakfast fave that features similar flavors, but chopped into greens instead of alongside a stew.)

breakfasts around the world: changua
jtinjaca/Getty Images

6. Colombia

In the Andes region of Colombia, you’ll find changua, milk broth with eggs, served in the morning. It’s garnished with scallions, cilantro and sometimes cheese, and it’s often considered a hangover cure. (Noted.)

breakfasts around the world: mandazi
gorchittza2012/Getty Images

7. Kenya

If you love doughnuts, beignets or fried dough, you’d like mandazi, a type of Swahili fried yeasted bread that’s often made with coconut milk. They’re less sweet than an American doughnut and served unglazed, but can be dusted with confectioners’ sugar as a dessert.

breakfasts around the world: halwa puri
Arundhati Sathe/Getty Images

8. Pakistan

In Pakistan, you’ll find halwa puri served for breakfast. The spread consists of a crisp-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside flatbread, called puri, alongside spicy chana salan (a type of chickpea curry), aloo bhaji (an aromatic potato dish) and sweet semolina pudding.

breakfasts around the world: ackee and saltfish
Didi Beck/Getty Images

9. Jamaica

Ackee and saltfish is considered the national dish of Jamaica, and it’s also a beloved breakfast or brunch food. It’s made with ackee, a savory-tasting fruit in the same family as lychee and longan, and salt cod, a preserved fish. Add some Scotch bonnet pepper, garlic, onions, and scallion, a side of avocado and fried ripe plantain, and you have a meal.

breakfasts around the world: gallo pinto
Reisegraf/Getty Images

10. Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama

Gallo pinto translates to “spotted rooster” in Spanish, and in Central America, it’s a meal eaten not just at breakfast but lunch and dinner, too. The rice and beans are said to look like a speckled rooster, hence the name. You’ll find it served hot with sides like tortillas, eggs and plantain.

Where Was the Frozen Margarita Invented? (Hint: The Answer Isn’t Mexico)

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City restaurants. She used to sling sugary desserts in a pastry kitchen, but now she’s an avid home cook and fanatic baker.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...