The Best Breakfast Dishes Across the Globe

There's more to breakfast than eggs and pancakes. Check out these breakfast dishes from around the world!

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I mean, it’s for good reason. Hey, your body and your brain need that fuel to get moving! Breakfast kickstarts your metabolism, replenishes your supply of glucose, and – perhaps more importantly – stops your tummy from rumbling after all those hours spent sleeping instead of eating.

All that aside, I personally just really like breakfast foods. I’ll eat them for every meal of the day, to be honest. But my love of breakfast foods doesn’t just extend to the typical American breakfast foods. There are plenty of other places across the globe that have some of the best breakfast dishes I’ve ever seen!

Chilaquiles – Mexico

Chilaquiles - Mexico
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This traditional Mexican breakfast dish is simple, hearty, and delicious. Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover tortillas, so it scores extra points in my book. Cut-up and fried tortillas swim in rich salsa and are then topped with crema, a fried egg, and plenty of cheese. Depending on where you are in Mexico, chicken, refried beans, avocado, or other regional favorites may be added to the mix.

Dim Sum – China

While we certainly have dim sum in the U.S., I don’t think many Americans think of it as a breakfast dish. But in China, it is traditionally enjoyed as breakfast or brunch. The meal is made up of small plates of dumplings and other foods, and everything is shared with family and friends. Think of it as a sort of breakfast tapas. Dim sum is always enjoyed with tea, thanks to the meal’s origins in Cantonese tearooms.

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Full English Breakfast – England

Full English Breakfast - England
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Also referred to as a fry-up, the full English breakfast is an instantly recognizable dish. It has been served in one form or another since at least the 13th century. Don’t take the word “full” lightly. This meal might be the definition of substantial because it’s packed with bacon, eggs, sausage, black pudding, bubble and squeak, baked beans, tomatoes, and mushrooms, all with buttered toast on the side. Wash it down with an English breakfast tea, and you’re eating breakfast like Winston Churchill himself.

All-American Breakfast – USA

Alright, maybe it’s just because I grew up with it, but I have a soft spot for the classic American breakfast spread. While it can definitely vary depending on the region, there are ingredients you will almost always find on the plate: eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage, toast, and coffee or juice on the side. You might find a stack of pancakes, and in the south, you’re likely to find grits or biscuits and gravy. But no matter where you are from coast to coast, it’s a heaping, hearty plate of salty goodness.

Burek – Bosnia and Herzegovina

Burek - Bosnia
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Burek is a favorite for both breakfast and lunch (and hey, sometimes dinner) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s made with a thin, flaky pastry dough that has been stuffed with any number of fillings and then baked to perfection in a large pan. A traditional burek here will be stuffed with ground beef, but there are plenty of other fillings to try, too. Cheese and spinach is another common filling, and you might even find a sweet cream version served for dessert. Several other countries in the Balkan region have their own version of burek, too.

Kahvalti – Turkey

Speaking of the Balkan region, breakfast in Turkey is amazing. That’s because Turkish people consider breakfast to be the most important meal of the day, and it is a time to gather with family. A classic Turkish breakfast is known as kahvalti and includes a variety of bite-sized foods across the table. Generally, it will include things like olives, cucumbers, cured meats, eggs, fresh cheeses, dips and sauces, honey, and plenty of bread. The actual list may vary depending on the region and will vary from day to day. It’s not complete without strong black tea.

Nasi Lemak – Malaysia

Nasi Lemak - Malaysia
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There is a lot of delicious food in Malaysia, but nasi lemak is so good that it’s the national dish. The name in Malay literally means “fatty rice,” and in this context, it means rich or creamy. It definitely makes sense, considering the dish is built around creamy rice that has been soaked in coconut cream and then steamed in pandan leaves. The rest of the ingredients can vary, depending on the region and the chef. The traditional Malaysian version, though, includes sambal, fresh cucumber, anchovies, peanuts, and fried or boiled egg.

Israeli Breakfast – Israel

This distinctive style of breakfast first originated from the kibbutz community, which was traditionally very agricultural. Residents of a kibbutz would eat meals in a communal dining hall and they would have a mid-morning buffet-style meal. But it wasn’t until Israeli hotels started promoting the Israeli breakfast that it really took off. You’ll find a spread including Israeli salad, eggs, hummus, halloumi cheese, baba ganoush, olives, fresh vegetables, and plenty of bread. Unlike many other breakfasts around the world, you’ll never find meat in this one.  In accordance with Jewish dietary laws, meat and dairy are not served together, and pork products aren’t eaten.

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