When the everyday routines leave little time to relax, finding a calm morning here and there can offer you a chance to indulge in a peaceful meal. From the light and simple to the heartiest of feasts, find inspiration for those carefree moments in this list of where you can find the best breakfasts from around the world.
Traditional breakfast, Turkey
Like your breakfast diverse and elaborate, yet satisfyingly refreshing? A traditional full Turkish breakfast, or kahvaltı, won’t disappoint. The dish includes an array of cheeses, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggs, simit (a doughy circular bread with sesame seeds), jam, honey, kaymak (a dairy product similar to clotted cream), small sausages, and local pastries. It’s the perfect way to start the day before heading out on a walking tour of any of the country’s beautiful cities. Take note: While Turkey is known for its exceptional coffee, kahvaltı literally means “before coffee,” so tea will be served during the meal.
Traditional breakfast, Japan
A traditional Japanese breakfast is as delightful to photograph as it is to eat. Small portions of a variety of delicate, savory foods are all artfully presented on individual dishes. But don’t let the serving sizes fool you—this well-balanced meal will provide energy to last the whole day. The main elements are usually grilled fish, steamed white rice, and miso soup. The assortment of side dishes ranges from tsukemono (pickled vegetables), a green salad, or eggs with furikake (a seasoning made of dried seaweed and anything from sesame seeds to dried shrimp).
Ackee and saltfish, Jamaica
As nutritious as it is colorful, you’ll find this breakfast staple served all over the island. Pre-boiled fresh ackee (the national fruit) and pieces of salted cod are sautéed with Scotch bonnet and bell peppers, scallions, onions, and tomatoes. In true Jamaican style, the selection of flavorful sides is almost as important as the dish itself. Try it with roasted breadfruit, boiled green bananas, bammy (a cassava flatbread), or callaloo (a leaf vegetable dish).
Ghana’s simple but filling breakfast of choice is waakye, a tasty combination of rice and beans commonly sold from street stalls and roadside vendors wrapped in banana leaves. Waakye‘s distinctive flavor and look come from cooking the rice and beans with the dried leaf sheaths or stalks from sorghum (a grass cultivated for its grain). The dried sheaths are removed before serving but still give the dish a reddish color. You can eat waakye on its own or with stew, boiled eggs, vegetables, or fried plantain.
Baghrir and mint tea, Morocco
No matter where you go in Morocco, you’ll never be too far from a tasty piece of bread. Two breakfast favorites are baghrir, a semolina-based pancake that melts in your mouth, and m’semen, a rich flatbread. Both arrive served with jams, olive oil, chutneys, ghee, or runny eggs. The perfect accompaniment is a piping-hot glass of mint tea poured out of a pot from high above the cup to swirl the leaves and aerate the mixture. For a truly luxurious experience, spend the night at a desert camp either nearby to Marrakesh or further out into the Sahara and enjoy your breakfast with sprawling views of the dunes.
Widely regarded as China’s most popular street breakfast, jianbing is similar to a folded crepe. It’s filled with pickles, pork, scallions, fried wonton, or sweet potato. While there may be a roadside stall on almost every block early in the morning, don’t be in a hurry when you’re ready to eat. Each jianbing is made to order to retain the essential crispiness, so patiently waiting in line is part of the experience.
The hearty breakfast soup of changua is fairly unique to the Central Andes region and is quite popular in Bogotá. Equal parts of milk and water are brought to a boil. Then, eggs are cracked into the pot without breaking the yolk to poach them carefully. Garnished with either scallions or cilantro, the soup is best enjoyed with a piece of hard toasted bread, called calado. Warm and comforting, it’s also a go-to dish when someone is feeling under the weather.
The fry-up, United Kingdom
Bacon, eggs, sausages, regional black pudding or blood sausage, baked beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, toast, and tea or coffee: These ingredients are at the heart of the full English, full Welsh (often served with Welsh cockles and laverbread, a seaweed purée), full Cornish (which adds potato cakes), full Scottish (which often includes potato scones or tatties), and the Ulster fry (the Northern Irish equivalent, often served with soda bread and potato bread) breakfasts. You won’t be needing another meal anytime soon after eating one of these fry-ups.
Gallo Pinto, Costa Rica
Translated as “spotted rooster,” gallo pinto is the typical breakfast choice in Costa Rica. It consists of white rice and black beans, combined with ginger, spices, peppers, onion, cilantro, and salsa Lizano. Costa Ricans often serve it with eggs, cheese, avocado, fried plantains, sour cream, tortillas, and coffee. It is the perfect combination of spicy and savory and you can even try your hand at cooking it yourself.
Whether you’re in a bustling city like Ho Chi Minh or the quiet countryside of Sapa, you’re guaranteed to find locals eating pho for breakfast. In fact, many pho restaurants or street stalls are closed for the day by 10 a.m. The fragrant soup starts with a clear beef or chicken broth and includes fresh herbs, rice noodles, and thinly sliced meat or vegetables. The rich broth, which must simmer for hours before coming to life, gives pho its special flavor that is individually perfected by street vendors, restaurant owners, and anyone who enjoys cooking it at home.
With COVID-19, it’s important to stay safe and practice social distancing. We hope you find this content entertaining, inspiring, or useful for a future trip. Always research official websites for up-to-date information on closures and new health and safety policies as businesses and destinations reopen.