What Do Europeans Eat for Breakfast?

Europe is a large and diverse continent with many different cultures and cuisine. That being said, there are some breakfast staples that are popular throughout the region.

When it comes to breakfast, Europeans tend to be more health conscious than their American counterparts. A typical European breakfast consists of a piece of fruit, some yogurt, a slice of bread or toast with butter and jam, and a cup of coffee or tea.

While a continental breakfast is the most common, there are regional variations to be found.

No matter what the specific breakfast foods are, one thing is for sure – Europeans take their morning meal seriously! Breakfast is seen as an important part of the day and is usually eaten at a leisurely pace, often with the newspaper or a good book.

Scroll down and take a look at what Europeans typically eat for breakfast. Next time you’re planning a trip to Europe, make sure to stop by a local bakery or cafe for a delicious and authentic breakfast experience.

What Do Europeans Eat for Breakfast?

Bread is a breakfast staple in the majority of European nations. Simple bread, usually just a slice from a lovely rustic or bakery loaf some nations favor rolls, flatbread, or fine white bread, such as the baguette found in France.

The nation of Denmark is well recognized for its love of rye bread. Along with that, butter, jelly, and mild or soft cheeses are frequently served. In many nations, particularly those of the Germanic and Baltic regions, cold cuts are highly popular. Pate and other cold meats are frequently served with breakfast.

Other nations are renowned for serving dessert with breakfast. The Spanish frequently eat churros for breakfast along with sweet, creamy hot chocolate. The French are renowned for their pain au chocolat or a generous layer of Nutella on a slice or two of baguette in the morning.

Cold and hot pastries are also frequently consumed for breakfast. Although breakfast cereals are typically plain rather than sweet, porridges and cereals have become fairly popular.

Popular foods include cornflakes and muesli, which are comparable to granola but not quite as sugary as American granola. Milk, on the other hand, isn’t always as popular as yogurt, even though it’s frequently not nearly as sweet as the American variety.

Traditional European breakfast 

1. Banitsa 


The traditional pastry meal known as banitsa is produced in Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Southeast Serbia by sandwiching slices of white brined cheese between layers of filo dough and baking it in the oven.

Banitsa is a popular breakfast option all over Europe. They are also known as phyllo doughnuts in countries like Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Turkey. These delicious pastries are filled with fruit or cheese and baked until they’re nice and crispy.

A type of Eastern European yeast doughnut served with honey and spices, banitsa makes for an excellent way to start the day. If you’re looking for something sweet yet filling, banitsa is a perfect choice! 

2. Mekitsa 


Traditional Bulgarian food known as mekitsa is made of deep-fried dough that has been kneaded with yogurt. Additionally, Serbia and North Macedonia both have it.

They contain flour, eggs, yogurt, a leavening agent, water, salt, and oil in their preparation. They are referred to as mekitsa in Bulgaria and mekike, mekica, or pitulica in Serbia.

Mekitsa is a classic breakfast flatbread from Bulgaria that tastes a lot like a doughnut. Because they are a preferred street meal in Bulgaria, these mouthwatering flatbreads are frequently referred to as Street Mekitsi.

This breakfast is considered the sweet part of European breakfast, so if you have sweet tooth, consider this dish into your must-try list!

3. Popara 

Popara 1
Credits: thebalkanhostess.com

A meal called popara is created using bread. Typically, the bread is soaked in hot tea, milk, or water and has a thick crust.

Additions like cheese, butter, honey, and sugar are frequent. The majority of it is produced in Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, North Macedonia, and Serbia.

It is considered a convenient meal to make because typically a day-old bread is used in this dish as the meal is considered to give a quick meal to families there, but don’t guess it wrong, it is quite delicious!

It is a great source of carbohydrates and tastes quite good, so if you’re in Greece, you should try this meal as it is pretty fulfilling!

4. French Baguettes 

French Baguettes

The traditional French loaf of bread known as a baguette is distinguished by its long, thin shape and crunchy crust. The lean dough used to make French baguettes, which has no fat, gives the interior of the loaf a chewy feel.

The word baguette in French means baton or stick, and therefore is sometimes referred to as “French stick bread.”

French baguettes are a perfect way to start your day – they are often filled with savory ingredients such as ham, cheese, or eggs and make for a filling breakfast.

If you’re looking for something more traditional, try enjoying one at breakfast time! Alternatively, if you’re in the mood for something sweet, take a look at our selection of croissants and pastries. 

5. Porridge 

Irish Porridge

Porridge is loved by many Europeans because it is light, full of nutrients, fulfilling, and it can be easily customized to their taste. For one such example, there is a dish called kosha in Russian cuisine. Which is why porridge is such a great food to have for breakfast.

Porridge is a breakfast staple in many European countries. It can be made with any type of grain – wheat, oats, barley etcetera- and it’s an incredibly nutritious meal that provides you with energy all morning long.

There are several variations – sweet or savory, hot or cold – so there is no wrong way to enjoy porridge!

6. The Full Irish Breakfast 

What Do Irish Eat For Breakfast

The traditional Irish breakfast was created as a meal to keep farmers fed throughout the day and give them the stamina to confront any problems they may encounter on a chilly, rainy day in Ireland.

This is why a full Irish breakfast is good for people, it is packed with protein, nutrients, and carbs you need to tackle your daily life!

If you’re ever in Ireland, make sure to try the full Irish breakfast! This hearty meal features two eggs, two bacon rashers, baked beans, fried onions and mushrooms, toast, and Irish tea or coffee.

It is usually eaten as a full meal instead of just an appetizer like in the US. So don’t miss out – go ahead and indulge yourself in this delicious breakfast! 

7. The Full Scottish Breakfast 

Scottish Breakfast

Scottish breakfast is a hearty meal that starts with a breakfast roll. It typically consists of fried egg, streaky bacon, baked beans, black pudding and/or haggis, tattie scones, fried tomatoes and mushrooms, toast, and square lorne sausage.

While the Scots originally enjoyed their morning meal at home, it has now become popular all around Europe – even in countries like America where traditional breakfasts vary greatly from country to country!

So whether you’re celebrating St Andrew’s Day (or any other national holiday) or just looking for an indulgent yet filling breakfast, let the Scots do the cooking and enjoy some delicious Scottish food! 

8. The Full Welsh Breakfast 

Welsh Breakfast

The Welsh Breakfast is a hearty meal that will fill you up for hours. It comprises lots of different ingredients, such as tomatoes, bacon, blood sausage, eggs, and pork sausage.

Originally made to give strength to soldiers before battle, the Welsh Breakfast should not be missed when visiting Wales! 

Popular European breakfast 

9. Croissants 


Croissants are one of the most popular pastries in Europe, thanks to their buttery and flaky texture. The shape of the Austrian kipferl influenced the creation of the buttery, flaky croissant, a French viennoiserie pastry made with laminated dough leavened with French yeast.

What makes croissants so supple, scented, and delectable? Butter is the key, always butter. Good croissants are made with premium, extremely high-fat butter. This is the reason why croissants are golden in color, crisp, and most importantly, flaky, as people know and love.

After you know what croissant is, if you’re in French or not, you should try having croissants as breakfast as it is an iconic French breakfast.

10. Swiss Rosti With Smoked Salmon 

Swiss Rosti With Smoked Salmon

Potato that has been parboiled or left uncooked and coarsely grated is used to make rosti meals. Rosti can be baked in the oven but are most frequently pan-fried while being formed in the frying pan. Adding oil, butter, cheese, or another fat will depend on the frying method used (and usually salt and pepper).

It is simple to make and perfect for a hearty breakfast that will help you start the day off on the right foot. If you’re looking for something different and delicious, Swiss Rosti is the way to go! 

11. Racuchy (Yeasted Polish Pancakes) 


If you’re looking for a unique breakfast option that will set your taste buds alight, try out Racuchy! These pancakes are made of flour, yeast, salt, and milk – just like regular pancakes. However, the main difference is that they also contain eggs.

As such, they are denser and slightly spongier than average pancakes. Depending on your preference or what toppings you want to add on top (sugar, fruit, etc.), these little beauties can be enjoyed in many different ways.

Whether it’s breakfast time at home or enjoying them while strolling around a European town center – Racuchy will never disappoint! 

12. Danish Pastries 

Danish Pastries

If you’re a fan of Danish pastries, then this article is for you! Danishes are the most popular pastry in Denmark and abroad – so much so that they even have their day (Denmark’s National Day, May 17th)!

The term “Danish pastry,” or simply “Danish,” refers to a multilayered, laminated sweet pastry made in the viennoiserie style. The idea was introduced to Denmark by Austrian bakers, and once the Danish people modified the recipe to their desire, it became a Danish specialty.

There are many variations of danish pastries including cinnamon rolls, croissants etc. They make for excellent breakfast or snack food. Enjoy them with a cup of coffee! 

13. Full English Breakfast 

Full English Breakfast

There is no doubt that the full English breakfast is one of the most loved meals around. It can be found in many variations – so there’s sure to be one that you’ll love! Some popular options include bacon, a fried egg, sausage, mushrooms, baked beans, bread, and grilled tomatoes along with tea or coffee.

As it turns out, the full English breakfast has been described as “the most perfect meal”. This simply means that it satisfies all your cravings and leaves you feeling satisfied after eating it. Not to mention, this meal goes well with tea or coffee! So why not give it a try? 

14. Spanish Poached Eggs 

Spanish Poached Eggs

Spanish poached eggs are a delicious breakfast dish that is enjoyed by many people in European countries. Typically, they are made by boiling eggs in water, then putting them into a simmering bath or saucepan of poaching water.

If you’re keen on trying this delicious dish at home, be sure to follow the recipe carefully! Spanish poached eggs can often be served with chorizo, potatoes, and fried onions – making for a hearty breakfast meal. So why not give it a try next time you have breakfast? 

15. Rye Bread 

Rye Bread

Rye bread is a specific kind of bread that is baked using varying amounts of rye grain flour. It is often heavier than bread made from wheat flour and can be either light or dark in color depending on the type of flour used and the addition of coloring additives.

Rye bread is popular breakfast food in many European countries. One of the reasons why so many people prefer rye bread to conventional white and wheat bread is because it has a tendency to be darker in color and has a stronger, earthier flavor.

It has also been connected to a number of potential health advantages, such as enhanced heart and intestinal health, better blood sugar regulation, and better blood pressure control. So, if you’re in Europe trying to find new breakfast, rye bread should be your option to try!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a typical breakfast in Europe? 

Bread is a breakfast staple in the majority of European nations. Usually just a slice of delicious rustic or commercial bread, basic bread. Some nations favor rolls, flatbread, or beautiful white bread—or, in France, baguette.

2. What do Italians eat for breakfast? 

In Italy, breakfast is typically prepared from scratch. The major breakfast dishes in Italian homes include bread with butter and jam, biscuits, and cereal. Traditional breakfast beverages include coffee, tea, and cocoa milk for the youngsters.

3. Is breakfast important in Europe? 

Breakfast is considered to be the most significant meal of the day. However, there are cultural differences in how that breakfast is presented, how it tastes, and when it is served.

4. What do the French eat for breakfast? 

For breakfast, French people frequently consume pastries, breads, eggs, and yogurt. These breakfast items, which range from omelets and crepes to croissants and pain au chocolat, will give you more energy.


What do Europeans eat for breakfast? Europeans typically eat a wide variety of breakfast foods, including cereal, toast, pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, and pastries.

However, there are a few breakfast staples that are common across the continent. For example, most Europeans enjoy breakfast cereal, toast, and pancakes. Thanks for reading this article! Let me know your thoughts on the comment below!

I’m a passionate food blogger on a journey to become a go-to person who can help others prepare delicious foods. I share recipes, food substitutes, and other cooking tips. Read more about my journey...

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