Seven Breakfasts Every World Traveler Must Eat

Slideshow  •  Terry Ward  •  05.20.10 | 11:57 AM ET Photo 1 of 7

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France: Breakfast in France revolves around coffee. But don't be surprised if you're dining chez un ami in Paris and find your café au lait proffered in a bowl rather than a mug -- all the better for dipping the flaky pain au chocolat and croissants that are traditional weekend fare. During the week, simple bread with jam, honey or butter starts the day in a typically rich-yet-light French way.

Terry Ward

Terry Ward is a Florida-based writer and a long-time contributor to World Hum.

Photos by iStockPhoto (France, Jamaica, Wales); and by scaredy_kat (Mexico), nimbu (Japan), Nanimo (The Netherlands), Sebastian Mary (China) via Flickr (Creative Commons)

17 Comments for Seven Breakfasts Every World Traveler Must Eat

Adam 05.20.10 | 1:07 PM ET

Seeing and eating what other cultures do for their meals is one of my favorite parts of traveling.  We have instituted juevos rancheros and Vietnamese pho into our breakfast diets since our travels, and I love it.  I’ve always been a fan of “breakfast food” at all times of the day—nothing wrong with some bacon, eggs, and toast for dinner—so why should it be any different with having what we consider traditional lunch or dinner foods for breakfast.  Great pictures to go along with the descriptions.  In fact, it’s making me hungry.

Ben 05.20.10 | 1:19 PM ET

Don’t let a trip to Taipei go by without a warming, wonderfully simple Taiwanese breakfast: crispy strips of fried dough, or you tiao dunked into a steaming bowl of sweet or salty soy milk (dou jiang).

James M. Martin 05.20.10 | 9:14 PM ET

I like the tlayudas at a small restaurant on the Pan American Highway in Tamazunchale, a town of 12,000 on the Rio Moctezuma in Mexico.  The women of the kitchen pat out little round patties of corn masa, dent the center with a knuckle, and insert a mound of black beans, chilies, and good queso fresco, baked in a clay oven and served up with a big plate of huevos al gusto.  Heaven!  I don’t know the name of the place, but I might find it again if I look.

Joya 05.20.10 | 9:51 PM ET

I’ll take a cafe au lait et pain au chocolat any day! I love this post and would love to try those other breakfasts. I haven’t heard of some of these things. 05.21.10 | 9:20 AM ET

You can’t go wrong with café au lait pain au chocolat and croissants or the “simple bread with jam, honey or butter” when you’re in France or in America.

Kevin Evans 05.21.10 | 1:20 PM ET

I ate traditional Japanese breakfasts every day for 3 weeks while in Japan. When I returned home I craved rice for days!!

Anne H 05.21.10 | 3:10 PM ET

As a travel writer who likes to get behind the scene I loved my breakfasts in Paris,especially out of the tourist spots, sharing breakfast with the locals - sitting on a bar stool. This said I still think that NOTHING beats a full English breakfast in the relaxed atmosphere of a country house hotel.

Monique van Gent 05.23.10 | 11:39 PM ET

The topping pictured is actually called “Muisjes” (little mice - note their tails!) which are pink-colored sugar-dipped cumin seeds. Typically, Dutch people do not eat this just for breakfast, but when a baby is born: pink-dipped mice for girls; and… guess… blue-dipped mice for boys, both mixed with white-dipped seeds.

Terry Ward 05.24.10 | 9:35 AM ET

Monique, you are so right! I love muisjes, and most recently had the pink and white ones in Utrecht to celebrate the birth of my friend Hilde’s second daughter. We had trouble finding a photo of hagelslag (I’m a fan of the Venz melk variety myself!), but included this shot since it shows beschuit. Harstikke bedankt voor jou post! Isn’t there a saying in Dutch, by the way, “ik zou wel eens en beschuit met hem/haar willen eten?” (“I’d like to eat a beschuit with him/her”—with a shot of innuendo).  Ik vind dat zo grappig!

James M. Martin 05.24.10 | 1:25 PM ET


Eva Holland 05.24.10 | 1:36 PM ET

Thanks for the clarification, Monique - we’ve adjusted the caption accordingly.

lara dunston 05.24.10 | 2:11 PM ET

Great post! My husband Terry and I always eat what the locals eat for breakfast wherever we go, whatever it is. But it was huevos rancheros, huevos con chorizo and all those other delicious eggs the Mexicans do so well that got us addicted to interesting versions of breakfast eggs on our first trip overseas - hence our Weekend Eggs series this year on Grantourismo In each place we visit on our yearlong grand tour, Terry is learning how to make the quintessential local egg dish from the locals. If there isn’t an egg dish, then he’s using whatever ingredients are fresh and seasonal while we’re there to create eggs inspired by the place and its produce. So far he’s made eggs from/inspired by Dubai, London, Marrakech, Jerez, Barcelona, Ceret, Paris, Kotor and Puglia. We’ve just arrived in Venice, and our next destinations are Tokyo, Bali, New York, Austin, Mexico City, Costa Rica some place, Rio, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Kenya, Istanbul, then back to Europe… if World Hum readers have any tips on what to eat for breakfast in any of those places and ideas as to what Terry should make, we’d love to hear from you.

James M. Martin 05.24.10 | 6:52 PM ET

How do you turn off the “notify me of follow up comments” feature.  I tried unclicking it and it still sends emails.

Nicole R. Zimmerman 05.25.10 | 10:50 PM ET

An essential breakfast I’d add is the Brazilian cafe da manha. You can sip from a tiny cup of cafezinho and choose from a delectable spread of pastries and tropical fruits or juices - from mango to maracaju. Read more on the country’s cuisine at

James M. Martin 05.26.10 | 8:13 AM ET


Laurie 05.30.10 | 5:52 PM ET

The pictures make the article! All of these look great, but I could really go for some huervos rancheros right now :).  They all beat the “banana pancake” that has covered southeast asia.

Nancie (Ladyexpat) 06.01.10 | 4:17 AM ET

I would love the laverbread. I eat seaweed almost everyday here in Korea. Can’t get enough of it.

I’ve tried the congee in Taiwan, but have never really taken to it. I’m off to China in a couple of weeks and will have to give it another go.

Great post!

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