26 Ways the World Eats Breakfast

The most important meal of the day around the world

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but there's not need for boring egg on toast. All around the world, people eat comforting, filling meals to start their day. For some countries, breakfast means runny poached eggs with thick Greek yogurt and pita, and for others, chocolate-filled pastries. In Asia, noodles are king, and breakfast is no exception. Make jams and spreads ahead of time and keep them in the fridge. Then make breads and pancakes in hundreds of ways.

Stateside, we're comfortable with our oversized bowls of sugary cereal and brown sugar-topped oatmeal, but there's a whole world of breakfasts out there worth exploring. Here are our favorite breakfast recipes from around the globe. Just add coffee or tea.

Stir-Fried Breakfast Noodles

STIR-FRIED BREAKFAST NOODLES
Any Chinese noodle—rice, wheat, flat, thin, or broad—can be used in this simple stir-fry from author Francis Lam; it's one of his favorite breakfast dishes. Get the recipe for Stir-Fried Breakfast Noodles »Matt Taylor-Gross

Brown Butter Skillet Cake with Berry Compote (Kaiserschmarrn)

Brown Butter Skillet Cake with Berry Compote (Kaiserschmarrn)
Essentially torn pieces of pancake topped with oozing lingonberry or cranberry sauce, this dessert is a cinch, even for the baking-challenged. Get the recipe for Brown Butter Skillet Cake with Berry Compote (Kaiserschmarrn) »Tom Parker

Portuguese Salted Cod, Egg, and Potato Baked Casserole

Salted Cod Casserole
The ingredients in this Portuguese casserole make it great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Get the recipe for Portuguese Salted Cod, Egg, and Potato Baked Casserole »Matt Taylor-Gross

Curried Chicken

Curried Chicken
Bathed in fragrant curry- and ginger-infused coconut milk, this stew is a popular breakfast dish at Kingston cafés. Get the recipe for Curried Chicken »Landon Nordeman

Crumpets

Crumpets
A delectable British treat, these springy pancakes are molded in a shallow ring on the griddle and pan-fried until golden. They get their distinctive nooks and crannies—ideal for a slick of jam and butter—from a yeast-based batter boosted with baking soda. Get the recipe for Crumpets »Andre Baranowski

Turkish Poached Eggs in Yogurt (Cilbir)

Turkish Poached Eggs in Yogurt (Cilbir)
Looking for a March breakfast? This egg dish is perfect. Pair it with warm bread to mop up extra egg yolk and yogurt. Get the recipe for Turkish Poached Eggs in Yogurt (Cilbir) »André Baranowski

Japanese Egg Custard (Chawanmushi)

chawanmushi
Custards don't have to be sweet. Get the recipe for Japanese Egg Custard (Chawanmushi) »Matt Taylor-Gross

Irish Coffee Soda Bread

Irish Coffee Bread
Espresso powder adds a jolt to this sleepy soda bread. We love it as toast for a breakfast sandwich or to mop up rich sauces alongside a dinner roast. Get the recipe for Irish Coffee Soda Bread »Matt Taylor-Gross

Maldivan Breakfast (Mas Huni)

Maldivan Breakfast (Mas Huni)
Test kitchen director Farideh Sadeghin discovered this simple dish while traveling through the Maldives; although fresh-cooked tuna is ideal, water-packed canned tuna works just as well. Get the recipe for Maldivan Breakfast (Mas Huni) »Farideh Sadeghin

Cottage Cheese Pancakes With Sour Cream and Dill

Cottage Cheese Pancakes
These old school Polish pancakes are lighter, fluffier, and cheesier than the batter-based standard. Get the recipe for Cottage Cheese Pancakes With Sour Cream and Dill »Matt Taylor-Gross

Biscuits with Sawmill Gravy

Biscuits with Sawmill Gravy
One of the pillars of the Southern breakfast table, buttery biscuits smothered in a sausage-studded white gravy makes a hearty meal any time of day. A hint of cayenne brightens the gravy's richness, but it's even better with a dash or two of hot sauce. Get the recipe for Biscuits with Sawmill Gravy »Maxime Iattoni

Iraqi Eggs with Lamb and Tomatoes (Makhlama Lahm)

Iraqi Eggs with Lamb and Tomatoes (Makhlama Lahm)
For this rich, spicy Iraqi breakfast dish, ground lamb is sautéed with onions, tomatoes, and parsley, seasoned to the hilt with bahar asfar, yellow curry powder, and then topped with soft-baked eggs. Get the recipe for Iraqi Eggs with Lamb and Tomatoes (Makhlama Lahm) »Ingalls Photography

Giant Apple Pancake With Dulce de Leche

Panqueque of granny smith apples with dulce de leche
Soft apples with a hint of tartness balance a bittersweet caramelized crust, spurred on by rich dulce de leche. Get the recipe for Giant Apple Pancake With Dulce de Leche »Matt Taylor-Gross

Pork Roll Breakfast Sandwich

Pork Roll Breakfast Sandwich
Make these hangover helpers with the processed meat pride of New Jersey: pork roll (a.k.a. Taylor ham). Get the recipe for Pork Roll Breakfast Sandwich »Matt Taylor-Gross

Perfect Blue Cheese Quiche With Whole Grain Crust

Manresa Quiche
An extra-velvety quiche loaded with blue cheese for creaminess in a nutty spelt and whole wheat crust. Get the recipe for Perfect Blue Cheese Quiche With Whole Grain Crust »Matt Taylor-Gross

Danny Bowien's Hanoi-Style Breakfast Pho

Danny Bowien's Hanoi-Style Breakfast Pho
This dish, which Danny Bowien serves on his breakfast menu at New York City's Mission Cantina, is inspired by the Vietnamese soups he ate at Turtle Tower in San Francisco when he was a culinary student. Get the recipe for Danny Bowien's Hanoi-Style Breakfast Pho »Joseph De Leo

Filipino Garlic Fried Rice with Vinegar Sauce (Sinangag)

Filipino Garlic Fried Rice with Vinegar Sauce (Sinangag)
This garlicky rice is a popular breakfast dish in the Philippines and is delicious served with fried eggs and a drizzle of vinegar sauce. Get the recipe for Filipino Garlic Fried Rice with Vinegar Sauce (Sinangag) »Romulo Yanes

Persian Kuku Sabzi

Persian kuku sabzi
A classic Persian herb-loaded egg dish with the fragrant lift of rose petals. Get the recipe for Persian Kuku Sabzi »Matt Taylor-Gross

Cinnamon Apple Bostock

Cinnamon Apple Bostock
Bostock is a sweet and crunchy breakfast pastry with roots in Normandy. Our version honors Calvados country with a schmear of apple butter and a splash of apple brandy added to the traditional frangipane cream. A generous layer of toasty almonds balances the soft and squishy filling below. Get the recipe for Cinnamon Apple Bostock »Matt Taylor-Gross

French Baked Toast with Cream and Eggs

Oeufs au Plat Bressanne
This classic French meal of baked, cream-soaked toast and eggs is deceptively simple (and scalable) but lavish. Named for the Alpine region of Bresse, which is best known to the culinary world for its exceptional chickens, the dish is practical country cooking at its finest. As it bakes, the cream soaks into the bread and thickens to a rich sauce right on the platter, resulting in a savory French toast. Get the recipe for French Baked Toast with Cream and Eggs »Matt Taylor-Gross

Polenta with Sausage Gravy (Adapted from The Talisman Italian Cook Book)

sausage polenta
Boni's writing had few frills, and her rustic recipes followed suit. But a seemingly simple dish of whole sausages braised in marinara has spicy-sweet, cooked-all-day flavor. Garnish with torn fresh basil or Italian parsley leaves for a bright, herbaceous finish. Get the recipe for Polenta with Sausage Gravy »Matt Taylor-Gross

Egg and Cheese Soufflé

Egg Soufflé
Its name derived from the French verb souffler, meaning "to breathe" or "to puff", a soufflé's pillowy top will naturally rise in the oven but slightly deflate just moments after removal. The eggy treat's fleeting moment of perfection is one of the reasons the dish is handled so delicately by chefs and cherished so deeply by diners. This savory cheese version is courtesy of chef Daniel Skurnick of Le Coucou restaurant in New York City. Get the recipe for Egg and Cheese Soufflé »Photograph by Beth Galton | Food Styling by Mariana Velasquez

Puerto Rican Ham and Egg Sandwiches (Mallorcas)

Puerto Rican Ham and Egg Sandwiches (Mallorcas)
Fluffy, eggy, buttery, sweet, coiled like a snail's shell and generously dusted with powdered sugar, Pan de Mallorca is named for its land of origin, in Spain. Get the recipe for Puerto Rican Ham and Egg Sandwiches (Mallorcas) »Penny De Los Santos

Swiss Hash Browns (Rösti)

Swiss Hash Browns (Rösti)
If Plato had imagined hash browns, they'd have been rösti: fresh potatoes coarsely grated, pressed, and fried. In the dish's native Switzerland, recipes include bacon, rosemary, caraway seeds, eggs, pasta, cheese, even coffee. These variations can be delicious, but we found the definitive version in Bern, at Restaurant Della Casa—golden, impeccable, ideal. Get the recipe for Swiss Hash Browns (Rösti) »Todd Coleman

Muesli

Muesli
This muesli is a flavorful take on the original raw-cereal mixture developed in Switzerland by Maximilian Bircher-Benner in the early 20th century. Get the recipe for Muesli »Matt Taylor-Gross

Masa Cakes Stuffed With Eggs (Gorditas de Huevos)

Gorditas de Huevos
These savory gorditas stuffed with chile-spiced scrambled eggs make a great breakfast meal or afternoon snack. Get the recipe for Masa Cakes Stuffed With Eggs (Gorditas de Huevos) »Todd Coleman