It's time to break out of that cereal and yogurt rut (we're looking at you too, eggs and toast). The most delicious breakfasts around the world provide an exciting chance to jump-start your taste buds with fabulous flavors—not just fuel up in a mad rush out the door. Here are eight must-try international breakfasts that you can find on menus near you.
Japanese Bento Breakfast
In Japan, a savory spread of low-fat, high-protein foods is considered the perfect way to kick off the morning, and it's hard to argue with that. Check out the Japanese breakfast bento at the elegant Asiate in New York City's Mandarin Oriental hotel. What you'll see on your plate: a tempting (and healthy!) feast of roasted salmon, miso soup, omelet, tofu, Japanese potato, steamed rice and pickled vegetables.
There's hardly a more flavor-packed way to start your day than with a bite of arepa, a crisp corn pancake filled with a piping-hot mix of ingredients like cheese, avocado, ham or chicken. San Francisco’s Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen shines the spotlight on the Venezuelan morning staple, offering several versions including one stuffed with grilled tofu (pictured) plus avocado, plantains, black beans puree and aioli; or a spicy chicken arepa filled with mozzarella cheese, greens, tomato and hot sauce.
Treat yourself to an order of manakish at Lebanese Taverna in Washington D.C. The Levantine flatbread is served two ways at this traditional Middle Eastern spot: topped either with za’atar (the classic spice mix of thyme, sumac and toasted sesame seeds) or with cheese. In New York City, the Manousheh shop in the West Village serves a terrific version too. (As with many international foods, the name of this flatbread is correctly spelled lots of different ways in English.)
Idly, a traditional vegetable stew served for breakfast in South Indian households, makes its way onto the menu at Saravanaa Bhavan, which has multiple branches including worldwide, as well as in California, Texas, New York and New Jersey. A highlight on the roster of Indian veggie eats at the bustling Murray Hill branch in New York City, the idly is served with steamed rice and lentil patties, plus chutney, sambar and gunpowder (a spicy Indian condiment).
Brazilian Pão de Queijo
In Brazil, pão de queijo, a baked cheese roll, makes a scrumptious and handy breakfast or snack. At Via Brasil Steakhouse in Las Vegas, you’ll find it made-to-order with Parmesan cheese. Save room for the meaty offerings too, since this churrascaria serves hearty beef and pork dishes all day.
Kielbasa sausage, a breakfast staple in Poland, is often served with eggs and potato pancakes. At Czerw's Kielbasa, long-time Philadelphia purveyors of old-fashioned Polish eats, the variety of housemade sausages includes extra-garlicky smoked links cooked in a brick oven, and turkey kielbasa.
This specialty of the Philippines will have you hooked at first taste. Dig into a plateful at Zarlito’s Family Restaurant in the San Diego area. Here, the dish, a combination of garlic-fried rice and fried egg, is offered with proteins like beef and Spam (a favorite of the Pacific islands). Mix it all on your fork for an irresistible bite.
Head to Sabri Nihari in Chicago to sample nihara, a conventional Sunday morning food in Pakistan. The stew of slow-cooked beef and curry spices makes for a delectable start to the day, and it's even better when you pair it with freshly baked naan bread. Photo by Kamila Gornia.
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