What to Expect for Breakfast in Europe

French breakfast table

North Americans may find that breakfast in Europe is different that what they usually have at home. If you are on a vacation with Sceptre, what might you expect to find on your breakfast table?


In France you may find croissants, often with fillings such as chocolate, almond paste, or vanilla cream. Enjoy a café au lait or hot chocolate with a tartine (slice of bread with jam). Eggs with vegetables such as tomatoes may be served at a hot breakfast.


Italian breakfasts are a light meal and might just be a brioche and jam or cappuccino e cornetto — a croissant and a coffee. Absolutely coffee! Hopefully you will be find the delectable orangey-pink juice made from Sicilian blood oranges that is often served in Italy for breakfast.


Spain can offer chocolate con churros (dip the churros into the hot chocolate!), pan a la Catalana also pan con tomate (toast rubbed with garlic and tomato and drizzled with olive oil), or a tortilla española or tortilla de patate (omelette with sliced potatoes). Other breakfasts are magdalenas (a citrus-flavored small cake), rolls or toast with jam and a strong coffee with steamed milk.


Portugal also offers simple breakfasts, such as a small coffee and a pastry – be sure to try the pastéis de nata, a round tart filled with vanilla custard and topped with cinnamon and sugar. Or enjoy some toast topped with jam or ham and cheese.


Icelandic breakfasts are hearty. Hafragrautur is their oatmeal, usually served with brown sugar, raisins or nuts to sprinkle on top. Icelandic yogurt, skyr, is similar to Greek yogurt and is often offered with fruit or jam—or add it to your hafragrautur. L‎‎‎‎ysi, cod liver oil, is such an Icelandic staple that it’s often given out at preschools and day cares to provide more vitamin D. You may also get bread for toast such as sourdough or thick brown bread with your breakfast in Iceland. And lots of strong coffee!