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Good Morning! Breakfasts Around the 16 Countries of Eastern Europe

in Travel Nerd by

When your tummy is making its first noise after deep slumber, the first thing you do in the morning is cook breakfast. No matter when and where, breakfast is going to call you (unless you don’t really eat breakfast) to start your day. What’s more interesting is getting to know the food that you’ll encounter during your travels because it’ll surely be a different kind of surprise from what you’re used to. Now, let’s travel to Eastern Europe and find out what it’s been cooking every morning.

1. Russia

Blini with red caviar Photo Credit: driftingepicure

Blini with red caviar Photo Credit: driftingepicure

In Russia, breakfast is called zavtrak and Russians usually take this meal at about seven or eight in the morning before going to work. A typical zavtrak includes blini (thin pancakes) with red caviar, kasha (porridge), tvorog (a type of cottage cheese), eggs, cold cuts, and cheese, accompanied by coffee or tea.

2. Czech Republic

Rohlik Photo Credit: fczbkk

Rohlik Photo Credit: fczbkk

Snídaně, the Czech word of breakfast, is usually composed of a slice of dark rye bread or rohlik (crescent-shaped yeast roll) with butter, jelly, honey, slice of cheese, slice of salami, or ham. For a sweet breakfast, there is koláč (kolach) which is sweet yeast dough rounds topped with sweet plums, poppy seeds, or cheese.

3. Poland

Kanapka Photo Credit: krzysztof.poluchowicz

Kanapka Photo Credit: krzysztof.poluchowicz

Hard-boiled eggs with mayo and chives on top, cold cuts, pickled and fresh fruits, cheese, jams, tomatoes and cucumbers are served on the table and you’ll just have to get each to layer on top of a slice of rye bread to make open sandwiches called kanapka if you’re aiming for a Polish breakfast called śniadanie.

4. Hungary

Pogácsa Photo Credit: Jucmi's

Pogácsa Photo Credit: Jucmi’s

For a filling reggeli or Hungarian breakfast, you’ll have the common servings of cold cuts, cheese, eggs, tomatoes, butter, bread, and a strong shot of espresso. But if it’s during workweek and something quick and light is needed, locals usually eat pogácsa (biscuit) or briós (brioche) with coffee.

5. Croatia

Burek Photo Credit: Chiew Pang

Burek Photo Credit: Chiew Pang

Croatia also loves the common big heavy breakfast dishes just like in the first few countries mentioned. But if on the go, locals go for the popular burek, a heavy pastry made of layers of filo dough stuffed with cheese or meat.

6. Latvia

Pīrādziņi Photo Credit: Ievinya

Pīrādziņi Photo Credit: Ievinya

Latvian breakfast or brokastis may include nāc rītā atkal which means “come back tomorrow” because it is a crepe filled with ground mixture of roast beef leftovers. There’s also the cheese danish-like biezpienmaizītes and pīrādziņi, an oblong or crescent-shaped baked bread roll filled with chopped bacon and onion.

7. Estonia

Kohupiimasaiad Photo Credit: Nami-Nami

Kohupiimasaiad Photo Credit: Nami-Nami

Estonian’s breakfast, or hommikusöök, is typically light. One of the popular breakfast meals is kohupiimasaiad (curd cheese toast) but besides that they can also go for an open-faced sandwich made of black or white bread topped with butter, cheese, or sausage.

8. Bulgaria

Banitsa Photo Credit: dagon_hpl

dirty car art

Banitsa Photo Credit: dagon_hpl

One of the most popular breakfast food in Bulgaria is banitsa, a baked filo pastry filled with cheese, spinach, rice, and meat. Other than that, they also have buhtas (fritters) and mekitsas (deep-fried dough with yogurt) served with marmalade, honey, or kiselo mlyako (Bulgarian yogurt).

9. Ukraine

Kasha Photo Credit: overtimecook

Kasha Photo Credit: overtimecook

Breakfast in Ukraine is light and it often includes kovbasa (sausage), cheese blintz (thin pancake), kasha (cooked buckwheat), or steamed buckwheat, barley, or millet with milk.

10. Belarus

Draniki Photo Credit: pecooper98362

Draniki Photo Credit: pecooper98362

A Belarusian breakfast can just consist of a sandwich, rye bread, or draniki (potato pancakes) served with sour cream and paired with coffee or tea.

11. Serbia

Lepinja sa Kajmakom Photo Credit: DeeDee's Food Adventures

Lepinja sa Kajmakom Photo Credit: DeeDee’s Food Adventures

For a hearty breakfast, Serbians eat dishes like lepinja sa kajmakom (bread filled with dairy called kaymak similar to clotted cream), proja (cornbread), burek (baked filled filo dough), kačamak (corn porridge), gibanica (soft cheese-filled pie), and the usual bacon, salami, eggs, sausages, butter, yogurt servings.

12. Montenegro

Popara Photo Credit: NazarBlue

Popara Photo Credit: NazarBlue

For breakfast in Montenegro, you can eat popara (left-over bread cooked with boiling milk or water), cicvara (stewed cornmeal in skorup – salted and compressed fresh cream), gibanica, burek, or just simply bread with skorup.

13. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Cevapi Photo Credit: HiperOranz

Cevapi Photo Credit: HiperOranz

The food items you can eat in Bosnia and Herzegovina once you wake up in the morning are börek (burek, baked filo dough) and cevapi which consists of flat bread (like pita), small beef and lamb sausages, and chopped onions.

14. Albania

Petulla Photo Credit: lovealb

Petulla Photo Credit: lovealb

In Albania, popular breakfast foods include the fried doughnut-like petulla that can be eaten with powdered sugar, feta cheese, or jam. But then, it can be the simpler toast or bread served with omelet, cheese, and cooked meat.

15. Kosovo

Llokuma Photo Credit: GATIMETSHQIPTARE

Llokuma Photo Credit: GATIMETSHQIPTARE

Kosovan breakfast is pretty simple. It can be consisted of French toast or bread, cheese, ajvar (a relish made of red bell peppers and garlic), scrambled eggs, and milk. Kosovans also love to have llokuma (deep-fried dough puffs eaten with yogurt and garlic or with honey).

16. Macedonia

Pastrmajlija Photo Credit: Pempele's Pizza

Pastrmajlija Photo Credit: Pempele’s Pizza

To start the day, Macedonians eat kori (flat and long noodles), tarana (similar to couscous), pita pastrmajlija (oval-shaped bread pie with meat cubes on top), or prženi lepčinja (French toast with cheese inside).


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