12 Brunch Dishes from Around the World Slideshow

Eggs, toasts, and pastries from overseas that’ll make you swoon

12 Brunch Dishes from Around the World

Ah, brunch. The meal as we know it — a breakfast-lunch hybrid to be consumed leisurely with alcohol and company — has taken the world by storm in the past 10 years, although the meal itself has been consumed since the 1800s. In 1876, the British magazine Punch specified that if the meal was eaten closer to breakfast, it was brunch, but if it was eaten closer to lunch, it was blunch. Here are 12 daytime meals from around the world that differ in many ways but one: they must be consumed with gusto. 

Ackee and Saltfish (Jamaica)

Ackee, described in Lonely Planet: The World’s Best Brunches as buttery with an egg-like consistency, is native to Africa, but it crossed the Atlantic during the slave trade and never left. In fact, ackee is Jamaica’s national fruit. It pairs beautifully with salty cod, onions, tomatoes, spices, and the side dishes of fried breadfruit, plantains, or cassava pancakes. Smurf’s Café on Treasure Beach serves it for a humble $8. 

Bubur Ayam (Indonesia)

Bubur ayam is a kind of congee: one of the most versatile breakfast foods in Asia. The thick, slow-cooked rice porridge is excellent for digestive health. Bubur ayam is a congee eaten in Indonesia with shredded chicken, scallions, salted veggies, crispy bread, and soy sauce. Try it at Bubur Ayam Mangga Besar or on the streets of Jakarta.

Çılbır (Turkey)

In the United States, we’re accustomed to seeing poached eggs and yogurt on different menu items, but in Turkey you can eat them together in the form of çılbır. Add some garlic, dill, and paprika-infused butter, and you have a tangy, refreshing breakfast to eat alongside flatbread. Kahve 6 in Istanbul serves generous portions of çılbır in a garden setting.

Dim Sum (Hong Kong)

Why eat dim sum as an appetizer when you can eat them as appetizers, entrées, and desserts? In Hong Kong, it’s the best way to do brunch. Make yourself comfortable at a large round table and pick and choose your dumplings from the carts that roam the restaurant. With a plethora of vegetable, chicken, pork, seafood, tofu, and sweet bean fillings, the only consistent item during this brunch is oolong tea. Eat this meal where the government officials do: Maxim’s Palace, City Hall

Ful Medames (Egypt)

Barely changed since 2000 BC, these smoky, slow-cooked broad beans with garlic, cumin, and olive oil are meant to be scooped up by pieces of flatbread and chased with pickled veggies. You can eat it for 40 cents at El Tabei, a spot walking distance from King Tut’s tomb (at Cairo’s Egyptian Museum). 

Huevos Divorciados (Mexico)

Huevos Rancheros is old news. Huevos divociados (divorced eggs) are separated in the sense that the dish is comprised of two heated tortillas under two sunny-side up eggs — one covered in salsa roja and the other in salsa verde — separated by a line of refried beans and topped with cotija and totopos. Unite with it at Casa Valadez in Guanajuato. 

Kaya Toast (Singapore)

Simple and sweet, kaya toast is warm bread slathered with creamy coconut jam infused with pandan leaves. How is this brunch? Dip it in a half-boiled egg mixture and find out. Singapore’s Chin Mee Chin Confectionary is one of the city-state’s original coffee houses, and it serves kaya buns for $1 each. 

Mas Huni (Maldives)

When in one of the 1,200 desert islands of the Maldives, eat seafood for breakfast. This shredded tuna with onion, chilies, and coconut is eaten with flatbread. Though canned tuna is increasingly replacing pounded flakes of fresh fish, you can still find the original at local teahouse Irudhashu Hotaa in Male. 

Pets de Sœurs (Canada)

Translation: nun’s farts. This tee-hee moniker is for delicious Acadian baked pastries with swirled brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter that go well with coffee and tea. Visiting the Saturday Dieppe Market in the Moncton area of New Brunswick is a great way to sample them, along with other local delicacies bearing more standard names. 

Pongal (India)

Of all the items one can choose to eat as a part of a South Indian breakfast, pongal is the crème de la crème. Named after the eponymous annual harvest festival, the sweet variety of pongal consists of rice boiled in milk and jaggery (cane sugar), while the savory version includes pepper and tamarind. Try it (as a part of a complete South Indian breakfast) at Murugan Idli Shop.

Tapsilog (The Philippines)

This Asian equivalent to a hangover breakfast consists of a fried egg, garlicky fried rice, beef strips, cucumber, and picked papaya. This massive meal is only $1.80 at Marikina’s Tapsi ni Vivian restaurant. 

Tortilla Española (Spain)

Tortilla Espanola, or Spanish omelette, is a layered potato frittata that’s held together by beaten eggs. You can eat it warm from the pan or chilled, as you would during a picnic (of if you’re too lazy to re-heat it). Devour it as you would a slice of cake or pick up a small tapas-sized piece with a toothpick. It’s especially delicious with a glass of wine at Pamplona’s legendary Mesón de la Tortilla