For most office workers around the world, lunch is a meal eaten away from home. Although schedules and shifts can vary, people tend to eat breakfast before heading off to their jobs and then dinner after they return. But lunch during the work week is typically consumed either on the job or on the go at eateries near the office. The type of meal, however, varies from country to country (sometimes even from city to city). The most prevalent differences from one place to the next lies in three things: the content of each dish, the amount of food eaten, and the length of lunch breaks.
Some opt for grabbing a bite at a local restaurant when lunchtime rolls around, others get takeout for timing reasons, and many prefer the convenience and cost-efficiency associated with bringing a pre-made lunch. Some folks eat smaller meals on shorter breaks, while others opt for larger meals and longer, sit-down breaks.
Many lunches consist of a single food item or a main dish with a side, but others have a well-balanced trio or quartet of different foods in one meal. Meat is generally included (but not always). A starch might be contained as part of the main dish (like in a sandwich or pasta) or as side, like rice. The assorted fruits and vegetables depend on the region, too.
The idea here is that something as simple and commonplace as lunch can be drastically different depending on where you are. Although every individual has his or her own preference, here’s a look at average office lunches in various countries around the world.
Original reporting by Matt Sulem.