european breakfasts: a love letter


Though it’s only been a few months since our #LTeuropa adventure, I’m already itching to make my return to Europe. MOSTLY to see the romantic and satiate my never-ending wanderlust, but also because I kind of miss European breakfasts.

…And by kind of, I mean fiercely.

I know, I know! I’m a New Yorker– home of the best bagels in all the land! Bagels will always have a special place in my heart (and belly), but I can’t kick my obsession with European breakfasts. And who could blame me?

The coffee.

I’ve always been a coffee drinker, but I became a coffee addict during my semester abroad in Paris. Too afraid to ask my non-English speaking host for milk or sugar, I started drinking my coffee black. Now, I drink three or four cups of black coffee a day, and almost always on the run. There’s just something about leisurely sipping on a freshly brewed coffee in a European Cafe.

european coffee

And I’m not alone. Even the romantic, who’s not an habitual coffee drinker, can’t keep herself from indulging in European coffee. During our delicious breakfast at Cotto Crudo, courtesy of our hosts at the Four Seasons Prague, the romantic paired her bagel and lox with a perfectly prepared latte.

coffee at fs prague

The simplicity.

When it comes to breakfast in Europe, there’s rarely an option for double bacon, egg-white only, or avocado-topped. You’re more likely to find plates with two or three amazingly fresh and perfectly prepared components. Give me a simple omelette or soft-boiled egg accompanied by freshly baked bread, and I’m golden.

verbier breakfast

We were invited to Gresham Restaurant at the Four Seasons in Budapest, and though it was anything but small, everything they offered was supremely fresh and simply prepared. Countless breads and baked goods straight from the oven were accompanied by jams, jellies, and honey. A variety of fresh fruit lined the bar, simply sliced and beautifully arranged. The romantic and I had to use all the willpower we could muster to not load our plates with every option that the buffet offered.

fs budapest - breakfast

The cheese. Oh, the cheese.

If I had to choose one meal to subsist off of every day for the rest of my life, it would be bread and cheese. I wouldn’t even be picky about the type of cheese. That’s how much I love eating cheese morning, noon, and night. In the US, eating JUST cheese for breakfast (outside of the cream cheese variety or mixed in with an egg) might earn you a few judgey stares. In Europe? Not only is it commonplace, its encouraged.

FS breakfast

The pain au chocolat

Ok, so not all European countries do the pain au chocolat justice. But, if I’m going to enjoy one outside of France, I’d rather do it in Europe than anywhere else. Fair? Fair.

Even European cities not especially known for their pain au chocolat don’t disappoint. The pain au chocolat I devoured at the Radisson Blu Carlton, who hosted us in Bratislava, was everything I wanted and more: flaky, buttery, and golden brown.

pain au chocolat

If only to enjoy one perfectly prepared French espresso, the chances of me purchasing a one-way ticket to Paris increases significantly with each day that passes. I maaay have even started looking for flights.

Look out, Europe. I’m coming for your cheese.


the wino



  1. Britany
    October 8, 2013 / 17:07

    Omg… The coffee. As a former barista, I used to defend the coffee here in the USA (and I CAN make a damn good Rosetta topped latte) but Europe most definitely has beat on the bean front. I love how drip coffee is utterly absurd over there. Now that I’ve been to Europe, I drink more espresso but it still rarely competes to what I had across the pond!
    Britany recently posted..Suffering Through San Pedro Cactus in PeruMy Profile

    • October 8, 2013 / 17:11

      new york serves a pretty good coffee, but nothing can compete with europe. the first thing i did when we landed in switzerland last december was buy a coffee. le sigh…

    • Pola (@jettingaround)
      October 11, 2013 / 20:17

      I’m lucky that Chicago, where I live, has some great indy coffee shops (plus Austria’s Julius Meinl). But I got hooked on coffee in Rome and Paris. I was absolutely, happily, defenseless. 😀
      Pola (@jettingaround) recently posted..Photo of the Week: Krakow’s Main Square in the afternoonMy Profile

  2. October 11, 2013 / 17:52

    That picture of the pain au chocolat is KILLER. I used to one a day when I lived in Paris – and I lost weight! My other favorite breakfast in Paris was getting a cafe au lait and bread which was really butter with bread. Loved it!

  3. October 12, 2013 / 16:21

    I think it’ time for a coffee centric trip.

  4. October 13, 2013 / 11:04

    omg…yes, yes, yes. I couldn’t agree more with you, and now I’m getting excited because, after three years without Europe, I’m finally heading back this year. Breakfast there seriously is the best. The coffee! The cheese! Ahh, you’re getting me so excited!
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  5. October 15, 2013 / 19:16

    The coffee you and I agree on. The actual food? Not so much. I do love all the cheeses, breads, jams, butter, etc. BUT, I’m always hungry like one hour later and I have to fill up my gullet once again.
    Leah recently posted..10 Things to Know before Visiting TexasMy Profile

    • October 16, 2013 / 13:21

      it sounds like you need to be filling up on more bread and cheese and then you won’t be hungry an hour later. problem solved! xo, the wino

  6. October 17, 2013 / 10:43

    Only thing I’d add is English breakfast. I love fresh tomatoes and mushrooms, beans on toast, toast with HP sauce. As a Southerner, I’m not a fan of the huge country breakfasts we eat down here. Makes me feel sick. But those cheeses, yeah, I could do that.
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  7. Veronica
    October 19, 2013 / 04:02

    Wow! Thank you for this post! I’m addicted to coffee and everything connected with it! Your idea of this post about breakfast in different countries is very interesting!
    Veronica recently posted..Must-Visit Music Festivals in AustraliaMy Profile

  8. October 20, 2013 / 21:34

    Hahaha this is definitely one of the reasons I vacationed in Berlin this past summer… I live in Korea and goshhhh do I miss cheese. So. Much.

    European breakfasts are simply, the best. Period.
    Sally recently posted..Snapshots of IstanbulMy Profile

  9. Zuzana
    November 10, 2013 / 05:45

    I am not a exactly an espresso drinker, but there is nothing better than to enjoy a cappucino with The pain au chocolat on our hotel terrace in the middle of old town. Starting a work day like this is perfect. Cool to be from Bratislava. Anyway, great post, you made me realize what we have. Thanks…and you are welcome, comming back anytime 🙂 Europe is great…

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