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Is brunch only an American thing?

Brunch has become a popular event in American culture, combining breakfast and lunch into one delicious meal. However, many wonder if brunch is unique to American culture, or if it’s enjoyed in other parts of the world as well. While brunch may have been popularized in the United States, it turns out it’s not exclusive to the American way of life. In fact, many countries around the world have their own interpretations of brunch, making it a global tradition.

Brunch: A Brief History

Brunch history

Brunch may seem like a modern phenomenon, but the concept dates back more than a century. The idea of combining breakfast and lunch originated in England in the late 19th century, where it was popular among the wealthy. Middle-class families soon adopted the practice, and brunch became a staple of weekend leisure.

Brunch in America

Brunch in America

Brunch took off in America in the 1930s and became a popular social activity among the upper class. It wasn’t until the 1960s, however, that brunch became a more mainstream event. It was during this time that brunch menus began to include more casual fare, such as pancakes, waffles, eggs benedict, and mimosas. Today, brunch is seen as a fashionable, social occasion that brings friends and family together over food and drinks.

Brunch Around the World

Brunch around the world

While brunch might have originated in England and become popular in America, it’s now enjoyed by people all around the world. Whether it’s a light breakfast or a hearty lunch, brunch has evolved to suit local tastes and preferences.

Brunch in Europe

Brunch in Europe

In many European countries, brunch is reserved for special occasions or holidays. In Italy, for example, a leisurely breakfast of pastries and coffee is more common. In France, brunch is a popular weekend activity, and the menu typically includes croissants, omelets, and a glass of wine.

Brunch in Asia

Brunch in Asia

In Asia, brunch is often a fusion of Western and local cuisine. In Singapore, for example, brunch menus can include anything from dim sum and fried rice to eggs benedict and cereal. Brunches in Japan can include traditional breakfast items like rice and miso soup or Western dishes like omelets and pancakes.

Brunch Down Under

Brunch in Australia

Australia has adopted brunch with gusto, and it’s now a popular weekend activity. Australian brunches often include dishes like smashed avocado on toast, eggs and bacon, and smoked salmon. Brunch-goers in Australia also love their coffee, so a good cup of java is a must-have on any brunch menu.

Is Brunch Only an American Thing?

Is brunch only an American thing?

So, is brunch only an American thing? The answer is no. Brunch may have its roots in English and American culture, but it’s now enjoyed globally. Brunch has evolved to reflect local tastes and preferences, and it has become a popular leisure activity around the world. Whether it’s a lazy Sunday in Paris or a busy Saturday morning in Sydney, brunch has become a favorite weekend pastime for people of all cultures.

Brunch Around the World

While brunch may have originated in America, it has certainly made its way around the world. Here are some examples of how different cultures have embraced this meal:

United Kingdom

In the UK, brunch is a popular meal for weekends and holidays. It commonly includes traditional English breakfast items like bacon, eggs, and sausages, as well as bread, pastries, and coffee or tea. Brunch spots can be found throughout London and other major cities, and often feature outdoor seating areas for a relaxed atmosphere.

Brunch in UK


In Mexico, a popular brunch option is chilaquiles. These are crispy tortilla chips tossed in a sauce made of tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers, and topped with scrambled eggs, cheese, and avocado. A refreshing glass of horchata, a sweet rice milk drink, can also accompany this meal.

Chilaquiles brunch


In France, brunch is a more recent trend but has quickly gained popularity. Common items include croissants, pain au chocolat, and freshly-baked bread with jams and spreads. Brunch-goers also often indulge in quiches, soups, and salads. Mimosas, made with champagne and orange juice, often round out the meal.

French brunch


Japanese brunch often features tamagoyaki, a layered omelette that uses a sweet and savory dashi broth. Another popular dish is okonomiyaki, a savory pancake made with cabbage, green onions, and a variety of meats or seafood. Coffee or green tea is typically served alongside these dishes.

Japanese brunch


In Australia, brunch is a national pastime. Popular dishes include avocado toast, eggs benedict, and acai bowls. Brunch spots in Australia often feature colorful and lively decor, with plenty of outdoor seating to take advantage of the sunny weather.

Australian brunch

South Africa

South African brunch often includes bobotie, a sweet and savory dish made of spiced minced meat and topped with an egg custard. Other popular dishes are biltong, slices of dried and cured meat, and boerewors, a type of beef sausage. Rooibos tea, a unique South African tea with a sweet and nutty flavor, is a popular drink to accompany brunch.

South African brunch


Brazilian brunch often includes pão de queijo, small cheese bread rolls made with cassava flour and cheese. Acai bowls, made with the superfood acai berry, are also a popular choice, as well as traditional Brazilian dishes like feijoada, a stew made with black beans and various types of meat. Caipirinhas, a cocktail made with sugar, lime, and cachaça (a type of Brazilian rum), are often enjoyed during brunch.

Brazilian brunch


In India, brunch varies by region but often includes dosa, a fermented rice and lentil crepe. Another popular dish is chole bhature, a spicy chickpea stew served with fried bread. Freshly brewed chai tea, made with a blend of spices and milk, is a staple drink during brunch.

Indian brunch


In Spain, brunch is known as “almuerzo,” and typically involves toast or pastries with a variety of toppings like cured meats, cheeses, and tomato or olive oil. Tortilla de patatas, a type of potato and egg omelette, is also a popular dish. Brunch-goers often accompany these dishes with a glass of sparkling cava.

Spanish brunch


In Canada, brunch is often a comfort food affair, with dishes like pancakes, waffles, and French toast being popular. Eggs Benedict is also a beloved option. Brunch spots in Canada often feature rustic decor and cozy seating areas.

Canadian brunch.

As we can see, brunch is enjoyed throughout the world, each with its unique flavor and cultural twist. So, while it may have originated in America, it has certainly become a global phenomenon!

Brunch Around The World

Although brunch may have originated in the United States, it has become a popular mealtime around the world. Here are some of the ways brunch is enjoyed in different countries:

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, brunch is similar to an English breakfast, which typically consists of bacon, sausages, eggs, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, black pudding, and beans. Brunch in the UK also includes cereals, porridge, pastries, and fruit. The popular brunch restaurant, Bill’s, is a great example of a British brunch spot.

Bill's UK Brunch


Australians love a good brunch, and it is often enjoyed with a side of avocado toast and a flat white coffee. Other popular brunch items in Australia include smashed peas, smoked salmon, and eggs benedict. If you’re in Melbourne, check out Top Paddock or Higher Ground for a delicious brunch experience.

Australian Brunch


While brunch is not a traditional meal in Japan, it has become increasingly popular in recent years. Japanese brunch features traditional breakfast foods such as miso soup, grilled fish, and pickled vegetables. Popular brunch spots in Japan include the Lanai Cafe in Tokyo and Streamer Coffee Company in Osaka.

Japanese Brunch

Middle East

In the Middle East, brunch is often enjoyed on weekends and features a mix of Middle Eastern and Western cuisine. Traditional Middle Eastern dishes such as hummus, baba ganoush, and falafel are often served alongside pancakes, waffles, and eggs. In Dubai, check out the popular brunch spot, Eggspectation.

Middle East Brunch


Brunch in Mexico often includes spicy dishes such as huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, and breakfast tacos. Mexican brunch also features sweet pastries such as conchas and churros. If you’re in Mexico City, be sure to check out Lalo for a delicious brunch experience.

Mexican Brunch

Country Popular Brunch Spot Brunch Menu Items
United Kingdom Bill’s Bacon, sausages, eggs, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, black pudding, beans, cereals, porridge, pastries, fruit
Australia Top Paddock and Higher Ground Avocado toast, flat white coffee, smoked salmon, smashed peas, eggs benedict
Japan Lanai Cafe and Streamer Coffee Company Miso soup, grilled fish, pickled vegetables, western dishes
Middle East Eggspectation Hummus, baba ganoush, falafel, pancakes, waffles, eggs
Mexico Lalo Huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, breakfast tacos, conchas, churros

In conclusion, brunch is not just an American thing, and it has become a popular mealtime around the world. Whether you’re enjoying classic English breakfast items in the UK or spicy Mexican dishes in Mexico, brunch offers a delicious and satisfying meal that can be enjoyed with friends and family. No matter where you are in the world, you’re sure to find a great brunch spot to enjoy this delicious mealtime.

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Brunch Around the World: Summing it Up

So, is brunch only an American thing? As we explored various cultures and traditions around the world, it’s clear that brunch has a place in every corner of the globe. From dim sum in China to chilaquiles in Mexico, the concept of a late morning meal is universal and enjoyed by many. Whether you are a foodie, travel enthusiast or simply searching for a new experience, be sure to explore the brunch scene in different parts of the world. Thanks for tagging along with us, and don’t hesitate to stop by again for more exciting discussions in the future!

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