When you imagine the typical breakfast in France, you probably imagine somebody drinking an espresso and eating a croissant at a café terrace, most likely in a busy street. Unfortunately, I am going to disappoint you… That is not (really) the truth !
Typical French breakfast at home
When home on weekdays, many French people do not eat breakfast (they prefer to sleep a bit longer and cut back on the morning ritual), but just drink one espresso before leaving for work, where they will take another espresso (or many others 🙂 ). Coffe is very popular in France : Café noir (black coffee) or café au lait (coffee with milk). However, contrary to the United Kingdom or the United states for example, we do not drink big (giant!) cups of coffee, but rather small ones, espressos, usually coming from a capsule coffee machine.
For those who do eat in the morning (just like me 🙂 ), the typical breakfast would be leftover bread from the day before or rusk, with butter and jam or Nutella with an espresso or a tea for those who don’t like coffee, and a fruit juice. Habitually, it is orange juice, but apple juice, grapefruit juice or grape juice are very popular as well. Some people also eat fruits, yogurts or cereals.
During weekends, some people exceptionally will go out to the bakery to buy fresh bread or pastries (most commonly, croissant or chocolate croissant, pain au chocolat as we call it) and spend a little more time seating for breakfast.
Children most often also eat tartines (could be translated by toasts, but really means a piece of bread with something on it like jam, butter or honey), industrial biscuits or cereals with milk. Hot chocolate or orange juice are the beverages that children love the most for breakfast. Breakfast can not be taken at school in France, only at home.
As you can notice, the most typical breakfast in France is sweet and not salty at all. Don’t get me wrong, some people do eat salty for breakfast but that is really not the majority.
Typical breakfast outside (hotel, café,…)
In a hotel
Hotels in France generally serve a continental buffet for breakfast, with sweet food (my favorite!) as you can expect (pastries, cakes, crêpes –thin and wide French pancakes– bread, cereals,…) and also salty food (eggs, ham, cheese,…). Of course, it is served mainly for the international customers, but French clients also choose this kind of food for breakfast when in a hotel. Would that mean that French people are too lazy to prepare a full breakfast at home ? That might actually be one of the reasons why the typical breakfast at home is not so hearty! Another reason why is that lunch time is sacred and we perfectly know that lunch will be generous, no matter what day it is, weekday or weekend.
In a café
The stereotype the whole world has probably comes from when we have breakfast in a café. As a matter of fact, it is true that coffee and croissant will be what French people will order, not because they like it (well, yes they also do !), but because French cafés usually only serve beverages and snacks. The croissants ordered there generally come from the closest bakery.
Read also : The top 9 sentences you will hear in France
Breakfast definitely is not the most important meal of the day in France, but as I am a sweet tooth, I love it 🙂
What do you eat in your country for breakfast ? Let me know in the comment and do not hesitate to share this article if you enjoyed it !