A Typical British Breakfast…

What is a typical British Breakfast

A British breakfast really is a beautiful thing. And we’re not just talking about the Full English Breakfast.

The most common breakfast dish in the UK is the Full English Breakfast (in the sense of it being the most famous). But believe it or not, we Brits don’t typically eat a ‘full monty’ everyday. There’s loads of other things we munch on to kick-start our mornings.

A classic Fry Up is clearly the best type of breakfast to be eaten, but what else is considered a typical British breakfast, you might be wondering. 

Well, let’s take a look at this thing called the ‘typical’ (traditional) British breakfast, shall we…?

The Full British Breakfast

Full British Breakfast

The Full Breakfast, or most commonly known as the Full English Breakfast (or just ‘Full English’) is definitely what most people think of when it comes to a typical UK breakfast. 

We should point out that the Full English Breakfast can also be referred to as a Full Scottish Breakfast, Full Welsh Breakfast or Full Irish Breakfast (depending on where you are in the UK).

The Full English Breakfast typically includes these items:

  • Sausages
  • Bacon
  • Fried eggs
  • Baked beans
  • Bubble and squeak
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Fried bread or toast
  • Black pudding
  • Tomato ketchup or brown sauce

If you’re not from the UK, you may have a somewhat stereotypical image in your head of Brits sitting down every morning to eat a ‘Full Breakfast’ (also known as the ‘Fry-Up’ or ‘Full Monty’).

Don’t get us wrong, we do love our Full Breakfast in Britain, but even for the biggest meat loving Brits, just the thought of doing this every day would clog a few arteries.

That said, if you’re visiting Britain, the classic Fry-Up is one of the must-eat classic British dishes that you need to try.

British Breakfast Sandwiches

Typical British breakfast sandwich

If you’ve not quite got the appetite or time to tuck into a Full Breakfast when in the UK, the next best thing (and probably most typical) is a British breakfast sandwich. 

Taking certain elements from the Full Breakfast (usually the sausage, bacon and egg) and cushioning them between two slices of chunky buttered bread, is the perfect alternative to a full-on Full Monty.

Popular variations include a bacon ‘butty’ (butty being another term for sandwich in Britain) and a sausage ‘sarnie’ (another term for sandwich in Blighty). 

To crank it up another notch, add a fried egg to give a bacon and egg sandwich, or sausage and egg sandwich. Then again, feel free to add any of the other Full Breakfast items that take your fancy.

British Breakfast Cereals


Porridge is one of the healthiest breakfast cereals eaten in Britain and one of the most classic, being a traditional food from Scotland (oats historically being Scotland’s main crop).

Oatmeal, granola and muesli are other popular cereal options for the health conscious Brit. Then there’s the popular (albeit less healthy) commercial breakfast cereals in the UK, from famous brands like Kellogg’s, Nestle and Weetabix.

Typical British breakfast Cereals

The Continental Breakfast

Continental breakfast

The continental breakfast is commonly found in hotels and restaurants across the UK and typically consists of baked goods like breads, pastries and muffins, served with jams and marmalades. Fruit and yoghurt too: a lighter alternative to a ‘Full’ Breakfast. 

Egg Dishes

Boiled Eggs (and soldiers)

Dippy Eggs and Soldiers

Quite possibly, the most enjoyed UK breakfast egg dish is ‘dippy’ (boiled) eggs and soldiers. Soldiers are slices of bread or toast (usually buttered) used to dip into a runny soft boiled egg yolk.



It doesn’t get much simpler than a classic omelette, which is another a great option for a filling and healthy British breakfast. The most typical British breakfast omelette fillings include cheese, ham, mushrooms, a variation of these, or any number of other choices.

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict

Ok, so Eggs Benedict actually belongs to our American friends, but we just can’t get enough of it in the UK. We’re more than happy to send the credit across the pond on this one, although this is a dish that involves eggs sitting on English muffins (just sayin’).

Either way, we know Eggs Benedict goes down a storm here in Britain, with bacon or ham sitting on a nice soft muffin, all topped with hollandaise sauce. Similar dishes also often enjoyed from a British breakfast menu are Eggs Royale and Eggs Florentine.

‘Eggy’ Bread

Eggy bread

Eggy bread is sliced bread coated with whisked eggs that are then fried in butter. Need we say more? Adding bacon (or any Full Breakfast ingredients for that matter), will get you off to a flyer for the day (admittedly, very similar to French Toast).

Things on Toast

Egg on Toast

Scrambled eggs on toast

As well as the dishes mentioned above, eggs are also commonly enjoyed in Britain, simply on toast. This typically comes in the form of scrambled, poached, boiled or fried eggs on toast.

Beans on Toast

Heinz Baked Beans on toast

Why Brits eat baked beans for breakfast is a mystery to many, but beans on toast is also a favourite breakfast dish in the UK. The combo of eggs and beans on toast goes down a treat too.

Spreads on Toast 

Quicker toast options for a British brekkie involve the simple yet effective addition of butter and a nice spread to your crisp bread, such as jam, marmalade, the famous (or infamous) Marmite, and peanut butter.

Marmite on toast

Anything Else on Toast

Mushrooms on toast

The truth is, there’s tons of Great toast toppings to be eaten for breakfast in the UK, among the most popular also being mushrooms or avocado. Again, combined with eggs, you just can’t beat it (pun totally intended).


English crumpets with butter

Crumpets are essentially an alternative to toast, typically enjoyed warm by Brits with a good helping of butter. And more butter.

British Seafood Breakfasts

Smoked Salmon

Scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on toast

Smoked salmon is a very traditional and typical British breakfast food, which has remained popular over time. It’s often served with an English muffin or bagel, commonly accompanied by cream cheese.

Smoked salmon is also great with scrambled eggs on toast, or as a substitute for ham in Eggs Benedict (otherwise known as Eggs Royale).



Kedgeree is actually a dish of Indian origin which the Scots are said to have brought back to the UK in the Victorian era. It traditionally involves smoked flakey haddock being cooked with curry powder and mixed with rice, boiled eggs, parsley and butter or cream.


Kippers and eggs - a typical British breakfast

Kippers were really popular for breakfast in Britain until the 1970s, most typically enjoyed with eggs, which since seem to have gone in and out of fashion more so than jellied eels.



Laverbread is a very traditional British food, or more specifically, a traditional Welsh food typically eaten at breakfast time, made from seaweed. It’s made by mixing the seaweed with oatmeal before frying and commonly served with eggs, bacon and cockles (another British seafood).

Typical British Breakfasts From Abroad

As patriotic as we are, us Brits of course love other foods from around the world too, even first thing in the morning. The truth is, there’s really no such thing as a typical British breakfast these days.

Whether it’s our American friends’ Eggs Benedict or pancakes with bacon and maple syrup; France’s croissants; Mexico’s huevos rancheros; or China’s dim sum for example, there’s just tons of breakfast options in Blighty.

So, now you know what a typical British breakfast is, what are you waiting for? Go find a place to eat yours…

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