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Continental Breakfast

Continental breakfast is the traditional breakfast of Europe. Although it is native to mainland Europe, it is also popular all over United Kingdom. It is served in hotels all over the world. It includes breads, hot beverages or fruit juice.

Continental breakfast is so called as it refers to the European continent. It is different from other breakfasts as it has a wider spread of foods. It was majorly introduced as an attraction to hotel guests as it was cheaper and quicker. It includes cold meats, fresh cut fruits, cereals, eggs and even vegetables.

Popular Breakfast Dishes and Drinks

Breads – Breads form an important part of a continental breakfast. Toasted slices, doughnuts, croissants, muffins are served. Pancakes, waffles, crepes may also be included. Accompaniments like butter, jam, marmalades, preserved are also served. Toppings like maple syrup, honey are also served along with waffles and pancakes.

Hot beverages – Tea, coffee or hot chocolate is served as a part of continental breakfast. The calorific value of the beverage can be reduced by replacing sugar with artificial and zero calorie sweeteners. Milk is also served to people who do not drink tea and coffee.

Fruit juices – Fresh fruit juice is preferred over processed fruit juice as it is free from preservatives and added sugars. Vitamins are destroyed during processing. Fresh fruit juice provides fiber which is beneficial for the gastrointestinal tract. It also provides satiety and a feeling of fullness.

Cereals – Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals are a part of continental breakfast. It includes oatmeals, cornflakes, rice crispies, wheat bran, etc. It is served with milk. Fruits are also served along with these cereals. Bananas, strawberries, apples are often a part of the cereal bowl.

Readymade breakfast cereals contain a lot of sugars. It can be reduced or replaced by using sugar free variants or variants with no added sugar.

Eggs – Scrambled egg, fried egg, poached egg, egg omelette, boiled egg and other such preparations are a part of continental breakfast. Egg is a very healthy ingredient to start the day with. It is a rich source of protein, vital minerals, etc.

Low fat or no fat egg preparations should be preferred over the high fat ones as they help to reduce the calorific intake in the morning.

Cheese and meat – Sausages, sliced bacon and sliced cheese form an important part of the meal and it can be served as sandwiches.


Continental breakfast is known to be light and quick.