What do English people typically eat for breakfast?

English people eat a verity of different kinds of breakfasts. The traditional “Full English Breakfast” of fried food to a “Continental Breakfast” of cereal and bread.

Full English breakfast - Sausage, tomato, baked beans, fried eggs, bacon, mushrooms, bread and a glass of orange juice.

Image: Full English breakfast – Sausage, tomato, baked beans, fried eggs, bacon, mushrooms, bread and a glass of orange juice. Most English people do not eat a full English breakfast every day. Don’t know where you got that from. Most people have a “continental” style breakfast which means cereal, milk and fresh fruit juice plus tea or coffee. Muesli and porridge are also common choices

When I was in the army, I did have a full English breakfast every day. You need to energy. Outside of the forces, a full English is a bit of an expensive treat. It is also rather a large breakfast and would make the average person gain weight quickly. Most people would be happy with just part of the full meal – e.g. toast with fried eggs one day, sausages another, bacon on another.

There is no strict definition of what is in a full English Breakfast. The core would be sausage, bacon, eggs and baked beans. Other items depend on the location. Black pudding is a north of England item, not popular in the south. Tea can be swapped for coffee. Fried bread may become toasted bread or just bread with butter. The egg may be fried but could equally be poached, scrambled or boiled. Some may include a fish such as kippers in place of all the meat. Side note – in Scotland you will find hotels advertising a “Full Scottish Breakfast”, in Ireland, they have a “Full Irish Breakfast” and likewise for the Welsh too. The Scottish/Irish/Welsh/English breakfasts exactly the same thing: just a spot of nationalism has been added.

When staying at a hotel or B&B I will always ask for a full English breakfast so as to get the most for my money. In such cases, I might skimp on lunch. Really the breakfast becomes a brunch. At most English B&B, you can have the full English plus follow up with cereal, fruit, jam and toast so you really have a large meal first thing.

However, a full English breakfast is not the only thing, or even the most common thing, that English people eat for breakfast. Below are a few other common breakfast choices.

A bowl of cornflakes with milk

Image: Corn Flakes in milk

A bowl of porridge

Image: Porridge is a traditional staple and still popular


Image: Muesli with fresh chopped bananas and milk. A traditional European breakfast that has gained popularity with the health conscious.

A plate of kippers

Image: Kippers (smoked herring fish) is a traditional breakfast dish but losing popularity


Image: Pop Tarts are a relatively new addition to breakfasts along with cereal bars and muesli bars. They are generally considered to be not so healthy.

Many different coloured poptarts

Image: Poptarts come in many different flavours and colours. They are usually eaten hot after warming in a toaster.


Image: Wheat-a-bix biscuits in milk


Image: Omelette


Image: boiled egg with soldiers

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