Craving a Taste of Argentine Breakfast – Discover the secret of Argentina’s mouth-watering breakfasts!

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We sure love food so were looking forward to learning what an Argentine breakfast would be like. We soon learned breakfast and lunch aren’t as savory as meals later in the day.

After reading about the generous lunches of asado and choripan and hearty dinners filled with Argentina parrilla and milanesa, I thought breakfasts in Argentina would follow suit.

Before we got here, I pictured heaping portions of sausage, eggs, and mollejas (sweet bread) — maybe even some potatoes or ham. There is lots tasty Argentine cuisine with local ingredients and local recipes (many from food truck type setups). However, we quickly learned, the heavier foods come later in the day. In general, Argentinians start their day off with simple foods. 

Different types of medialunas at breakfast time are plentiful. These are what we’d call croissants. In America, bagels are common for breakfast. In Argentina, it’s medialunas. They are a type of factura (dessert pastry). 

When you consider that oftentimes their last meal can be 10pm, this makes sense. Here’s what we thought of Argentine breakfast. Keep in mind, this is what we were served at hostels and bed and breakfasts throughout Argentina.

Also, it’s important to note, when we volunteered at a farm in exchange for lodging and food for part of our stay in Argentina, we ate a lot of local produce for breakfast as well. Learn about our time spent when we WWOOF in Argentina. So certainly, desayuno differs from place to place. 

In addition to medialunas, a few facturas, and manteca, we also tried interesting breakfast drinks, including yerba mate.

What’s a typical Argentine breakfast?

When we stayed in hostels, the breakfasts are free. With this in mind, they are trying to save money and be economical while still giving visitors a chance to try local foods. The breakfasts are simple and not complicated.

The typical Argentine breakfast foods we were served consisted of a cup of coffee with milk (café con leche), a few croissants (medialunas), and a shot glass of carbonated water. 

The medialunas were usually plain which paired well with the strong coffee. They are shaped like a crescent or a half moon. 

Other times we were served coffee, orange juice, and tostadas. Not exactly gut-busting, or even filling. It’s simple but it’s what many people in Argentina eat. They start their day off light. 

When we ventured on our own, we had churros. These are long pieces of fried dough covered in sugar. In some areas, they served churros with a side of dulce de leche which is a sweet, sort of thick, caramel. In some cafes, we had the option to order the churros filled with dulce de leche. While delicious, it was really sweet for breakfast. 

Argentine breakfast
Medialunas for breakfast in Argentina

After two months in Argentina, I’ve gotten used to supplementing my hostel breakfast with fruit or yogurt to satiate my American desire for something more substantial.

I especially missed protein in the morning. However, you won’t find eggs or meat as part of an authentic Argentine breakfast. When you are served something aside from the typical staples of coffee and either tostadas or medialunas, it’s because they are gratifying tourists. 

It’s not just in cafes where I’ve found the Argentine breakfast a bit lacking. We’ve eaten at enough breakfast-included Argentine accommodations to know it’s universal.

In hostels, you’re lucky if the pastries or rolls are somewhat fresh, and you’ve really struck the jackpot if there’s cereal and milk, too.

Even in a nice bed and breakfast we were just served fresh rolls, jam, and coffee. It’s completely different from breakfast in Europe or the United States; breakfast just isn’t a big deal here.

Maybe it is because dinners in Argentina are eaten so late and oftentimes people sleep in. However, when you are traveling, you are trying to maximize your time and want to start the day on a full stomach.

You’ll find lots of options when it comes to breakfast drinks in Argentina.

Argentina Breakfast Food

But with only 4 days left in Argentina, we decided to hit a restaurant for one more typical Argentine breakfast.

We went La Puerto Rico, a famous Buenos Aires cafe that’s been around since 1887 and is just a block away from the president’s offices (Casa Rosada).

The medialuna was amazing — soft and fresh with just a hint of sweetness to satisfy a sweet tooth. In addition, the coffee was quite good, too, and the shot glass of water was slightly larger usually.

The breakfast ended up costing about $10 US, which is twice as much as it would have been around the corner. But for the quality of the food, it was worth it. Although it was far from well-rounded, my last Argentine food breakfast was satisfyingly delicious.

You will be sure to enjoy trying new foods while traveling in this country. From Buenos Aires to San Carlos de Bariloche to Peninsula Valdes and beyond, we enjoyed the traditional, typical Argentine breakfast.

Yerba Mate

What you drink in Argentina varies slightly by the host. In addition to coffee, orange juice, and carbonated water, some breakfasts included yerba mate. With it’s high caffeine and health benefits, yerba mate is a favorite and popular as part of breakfast in Argentina.

We weren’t used to it’s bitter taste at first, but soon, we began to crave it (or the caffeine!). The herb it’s made from is actually called “yerba mate.” We were told it has health benefits, including having a high antioxidant content.

We enjoyed seeing how different places made it: some in a tea pot, others on the stovetop, and others in something that resembled a French press. Some places made it less bitter by using water that wasn’t as hot.

We learned the traditional way, common throughout South America, to serve it is hot. The cold way (terere) isn’t as common in Argentina. It’s more popular in Paraguay and in south Brazil. 

Eat a Hearty and Healthy Argentine Breakfast

Even if you’re not a huge breakfast eater at home, eating a healthy breakfast while traveling will ensure you have enough energy to get through the day.

Pick up some essentials at the grocery store. Most hostels have a communal fridge where you can store yogurt, cheese, and other perishable breakfast foods.

Even if you don’t have a fridge, you can keep fruit in your room. Peanut butter offers protein and is great on bread or crackers for a quick breakfast (though it’s hard to find abroad, so you might want to bring some from home).

Making breakfast in your room is a great way to make healthier dining choices and to save money. Plus, you’ll save some calories for splurging later in the day for alfajores.

If you’re staying somewhere that offers continental breakfast — in Argentina, this will be a place that caters to tourists — steer clear of the sweets and stick to whole grains, yogurt, and fruit that will give you energy for the day.


Medialuna de manteca are a type of facturas. Other facturas are sweeter and considered more of a dessert than breakfast fare. In bakeries, cafes, and restaurants, they can be basic or filled with dulce de leche, dulce de membrillo, custard, cheese, and more. For lunch, you can order a ham and cheese on a cheese factura. 

Of course, if you find a bakery, you’ll want to check out the selection of facturas. They’ll have a wide variety of flavors to choose from.


In addition, look for alfajores. This is a divine sweet treat you can enjoy before or after dinner. Think of it like a big sandwich. It’s too sugary for breakfast but that’s when we bought and ate ours. Alfajores de maicena are made with two biscuits made from cornstarch. In the middle they slather dulce de leche. The dessert is covered in toasted coconut flakes. Some are crispy like a cookie and some are soft, more like cake. 

We even saw some that were covered in chocolate and some that had frosting inside. Sugar overload!

It’s fun experiencing the cuisine in other countries. Once we became used to it, we loved breakfast in Argentina.

Argentina breakfast

Enjoying Argentinian breakfast foods will start off your day in an authentic way. You can immerse yourself in the full experience of Argentina. If you eat your dinners late at night like the locals do, you may find you won’t need to have a full breakfast. It’s likely the coffee and medialuna croissants will be something you end up craving. 

What’s also great about eating in Argentina is there is enough variety throughout the day so even if there is something you don’t like or tire of, you can choose from other things for lunch and dinner.

Photo credit: Natapics and empracht. chad_k