Argentine Breakfast – Typical foods and enjoying Thanksgiving

Updated:

We sure love food so were looking forward to learning what an Argentine breakfast would be like. After reading about the generous lunches of pizza and pasta and hearty dinners filled with Argentina parrilla, I thought breakfasts in Argentina would follow suit.

Before we got here, I pictured heaping portions of sausage, eggs, and bread — maybe even some potatoes or ham. There is lots tasty Argentine cuisine for sure. Here’s what we thought of Argentine breakfast.

What’s a typical Argentine breakfast?

Alas, to my disappointment, typical Argentine breakfast foods consist of a cup of coffee with milk (café con leche), a few croissants (medialunas), and a shot glass of carbonated water. Not exactly gut-busting, or even filling.

Argentine breakfast
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.

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….

But with only 4 days left in Argentina, we decided to hit a cafe 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 medialunas were amazing — soft and fresh with just a hint of sweetness. 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 breakfast was satisfyingly delicious.

Thanksgiving in Argentina: Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, and Ricotta Tartlets

In addition to daily breakfasts in Argentina, something else we were lucky to experience was Thanksgiving in Argentina. As foodies, we love the American holiday that gives you an excuse stuff yourself full of all sorts of delicious foods — Thanksgiving.

Several years ago we spent Thanksgiving in a small town in Egypt where we couldn’t eat many fresh foods because of contaminated water. Therefore, for Thanksgiving we ate fried eggs and rice. It was by far the least authentic (though memorable) Thanksgiving ever.

We are trying to enjoy our Thanksgiving planning when holiday ads abound and kids and adults alike are already thinking up their must haves this holiday season.

This year in Argentina we planned to do it differently. But, we had to move the holiday up a few days to make sure we’d have access to a kitchen so that we could cook our own nearly-authentic Thanksgiving meal.

Two days early, we cooked mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and asparagus. We bought some bread from the local panaderia (bread shop) and Portuguese chicken (couldn’t find turkey anywhere) from the rotiseria (take-away restaurant).

I’m not sure what made it “Portuguese,” but it came with a side of fried potatoes and red peppers. We even had some raspberries from our time volunteering at Chacra Millalen, outside of El Bolson.

Argentine breakfast
Our Thanksgiving meal

It was delicious! And we even had leftovers for Thanksgiving sandwiches. For dessert we had ice cream with mini pies — apple, strawberry, and ricotta — from the confiteria (sweet shop).

Argentine breakfast
Our Thanksgiving dessert

For anyone else traveling who is looking to have a taste of home today, try these recipes for mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. They require very few ingredients, making shopping a bit easier.

Traditional Mashed Potatoes Recipe
  • Potatoes – Russet or Yukon Gold
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Salt

Peel and quarter the potatoes. Boil until tender. Drain and mash with butter, milk, and salt to taste.

For 3 potatoes we used a good bit of butter (maybe 3-4 tablespoons) and about a quarter cup of milk.

Sweet Potatoes with Orange Juice Recipe
  • Sweet potatoes or yams
  • Butter
  • Brown sugar (white sugar or honey could also work)
  • Orange juice (we used juice fresh from an orange)

Bake sweet potatoes in oven until very tender. Remove from oven, peel, and mash with butter, sugar, and orange juice to taste.

For 2 large sweet potatoes we used 3-4 tablespoons of butter, 1-2 tablespoons of “black sugar” (which happens to be just white sugar with coloring, but we didn’t know this until after we came home from the market), and juice from 1 orange.

You will be sure to enjoy trying new foods while traveling in Argentina. From Buenos Aires to Bariloche to Peninsula Valdes and beyond, we enjoyed the traditional, typical Argentine breakfast as well as making most of our own Thanksgiving mini-feast.

Argentina Money Tips: Costs, ATMs, Coin Shortage & More
Backpacking South America – 5 Green Backpacker Activities
Iguazu Falls National Park in Argentina: Falls, Wildlife, Trails
Long Term Travel – Too Much Time to Think?
Perito Moreno Glacier Argentina – Great Glacier Pictures
Prepare for Extended Travel – 7 Steps to Mentally Prepare Yourself
Punta Tombo Argentina: Penguin and Penguin Chick Photos
Tikal National Park, Guatemala – Hidden Ruins, Animals & More
Travel Burnout – To go or not to go to Tierra del Fuego
11 Things to Know Before You WWOOF

10 thoughts on “Argentine Breakfast – Typical foods and enjoying Thanksgiving”

  1. My favorite, yet “strangest” breakfast at a hotel was in Germany. Breakfast included cold meat and cheese, although they did have cereal, yogurt, and other more “normal” things.
    Have you had the chance to ask a normal Argentinian what they eat for breakfast?

  2. Your post hit home in a way, because I have the reverse perspective. Having grown up in an Argentinean household, I still have no apetite for a substantial breakfast, even after living in the US for the past 30 years. A normal breakfast for us as kids was a glass of milk and toast; coffee and toast as grown ups. And by toast, I mean thin slices of toasted French baguette, with butter and jam, honey or dulce de leche. This was the case even on weekends, when we could take our time at the breakfast table. I love food, love to eat, but I’m not hungry enough in the morning to sit down to a big meal. Tell an Argentinean that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and they’ll just smile, shake their head and maybe tease you for being a “yanqui loca”.

  3. hi everyone 🙂
    I just wanted to tell you what we as Argentinian people consider a usual breakfast here. Actually most of us get up at 7 or 8 in the morning. We couldn´t even think of eating such substantial meals as European or American people are used to. We just don´t feel like it. Sometimes when I get up I almost eat nothing but a cookie and drink a cup of coffee with milk. the thing is that when it´s about 9.30 or 10 in the morning we start feeling a sensation of “starving to death” lol so we “devore” whatever is around us !! croissants, a packet of buiscuits, cereal bars, sandwiches are the most common things we consume at work or university..

  4. I have to do a project for spanish class and we have to make a menú from the country we did for our country projects. Could you please tell me typical meals for desayuno, almuerzo, y cena por favor. If possible, I also need verduras, postre, y bebidas.

  5. 7 of 10 argentinians drink “mate” for breakfast (me included) and some of them eats something but not usualy. As Florencia says, theres no time for that at 6am when you start work or class at 7:30am.

  6. C.S., in Argentina we USUALLY have 4 meals a day:

    1)Breakfast (desayuno)
    2)Lunch (almuerzo)
    3)Tea (merienda, also known as “tomar la leche” or “tomar el te”)
    4)Dinner (cena or comida)

    Obviously there are people who skip some of these or that have more than 4 but this is the usual trend.

    We have the merienda during the afternoon. Please remember that we have dinner much later than what people are used to in the US. An early dinner would be at 8pm. Still, most people have dinner at 9pm.

    As regards breakfast, my personal experience is the same one as most Argentinians. Right now I’m living in the US and I still have light breakfasts. It would be disgusting for me to have scrambled eggs, potatoes or sausage in the morning. We very rarely eat salty food when we wake up.

    During the merienda we basically eat the same variety of food we have during breakfast. A slight difference could be that some people also have a soda during the merienda.

    A typical breakfast goes from milk, chocolate milk, coffee and milk, tea, tea and milk, orange juice, mate, yogurt, cookies, spounge cakes (“bizcochos”), “alfajores”, “tortas fritas”, fresh fruit, cereals, toasts (usually with jam, butter or dulce de leche on top), ham and cheese sandwiches, croissants and other pastries.

  7. In my opinion, this is wrong.
    I understand what people think but to me you’re building a stereotype here. Not every single person has that menu for breakfast.
    Almost everyone in the country gets up at around 6am to go to work/study and you’re not very hungry at that time of morning, I assume. Besides we barely have time to sit down and enjoy a large meal, considering most of us have long distances to go to get to the place where our morning activities take place.
    It’s like saying that everyone on Western Asia likes rice or assuming that every person living in the United States has a lot to eat for breakfast.

  8. I think we argentinians tend to care a little more about our heatlh and stay fit. We could never even imagine eating something salty and greasy as eggs and sausages.. Even the smell would hurt us!

Comments are closed.