What is a Continental Breakfast

What is a continental breakfast: what foods acts included in it?

Continental breakfast is defined as the first meal of the day, eaten in the morning, and mainly found in hotels. It acts typically served on the European continent, in North America, and other places of the world as an alternative to English breakfast and as a healthier alternative to American breakfast (Goldfarb, 2017).

Its simplicity characterizes it; This may include sliced ​​breaded bread, ham, honey, cheese, a variety of foods and rolls, fruits, and a variety of hot drinks and juices. It is a convenient snack for travelers who do not want to waste time on elaborate and expensive meals.

Hotels prefer breakfast for their economical and efficient service. It acts usually served in a buffet from which food can work taken without the need of a waiter, and the amount of food is limited.

The term “continental breakfast” was assigned by the English to designate a small meal consumed by the inhabitants of continental Europe. Thus, the term continental breakfast refers to breakfast served outside the British Isles, where the English breakfast comes.

English and continental breakfast are considered the opposite in terms of abundance and ingredients. Continental breakfast is milder than English and usually includes cold foods such as fruits, cheese, meats, and bread.



  • United States in the 19th Century
  • Origin of continental breakfast

2.Continental breakfast

  • Baked Foods
  • Beverages
  • grains
  • fruits
  • protein
  • others

3. Three differences between continental and English breakfast

  • food
  • Consumption Time
  • Presentation
  • Table Label

4. Implications for health

5. continental breakfasts in Europe


The term “continental breakfast” was first used in the late 19th century, when some hotels in North America applied this type of breakfast to their restaurants to attract more emerging American tourists from the middle class. And European tourists.

United States in the 19th Century

Thanks to the rapid development of the western United States and its rapid urbanization in the early 1800s, American middle-class people were less interested in working in the agricultural sector as farmers and daily laborers in office jobs in the city. Apart from.

The traditional American breakfast – consisting of eggs, meat, fish, bread, cereals, fruits, honey, jelly, butter, and spices – was no longer necessary for the new middle class, who now needed large amounts of energy to work in the fields Is not.

Origin of continental breakfast

During the late 19th century and early 20th century, many cities in the western United States became highly urbanized. Between 1870 and 1920, the population of the United States increased from 10 million to 54 million. Many of these inhabitants formed the emerging middle class and came from European countries (Oliver, 2015).

The new American middle class was composed of dentists, lawyers, and business people. These new professionals started earning salaries and fees that enriched them and, as a result, made them better looking for cheap fares for their trips.

As the American middle class emerged and asked for a light snack, more European tourists came to North America and brought information about their breakfast specialties (bread, fruit, coffee). Or tea). Hotels quickly learned to adapt their breakfasts to the needs of new cultures, and thus continental breakfast was born.

Before the 19th century, customers renting a hotel room assumed that they would receive three meals a day. However, the newly emerging American class received better rates on their travels, so hotels decided to bill restaurant service independently for room service.

Over time, this trend led to the modern model of offering a room with a breakfast and billing the restaurant service to another account (STAAFF, 2015).

Types of food in continental breakfast

The food supplies included in breakfast vary depending on the hotel or accommodation, which means that they may or may not include all of the specific foods in this type of breakfast.

Baked Foods

Continental breakfast includes individual bread and pastries. Common foods include toast, donuts, cinnamon rolls, croissants, rolls, and puff pastries. Fatty and fried foods and meat products are usually not included in continental breakfast.

Bread is the most popular food in breakfast. It acts served in slices or rolls; it can be prepared whole, white, or from grains. Bread works usually served with butter, jam, or jelly.


The most popular drinks in continental breakfast include hot coffee, hot chocolate, or tea. Fresh or canned fruit juices and milk can act found in some buffets.

Coffee is the most common beverage for breakfast. There are many coffee options, such as espresso, latte, capuccio, mocha, or American.

Most hotels offer options in their bar to add artificial sweeteners, sugar, and cream to customize the drink to taste. Sometimes there are only two types of drinks to consume with breakfast.

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What is a Continental Breakfast: Grains

A variety of grains acts usually offered at the Breakfast Bar. These grains can work placed in a box containing a portion of the grain or vending machine so that each customer can serve his grain.

The most common grains are grains and corn flakes and without sugar. They are usually eaten cold and mixed with milk or yogurt.


Continental Breakfast serves seasonal fruits at its bar, sliced ​​or cut into pieces. This fruit can act served with or without yogurt. Sometimes a fruit bag is also accompanied by cheese.

What is a Continental Breakfast


Proteins abide rarely seen in continental breakfast Some hotels serve ham, salami, and fried eggs with continental breakfast without being typical of these foods.


A continental breakfast may include some foods, although they are not typical of it. It can be cheese, nuts, or hot grains.

Difference between continental and English breakfast

There are necessarily two types of breakfast served in hotels and restaurants in Europe: Continental and English.

Continental breakfast is a group of foods eaten during the first meal of the day in continental Europe. On the other hand, the English breakfast act defined as the first meal of the day in the British Isles. There are significant and marked differences between continental and English breakfasts.


A full English breakfast is hot and cooked and usually consists of some form of fried food. This fry may include mushrooms, beans, sausages, ham, eggs, bread, or potatoes. In addition to chips, English breakfasts include toast, bacon, ripe tomatoes, orange jam, orange juice, and tea.

On the other hand, a breakfast is served cold and includes cereals, bread, fruits, and foods such as tea or coffee. Occasionally continental breakfast may consist of a boiled egg and, in no time, including fried foods on its counter.

Consumption time

breakfast is mainly consumed in Europe and is considered a light dish. In most European countries, the main dish act eaten in the afternoon. In contrast, in the British Isles, breakfast is the most abundant meal of the day and can be served in six or seven dishes.


Continental breakfast has emerged as a cheaper option for middle-class travelers, mostly from Europe. In general, it is an affordable food option that serves mainly as a buffet. Most hotels include you in the price of the room.

A traditional English breakfast includes sausage, bacon, eggs, fried bread, tomatoes, and beans. English breakfast is served in six or seven courses and may consist of pudding, kidneys, mushrooms, and fries (Andrews, 1980).

Table Label

The etiquette rules state that breakfast should act served with bread plates, butter knives, and butter dishes. Similarly, it includes a cup of tea or coffee, a saucer, a spoon, a container for sugar, a pair of sugar tongs, a bread basket, towels, honey, and jam.

The English breakfast rules say that there should be bread plates, butter knives, butter dishes, and a set of cruets.

It contains a sugar container, sugar tongs, a cup of tea, a saucer, a spoon, fish cutlery, edible cutlery, ham, jam, and honey.

Implications for health

If your ingredients are carefully selected, a continental breakfast can be healthy. European continental breakfast is not considered healthy because it is rich in carbohydrates, protein, and dairy products.

Some hotels offer a high carb continental breakfast option, while other hotels offer fatty meats as an alternative to cereal.

Similarly, some hotels offer products low in calories, fat, and sugars. However, it is advisable to consume more granola and fresh fruits than other breakfast products.

What is a Continental Breakfast

Continental breakfast is generally healthy. Some bread can contain up to 400 calories. This amount of calories should act eaten in not just one, but all breakfasts.

On the other hand, excessive intake of carbohydrates in continental breakfast encourages the production of insulin in the body and a feeling of fatigue.

Consumption of small portions of food can avoid the presence of risks related to the use of products that typically compose a continental breakfast. Some hotels offer sugar-free juices or vegetable juices that reduce sugary consumption during breakfast (Michael P. Zimering, 2005).

Continental breakfast in Europe

Breakfast is the most commonly eaten food in hotels in Europe as travelers usually eat it in their hotels. breakfast is offered in a scheme that includes room and breakfast, and its consumption is limited in most of Europe’s accommodations.

In Europe, the original breakfast offers the option of drinking coffee or hot chocolate and cheese bread. In countries such as Holland and Norway, continental breakfast may include cold meat or fish. Breakfast in Europe is becoming useless during breakfast and becoming more and more popular.

Most hotel suites in Europe have launched campaigns to become more accessible by offering free breakfasts as part of their marketing campaigns.

It seeks to revive the notion of breakfast in a different format for hotel restaurants. Some hotels have included barista to prepare coffee for breakfast in the lobby and trays with sweet rolls in the suites ‘kitchen for their guests’ consumption.

Despite the reduction in morning meal consumption in Europe, breakfast is still in effect and can act found in continental plans and guesthouse plans in smaller dwellings.

Mid-morning breakfast associated with coffee should not be confused with continental breakfast. Most hotels in Europe make this payment method (Vallen & Vallen, 2013).

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