Why Is It Called Continental Breakfast?

Have you ever gone to a hotel or a restaurant and seen something called a continental breakfast on the menu? Have you ever wondered what exactly a continental breakfast is and why it is even called that?

It turns out that the “continental breakfast” is a type of meal consisting of prepackaged or pre-prepared food, originating in Europe, that can be quickly served to diners. It’s a delicious, convenient option for breakfast, lunch, or even a light supper, and a quick overview of its history can help you understand why they chose such an interesting name. Read on to learn what you need to know about the continental breakfast and how it became a familiar sight on restaurant menus around the world.

Why is it Called Continental Breakfast?

As its name implies, a Continental breakfast is a type of breakfast that originated in the European continent.

It’s still the most popular type of breakfast found in many countries throughout Europe, and is slowly gaining popularity in other parts of the world. So why is it called Continental breakfast and what exactly is it?

What is a Continental Breakfast?

Often served in hotels, a Continental breakfast usually consists of a variety of items such as pastries, muffins, toast, cereals, juice and sometimes yogurt or fruit. Generally, Continental breakfast dishes lean towards the more snack-like offerings and are typically light meals rather than the heavier cooked breakfast items offered in other parts of the world.

History of Continental Breakfast

The Continental breakfast began as a type of breakfast offered to overnight guests of aristocrats and affluent families in Europe. A variety of pastries, breads, and fruits were served, along with coffee and tea, all served on one tray for convenience and ease of sharing, if needed. With the advent of the industrial revolution, Continental breakfast became a breakfast offered in inns and hotels throughout Europe.

To this day, many travelers will enjoy a Continental breakfast included in the price of their hotel stay.

Continental Breakfast Around the World

Although most popular in Europe, Continental breakfasts are also served in some parts of Asia, North America, and Latin America. In Japan, for instance, a Continental breakfast typically includes toast, cereal, and miso soup.

In Latin America, a Continental breakfast may be called Desayuno Americano and may include eggs, toast, jam, and juice. In North America, a Continental breakfast is often served with a light selection of cold items like yogurt or granola, or a light egg dish and pastries.


Continental breakfast is a type of breakfast – usually light – that is most popular in Europe but can be found in many other parts of the world. Its name came from the fact that it was originally served as a type of breakfast meal for guests of European aristocracy. Today, Continental breakfast is usually served at hotels or as a light breakfast option in many parts of the world. Citations:https://www. thespruceeats. com/what-is-continental-breakfast-1513848 https://www. gaijinpot. com/play/japan/2009/11/continental_breakfast/https://www. eatwell. com/article/continental-vs-full-english-breakfasts/

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