Benji with a cup of coffee in his hand, having breakfast.

¡Buenos días! Are you ready to embark on a flavorful adventure as we explore the Spanish word for “breakfast”? Join us as we delve into the nuances, regional differences, common phrases, idioms, and everything in between. From Mexico to Argentina, Latin America offers a variety of delightful morning meals that will tantalize your taste buds and energize your day.

So, grab a cup of coffee, and let's dive into this comprehensive guide on how to say “breakfast” in Spanish like a native.

How to Say "Breakfast" in Latin America & Spain

In Latin America and Spain, the word to say breakfast is desayuno, and it is considered the most important meal of the day. To eat breakfast is tomar el desayuno. It provides much-needed fuel to kickstart your morning and ensures that you have the energy to conquer the day ahead.

While specific dishes may vary across countries and regions, one thing remains consistent – the emphasis on starting the day with a satisfying and nutritious meal, whether you’re preparing it at home or ordering it at a restaurant.

Desayuno Breakfast
Almuerzo matutino Morning lunch
Comida de la mañana Meal of the morning
Comienzo del día Start of the day
Primer alimento del día First meal of the day

Starting the Day Right

Benji and Pocky are at a café. Benji orders “Huevos revueltos y una manzana.”

Let's delve into the vocabulary and expressions that revolve around the morning meal in every Spanish-speaking country:

  1. Café: The Spanish word for "coffee." Just as the scent of coffee beans can wake up the senses, café is an essential part of the Spanish breakfast experience.
  2. Tostadas: Translating to "toast" in English, tostadas are crispy slices of toasted bread, often served with butter, jam, or a variety of toppings.
  3. Cereales: Referring to "cereals," this term encompasses a range of breakfast classics like cornflakes, oats, and muesli.
  4. Huevos: Huevos, meaning "eggs," is a breakfast staple prepared in myriad ways – scrambled, fried, poached, or even baked.
  5. Frutas: Frutas translates to "fruits," highlighting the importance of fresh produce in your morning meal. A bowl of mixed fruits can be a refreshing and nutritious start to the day.

Other vocabulary related to breakfast in Spanish:

Pan Bread
Leche Milk
Mermelada Jam
Mantequilla Butter
Galleta Cookie
Naranja Orange
Durazno Peach
Medialuna Croissant
Yogur Yogurt
Taza Cup
Cuchillo Knife
Tenedor Fork
Cuchara Spoon
Plato Plate

Spanish Expressions That Tantalize the Taste Buds

Benji is talking to Pocky on the phone and saying, “Hoy empecé el día con el pie derecho, I’m very happy.”



Desayunar como un rey, almorzar como un príncipe y cenar como un mendigo.

Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dine like a beggar.

This proverb emphasizes the significance of a hearty breakfast, suggesting that starting the day with a royal meal sets a positive tone.



Tener el estómago vacío como un cencerro.

To have an empty stomach like a bell.

This expression vividly describes intense hunger, comparing it to the resonating emptiness of a bell.



Pan con pan, comida de tontos.

Bread with bread, a fool's meal.

This saying discourages a lack of variety in one's breakfast choices, suggesting that combining similar elements is unwise.



Tomar algo a media mañana.

To have something mid-morning.

This phrase denotes the habit of having a small snack between breakfast and lunch to stave off hunger.



Empezar el día con el pie derecho.

To start the day on the right foot.

While not explicitly breakfast-related, this expression conveys the importance of a positive start to the day, such as having a nourishing breakfast.

Breakfast Across Spanish-Speaking Cultures

A drawing of a breakfast table with cheese, eggs, toast, croissants, and tea.

Just as breakfast varies across different countries, so too does the terminology. Let's take a glimpse into how the concept of breakfast is conveyed in different Spanish-speaking cultures:

  1. Mexico: In Mexico, the term desayuno still holds sway, and it often features dishes like chilaquiles, a delightful medley of tortilla chips, salsa, cheese, and eggs, taken at a breakfast table.
  2. Spain: In the motherland of the language, a good breakfast might consist of tostadas con tomate y jamón (toasted bread with tomato and ham).
  3. Argentina: Here, people love continental breakfast, which includes fruit, coffee, and pastries. A traditional Argentine morning meal could include medialunas, a sweet and flaky pastry similar to croissants.
  4. Puerto Rico: The term desayuno is used in this region, too. A Puerto Rican breakfast favorite is mofongo, a dish made from mashed plantains often served with eggs, bacon, or other toppings taken during breakfast time.

The Bottom Line

Benji is studying Spanish with the Langster app.

In the enchanting world of the Spanish language, breakfast takes on the form of desayuno, a term that encapsulates the essence of morning nourishment. With a delightful array of expressions and vocabulary, Spanish-speaking cultures celebrate the day's beginning in various ways.

From sipping on a fragrant café to savoring tostadas or huevos, the diversity of breakfast choices across the Spanish-speaking world reflects the language’s inherent cultural richness. Start practicing these vocabulary and expressions with our Langster app, and soon, you'll find yourself asking for breakfast like a native.

So, whether you want to visit the vibrant streets of Madrid, the bustling markets of Mexico City, or the charming cafes of Buenos Aires, you can greet the morning with a hearty ¡Buenos días! and embark on a culinary journey through the delightful world of Spanish breakfast.