What do Argentines eat for breakfast?

One of the most common complaints of foreigners living in Argentina is the local breakfast panorama. Let’s say this situation has gotten better with time, most notoriously in international neighborhoods like Palermo, but as you move away from the tourist-targeted areas, or especially if you’re travelling around Argentina, the patterns start to become clear.

***2 fair warnings***

Number one: there is a serious deficit of salty choices. Argentines like to start their day sweet (ironically enough). Coming from the Caribbean this was weird at first; I was used to breakfast including eggs, arepas, cheese, or a lot of deep fried goods.

Number two: lack of protein (which they overcompensate at the asado later…)

The number one breakfast combo in Argentina

Cortado + 2 medialunas + juguito de naranja.

That’s a classic alright: espresso with a splash of milk + small orange juice + a couple of medialunas (explained below)

Medialunas

Medialunas are sub-genre of Argentinian facturas. Now watch out: forget what you learned in your Spanish class before arriving in Argentina: if you’re offered “facturas” at a café, they’re not offering to bring the bill. Facturas is what Argentinians call a wide variety of pastries you can get at local bakeries.

They are arguably the number one breakfast item in the country, and among them, medialunas are the factura of choice for breakfast.

Tostadas con queso y mermelada

Sliced bread with cream cheese and jam*

*Some places may offer dulce de leche and butter as alternatives.

Tostado de jamón y queso

Grilled ham and cheese sandwich

Ideal for those salty cravings before noon. It’s usually a thin sandwich made with soft white bread without crust, a thin slice of ham, a thin slice of cheese and mayonnaise. Grilled enough so that the cheese is about to melt – but not quite melting yet.

Medialuna de jamón y queso

Argentine croissant filled with ham and cheese.

If you’re team bittersweet like me, go for this one.

Yogurt con granola

Pretty common as the “healthy” item on the breakfast menu. Many places have their own version with fruits or homemade yogurt. Ask about it just in case.

Only mate

Yes. Many Argentinians only need a round of mate in the morning and they’re good to go. Mate really gives you a lot of energy and it makes you feel full and satisfied. More on that here.

Alfajor

If there’s just no time a “proper” breakfast, locals may grab an alfajor at the kiosco and eat it on the way.

Argentine Foods that are not usually offered as breakfast but damn wouldn’t they be perfect:

Revuelto Gramajo

Pancakes with Dulce de Leche

Empanadas

Sanguchitos de Miga

Remember I also have a guide to Essential Argentinian Food and the Underdogs in Argentinian Cuisine.

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