Breakfast in Uruguay – When it comes to breakfast, Uruguay is a treasure trove of delicious and satisfying dishes that are perfect for starting your day. From traditional staples to innovative takes on classic recipes, this South American country has something for everyone’s palate.
In this guide, we’ll take you on a culinary journey through Uruguay’s breakfast scene, highlighting its must-try dishes, top cafes, and scrumptious street food.
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Where To Stay in Uruguay – Uruguayan Breakfast
Accommodation prices can take you around $30 USD if you sleep in a hostel cheaper than a dorm. For mid-budget accommodation starts at $50-70 USD and more than $100 USD you will find luxury accommodation in Uruguay.
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Traditional Breakfast in Uruguay
Bizcochos are a staple in Uruguayan breakfast cuisine. These baked goods come in many shapes and flavors, both sweet and savory. Common varieties include croissant-like medialunas, jam-filled vigilantes, and cheese-stuffed bizcochos de grasa. Pair your favorite bizcocho with a steaming cup of coffee or tea for a traditional Uruguayan breakfast experience.
Medialuna – Breakfast Uruguayos
The medialuna is a classic Uruguayan breakfast delight that holds a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. These crescent-shaped pastries, reminiscent of French croissants, feature a buttery, flaky texture and a subtle sweetness, making them the perfect companion to a steaming cup of coffee or a traditional mate infusion.
Medialunas come in two popular varieties: de manteca (butter-based) and de grasa (lard-based), each offering a distinct flavor profile. Often enjoyed at charming local bakeries, cozy cafes, or even as a quick on-the-go treat from street vendors, the medialuna is an essential part of the Uruguayan breakfast experience that should not be missed.
Torta frita is a beloved Uruguayan treat made from a simple dough of flour, water, and salt. These deep-fried pastries are light and crispy on the outside with a soft interior. Best enjoyed warm, they can be sprinkled with sugar or drizzled with dulce de leche for a sweet touch or served with a slice of cheese for a savory alternative.
Facturas are flaky, buttery pastries that resemble French croissants. These baked delights come with various fillings, such as sweet jams, custard, or dulce de leche. Facturas are an excellent accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee or mate, Uruguay’s traditional beverage.
Pan con Tomate
Pan con tomate is a simple yet satisfying breakfast dish that features crusty bread topped with ripe tomatoes, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. For a heartier meal, add a slice of fresh cheese or a side of scrambled eggs.
Milanesa al Pan
The milanesa al pan is a popular Uruguayan sandwich consisting of a breaded and fried meat cutlet, typically beef or chicken, served on a soft roll with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. This filling sandwich is perfect for a substantial breakfast to fuel your day of exploration.
Yogur con Muesli
For a healthier option, many Uruguayans enjoy a bowl of yogurt with muesli, a mix of rolled oats, dried fruits, and nuts. This nutritious combination provides an energy boost and can be found at most cafes and restaurants offering breakfast menus.
Chivito al Pan / Chivito Uruguayo Casero – Breakfast in Uruguay
The chivito al pan is a classic Uruguayan sandwich loaded with thinly sliced beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, mayonnaise, and a fried egg, all packed between two slices of fresh bread. While not specifically a breakfast dish, it can be enjoyed any time of day and is a popular choice for a hearty meal.
Empanadas are a popular breakfast option for those seeking a quick and savory bite. These handheld pastries come filled with an array of ingredients, such as cheese, spinach, or meat, and can be found at numerous street vendors and bakeries throughout Uruguay.
Pancakes with Dulce de Leche
Many street vendors and local markets offer freshly made pancakes, known as “panqueques,” filled with Uruguay’s beloved dulce de leche. These sweet, gooey treats are perfect for satisfying your morning sugar cravings and pair well with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
Although more commonly associated with Argentina, choripán has become increasingly popular in Uruguay. This street food staple consists of a grilled chorizo sausage, split down the middle and served on a warm, crusty roll with chimichurri sauce. While not a traditional breakfast dish, it can be enjoyed any time of day and is a great option for those seeking a flavorful, quick bite.
Dulce de Leche
Uruguay’s national obsession, dulce de leche, is a thick, caramel-like spread made from sweetened condensed milk. This delicious treat is often used as a topping for toast, pancakes, and pastries or mixed into yogurt for a sweet breakfast touch. Be sure to sample the many variations of dulce de leche available throughout the country.
Mate, a traditional South American infusion made from the leaves of the yerba mate plant, is an integral part of Uruguayan culture. It’s not uncommon to see locals carrying their mate gourds and thermoses filled with hot water as they go about their day. Mate is often enjoyed alongside breakfast dishes and provides a social and ritualistic element to the morning meal.
Where to Get Your Breakfast in Uruguay
For a more European-inspired breakfast, head to Café Gourmand, an elegant French-style patisserie in Montevideo. Their delectable selection of pastries, quiches, and perfectly crafted coffee drinks make it a must-visit spot for breakfast lovers.
Nestled in Montevideo’s trendy Pocitos neighborhood, La Otra is a cozy and inviting café that specializes in serving tasty breakfast dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. From traditional options like medialunas and yogurt with muesli to contemporary offerings like avocado toast and açaí bowls, La Otra caters to a wide range of tastes. Don’t forget to try their expertly crafted coffee or freshly squeezed juices to complete your morning experience.
Ramona is a popular café and bakery located in the bustling Parque Rodó district of Montevideo. Known for its freshly baked bread and pastries, this spot is perfect for indulging in a classic Uruguayan breakfast. In addition to their extensive selection of bizcochos, Ramona offers a variety of artisanal sandwiches, homemade granola, and fresh fruit salads.
Uruguay’s breakfast offerings are rich in flavor, history, and creativity, providing a diverse array of dishes for every traveler’s tastes. The country boasts both traditional and modern takes on breakfast classics that are sure to start your day on a high note. In this guide, we’ll delve deeper into Uruguay’s breakfast culture, exploring even more must-try dishes, popular cafes, and irresistible street food.
Final Thoughts on Breakfast in Uruguay
Uruguay’s breakfast scene is a captivating blend of traditional dishes, charming cafes, and enticing street food, offering a rich and diverse culinary experience for visitors. As you journey through this beautiful country, be sure to indulge in the many mouthwatering breakfast options that showcase the depth and diversity of Uruguay’s food culture. With a wide range of flavors and textures to explore, your mornings in Uruguay are guaranteed to be a gastronomic delight.