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Full English Breakfast vs All American Breakfast

Updated on September 12, 2014

Which Country Has The Better Cooked Breakfast - England or America?

I have something to confess: I am English, but much prefer the traditional American breakfast to our Full English breakfast! The first meal of the day has always been my favourite, I usually have cereal or toast but a cooked breakfast once in a while is a lovely treat.

After living in the US for 6 months, I acquired a very unhealthy addiction to the home cooked American breakfasts and although it is terribly unpatriotic, the Full English just doesn't work for me any more!

So what do you think? Are you an enthusiastic advocate for pancakes, biscuits and hash browns? Or do you prefer black pudding and fried bread!

See my pros and cons and join in the debate!

A Traditional American Diner


Why American Breakfasts Are So Tasty!

Maybe because I was a foreigner in a different land and have a romanticised view on the American way of life, I don't know, but I just prefer these breakfasts and the whole diner experience! American breakfasts derived from our own English one, but expanded to include and develop on dishes from many different countries, such as Mexico, Ireland and Germany.

  1. The portions are HUGE

  2. I like the way American mix their sweet and savoury together (chocolate pancakes with eggs and bacon, anyone?), which I thought was weird and horrible at first. I now find it funny looking at all the combinations you can have, and it actually does work.

  3. Hash browns are a gift from the heavens.

  4. You can get a lot to eat for less than $10.00. And by a lot, I mean you can literally be full until the next day on half a plateful and take a doggy bag home to eat for breakfast the next day.

  5. The free re-fills of coffee, genius.

  6. The characterful diners run by families, with plenty of quirks and charm are wonderful places. Americans are generally a lot more sociable and friendly than English people, if you are foreign people will want to talk to you and get to know you. In return you meet some fascinating people that seem to be straight from a movie.

  7. The range of dishes available are more than you get with a full English breakfast. You can mix it up a lot more with more variety.

  8. I like that you can order your fried eggs to your preference, this is civilised and thoughtful!

A Traditional English "Greasy Spoon"

Premiere Cafe, South Tottenham, N15
Premiere Cafe, South Tottenham, N15 | Source

My Thoughts On The Full English Breakfast


English cooked breakfasts are very tasty but they just don't measure up in my opinion, and here is why.....

  1. There is less variety, you get bacon, sausage, egg (just the one, in the US it is common to get 3!), fried bread, black pudding, beans, mushrooms and tomato. You get that all on one plate, seems a little miserly to me!

  2. I like that there is a nod to eating some vitamin C with a Full English, with the tomato and mushrooms. A grilled tomato is so great.

  3. A mug of tea with an English cooked breakfast is fab, out of a mug that has not been washed properly and still has the lipstick of the previous drinker on the rim.

  4. People watching - eating in a greasy spoon is brilliant for people watching! But in America you will be talked too, in England you will be ignored and if you are a tourist, viewed with suspicion.

  5. English back bacon is amazingly tasty, but is never cooked to the crispiness I want! You would not dare ask for it to be crisped up either.

  6. I think there are less opportunities to eat our Full English breakfast now, Greasy Spoons are becoming scarce and people are too health conscious. I saw packed diners in the States, with families all enjoying a cooked breakfast, I just don't see that in the UK. Please contradict me if I am wrong!

Let's Hear From You! American vs English Breakfast! - There is no middle ground!

What breakfast do you prefer?

The All American Breakfast! And here is why...

The All American Breakfast! And here is why...

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    • sausage 2 years ago

      English breakfast all the way for me. When visiting the state's I just can't be doing with sweet tasting foods first thing in the morning.

    • paul 2 years ago

      I like best of both worlds so don't knock it until you tried it .....

    • anonymous 3 years ago

      An American breakfast is about variety. It may include vegetables if you want them. An omelet, for example, may consist of one to three eggs, cheese, bacon, sausage, or ham, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, spinach, tomatoes and more. The possibilities are endless. A traditional American breakfast generally consists of eggs, a type of meat (ham/bacon/sausage), type of potato (hash browns, country), type of bread (biscuit and gravy, toast, pancake, waffle, or muffin), butter and jam, and type of beverage (coffee, tea, juice). The health conscious might enjoy egg whites with spinach and

      tomato, wheat toast, fruit, and tea or coffee. I personally use turkey bacon (less fat), egg whites, wheat toast, fruit and coffee with fat-free cream. At times I will have oatmeal with some type of fruit and coffee.

      I have never tried black pudding and I have no plans too. It is just not something that appeals to me. Baked beans are typically reserved for lunch meals or BBQ's here in the states. I think I would enjoy the remaining items in an English breakfast.

    • williamslaw 3 years ago

      American breakfast it is for me. I need to start my day with a smile and full of energy and American breakfast does that to me.

    • williamslaw 3 years ago

      It is American for me any day! It is tasty and mood lifting. I need to start my day with a smile and American breakfast does that to me.

    • Spirality 3 years ago

      Because with an American breakfast there is no one set meal dishes like in a Full English Breakfast. Also because I do not like tomato or yolk-y eggs.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      my favorite breaskfast is pancakes & cream

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      If only for the hash browns and crispy bacon!

    • victoriahaneveer 4 years ago

      I love a US breakfast, give me plenty of salsa and grated cheese with my eggs, hash browns, crispy bacon, sausage and fresh OJ, oh and don't forget the Half & Half in my coffee. I'm English. I hate biscuits and gravy though, and am not keen on stodgy US pancakes. There is definitely a middle ground although I'm keener on the US breakfast.

    • rafael-portilho 4 years ago

      American :) beause it is more tasty

    • stevel58 4 years ago

      The choice is easy.

      In America has to be the American

      In England has to be English.

      Love them both. Just don't try to give me a continental breakfast.

    • Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I guess I am used to an American breakfast. That, and I don't know what "black pudding" is. What is it made of? It sounds grim.

    • Country Sunshine 5 years ago from Texas

      American all the way! I eat a big breakfast every day - bacon, eggs, hash browns or grits, and toast. No coffee, but orange juice is good. I can't imagine eating fried bread or pudding for breakfast

    • Fcuk Hub 5 years ago

      English, it's unhealthy but god :)

    • Cold0911 5 years ago

      I prefer southern Style with Biscuits and Gravy

    • ernieplotter 5 years ago

      Lived in London for a year... the only problem I see with English Breakfast is the beans... God they are strange in flavor and texture... So the winner will be American!!!

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Let's hear it for the American diner #1!! Coffee is a wonderful thing and a refill is extra nice with a smile :) fried eggs need to be to order tho- the English must be mad! I am not from the South but must confess biscuits wets and an egg is a superb breakfast with a glass of orange juice you're good to go. I must confess however, that I must find or make some black pudding before I judge it. The single egg is sufficient, I feel, and the tomato and mushrooms sound nice. I will be trying a full English breakfast soon now and I'm sure I'll enjoy it, but it seems heavy with protein and I'm sure our American breakfast has as much versatility to please anyone, as well as covering your veggies fruits proteins grains and possibly satisfy your sweet tooth and quench the need for coffee.

    • Bernie 5 years ago from Corbin, KY

      american , it's where i live

    • GypsyPirate LM 5 years ago

      A Full English might be interesting to try, but the All American will always be one I enjoy more. So, it must be better. And, yes, there is the coffee.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Vote cast for American breakfast, but I enjoy more niche varieties. Huevos rancheros (or the common enchilada rancheros variation) is my favorite- tortilla, beans, rice, chile sauce, egg, cheese and veggies- nice and balanced! Sometimes splurging with a Southern breakfast is nice too; I love chicken fried steak with biscuits and gravy, or chicken and waffles.

    • JJNW 6 years ago from USA

      Must have coffee. lol

    • Pete Schultz 6 years ago

      I believe sausage gravy and biscuits to be a true U.S. invention, and topped with a poached egg, it is the best breakfast in the world. Adding crisp hashbrowns and sliced fruit and a nice glass of orange juice probably touches all food groups too.

    • RecipePublishing 6 years ago

      Beans for breakfast I don't think so!

    • jamesnodturft 6 years ago

      I'm a fan of American breakfasts.

    • careermom 6 years ago

      I actually like a bit of both. I'm a vegetarian so I don't do many of the breakfast favs. I love pancakes or french toast on occasion but the mushrooms and tomatoes from so yummy I could gladly eat them everyday. I much prefer tea with my breakfast to coffee. Of course I also love to throw in some Brie to make it a truly multi-cultural meal.

    • kimbesa 6 years ago from USA

      I love the rashers, but not the bangers. And beans with your breakfast is great, too. But I have to vote for the American breakfast. Gimme real sausage and pancakes!

    • WindyWintersHubs 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      I enjoy a good old fashioned American Breakfast for a weekend treat or when on holiday. It's not something everyone would eat everyday but you never know. There are healthy ways of combining or omitting some of these breakfast foods as well. We also enjoy fruit or vegetable juice and fruit with our American style breakfast. Of course, in Canada we call it a Canadian breakfast so maybe a better term is North American breakfast (LOL). I would say the English breakfast is disgusting! I see more fried food on that plate than the American breakfast. Baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms are a weird combo with the other foods but that's my opinion.

    The Full English! And here is why...

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      • Manuel 21 months ago

        America is not a country

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        I think it maybe all about the place that you are in. Here in my hometown you can get the full english breakfast in three different cafes on the same street! And One is run by Greeks who have adapted to include some American food (Pancakes)

        You say hash browns are a gift, well I always got Hash browns with my breakfast in England.

        Then on my 3 trips to America I only had one American Breakfast and it was ruined by bad service and cold food (yes we waited ages and when it came to use it was cold)

        But this is all situation. Where you are talking about the breakfast sound amazing! Health fanatics are ruining lots of different food. (I miss Tizer)

        So I don't think it's a case of which is better I think it might be where your eating! :-)

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        English breakfast looks healthier

      • Andromachi 3 years ago

        I prefer the second because it also has vegetables

      • Andromachi 3 years ago

        i prefer the English because it has also vegetables

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        To be honest,it depends on how hungry I am lol but seeing as I am from a commonwealth country that is heavily influenced by British culture,I'll go full English lol

      • anonymous 4 years ago


      • Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

        You only have to look at the photographs to see why an English breakfast is better. It's great for vegetarians too because you can have beans, egg, tomatoes, mushrooms, potato cakes and toast. And having those sweet things that Americans call 'pancakes' at breakfast is a bit weird alongside sausages.

        The English breakfast is a lot healthier than American too because it has vegetables and beans. The American breakfast usually swimming in grease whereas most people in the UK grill bacon, tomatoes and sausages, rather than fry them.

      • casnider 4 years ago

        I am American and can only get the English Breakfast when we are on a cruise ship. It's a treat then as we don't have nice mushrooms and grilled tomatoes. I thought it was bonkers to have baked beans for breakfast the first time I saw that, but they're not so bad...just a small serving please. I don't 'get' the black pudding stuff though. Never could bring myself to taste that part of the English Breakfast.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        Full English all the way, Can't ask for anymore than what you get on the plate, I've been to the States many times & they are delicious but at times a bit much with the pancakes & cream, Who needs x3 eggs with their breakfast?! Haha

      • Nathan 4 years ago from Ontario Canada

        I love the English bacon, tomato and beans. The only thing I don't like is the fried bread. Too greasy...

      • Brian Stephens 4 years ago from France

        I worked for an American company for many years and made numerous trips to the States. Well I really enjoyed the American breakfast on my trips there is still nothing to beat a Full English other than perhaps a Full Irish (same thing really)

      • melissiaoliver 5 years ago

        Your reasons for not liking an English breakfast don't make much sense. You say that you get 'all' the components of an English breakfast on one plate and then say that this is 'miserly'. How? Full English breakfasts are huge, there's a ridiculous amount on there! And most places do give you sausage, bacon and egg all at once.

        Also, you're mixing up reasons why you like English breakfasts (e.g. tomatoes) with reasons why you don't like them - but you say you're going to focus specifically on why they don't measure up.

        Have you actually had a full English recently? Because I've had some lovely ones in B&Bs, cafes, etc. Mugs/cups are perfectly clean, they usually ask how I want my meat done so I can ask for the bacon super crispy - and Full English breakfasts are certainly not confined to greasy spoons.

        My experience of American breakfasts has not exactly been great: I ordered pancakes in one diner and they came tasting like onions because they cooked the pancakes on the same grill. Plus you just don't get the same flavour in American food as you do with English food :-)

      • Satdin 5 years ago

        I prefer full english course

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        Honestly what a daft debate, a bit like asking "which is best, cutting all your fingers off with a blunt knife or winning the lottery twice?"

        Nothing good has ever come out of America.... they certainly can't do decent food, it's appalling - so they make up for it with quantity.

        Just look at their god awful cars, -- oooh but they're so big, yeah but they suck donkey balls, mostly.

        I think I've had some of the worst food and most certainly the worst coffee in the US, not to mention that most of the food they consume is flavourless and pumped full of growth hormones.

        Grits, what on earth is that supposed to be - tried it once never again.

        As for the atmos in diners, the reason they're so interested in a foreign accent is because most americans have never been abroad, are poorly educated and narrow minded. Those that have, do the "I've done Europe tour" 3 hrs in each city then back home on the plane.

        That is all.

        Black Pudding ftw

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        your reasons barely have anything to do with the actual breakfast, the only difference was size which is location specific, price, again location specific and you being to afraid to ask how you want your breakfast. do you mean that no mug in england is dirty and every mug in america is clean and that nowhere in england does refills? my local cafe gives you a huge pot of tea which if you can get through it they will refill it and a clean mug. a full english all the way.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        Because i have one when ever i go to England

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        The fact that you find mixing sweet and savoury funny, is because it's a joke! the americans just can't take their breakfast seriously, whereas a full english is the appropriate breakfast for normal people

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        A pretty poor article, the "American" (is that North or South America? Which country?) is referred to in positives, the English Cafe in negatives. There isn't just a standard English Breakfast you can choose what you have and what you don't, plus how you want your eggs, plenty of options for vegetarians with mushrooms, tomatoes, and baked beans and don't forget in some parts of the country you could have a Staffordshire or Derbyshire oatcake alongside. Plus it's cheap, very cheap, why wasn't that mentioned? People are friendly, if you were to go in and eat on your own then you would have someone talking to you, if you are with someone else it's considered polite not to bother you!

      • jonnyyoung13 5 years ago

        Because I'm going to make one now

      • reasonablerobby 5 years ago

        Almost like asking if the Pope is Catholic. Full English all the way. Simply the best, proper bacon too! And lashings of HP Brown Sauce.

      • David Dove 5 years ago

        The act of treason is still on the statute books you know - planning on coming home anytime soon? ;-)

      • wendygaga 6 years ago

        Sorry America but you can't beat a full english!

      • WayneDave LM 6 years ago

        You CANNOT beat an English breakfast. I'm sorry to disagree but the English is the best.

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        It's good

      • justholidays 6 years ago

        I've never been attracted by American food and now that I've read your "The Great All American Breakfast" page, I'm definitely disgusted...

        Mixing sweet and savory foods is horrible. From what I've read in the other page, assuming that I even agree to give a try to just one of the meals featured on there, I'd be sick for a whole week. No, seriously, I just couldn't even give one of them a try.

        Instead, there's nothing like a full English breakfast to start the day!

        Brits have a "thing" to cook a breakfast the healthy way, boiled food, gently fried food, reasonable amount of fat, no food is burnt; which is also good for the health.

        I'm really fond of the English breakfast although I'm not British and more accustomed to croissant and other stuff for breakfast - after all, I'm a continental European, hehe.

        Then look at the obesity problem, it's a real problem in the US, not in the UK; which means that Brits have a healthier lifestyle and, therefore, their meals are better than those in the US.

        So, for me, English breakfast wins the duel.

        Cheers :)

      Please Share Your Favourite Breakfast Memories! - Do you have a favourite place to go and eat breakfast?

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          Jacobus 11 months ago

          I quite like both, actually. The American penchant for mixing sweet and salty/savoury things may seem strange at first, but it's downright addictive once you've experienced it. Both breakfasts are good for cold weather. Americans are often put off by the inclusion of beans, but British beans are very different from theirs, served in a tomato rather than treacle-based sauce.

        • Spirality profile image

          Spirality 3 years ago

          I love bacon, egg and cheese on toast. Delicious!

        • Stuwaha profile image

          Stuwaha 4 years ago

          I'm not big on sitting down and eating a big breakfast typically however our traditional family christmas breakfast is my ultimate sit down breakfast... pan fried potato and cheese leftover pierogi, cold sliced ham, scrambled eggs, bagels, pancakes.... yes.

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          casnider 4 years ago

          The best all around breakfast is on a Celebrity cruise ship in the middle of the ocean.

        • James1978 profile image

          James1978 4 years ago

          The best full English breakfasts are usually done by B&B and guest house owners in my experience.

        • victoriahaneveer profile image

          victoriahaneveer 4 years ago

          iHop is always nice!

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          JoshK47 4 years ago

          Man, both of these look so tasty - but I'm not terribly fond of beans, so American may have to win out there... blessed by a SquidAngel!

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          legomanultra 5 years ago

          I like American Breakfasts as well. I used to like to go to the International House of Pancakes or Steak N' Shake, but now I prefer a good ol' fashioned homecooked American breakfast.

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          Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

          I like the American diners too, but I don't order the humungous breakfasts. Maybe some scrambled eggs and two slices of bacon and toast. Diner breakfast food always tastes better

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          Both breakfasts sound wickedly delicious. I doubt all the fat, salt and sugar in them is good for your health but as a once-a-while indulgence give me both!

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          Satdin 5 years ago

          Nice informative lens you have done

        • Country-Sunshine profile image

          Country Sunshine 5 years ago from Texas

          I didn't know about Full English Breakfast before now, and am quite thankful I don't have to eat one! My favorite place for breakfast - my kitchen table!

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          reasonablerobby 5 years ago

          This could cause a diplomatic incident, and rightly so too. There are lots of things from the USA and Canada that I love, and I'm afraid the American Breakfast doesn't come close...especially if the secret ingredient is Black Pudding.

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          Edutopia 5 years ago

          They both have their places and I'd never turn either down when offered but I feel that the American breakfast edges out the English one. It boils down to basically the amount of variety offered by the American breakfast giving it greater room for adapting to the whims of the day.

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          One full English please!

          By Robert Harland

          "To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day," so said British playwright and novelist W. Somerset Maugham.

          He was of course referring to that great British culinary institution, the full English breakfast.

          This usually comprises several fried foods â bacon, eggs, tomatoes, sausages, baked beans, fried bread (a fried 'slice'), mushrooms, black (blood) pudding and sometimes left-over mashed potato, also fried.

          If you're a Brit, this is food for the gods. But if you have one every day, you're unlikely to be around long enough to enjoy an old-age pension, though Briton Douglas Terrey has just celebrated his 105th birthday and he's eaten a full English every morning since he was 13.

          Also called a full Monty or a fry-up, the full English is available in thousands of cafes and restaurants throughout the day. It's history, however, goes back many centuries to rural England.

          This breakfast delight is what your average English peasant had first thing in the morning to fortify himself before heading off for a day of back-breaking work in the fields.

          Interestingly, rather like that other great British culinary classic, fish and chips, the traditional full English breakfast has made a substantial contribution to the international food scene.

          Hotels and restaurants around the world serve a breakfast buffet on the English model.

          But, for my money, the best full English is still found in the its country of origin. There is even a website dedicated to fry-ups where blogger Dave Fry goes in search of the best in Britain.

          At his first European Union summit in Brussels recently, newly-elected British prime minister David Cameron was treated to a full English. His host, European commission president, José Manuel Barroso, knew this would make set the right tone and make Mr. Cameron feel at home.

          It's said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and the full English has indeed been copied and renamed in many countries.

          Although the ingredients may differ slightly, in the US the English fry-up has morphed into the full American. There's also the full Scottish, the full Australian, the full Canadian, the full Irish, the full Welsh and from Northern Ireland, there's the Ulster fry.

          But, whatever it's called, lovers of a hearty fried breakfast can thank English peasants all those centuries ago for coming up with the idea.

          â ends â

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          David Dove 5 years ago

          Full english served on the terrace in tropical sunshine - I imagine.

        • GypsyPirate LM profile image

          GypsyPirate LM 5 years ago

          Loved reading this. I had no idea what a Full English breakfast was, so now I've learned something too.

        • JJNW profile image

          JJNW 6 years ago from USA

          Our American family eats a very light breakfast with minimal fat. An egg on toasted bread, a bowl of cereal with milk, or maybe oatmeal. Now, eating in a restaurant - YUM - I go for the bigger breakfast! (scrambled eggs, hashbrown potatoes, toast with jam, strong coffee)

        • WayneDave LM profile image

          WayneDave LM 6 years ago

          Love a good fry up now and again. Gotta be careful but they are great on a hangover day!

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          poutine 6 years ago

          I love my breakfasts at home. I find them too greasy at restaurants.

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          careermom 6 years ago

          I love eating breakfast at home. It is too hard to find all the right combos in a restaurant. I love crepes with cream cheese and raspberry jams over traditional pancakes. But I do love the sweet being offset with tomatoes and mushrooms. Darn but this lens makes one hungry

        • kimbesa2 profile image

          kimbesa 6 years ago from USA

          Thanks for this...I love to see the British perspective! You might enjoy the PBS program Breakfast Special, which is available on DVD. I want to eat at every place they visited!

        • WindyWintersHubs profile image

          WindyWintersHubs 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

          A typical breakfast for me would be either cereal or yogurt with fruit. But gotta love an old-fashioned American/Canadian breakfast once in a while. Lensrolling to pancakes vs waffles debate!

        • justholidays profile image

          justholidays 6 years ago

          I'm a Belgian, so, I'm accustomed to bread spread with some jam or Liege syrup (which I definitely hate); or croissants and other stuff like that, for breakfast.

          However, my favorite type of breakfast is the English breakfast which I discovered in my books when I was a child and I actually tried when I went on holiday in England for the very first time of my life.

          I then went back on there over and over again, because the country is the most marvelous country I've ever been to, Brits are the most fantastic people I've ever met and they serve an amazingly delicious breakfast in the morning and a wonderful cream tea at 5 o'clock.

          Should I add that, since the very first time he went in the UK with me, my son requires from me to prepare a British breakfast every Sunday morning? Isn't this proof that UK wins the breakfast battle? LOL.

          It was an entertaining page, once again!

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          ravi551854 6 years ago

          i am an Indian and i prefer to eat parantha or chapati with omlate in the breakfast