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Full breakfast

"Full English" redirects here. For the television series, see Full English (TV series). For other options, see [[The Full English (disambiguation)#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.The Full English]].
"English breakfast" redirects here. For the tea, see English Breakfast tea.
"Eggs and bacon" redirects here. For the plants, see Eggs-and-bacon.

A full breakfast is a breakfast meal, usually including bacon, sausages, eggs, and a variety of other cooked foods, with a beverage such as coffee or tea. It is especially popular in the UK and Ireland, to the extent that many cafés and pubs offer the meal at any time of day as an "all-day breakfast". It is also popular in other English-speaking countries.

In England it is usually referred to as a 'full English breakfast' (often shortened to 'full English') or 'fry-up'.[1][2] Other regional names and variants include the 'full Scottish', 'full Welsh', 'full Irish' and the 'Ulster fry'.[3][4][5]

A full breakfast is often contrasted (e.g. on hotel menus) with the lighter alternative of a Continental breakfast, traditionally consisting of tea, milk or coffee and fruit juices with bread, croissants or pastries.

Common foods and dishes

The ingredients of a full breakfast vary according to region and taste. They are often served with condiments such as brown sauce or ketchup.

Regional variants

Britain and Ireland


The traditional Cornish breakfast includes hog's pudding and Cornish potato cakes (made with mashed potatoes mixed with flour and butter and then fried),[6][7] or fried potatoes alongside the usual bacon, sausage, tomato, mushrooms, egg and toast.[7] In the past traditional Cornish breakfasts have included pilchards and herring,[8] or gurty pudding, a Cornish dish similar to haggis, not to be confused with gurty milk, another Cornish breakfast dish made with bread and milk.[9]


A full English breakfast with fried egg, sausage, white and black pudding, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans, hash browns, toast, and half a tomato

A traditional full English breakfast includes bacon (traditionally back bacon),[10] fried, poached or scrambled eggs, fried or grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried bread or toast with butter, sausages, and baked beans. Black pudding, bubble and squeak and hash browns are often also included. In the North Midlands, fried or grilled oatcakes sometimes replace fried bread.

The food is traditionally served with a mug of tea; more recently coffee is an alternative.

As nearly everything is fried in this meal, it is commonly called a "fry-up". As some of the items are optional, the phrase 'full English breakfast', 'full English' (or humorously 'Full Monty') often specifically denotes a breakfast including everything on offer.


File:Full irish breakfast.jpg
A full Irish breakfast served in Cork

In Ireland, as elsewhere, the exact constituents of a full breakfast vary, depending on geographical area, personal taste and cultural affiliation. Traditionally, the most common ingredients are bacon rashers, pork sausages, fried eggs, white pudding, black pudding, toast and fried tomato.[11] Sauteed field mushrooms are also sometimes included,[12] as well as baked beans, hash browns, liver, and brown soda bread.[13][14][15] Fried potato farl, boxty or toast is sometimes served as an alternative to brown soda bread.

The "breakfast roll",[16] consisting of elements of the full breakfast served in a French roll, has become popular due to the fact it can be easily eaten on the way to school or work, similar to the breakfast burrito in the United States.[16] The breakfast roll is available from many petrol stations and convenience stores throughout Ireland.[16] In 2006 Irish comedian Pat Shortt released a song called Jumbo Breakfast Roll.

File:Full Ulster fry.jpg
A full Ulster fry served in Belfast, Northern Ireland

An Ulster fry is a dish similar to the Irish breakfast and is popular throughout Ulster, where it is eaten not only at breakfast time but throughout the day. Typically it will include soda bread and potato bread as in an Irish breakfast, but omitting the white pudding.

Between 2001 and 2007, the television channel BBC Two Northern Ireland used a station ID during local opt-outs from national UK programming which featured the BBC Two logo eating an Ulster fry.


File:Scottish breakfast.jpg
A similar Scottish alternative

In Scotland, the full breakfast, as with others, contains eggs, back bacon, link sausage, buttered toast, baked beans, and tea or coffee. Distinctively Scottish elements include Scottish style black pudding, Lorne sausage, and tattie scones. It commonly also includes fried or grilled tomato and/or mushrooms and occasionally haggis, white pudding, fruit pudding[17] or oatcakes.[18][19] As with other breakfasts it has become more common, especially within the home, to grill the meats, puddings and tomatoes and to only fry the eggs and tattie scones. Another more historical Scottish breakfast is porridge and may occasionally be served as a starter.

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable refers to a Scotch breakfast as "a substantial breakfast of sundry sorts of good things to eat and drink".[20]


The traditional Welsh breakfast includes laverbread, a seaweed purée which is mixed with oatmeal and fried, this is served with eggs, bacon, and cockles.[21]

North America

File:American breakfast (187066827).jpg
Bacon and eggs with pancakes

The style of breakfast has carried over to the US and Canada, though continental breakfast foods are also popular. A full breakfast in these countries often consists of eggs, meat such as bacon, peameal bacon (Canada only), ham, sausage, corn beef hash, scrapple (US only), pork roll (US only), Spam, creton (Canada only), steak or country fried steak (US only), and grits (predominantly in the Southern US) or fried potatoes such as hash browns or home fries. Accompanying the meal might be toasted white, wheat or rye bread, English muffins, bagels, waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, cinnamon rolls, biscuits, fruit or fruit juice and beverages such as coffee or tea.

In Canada, the meal may be known as a lumberjack breakfast. In Quebec, the meal may include regional variants like crêpes, buckwheat galettes, boudin, baked beans and cretons.

Food list

Some of the foods that may be included in a full breakfast are:

See also


  1. ^ "Could a fry-up be good for you?". Daily Mail (London). 6 August 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "The full English". Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Traditional Scottish Food". Visit Scotland. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Rowland, Paul (25 October 2005). "So what is a 'full Welsh breakfast'?". Wales Online. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Bell, James (29 January 2014). "How to... Cook the perfect Ulster Fry". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Mary Maddock. "Cornish Potato Cake Recipe – Cornish Recipes". Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  7. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  8. ^ The Ladies' Companion, December 1854, The Mercy of the Winter's Waves, (A Christmas Tale), by Silverpen.
  9. ^ The Wordsworth Dictionary of Culinary & Menu Terms, Rodney Dale, 2000
  10. ^ "The Traditional Full English Breakfast". The English Breakfast Society. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "Traditional Irish Breakfast recipe from". Food Ireland. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  12. ^ Traditional Irish Breakfast recipe from Barry's Tea
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ [3]
  15. ^ Gerald, Paul (12 July 2012). "The Full English". Memphis Flyer (Contemporary Media, Inc.). Retrieved 30 July 2012. The Irish might have soda bread, a potato pancake called boxty, white pudding (what you're used to, but with oatmeal in it) or black pudding (the same, but with blood cooked in). 
  16. ^ a b c McDonald, Brian (12 May 2008). "Top breakfast baguette rolls into Irish history". Irish Independent. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  17. ^ Gerald, Paul (12 July 2012). "The Full English". Memphis Flyer (Contemporary Media, Inc.). Retrieved 30 July 2012. The Scots like to have tattie (potato) scones, fruit pudding (actually a sausage made with very little fruit), and, of course, their curse on the earth, haggis. 
  18. ^ Elizabeth Foyster, Christopher A. Whatley (2009). A History of Everyday Life in Scotland, 1600 to 1800. Edinburgh University Press. p. 139. 
  19. ^ Alan Davidson and Tom Jaine (2006). The Oxford companion to food. Oxford University Press. p. 185. 
  20. ^ Brewer, E. Cobham. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 812. 
  21. ^ Welsh Government. " – Food". Government of Wales. Retrieved 30 July 2012. Laverbread, not actually bread at all but seaweed, is rolled in oatmeal, fried into crisp patties and served with eggs, bacon and fresh cockles for a traditional Welsh breakfast. 

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