10 Traditional Russian Breakfast Foods To Start The Day Right

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Russia spans nine time zones, two continents, and has thirty UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is a massive country worthy of any great explorer, but to explore this vast land you need to eat! Hungry locals and visitors alike can find so many delicious offerings on the Russian breakfast table!

Eat breakfast like a Russian native then take on all the wonders this massive country has to offer. 

What Is Special About Russian Breakfast

Russian food is truly inspirational and there is no better way in the world to start your morning than with a bite of sensational Russian breakfast foods. Russian chefs truly understand how to elevate simple foods.

If you are wondering what do Russians eat for breakfast, the diverse Russian breakfast has a little of everything from international to local flavors.

Breakfasts often include favorite staples like fresh cheese, jam, and buckwheat as well as popular styles of dishes, like pancakes. No matter what type of breakfast you like, there is something delicious on the menu for you!

Most Famous Russian Breakfast

Syrniki (Cheese Pancakes)

These fluffy cakes are every Russian’s dream. They are an indulgent Russian breakfast that will make you dream of more. Syrniki are a local type of morning cake that is simply irresistible and while they may look just like fluffy pancakes these tiny treats have so much more hidden inside!

Syrniki are a traditional Russian breakfast food that features a local staple, tvorog. The cakes are made similarly to pancake recipes, but with the delicious addition of tvorog.

Tvorog is a soft cheese made from fermented cow’s milk. It has a wonderful creamy flavor as well as plenty of tanginess, and it gives these cakes a surprisingly cheesy middle. Try this classic Russian breakfast with jam, honey, syrup, or butter for a lusciously rich way to start the day!

Traditional Russian Breakfast

Tvorog (Russian Cottage Cheese)


So many delicious Russian breakfast favorites simply would not exist without this Russian staple.

Tvorog is a wonderful local dairy that is enjoyed on its own or cooked in many typical Russian breakfast dishes. This beautiful soft cheese has a texture that lies somewhere between cottage cheese and ricotta. It is curdy, soft, and mildly sweet in flavor.

Tvorog is sometimes referred to as farmer’s cheese, and it is central to Russian breakfast dishes like syrniki, ponchiki, and vatrushka.

Kasha (Buckwheat Porridge)


One cannot think about Russian food without thinking of buckwheat, let alone Russian breakfast! Buckwheat is Russia’s most prized grain and it is used in many different traditional dishes. One of the best ways to start your day in Russia is with a hearty buckwheat porridge or Kasha.

Kasha is a flavorful porridge made from buckwheat grains. The grains are boiled with milk or water to make an oatmeal-like texture. Often this porridge is topped with fresh butter or a touch of honey for those that like things sweeter. Kasha is more filling than it looks and it has the nutrients you need to get going in Russia!

Grenki (Russian French Toast)


Russians have developed great ways to deal with leaner times and they always make the most of all foods. One classic Russian breakfast that is a food-saving wonder is Grenki, or Russian French toast.

That title does not do this version justice, and the truth is both dishes actually developed independently. This style of preparation just happens to be a very smart way to reuse old ingredients, and somehow the French variety gained more international fame.

Grenki starts with old bread. Crusty, one to two-day-old bread is soaked in milk and then dipped in egg. The bread is fried in shallow oil to give it a beautifully crisp finish. Locals take this Russian breakfast food two ways, savory or sweet.

The sweet version is finished with jam and honey and the savory version might include smetana, mushrooms, and herbs. No matter your tastes this is a breakfast you won’t forget!

Savory Russian Breakfasts

Draniki (Potato Pancake)


If you love savory fare in the morning, this Russian breakfast is for you! Draniki are traditional potato pancakes and they are a local breakfast delicacy! The Russian take on this breakfast tradition is made with potatoes, egg, and flour and then pan-fried.

Locals keep the seasonings in their draniki simple, preferring this Russian breakfast with salt, pepper, and a smetana finish. These savory pancakes are great on their own or paired with other local breakfast favorites.

Pirozhki (Russian Filled Buns)


Russians love filled foods; from dumplings to pies to turnovers, there is no shortage of beautifully filled foods in Russian cuisine. One tasty savory Russian breakfast is pirozhki or savory-filled buns.

Pirozhki are made with a yeasted dough that is shaped into a semi-circle and then filled with delicious savory fillings. Common filings include hard-boiled eggs, minced meat, potatoes, and cabbage.

These tasty buns are a local favorite to enjoy in the morning for a meal that will really hold you over! They can also be paired with a delicious Russian soup for a real fulfilling breakfast meal.

Buterbrody (Open-Faced Russian Sandwiches)


Locals in Russia love to eat fish in all its preparations. A delicious way to enjoy fish in Russia is with Buterbrody or open-faced breakfast sandwiches. Locals love to eat lean protein like fish on delicious rye bread to get their day going.

A typical breakfast often consists of open-faced Russian sandwiches with smoked fish and caviar. This elegant, yet simple food has all the nutrition you need to withstand the cooler temperatures in Russia.


Sweet Russian Breakfasts

Ponchiki (Donut Holes)

Donuts are a must-try when visiting the country! These fried delights are enjoyed for breakfast or as desserts in Russia.

These rich delights are made even more delicious with tvorog, so they are creamy and satisfying when you bite into them. Commonly Russian donut holes are finished with sugar and sold by the bagful at bakeries and street vendors. It is no surprise these are some of the most popular Russian snacks.

Vatrushka (Cheese-Filled Pastry)

This tasty bite is the perfect way to start your day with a smile! While this Russian breakfast dish may look similar to cheese danish, its unique and delicious flavor makes this pastry one-of-a-kind.

Vatrushka is made with a sweet yeasted dough that is shaped into a ring and filled with delicious local tvorog, a soft cheese. They are baked into creamy, cheesy, sweet circles that you will want to make part of your daily routine! This is the perfect Russian breakfast to grab with coffee on the go!

Plushki (Sweet Breakfast Buns)

Russian food is often very romantic and full of welcoming familiar flavors. No Russian breakfast food shows true local culinary love like the delicious heart-shaped buns that are plushki. This traditional Russian pastry is a local staple for breakfast or teatime, and its warmly spiced flavor will have you wanting more!

Plushki are nostalgic sweet rolls filled with cinnamon spice. The dough is made with yeast and sugar then formed into strips and filled with cinnamon and butter. The strips of dough are wrapped into lovely heart shapes, which is just right for how you will feel about this awesome Russian breakfast!

Discovering Traditional Russian Breakfast

Breakfast in Russia is so fulfiling you might think that you’re still dreaming, but that is just Russian food! The local cuisine is so full of richness and wonders that you will feel inspired. Dive a little deeper into your exploration and get to know the people at the heart of delicious Russian breakfast to make a real connection to this mythic country.



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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