While hotels in Russia usually provide American-style breakfasts with cereal, eggs, and orange juice for tourists, it's pretty uncommon to see these foods on the breakfast table in the typical Russian home. Traditional Russian food tends to be more simple and filling, than what you'll find in the typical hotel breakfast spread. If you are traveling through Russia and staying with locals or a hotel with a more traditional take on complimentary breakfast, here are some of the foods you can expect to find in the morning.
Rye Bread and Sausage
The most common foods on the Russian breakfast table are rye bread, butter, and sliced sausage. With these, you can create a kind of open-faced sandwich.
Rye bread, a staple in most Russian homes, is a dark brown color and is called “black bread” in Russian. It has a strong, sweet flavor and is quite tough, not soft like typical white or brown bread. The sausage is usually a simple soft sausage similar to Bavarian sausage, not a harder one like salami; although some Russian people do prefer a more salami-style sausage.
Eggs, particularly scrambled eggs, are also sometimes made on the weekends, and you will definitely find them in hotels and restaurants. These are simply eaten alone or with bread and sometimes mayonnaise.
Some people, especially children, will eat porridge for breakfast, which is similar to American oatmeal. Porridge can be made from semolina, millet, buckwheat, or barley and is cooked with milk and sugar. Sometimes it is also eaten with jam and can be served cold or hot.
Fruit, jam, and other sweet foods are typically not eaten at breakfast. However, many school and office cafeterias serve sweet buns with raisins as a mid-morning snack, which some people will eat instead of breakfast.
Although pastries such as croissants are almost never seen on Russian family tables, you will probably find them at hotels and restaurants.
One thing you might come across in Russia are a type of Russian pancake known as a blini. In size, blini are more substantial than a French crepe, but thinner and wider than an American pancake. Russians also eat oladyi, which is another kind of pancake, which is like a smaller version of an American pancake.
Both blini and oladyi are served with butter, sour cream, jam, or even caviar. These are not an every day food in Russian homes, because they require a lot of time and attention to make.
Tea and Coffee
In Russia, black tea is the most common traditional breakfast drink, although some people do drink coffee. It's very unlikely you'll see juice of any kind on the breakfast table.