• Polish onion-filled ‘bagels’ (bialy) (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson
Holding your breakfast tightly never tasted so good.
15 Jun 2022 - 8:30 PM  UPDATED 16 Jun 2022 - 3:35 PM

We've all done it. Grabbed an apple or a banana as we race out the door to catch the 7:18 am train. Or drop the kids at school. Or shop for groceries. Or hit the gym. Or any myriad of other things that seem to need our attention in the morning more than sitting down and eating breakfast.

It's a universal thing. If breakfast is anything to go by, the world has been rushing for a very long time. Some hand-held breakfasts date back generations, maybe even centuries. This is good news for us because once you dig into one of these on-the-go morning meals, you'll never be stuck with a boring old piece of fruit again.

Australia: Cheesy Vegemite scrolls

Vegemite cheesy scrolls

Like make-ahead Vegemite toast with added cheese and in scrumptious scroll form.

Gluten-free cinnamon scrolls

Who doesn't love a tray of sweet bread swirled with cinnamon, sugar and butter? Now coeliacs don't have to miss out! 

Cinnamon, apple & cream cheese scrolls

These scrolls combine the richness of cream cheese with apple and cinnamon to create a moreish bite. Don't let the long resting time scare you - this recipe just requires time, not effort!

Cheese and bacon scrolls

These scrolls are a world away from the commercially made ones… once you've tried them, you'll never buy another again! Great as a snack or alongside a warming winter soup, feel free to try your own flavour variations, such as using chopped fresh herbs instead of the mustard powder or prosciutto instead of the bacon.

Japan: Sweetened egg roll (datemaki)

This festive Japanese egg roll is made especially for New Year and is cooked differently from the tamagoyaki egg roll served on sushi. The markings left on the outside of the datemaki are from the bamboo mat and consider yourself on a roll when eating this one. Now we want more egg-cellence!

Cheesy eggy bread (gyeran ppang)

Gyeran ppang are a hybrid of sweet and savoury, playing tricks with your taste buds as to whether you’re eating a sweet muffin or a salty– cheesy egg roll.

Konbini’s signature tamago sando (egg sandwich)

Egg sandwiches are popular at convenience stores throughout Japan. Konbini in Adelaide adds extra Japanese flavours to this fast-food staple.

Korean egg toast (gaeran to su tu)

Egg toasts are sold by street stall vendors in Korea to cater for those in a hurry. Koreans usually have a hot breakfast of rice, soup, kimchi and side dishes. These pan fried white bread toasted egg sandwiches are a fusion of Asian flavours and Western influences. The addition of cabbages lends a lovely crunch to the soft egg omelette.

Argentina: Medialunas

If these look suspiciously like croissants, you're not wrong. However, medialunas are smaller and less flaky than the French pastry, and are actually more like an Italian cornetti. Either way, they make an excellent breakfast on the move.


The classic French croissant is dark, flaky and buttery. While the dough laminating process is lengthy, it is completely satisfying, and the results are delicious.

French: Crôque monsieur

Ah, the ham and cheese toastie, French-style. The cream, Gruyère and Parmesan eggy topping just makes it next-level good.

Wales: Welsh rarebit

Another excellent take on a classic cheese toastie, the Welsh version adds a hit of beer to really brighten up your morning.

Bosnia: Kifle

Bosnian mini-rolls are filled with whatever you fancy. Salted or cheese-filled are popular but you can find sausage versions, or for something a little sweeter, chocolate or jam-filled.

Vietnam: Bánh mì

These pocket rockets hold their own come breakfast when all you want is porky goodness propped up with crunchy, sweet, vinegary pickles and a lick of mayo.

Nepal: Gwaramari

Gwaramari literally means "a round bread" in Newari – a local language spoken by a community in Kathmandu Valley.

Greece: Mizithra keftedes

Mizithra keftedes (ricotta balls) can be served at breakfast.

Ricotta balls are enjoyed at any time of the day, but they make an especially handy portable breakfast.

Spanakopita parcels

The classic, heavenly combination of spinach and feta in flaky golden parcels never disappoints.

Kale and feta bread

I have a thing for savoury breads that border on being cakes: from zucchini bread to jalapeno cornbread. I've taken inspiration from those and today I present you with another rendition, made with spelt flour, shredded kale, a good dose of feta and a number of fragrant herbs. And to keep it all moist, I've added olive oil and Greek yoghurt. I like to toast this under the grill and serve it up with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for a decadent Sunday brunch. If you're not feeling fancy, simply serve it with a cup of tea for a nutritious snack. 

Venezuela: Arepas

Arepas can be topped with butter and your preferred spread and served with eggs or filled and eaten like a sandwich.

Chilli jaffle

This recipe turns the humble jaffle into a full meal - stuffing two slices of bread with spicy Mexican chilli and melty cheese has never looked so good. 

Blueberry ripple damper

This damper was inspired by the memory of an overnight camp on a friend’s property when we were 16. Finding wild blackberries growing along the banks of the creek we filled our damper dough with them and then baked it, wrapped in foil, in the hot coals…some food experiences are meant to be remembered ­— it was heaven!

Lebanon: Sesame kaak

Kaak is as common in Lebanon as bagels in NYC. Enjoy them plain, or top them with cheese, za'atar and baked eggs. A similar circular bread called simit is made in Turkey.

Manakish three ways

Man'oushe (singular to the plural manakish) is a popular Levantine flatbread topped with anything from za'atar to ground meat, or Hoda's Australianised version with Vegemite and cheese. They are typically enjoyed for breakfast or lunch.

China: Pineapple buns

While (sadly) the Chinese pineapple bun doesn't actually contain any pineapple, it does have a golden crunchy, crumbly crust that produces a unique pattern. 

Denmark: Wienebrød

Known as wienebrød in Denmark and Danish pastries everywhere else, this is surely the sweetest way to start your day possible.

Raspberry and marzipan Danish (spandauer)

“What we might call a “Danish” is actually an entire range of pastries known in Denmark as Wienerbrod, or Viennese bread. Of all of these, the spandauer is possibly the most popular, and that’s named after a German prison. Confused yet? Well, it doesn’t matter because they’re absolutely delicious. This recipe is inspired by the one I had from Danni and Helle Nielsen's bakery.” Adam Liaw, Destination Flavour Scandinavia

Rhubarb and custard Danish pastries

Custard and pastry make wonderful partners. Vanilla-scented crème patissiere teamed with flaky, yeast-leavened pastry and finished with roasted tart rhubarb is a combination not to be missed – pure pastry heaven!

India: Pessarattu

A green mung bean pancake wrapped around some coconut chutney and onion feels like a solid way to start the day.

Scotland: Buttery rowie

The rowie, which has the buttery richness of a croissant, but with extra heartiness, was traditionally eaten for breakfast by workers and fishermen.

Mexico: Quesadillas

Mixed mushroom quesadillas

Fast, filling and fabulous, quesadillas make the perfect hand-held breakfast for busy mornings. Fill them with whatever you have on hand, but don't forget the cheese.

Kimchi quesadillas

Helen Jo, one of the very first Milk Bar employees, made this dish for family meal on the regs. It now ranks as the official Milk Bar throwback family meal of choice. Did we invent the kimchi quesadilla? Probably not; I think that was most likely our boy Roy Choi, of Kogi fame. Start to finish, this snack takes about 15 minutes to throw together and the results are surprisingly good. I had my doubts the first time Helen made this, but after one bite, I floated away in kimchi quesadilla bliss and I haven’t looked back since.


Los Amates chef Arturo Morales shares his recipe for quick-and-easy quesadillas, a Mexican snack comprising a tortilla packed with cheese, plus any ingredient of your choice, folded, then cooked on a non-stick pan and served with hot sauce or guacamole.

Spanish: Tortilla

Grab a slab of this hearty potato-filled omelette on your way out the door and you'll be satisfied until... dinner.

Kenyan: Keema chapati

If there's a nicer way to head out the door than with a spiced lamb-stuffed flatbread in your pocket, we'd like to hear about it.

Poland: Bialy

Polish onion-filled ‘bagels’ (bialy)

The chewy Polish roll that's filled with cooked onion and poppy seeds makes an easy takeaway breakfast.

One more for the road: 'nana muffins

If you insist on grabbing a breakfast banana, make it a muffin. That way you can add some good grains and dairy into your first meal of the day.

Head on out
Seedy slice

For this healthy muesli bar-style slice, the grains and seeds are cooked first in a frying pan until golden to add extra toastiness and depth of flavour.

Kimchi cheese toastie

I don’t know the exact origins of the kimchi cheese toast, but my inspiration came from Chef Roy Choi’s legendary Kogi BBQ Truck in LA where I had their kimchi cheese quesadilla and it blew my mind.


Kibbeh are a popular Middle Eastern snack, made with soaked bulghur grain, lamb mince and, of course, a healthy dose of spices. Perfect with a pinch of salt to serve.

Two-ingredient muesli bars
Don’t cry over spilt milk. Instead, team it with your favourite bag of muesli to create portable snacks.
Corn fritters (perkedel jagung)

These crisp, golden bundles burst with the sweetness and brightness of fresh corn, and are perfect for casual bites when entertaining.

Salt rice bar

Are you bored with only having sweet options in your pocket when you’re cycling? Then this bar is perfect for you. Lots of eggs also make it very high in protein.

Yabby turnovers with truffle (chausson d'écrevisses aux truffes)

This dish is from the Alps regions. Yabbies are a much-loved delicacy in France, especially in the Alps region with its many streams and lakes. You could also use prawns in this very special recipe.

Beef, baharat and pine nut pies (sambousik)

This recipe is for the Lebanese version of a meat pie, but these fragrant pastries don’t require tomato sauce. You can freeze uncooked sambousik wrapped in plastic wrap for up to one month. Stand frozen at room temperature for 10 minutes before frying.


Samoosas are a smaller South African version of the Indian samosas. They feature minced beef and packed with traditional spices. You can keep uncooked samoosas in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days, or in the freezer for up to three months.

Mushroom pasties (paszteciki z pieczarkami)

The hearty Polish paszteciki are traditionally served with a clear soup, usually barszcz, a broth made from beetroot, onions, garlic and other vegetables. The pastries are often filled with mushrooms, as foraging for wild mushrooms is a traditional pastime for many Polish families.