The bad news was that breakfast was not big in Uruguay.
A typical breakfast is a café con leche accompanied with a couple of bizcochos (sweet or savoury pastries) or a sandwich caliente (toasted ham and cheese -or tomato and cheese- sandwich).
However things are starting to change! A few Montevideo restaurants are starting to realise that there is a public for great breakfasts.
Here are some classic suggestions for the Ciudad Vieja (Old City).
Breakfast in Montevideo’s historic cafes
Our favourite is the Café Brasilero, founded in 1877, is one block from the Colonial Square at Ituzaingó 1447. The writer Eduardo Galeano -author of the Open Veins of Latin America– used to frequent the Brasilero.
The Brasilero opens from 9am. They’ll do you eggs if you ask. The history page on their website is in six languages.
They have recently started opening on Saturdays from 10am till 4pm. Closed Sundays.
Another wonderful historic café 4 blocks from the Colonial Square is Café Misiones with its green antique-tiled frontage on the corner of Misiones and 25 de Mayo. It was founded in 1907. It opens from 7.30am till about 6pm weekdays. The host Bettina is the sweetest person.
Café Bacacay opposite the Solis Theatre is a Montevidean classic, is popular with the theatre crowd. Opens Mon-Fri 9am-1am, Saturdays 10am-1am. Tasty food served all day.
And go back in the evening for cheesecake to die for and cocktails.
The 100-year old Clube Brasileiro, 18 de julio 994, 2nd floor (take the elevator) opens Mon-Sat 8am-9pm. They serve fresh fruit smoothies (licuados, though the menu says “jugos” erroneously) as well as the typical Uruguayan breakfast options.
Take this 8am opening with a pinch of salt, especially on Saturdays and arrive a little later to avoid disappointment. The Clube Brasileiro is next to the Gaucho Museum.
Bar Copacabana on the corner of Sarandi and Misiones is open from 7am each day except Sundays. The cafe itself is nothing special, but the staff are really friendly, there’s free wifi and newspapers and the little tray with juice and something sweet when you order just a coffee is a real treat.
Freshly-baked bread and bizcochos available from 7am until 9pm each day (except Sundays) at the classic Confiteria 25 de Mayo, 25 Mayo 655 on the corner of B. Mitre (the street with the bars).
Another bakery Santoral, opposite the Cafe Brasilero, opens at 7am weekdays.
While you’re at the bakery, you might want to get something to go with your maté later on in the day. Uruguayans are addicts for masitas (pictured left).
The Guru is on a personal and professional search for BRUNCH in Montevideo.
Follow her quest on Facebook and check out her recommendations in the new Guru’GUAY Guide to Montevideo where breakfast and brunch recommendations have a starring section.