I basically know that Frühstück, Mittagessen and Abendessen are common in Germany. However, I am interested to know how brunch is called in German language. Can we use zweites Frühstück for brunch? Or is there any specific name for it?


5 Answers 5


Zweites Frühstück implies there has been an erstes Frühstück. Brunch is simply called Brunch. To eat brunch is called brunchen.

Wollen wir Samstag brunchen?


"Zweites Frühstück" is usually for people who start working very early and need another meal between their early breakfast and lunch.

In school, I had breakfast at home a 6.30 am, zweites Frühstück at 10 am during the first longer break in school ("Große Pause") and lunch at 1 pm.

"Brunch" is used in German language. When I was younger, I didn't know the word brunch. My family used to call it "spätes Frühstück".

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    "Spätes Frühstück" is very fitting indeed, because usually - in anticipation of a brunch - any otherwise earlier meals will be skipped, even if it means the first meal will start as late as 10 or 11 am. Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 19:12
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    "Spätes Frühstück" does not fit IMO; as expressed by the word, brunch includes breakfast and lunch. It is definitely more than just a Frühstück. At the same time, on weekends, I do not see anything unusual with having breakfast only at 10 or even 11 (a later lunch and/or "tea time" notwithstanding). That is a "spätes Frühstück". Commented Sep 3, 2023 at 8:20

Brunch is a special kind of meal. It's the combination of breakfast and lunch.

If a restaurant offers a brunch, I expect a mixture of breakfast and lunch. So there would be typical breakfast food (bread rolls, butter, jam, honey,...) but also typical lunch items (warm meat, potatoes, vegetables, ...).

If a restaurant offers a second breakfast, I expect a normal breakfast. The breakfast could be smaller than a normal breakfast, because the landlord expects, that I already had a breakfast at home.

A second breakfast is normally just a repetition of a breakfast. Or it is a prepared bread and butter sandwich for a break. A bakery could advertise their pastry/cookie as a second breakfast (you can buy it and eat it immediately as a snack).

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    In fact the word is a portmanteau (dt. Kofferwort) from breakfast and lunch. Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 19:10
  • In all brunch offerings at restaurants I have been to (and it's quite a few), the meal was drawn out across at least 3 to 4 hours, and the food (usually on the buffet) gradually transitioned from breakfast-like food to warm lunch dishes. Commented Sep 3, 2023 at 8:31

I think the fitting german expression for "zweites Frühstück" would be "Vesper". Brunch is the Combination of Breakfast and lunch, and is used in this way in german. So no, i would say "vesper" to the second breakfast.

This is very common in manual labour jobs. They start early, around 6 in the morning, already had their breakfast, then around 9 its the "vesper", at noon its the "mittagessen"/Lunch and then they go home at 4 to have "Kaffee". And a Dinner in the evening.

The second breakfast could in some parts of germany be called "Brotzeit" (southern area).

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    Mind that Vesper is also a somewhat regional term, which might also refer to the afternoon "Kaffetrinken". "Zweites Frühstück", however, is understood immediately as a meal in the morning. Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 12:17
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    "Vesper" is so much regional that we in the Ruhr area don't even use it. Most of us are just vaguely aware that it is a word for "some meal during the day, called that way in some regions of germany", but anything more specific about the meaning would elude us.
    – orithena
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 11:14
  • So Vesper is essentially the reverse of dinner – interesting! Vesper (in Latin) means ‘evening’, but it now refers to a morning meal, so it has moved from late to early over time; whereas dinner comes from (Vulgar) Latin disjejunare, which means ‘breakfast’, so it has moved from early to late over time. Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 0:56
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    @HeinrichsupportsMonica: Right, and it may also not mean any particular meal at all, but rather indicate that it's food taken along on a trip, no matter at what time of the day you intend to consume it. Commented Sep 3, 2023 at 8:34

If you really want a German term for brunch that is immediately understood by German native speakers, albeit not used often, there is Gabelfrühstück.

For a classic German Frühstück ‘breakfast’, you either need just a Messer ‘knife’ (bread or toast) or just a Löffel ‘spoon’ (porridge, cereals, yogurt, …), so adding a Gabel ‘fork’ to the cutlery makes breakfast more like lunch.

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    I would not have understood this.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Sep 3, 2023 at 8:02
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    "that is immediately understood by German native speakers" - never heard this, and I would have no idea what is meant. I would have guessed it's a breakfast that does not only consist of bread, but also some food that you eat with a fork - e.g. like what is often offered in hotels for breakfast, with items like scrambled egg or (boiled) sausages. Commented Sep 3, 2023 at 8:37
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    Additionally to the two comments above by Carsten and O.R.Mapper: I don't see how "Gabel" implies brunch as one can have very well scrambled eggs or so along the (first) breakfast. I'd have no clue what you would want to say. Commented Sep 3, 2023 at 9:35
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    I heard that term Gabelfrühstück before. Exactly once, from hotel staff.
    – Janka
    Commented Sep 3, 2023 at 10:24
  • @O.R.Mapper That’s exactly what brunch is, no? Correctly guessing the intended meaning is what I meant by “is immediately understood”.
    – Crissov
    Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 13:14

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