Australian vs. American Foods – Which is better?

Australian vs. American Foods – Which is better?

I have found some significant differences in Australian vs. American foods. Below are five differences in Australian vs. American foods and culture, opinions from an American Expat currently living in Australia.

I was born and raised in Hawai’i and have been living in Australia for the last 6 years. I have travelled and visited many states in the US from California to New York. Hawai’i is such a unique and diverse melody of cultures. I feel so fortunate to have grown up trying such a wide range of foods. Let’s be honest, my views may be a bit biased…

I currently live in a mid to small regional town in NSW Australia. Outside of the main cities, I have found the variety of cuisines to be quite limiting.

Read More: American to Australian Food Substitutes

Now let’s start with some of the basics.


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American burgers are big and juicy with delicious sauce and standard inclusions such as cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles. You can get some topping variations including mushrooms, swiss cheese, bacon, and avocado. Usually, it always comes with your side of fries (chips) and a soft drink. Not the healthiest of food choices but damn, who says no to a good burger?

Now I’ve encountered some strange things on the Australian front. First, their meat patty always seems a bit drier, not sure what’s happening here. And then the common toppings include… beetroot, egg, and pineapple… WHAT! Ok, I’ll admit, I actually don’t mind the beetroot, but egg and pineapple are just weird. And NO, it does not become a “Hawaiian” burger when you add pineapple. I don’t know anyone in Hawai’i that eats pineapple on their burger…


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In the US, you can get a good old fashioned hotdog in many places. The standard hotdog is a grilled hotdog sausage on a bun with your pick of toppings such as mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, pickle relish, sauerkraut, onions, and cheese.

In Australia, they do sausage or “snag” sandwiches. Grilled sausages placed between plain white sandwich bread, served with grilled onions and tomato or bbq sauce. If you hear the term “Sausage sizzle” this is what to expect on the menu.

And if you happen to buy hotdog or burger buns in the supermarket in Australia, they will not be pre-cut.


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In the US, it’s common to have a basic drip coffee. You make it at home, and you get it in the restaurants. It’s basic but still hits the spot. You will also find a Starbucks on every corner in the US. Starbucks offers a brewed espresso coffee. In my experience, the milk froth on the American made coffees tends to be very stiff. There are also a whole lot of overly sweetened coffee variations that you can order.

In Australia, the homemade coffee version is usually an instant freeze-dried variety. Quick, easy and actually quite good. They have instant coffee varieties in the US as well, but I have never cared for the flavour of them. The real gem though is the cafe-style coffees that you can also get at every corner (usually by independent cafes). The coffee is made by a barista and the milk is frothed so it is creamy and smooth (can you guess my favourite coffee yet?). Most places will also add in a bit of coffee art on the top as they pour in the milk. Winning!

Breakfast Foods

breakfast fruit bowl
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In the US, when you go out to breakfast you expect to see a large variety of foods such as french toast, pancakes, waffles, biscuits and gravy, crepes, eggs, bacon, corned beef hash, omelettes, sausages, hash browns, toast, eggs benedict, and more. Basically a large selection of both sweet and savoury dishes. Pancakes come in all different flavours (buttermilk, banana, blueberry, coconut, strawberry, chocolate) and sizes. There are probably about 50 ways you can have your omelette. You can get waffles with fruit or fried chicken. With so many to pick from this is probably why it’s my favourite meal of the day!

Now Australia doesn’t seem to have a very big Breakfast culture. A standard breakfast dish you can find everywhere is a “Big Brekky” plate which includes eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, a grilled tomato, sauteed mushrooms and toast. Usually, much more limited breakfast options include ham and cheese croissant, avocado smashed on toast, eggs benedict, one type of pancake, muesli (granola), porridge (oats), and other variations of egg and toast combos. However, you will get a kickass coffee!


Now, tipping is a big difference between these two countries. In the US, it’s pretty much required to tip between 10 – 20% of your entire bill to your waiter/waitress. Some places even add it automatically onto your bill. While, in Australia, wait staff are supposedly paid higher wages, so tipping is just not done. What you see on your bill is what you pay. No mental calculations struggle!

Australian vs. American food – Which is better?

These are a few of the differences in Australian vs. American foods that I’ve come across in my time spent in Australia. Some wins for Australia (can I get some COFFEE please!!) and some wins for America (Corned beef hash brekky!!). What do you prefer?

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