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This is the most complete restaurant concept and theme guide. Pick your theme by checking available dining attractions and food preferences.

So, how do you classify a restaurant? As we were browsing different restaurant concepts, we found one thing in common – they all fall under a certain “umbrella” that we defined as a “classification factor”. This “umbrella” consists of the following restaurant attributes:

  1. Dining experience-based
  2. Service-based
  3. Food or Cuisine based
  4. By Ethnicity
  5. Theme based
  6. Concept-based
  7. Architectural design
  8. Food displays
  9. Stands, Booths, Kiosks
  10. Food-on-wheels (mobile, carts)
  11. Automated Machines (being used)
  12. Drinks (as main attraction)
Dining Restaurant Types
Experience-based All-you-can-eat restaurant, Casual Dining, Fine Dining, Drive-in, Dining car, Fast food restaurant, Fast-casual restaurants, Lunch Counter
Service-based All-day café, Buffet restaurants‎, Cafeteria, Dhaba, Diner, Drive-through, Ghost restaurant, Hawker center, Mamak stall, Truckstop, Pizza delivery, Pop-up restaurants, Roadhouse (facility), Take-out
Food or Cuisine based Bakery, Bakery cafés‎, Barbecue restaurants‎, Cakery, Chili con carne restaurants‎, Carvery, Chifa, Coney Island (restaurant), Churrascaria, Doughnut shops‎, Ethnic restaurants‎, Fish and chip shop, Frozen yogurt, Greasy spoon, Health food, Halal restaurants‎, Hamburger Restaurants‎, Hot dog restaurants, Kosher restaurants‎, Meat and three, Noodle restaurants‎, Paladar, Pancake House, Pie and Mash, Pizzeria, Poultry restaurants‎, Raw bar, Rodízio, Soul food, Seafood restaurant, Sandwich bar, Snack bar, Soup kitchen, Steakhouse, Tex-Mex restaurant, Vegan restaurants, Vegetarian restaurants
By Ethnicity American, Chinese, Cuban, Caribbean, Czech, French, Filipino, German, Greek, Haitian, Hungarian, Indian, Indonesian, Irish, Israeli, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lebanese, Mexican, Mediterranean, Pakistani, Polish, Russian, Scandinavian, Scottish, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
Theme based Breastaurant, Cosplay restaurant, Floating restaurant, Männergarten, Naked restaurant, Supper club
Concept-based Dinner train, Dinner theater, Dinner in the Sky, Dark restaurant, Mystery dinner
Architectural design Tower restaurant, Bridge restaurant
Food displays Delicatessen, Foodcourt, Food halls, Ice cream parlor, Snack bar
Stands, Booths, Kiosks Concession stand, Dai pai dong, Food booth, Hot dog stand
Food-on-wheels (mobile, carts) Food cart, Food trucks, Hot dog carts or wagons, Hot dog carts, Ice cream cart, Ice cream van, Mobile catering, Pølsevogn
Automated Machines (being used) Automat, Automated restaurant, Vending machines
Drinks (as main attraction) Bar, Bar mleczny (or Milk bar), Brewpub, Cantina, Cafés‎, Café gourmand, Coffeehouse‎, Chiringuito, Gastropubs‎, Heuriger, Hofbrau, Izakaya, Juice & Smoothie Bar‎, Juke joint, Kafana, Kissaten, Kopi tiam, Meadery, Microdistillery, Milk bar, Ouzeri, Oyster bar, Pub (Public House), Soda shop, Strausse, Teahouse, Temperance Bar, Tavern

1. Experience-based dining concept

  • All-you-can-eat restaurant. In these types of restaurants, you can eat as much as you want for a fixed cost. They mainly serve a buffet so that you get to choose what you desire to eat.
  • Casual Dining. This is a moderately priced restaurant with a casual atmosphere that usually provides table service.
  • Fine Dining. Also referred to as “white tablecloth”, this type of restaurant offers full service to diners. The patrons are seated and the order is taken by highly trained staff. They offer the highest quality of food since it was prepared specially by the order of the customer.
  • Drive-in. This is a restaurant where you literally drive in and remain seated in your vehicle. The staff take your orders and return with the food so that you can eat from the car. It is most appropriate for people who are in a hurry or want to eat as they go.
  • Dining car. Dining cars are designed for railroad passengers to enjoy their meals while traveling. They are customized to host patrons in a restaurant-like environment, with full service. Patrons are served with common menus just like in any other restaurant, while seated.
  • Fast food restaurants. This type of establishment offers fast foods such as burgers, fries, and soft drinks (of course there are many variations like fried chicken, tacos, etc). You can easily order food from your favorite fast-food restaurant in the comfort of your own home or office or decide to go for a ride and use a drive-through option, which enables you to get your dinner very quickly right in a car. Alternatively, you could buy and eat at the restaurant.
  • Fast-casual restaurants. This is an establishment that offers the fast-food variation of casual dining. Quality of food similar to casual dining, but no table service.
  • Lunch counter. This type of restaurant is characterized by a large counter and stools to sit on. The kitchen area is small, where a person prepares lunch food, while the customer waits, seated across the other side of the counter.

2. Service-based restaurant concept

  • All-day café. This type of restaurant offers special menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a very friendly environment. The setting changes to a more formal one when it comes to dinner in the evening. They tend to serve foods that are in line with healthy eating such as vegetables.
  • Buffet restaurants‎. A wide variety of dishes are put in hot metallic pots with some fire heating them at low temperatures that ensure the food remains warm and at the same time it does not burn. People go around picking dishes of their choice and putting them on their plates.
  • Cafeteria. A restaurant within a large institution or a school that serves food from self-serving counters or booths. Usually, people pass by in a line to get food, pay for it and take it to their table. There is no wait staff or table service.
  • Dhaba. These are roadside restaurants found on the highways of India and Pakistan. They mainly sell the local cuisine and are mainly found near gas stations, serving as truck stop.
  • Diner. Diners usually offer American cuisine and are commonly located alongside highways. Tables look similar to the ones you will find in a rail car. These restaurants are very ofter open for 24 hours and do have full service with waiters. In smaller diners, you will probably be served by a cook or owner himself.
  • Drive-through. These establishments sell foods and drinks through a window where cars queue in a line as they pass through the premises. There are microphones through which people order food while still in their cars. The order is delivered through the window. As you are served, you keep driving through, to allow others behind you.
  • Ghost restaurant. This is an online business that deals with deliveries only. You use your phone or the website to place an order and they deliver the food by using a motorbike to the confinement of your home. The best part about this type of restaurant is that you do not have to rent a space for your business.
  • Hawker center. These are open-air large markets in South East Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, where different individuals can sell cheap foods under one roof, like a mall or a market. They are mainly found in large cities (in these countries).
  • Mamak stall. Mamak is a word borrowed from the Persian language meaning little mother or little kind mother. Therefore as the word suggests, these are small open-air establishments that serve Indian cuisine, which is conversant to the region.
  • Truckstop. These are establishments found in gas stations or along busy highways, with an aim of selling foods and drinks to truck drivers.
  • Pizza delivery. These Pizza restaurants are mainly characterized by the delivery of pizzas on motorbikes to your doorstep. You order by texting, calling, or visiting their website from the convenience of your home or office
  • Pop-up restaurants. These are temporary restaurants that spring up in places where no one would expect. These could be residential places, an old factory, and festivals. They may operate for a short period of time and then they are gone.
  • Roadhouse (facility). This is a commercial building built along the major highways in the North American countries of Canada and the U.S., mainly purposed with selling food to the people using the highways.
  • Take-out. This is a type of establishment that engages in the production and sale of food that is supposed to be eaten elsewhere. For example office, parks or at home.

3. Food or Cuisine based concept

  • Bakery. This type of establishment produces everything baked, including pastries, bread, cookies, cakes, etc. It can be either set up as a café on the premises or a take-out.
  • Bakery cafés. These types of restaurants specialize in baked foods such as cakes, doughnuts, bread, and pastries. In addition, they may be offering soft drinks or coffee to take the pastries with. You could decide to buy and go eat from the confinements of your home or you could eat from the café.
  • Barbecue restaurants. Specializes in barbecue foods (those that are grilled in hot flames). You can opt to eat from the restaurants or you can buy and go eat at home or from your office. These may open earlier than other restaurants because barbecues take longer to cook.
  • Cakery. This retail business is similar to the bakery, only it does not offer anything but cakes. They also do special orders like wedding and birthday cakes.
  • Chili con carne restaurants‎. This restaurant serves the famous Texan dish “chili con carne”  –  meaning “chili with beef”.
  • Carvery. A restaurant or a pub mostly found in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Canada, Australia areas, that traditionally serve roasted meat with a choice of different sauces and gravy. Side dishes may include potatoes and vegetables.
  • Chifa. This is a restaurant that offers both Chinese and Peruvian cuisines. It offers traditional Chinese foods mixed with ingredients that have Peruvian origin.
  • Coney Island (restaurant). These are establishments located in the northern states of the U.S. like Michigan. They sell very high-quality hot dogs. They also sell some accompaniments like burgers and drinks like coffee and soda.
  • Churrascaria. This is a word borrowed from Portuguese, meaning barbecues. The patrons are seated while the staff roasts the meat on a hot grill and once ready, they are served directly onto the patron’s plate.
  • Doughnut shops‎. This establishment specializes in the sales of doughnuts. Sometimes it may extend to soft drinks and coffee. It can be customized so that you can eat the doughnut from the restaurant or you can buy and go from the confinements of your house or office.
  • Ethnic restaurants‎. These restaurants specialize in types of food that originated from a different country other than the one in which they are located.
  • Fish and chip shop. This type of restaurant is famous for its unique dish: “Fish and chips”, which is a hot meal of fried fish and chips on the side. It is very popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and other English-speaking countries.
  • Frozen yogurt. This is a restaurant that serves dairy and non-dairy frozen yogurt, which is known to be lower in fat and calories than regular ice cream.
  • Greasy spoon. This establishment is a small American or British eatery that sells people cheap foods and drinks. Their food is mainly fried or home-cooked.
  • Health food. Restaurants that offer organic fresh food as an alternative to greasy fast food. Usually, Vegan and Vegetarian restaurants go under this label.
  • Halal restaurants‎. These establishments only offer a variety of foods that are only allowed under Islamic laws. The word halal is borrowed from the Islamic Quran, meaning “allowed”. Any food that is not permitted by the Islamic laws is prohibited in such restaurants (an example being pork, which is considered “haram”).
  • Hamburger Restaurants. These types of restaurants usually specialize in the sale of hamburgers. They usually offer the best quality due to specialization, where they do not deal with any other type of food.
  • Hot dog restaurants. Restaurants that specialize in selling hot dogs only. Since this is the only thing they serve, they have quite a selection of it.
  • Kosher restaurants. This establishment offers dishes that go hand in hand with the Jewish dietary laws. The foods are exclusively limited to dairy products which are known as mulching, and meat products which are referred to as fleishig.
  • Meat and three. This is a restaurant in the Southern United States where a customer chooses one piece of meat from three to six available choices, and three accompaniments from a dozen choices. The accompaniments could be the main dishes.
  • Noodle restaurants. Commonly known as ramen shops, these establishments often specialize in ramen, wheat flour dishes such as noodles and spaghetti. They have a setting that allows patrons to either sit as they wait for their order or queue in a line, while their order is being prepared.
  • Paladar. These are self or family-run restaurants in Cuba that seek to offer an alternative to government-run restaurants. They serve homemade Cuban dishes
  • Pancake House. This restaurant specializes in breakfast foods such as pancakes, crips, omelets, waffles, and cakes. The main accompaniment is coffee. They are sometimes known as waffle houses.
  • Pie and Mash. This was originally cheap food for the working class of South East London. Pie and mash consist of minced beef filling, baked in a pastry crust, and served with mashed potatoes.
  • Pizzeria. This is a place where pizzas are being made, eaten, or sold, to be eaten at home. Sometimes single slices are offered for sale. Bigger Pizzerias also offer garlic bread and simple cakes.
  • Poultry restaurant. This type of restaurant specializes in the sale of fried chicken pieces (chicken legs, chicken wings, chicken nuggets, etc) or a whole fried chicken. They usually come with a number of accompaniments such as fries and soda. The customers can either eat their chicken at the premises or they can carry it home.
  • Raw bar. This is typically a bar within a restaurant that serves cold seafood and shellfish. Shellfish are being kept alive until your order. You can either have your food cooked or eat it raw. They may offer alcoholic beverages, sauces, and lime with your order. This type of establishment is mainly found on the coastline, but sometimes also in the major cities.
  • Rodízio. This is a Brazilian type of all-you-can-eat restaurant that is known outside Brazil as the Brazilian steakhouse. Offer traditional Brazilian cuisine for a fixed price.
  • Soul food. This type of cuisine was originated in the Southeastern United States and it has been influenced by African American culture.
  • Seafood restaurant. These restaurants deal with seafood as their main area of specialization. They are mainly located on the coastline. However, they can still be found in the major cities and they sell drinks as well as some other types of other foods in smaller quantities.
  • Sandwich bar. These types of restaurants specialize in the making and selling of sandwiches. It may, however, be accompanied by a soft drink or coffee. You can opt to eat your sandwich at the premises or you can carry it home.
  • Soup kitchen. These restaurants are established in lower-income neighborhoods. They are mainly operated by charitable organizations like churches where they offer free or below market price foods to the homeless or the very poor people.
  • Steakhouse. These are places or businesses that specialize in serving steaks, cuts, and chops. They are sometimes referred to as chophouses and are recently beginning to serve fish, pork, and chicken.
  • Tex-Mex restaurant. This type of restaurant offers its customers Texas or Mexican cuisine. Diners have their favorite meals while music, with Mexican rhythm, plays in the background.
  • Vegan restaurants. In this type of restaurant, the patrons are treated to a wide variety of food that does not include meat or any other animal product. They stick exclusively to food from plants. In this type of restaurant, there are no dairy products, eggs. Even milk here is plant-based.
  • Vegetarian restaurants. Similar to Vegan restaurants, Vegetarian restaurants serve a wide variety of plant-based food along with dairy products and eggs.

4. Restaurant concepts by Ethnicity

  • American restaurants. No, this is not always fast food! But it does offer different dishes from various ethnic cuisines around the world.
  • Chinese restaurants. This type of restaurant serves Chinese cuisine outside China. They are mostly Cantonese-style restaurants, that offer a take-out version as well.
  • Cuban restaurants. Traditional Cuban cuisine consists of a blend of different Caribbean cuisines sometimes with a touch of Spanish and African cooking.
  • Caribbean restaurants. Traditional Caribbean cuisine includes many favorite dishes from different countries that were brought by people that came to the Caribbean.  Famous for green herb oil-based marinade.
  • Czech restaurants. This restaurant serves traditional Czech cuisine. Famous for delicious cakes and pastries that were popular in Central Europe. Consists of three courses: soup, main dish and a dessert.
  • French restaurants. Traditional French cuisine has a long history and many well-known French restaurants are very popular to this day:
    • Bistro. The word Bistro is borrowed from French, meaning inexpensive. As the name suggests, these restaurants offer a modest setting and dishes. They serve dishes that are not so expensive, coupled with beer.
    • Brasserie. This is a French-style restaurant that offers cheap dishes. It is also sometimes characterized by brewing and serving beer in a very relaxing environment.
    • Bouchon. This is a restaurant that has its origin in Lyon, France. It serves dishes that are highly fatty and meat-related. They are found in major cities like New York.
  • Filipino restaurants. These restaurants offer traditional Filipino cuisine that is mixed with American, Indian, Spanish, and Chinese. It is known in the culinary world as cuisine where “East meets West”.
  • German restaurants. Traditional Central European cuisine. German restaurants are also known to be the second-best decorated after France.
  • Greek restaurants. This type of restaurant serves Greek food outside Greece. They offer moderately priced great tasting food and several types of establishments:
    • The estiatório – serve different Greek dishes
    • Gyradiko – serves gyros (popular Greek food)
    • Souvlatzidiko – serves souvlaki
    • Mezedopoleio – serves meze with beverages. These restaurants are considered very expensive and are common in major Greek cities.
    • Ouzeri – serve a drink called “ouzo”
    • Taverna – serve a variety of Greek dishes
  • Haitian restaurants. Haitian cuisine is a blend of Latin Caribbean cooking traditions. Simple food with a bold and spicy nature.
  • Hungarian restaurants. Mostly Central European cuisine with a touch of Eastern European influence. Specialize in dairy, cheeses, and meat.
  • Indian restaurant. Many Indian restaurants convey the exotic opulence in the interior. Indian cuisine consists of different regional cuisines with their own cooking preferences. Famous for their unique spices.
  • Indonesian restaurants. This is a traditional Indonesian cuisine that offers a wide variety of local dishes.
  • Irish restaurants. Traditional Irish cooking is offered in these types of restaurants.
  • Israeli restaurants. Israeli cuisine offers a wide variety of Kosher dishes that are common in the Mediterranean region.
  • Italian restaurants. Italian cuisine is famous for great taste, simplicity, and pizzerias! Following restaurants offer traditional Italian food:
    • Osteria. These are small establishments in Italy where people share tables as they enjoy cheap meals and drinks. In some rare cases, some Osterias provide drinks only while they allow customers to bring their own drinks.
    • Trattoria. This is an establishment that offers full Italian service cuisine. The setting is less formal, where a wide variety of Italian foods are offered.
  • Japanese restaurants. Traditional Japanese food includes miso soup, sashimi, and sushi. Sushi places you can find as its own restaurant category throughout the world)
  • Korean restaurants. The traditional Korean kitchen mainly consists of rice, meat, and vegetables. Kimchi is a famous Korean dish.
  • Lebanese restaurants. Abundant in whole grans, Lebanese cuisine is never complete without hummus, which is typically served with pita bread.
  • Mexican restaurants. Mexican cuisine consists mostly out of regional food preferences, which is a complex of ancient cuisines and the ones that were brought from overseas. Many dishes did become popular all around the world – like tacos, burritos, guacamole, and Salsa Mexicana!
  • Mediterranean restaurants. These restaurants offer food that comes from the Mediterranean region. This cuisine became quite popular among health seekers because it offers low meat and dairy foods and was an inspiration for the Mediterranean diet.
  • Pakistani restaurants. This is a cuisine with flavors of the Indian subcontinent. Pakistani dishes are usually highly seasoned and very spicy.
  • Polish restaurants. These types of restaurants feature a cooking style that is widely popular in Poland. Cuisine is very similar to the neighboring Czech and Slovak traditions and includes three courses (soup, main dish, dessert).
  • Russian restaurants. This restaurant serves famous Russian dishes like Borscht and Holubdtsy. It comes in many different varieties, from full service to take-out.
  • Scandinavian restaurants. Include traditional Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, and Icelandic cuisine.
  • Scottish restaurants. Simple traditional Scottish cooking without spices (as they were historically rare and expensive).
  • Spanish restaurants. Did you know that Spain was where chocolate was mixed with sugar for the first time to remove bitterness? Spanish cuisine is heavily influenced by different invasions and conquests that took place and made new culinary ingredients available. Famous dishes include: Paella Valenciana, Patatas bravas, Gazpacho, Jamón and Tortilla (Spanish omelet)
  • Thai restaurants. These restaurants feature traditional Thai cuisine. Thai food is generally very spicy and is prepared lightly. Thai cuisine is popular worldwide.
  • Turkish restaurants. These restaurants offer Middle Eastern cuisine with a touch of Central Asian and Balkan. Famous Turkish dishes include Kebabs (stewed or grilled meat) with a variation of it known as “Sis kebab” and “Doner kebab”.
  • Ukrainian restaurants. Ukrainian cuisine is similar to Russian and offers a wide variety of dishes that are favorite among Russian and Ukrainian people. Varenyky, Borscht, and Holubdtsy are also known around the world!
  • Vietnamese restaurants. Vietnamese food is one of the most admired for its fine taste and minimal use of cooking oil. A big variety of herbs and vegetables that goes into making it, will add a flavor of health to your restaurant experience.

5. Theme-based dining concept

These are the types of restaurants that create a theme that offers a perfect look and feel of a restaurant. This ranges from the setting, the food, and the theme of the soft music playing in the background.

  • Breastaurant. These types of restaurants have female staff that is dressed provocatively, to entertain men. They are almost naked especially around the breast area, as the name suggests.
  • Cosplay restaurant. These dress-up restaurants offer completely different environments and are found exclusively in Tokyo, Japan. They operate just like any other café and offer the same type of food, but those that are common in Japanese culture.
  • Floating restaurant. This is a floating vessel that has been converted to serve as a restaurant. It could be a pontoon, a boat, or a retired ship. In most cases, retired ships result to continue serving as floating restaurants.
  • Männergarten. The word is borrowed from German meaning a man’s garden. Traditionally, they were places where men would spend the day just like a daycare. To this day there are places in the German municipalities where men eat breakfast and lunch.
  • Naked restaurant. Just as the name suggests, with these restaurants, customers who are diners are free to come in without wearing any clothes on their bodies. Most have their own set of rules that govern them, and the diners have to strictly abide by them.
  • Supper club. This is a high-end pub that sells expensive foods and drinks, coupled with some form of entertainment. (You can check out the full article on Supper Clubs here)

6. Concept-based restaurants

  • Dinner train. This is a relatively short leisurely train trip that is purposely aimed at providing tourists with a luxury dining experience. Expensive meals and drinks are served during the train trip, while seated in the luxury environment on the train.
  • Dinner theater. It is an establishment where meals are served during, before, or after a play production. The ticket for the play and the dinner come together as one package.
  • Dinner in the Sky. А restaurant innovation that is helping people to live their dreams! A restaurant up in the sky demonstrates how people are always fascinated by the wildest ideas. They offer services like “Wedding in the Sky” for couples and “Swing in the Sky” for golfers. You can also request organized entertainment with dancers and a DJ. This amazing facility offers breathtaking views and experiences that will last a lifetime. You can check them out by going to this external link.
  • Dark restaurant. This restaurant is operated in complete darkness, without allowing people to see food or each other. The idea behind this concept is to enhance people’s senses which can be accomplished by limited vision. They say that this type of experience increases gastronomic pleasure.
  • Mystery dinner. This is a type of theater where people are invited to eat as they watch a play with a murder story. The dinners are supposed to unravel the mystery behind the murder as they eat.

7. Architectural design as a theme

  • Tower restaurant. Also known as revolving or a rotating restaurant. These restaurants are located on the top floors of tall buildings such as towers and skyscrapers. The eating area is made to rotate while the rest of the building remains intact. The aim is to give patrons a 360-degree view of the city.
  • Bridge restaurant. These establishments are built across a road, to form a shape of a bridge. They could be over a freeway or a highway. The main aim is to offer a view of the highway from both sides. They have a walkway to allow you to move from one side of the road without having to cross over it.

8. Food displays

  • Delicatessen. It is an establishment that sells prepared meat (ham, pastrami, etc), cheese, and unusual foreign foods. The word is borrowed from German and is used in short form as “Deli”.
  • Foodcourt. These are outlets grouped together, to serve fast foods and drinks to people in large shopping malls, railway stations, or airports. They have a common eating area.
  • Food halls. This is a chain of fast food outlets operating under one roof, like a mall. There could be steakhouses, fast foods, coffee shops, bakeries, and so on.
  • Ice cream parlor. This is a business that sells ice cream and other frozen milk products such as candies, milkshakes, and frozen yogurt. Ice cream is dispensed by a machine and the consumer pays for their favorite flavors, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, or twist, which is a mix of the flavors.
  • Snack bar. This is usually a food counter that serves snacks inside a building, like a movie theater. Small snacks like chips, popcorn, and candy are being sold there. Some snack bars sell hamburgers, french fries, and hot dogs as well. They also sell nonalcoholic beverages like water and sodas.

9. Stands, Booths, Kiosks

  • Concession stand. This is a place where people can buy drinks or snacks during events such as sports, exhibitions, fairs, cinemas, and theatres. There could be several concession stands selling different types of drinks and snacks in one event.
  • Dai pai dong. These are large stalls in the Chinese culture, selling Cantonese food. The words “Dai pai dong” in Chinese mean – licensed large stalls.
  • Food booth. These are temporary establishments that are meant to serve foods and drinks to the general public, usually, where large groups of people gather or pass. Such places could in the parks or near a stadium.
  • Hot dog stand. These stands could be found in the streets of big cities, like New York, or at major events, shopping centers, and festivals. And of course, they exclusively sell hot dogs and soft drinks.

10. Food-on-wheels (mobile, carts)

  • Food cart. These are carts that have been converted into a kitchen to serve food and drinks to passersby in the streets. Some food carts are pulled or pushed by humans or animals while others are towed by a vehicle.
  • Food trucks. As the name states, this s a large vehicle is equipped with a kitchen and storage for different kinds of food. Sometimes they sell frozen or prepackaged food that they reheat. Usually offer a fast-food menu and popular beverages.
  • Hot dog carts or wagons. Similar to the hot dog stand, this business offers hot dogs in a mobile version. These cars have a grill right inside for cooking and storage.
  • Hot dog trucks. Similar to hot dog carts, these vehicles are set up near the roadside and offer a complete setup for cooking and keeping food hot.
  • Ice cream cart. This is a cart that has been converted into cooling storage for ice cream. They are mainly purposed for selling ice cream in the streets or where there is a large group of people. They are towed by a bicycle, a human, or a vehicle.
  • Ice cream van. This is a van that has been converted into ice cream storage, with the purpose of selling ice cream to passersby in busy streets, parks, or stadiums. They are mobile and can be moving around selling ice cream.
  • Mobile catering. This is the business of selling fast foods or home-cooked food in a mobile vehicle that has been converted into a kitchen. Examples of mobile catering are food trucks, ice cream vans, etc.
  • Pølsevogn. This is a Danish word for sausage wagon (or a more familiar hot dog cart). Therefore as the name suggests, they are mobile vehicles that are converted into a kitchen grill where sausages and hot dogs are made. Usually found in the busy streets or where there is a large gathering of people.

11. Automated Machines (being used)

  • Automat. These establishments have small compartments with different types of food and small slots where you slide in coins for food to be dispensed by a machine. Similar to vending machines.
  • Automated restaurant (or robot restaurant). These businesses offer a whole different experience. They have robots doing the work of staff, from taking and delivering your order and accepting the payments as well as giving the change.
  • Vending machines. These machines are usually filled with different snacks, candy, gum, and beverages. As you insert your money into the machine and press the appropriate button, the item will be dispensed to you.

12. Drinks (as main attraction)

  • Bar. This is a type of restaurant that offers alcoholic drinks in a bar-like setting. It is characterized by a counter across which patrons are served with alcohol, while seated on stools, and sometimes a nightclub.
  • Bar mleczny (or Polish milk bar). This is an establishment that offers Polish cuisine. The main thing on the menu is dairy products such as yogurt. However, they sometimes serve other main dishes as well.
  • Brewpub. Also called “microbrewery”, offers the highest quality premium beers which are priced accordingly.
  • Cantina. Cantina is a word borrowed from Spanish or Latin American, meaning canteen. They serve drinks, wines, and light meals. They are similar to a canteen only that they are found below the ground level.
  • Cafés. These are types of restaurants that offer light meals and drinks, the main ones being coffee and baked snacks such as cakes and doughnuts. They are characterized by the wide variety of fast foods they offer. They are open even after normal hours, with some running for 24 hours.
  • Café gourmand. This café, besides serving coffee or tea, serves small deserts also called “petit fours”. These “bite-sized” tiny deserts could also include ice cream, mousse, and a piece of apple pie. Great for people on the go.
  • Coffeehouse‎. Also known as coffee shops, these restaurants offer coffee and other refreshments. They sometimes offer some small pastries like cake slices, doughnuts, and cookies.
  • Chiringuito. Borrowed from Spanish tradition, Chiringuito is a small enterprise usually found on beaches or at tourist attraction sites. They mainly sell drinks and tapas and may sometimes sell some light meals. They are characterized by an open space with just a rood made of palm leaves.
  • Gastropubs. This is a combination of a restaurant and a pub, where food and beer are served. These could be located in areas with high-end guests, who might later spend the night at the restaurant guest rooms.
  • Heuriger. These are restaurants that are run by big companies and families in Austria. They specialize in wine but offer foods as well in an open setting.
  • Hofbrau. This is a German word for a brewery. As the name suggests, these are establishments that run just like normal cafeterias in Germany. They offer beer and light foods. They can sometimes have brewery gardens where patrons enjoy food.
  • Izakaya. This is a Japanese word for a pub. It is a restaurant in Japan where cheap foods are served, accompanied by alcoholic drinks.
  • Juice & Smoothie Bar. This type of establishment engages in the sale of juices from freshly blended fruits or juice extracted from vegetables and other fruits. The extraction is done by the use of a machine known as a juicer and smoothies are blended in a blender.
  • Juke joint. This is a restaurant that serves food and drinks but also has music playing in a jukebox and sometimes a dance floor. People can enjoy their meals and have the chance to dance to their favorite music by putting some coins in a small slot for the music to play.
  • Kafana. These are social gatherings where people gather to enjoy alcoholic drinks and light foods in the former Yugoslavian and Albanian countries. They are primarily for serving beer and coffee. They are also characterized by live musical performances.
  • Kissaten. This is a Japanese form of a tea room, a room in a hotel or a building where people go to buy or drink coffee, and other light refreshments such as sandwiches and spaghetti.
  • Kopi tiam. These are Malay words for coffee shops. They are basically places designed for selling coffee and other light foods in the South East Asian countries of Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.
  • Meadery. This is a winery where alcoholic drinks are produced by fermenting honey with water, fruits, or grains. The wine is sold to people, together with some other light foods in a traditional setting.
  • Microdistillery. Contrary to large distilleries where the production of alcoholic drinks is a long day continuous process, these produce alcohol in smaller quantities like a single batch per day.
  • MIlk bar. This is a business that is characterized by a room having a counter where milk and milk products are served. The milk products would range from ice creams and milkshakes to some other light refreshments.
  • Ouzeri. Traditionally, these were Greek restaurants serving Ouzo, an alcoholic drink, and Mezedes, small finger foods. They recently became restaurants serving alcoholic drinks along with Greek cuisine.
  • Oyster bar. A restaurant that specializes in serving oysters along with alcoholic beverages, similar to raw bar.
  • Pub (Public House). This social drinking establishment sells alcoholic beverages as well as soft drinks. They also offer simple meals and snacks. Inside you can commonly find some recreational activities like darts and pool tables.
  • Soda shop. This is a popular business in Canada similar to the ice cream parlor. They serve soft drinks, milkshakes, ice cream soda, light lunches, and sandwiches.
  • Strausse. These are typically pubs, located in the German-speaking countries where wine growers sell their wine directly to the public at specific times of the year.
  • Teahouse. In this kind of business, tea is the main area of specialization. It can sometimes be served with some other light refreshments. In some rare cases, it could be a room set aside in a hotel, where people are served with tea and sometimes referred to as a tea room.
  • Temperance bar. This is a restaurant where only nonalcoholic drinks are being served along with a variety of different light foods. It is also called: “a sober bar” or “dry bar”.
  • Tavern. This is a place that is usually inside of an inn where tired travelers could get a drink (alcoholic beverages or other light refreshments) and eat something.

Very often restaurants mix several concepts together. For example: “Vegetarian Fine Dining” experience.

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