A cafe, also spelled cafe, may in the United States mean an informal restaurant, offering a range of hot meals and made-to-order sandwiches, while in most other countries it refers to an establishment which focuses on serving coffee, like an American coffeehouse.
A "café" can also refer to a small informal public discussion. These are usually live events, and often focus on starting an open conversation on a particular topic. Examples include science cafes in the US, Café Scientifique in the UK, and Café Society in Chicago.
A cafeteria or cafetería is a type of food service location in which there is little or no table service, whether a restaurant or within an institution such as a large office building or school; a school dining location is also referred to as a dining hall or canteen (in UK English). Cafeterias are different from coffeehouses, although that is the Spanish meaning of the English word.
A bar (also called a pub, tavern, beer garden, or saloon) is an establishment that serves alcoholic drinks - beer, wine, liquor, and cocktails - for consumption on the premises.
Bars provide stools or chairs that are placed at tables or counters for their patrons. Some bars have entertainment on a stage, such as a live band, comedians, go-go dancers, or strippers.
Types of bars range from "dives" to elegant places of entertainment for the elite.
Many bars have a happy hour to encourage off-peak patronage. Bars that fill to capacity sometimes implement a cover charge during their peak hours. Such bars often feature entertainment, which may be a live band or a popular disk jockey.
The term "bar" (a synecdoche) is derived from the specialized counter on which drinks are served. The "back bar" is a set of shelves of glasses and bottles behind that counter. In some establishments, the back bar is elaborately decorated with woodwork, etched glass, mirrors, and lights.
A restaurant prepares and serves food, drink and dessert to customers. Meals are generally served and eaten on premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services. Restaurants vary greatly in appearance and offerings, including a wide variety of cuisines and service models.
While inns and taverns were known from antiquity, these were establishments aimed at travellers, and in general locals would rarely eat there. Modern restaurants, as businesses dedicated to the serving of food, and where specific dishes are ordered by the guest and generally prepared according to this order, emerged only in 18th-century Europe, although similar establishments had also developed in China.
A restaurant owner is called a restaurateur; both words derive from the French verb restaurer, meaning "to restore". Professional artisans of cooking are called chefs, while prep staff and line cooks prepare food items in a more systematic and less artistic fashion.