All understand that a restaurant is a place where food is cooked and sold to customers for a fee. However, within this straightforward classification, types of restaurants may be classified based on a wide range of factors, including facilities, place, cuisine, cost, atmosphere, formality, etc.
Many venues, such as teahouses, are inextricably related to local culture and have diverse meanings globally. Others, such as Spanish tapas bars, are far more than just places to eat. Cafés differ significantly in theme and menu; Italian osterias are hipper than ever, and British pubs see a kind of revival.
If you’ve ever wondered what a ramen-ya or churrascaria is or what the difference between a bistro and a brasserie is, this collection of different types of restaurant styles from around the world might help.
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Bistros, which originated in Paris, are tiny neighborhood restaurants that specialize in (but are not restricted to) French home-style cuisine. In a comfortable, informal atmosphere, they often serve simple, reasonably priced meals.
This kind of restaurant specializes in a cuisine similar to a specific ethnicity, utilizing recipes and cooking methods exclusive to that group. Chinese, Greek, Italian, and Mexican are among the most common. The vast majority of ethnic restaurants are privately operated and located in major cities or regions with active immigrant populations.
Fine Dining Restaurant
The top rating class of restaurant, with elaborate menus, attentive staff, and elegant decor of crisp white tablecloths. These upscale full-service restaurants tend to an affluent clientele, with some needing formal attire and reservations.
A cafeteria may be a stand-alone establishment or a dining facility inside a larger organization (school, hospital, workplace). Since there is little to no staff in a cafeteria, people may feed themselves from a range of ready-cooked meals.
A small restaurant that prepares and serves light meals at lunchtime. Counter seating and clear, restricted menus are typical features.
Tapas bars, a favorite of Spanish cuisine, are vibrant restaurants where cocktails are served with tiny plates of food known as tapas. Ranging from simple tascas (traditional Spanish taverns) to gourmet establishments, they are less formal than restaurants but much more than simple bars, offering cocktails and little snacks to eat and a social space for friends to chill, socialize, or catch a football game.
One of the best pleasures of visiting Spain is Ir de tapas, or tapear – moving from bar to bar to have a cocktail and taste delicious tapas.
A registered vehicle with a kitchen that cooks and serves food at temporary locations. Unlike typical hot dog carts or taco wagons, these restaurants on wheels are self-propelled and equipped with more advanced cooking equipment, offering a superior street food experience.
Gourmet food trucks are a rising movement worldwide, focusing on small but innovative dishes at affordable rates.
A Brazilian steakhouse restaurant. The term is derived from churrasco, which is a Brazilian method of grilling beef. A variety of grilled meats on skewers are carried to the table in rodizio-style churrascarias, and the server cuts thin slices onto the dish.
A grouping of small restaurants or fast food stands that share a shared eating/seating location. These, also known as food halls, are usually found in shopping centers and airports.
Although no longer popular, drive-in restaurants are traditional American establishments where consumers order and enjoy their meals while seated in their vehicles.
Unlike a drive-in restaurant, a drive-through would require the customer to use a mic to request their order and then drive to the window and pick up their food. Drive-through service is often provided by major fast-food franchises such as McDonald’s and Burger King.
As one would expect, a pizzeria is where pizza is cooked and eaten. There are two varieties of a pizzeria in Italy, where they originated: one is a typical sit-down restaurant that can also offer wine, salads, and pasta dishes; and the other, founded in Rome, is a kind of bakery or take-away joint that sells pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice).
Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba in Naples is commonly known as the world’s first pizzeria, which opened in 1830.
A trattoria is a typical, mostly family-run, Italian institution dedicated to rustic local cuisine. It is less structured than a restaurant.
This restaurant specializes in grilled meats. A Japanese restaurant where the chef makes and cooks your meal (typically consisting of fish, meat, and vegetables) right in front of you on a hot iron skillet (teppan). Many teppanyaki restaurants pair sensational live cooking shows with expensive products (such as Kobe beef) to provide an exclusive dining experience.
Once a small wine bar where customers brought their dishes, osterie also changed significantly over time. Nowadays, the word is more often associated with a casual and modest Italian eatery (inexpensive and less formal than a trattoria) serving humble home-cooked food. Still, it is not unusual to see it as elegant restaurants that want to invoke a feeling of comfort, quaintness, and nostalgia.
The café is the most popular dining establishment, ranging from informal neighborhood hangouts to fashionable establishments. It first emerged in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) in the 17th century and has subsequently acted as a social meeting spot. It is also regarded as a coffeehouse or coffee shop. Though they specialize in coffee and other hot drinks, they often serve pastries, cookies, and other quick meals/snacks. The menu differs widely from one nation to the next.
A relaxed sit-down American restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their traditional retro style also involves neon signs, leather-clad booths, and long counters extending the length of the interior, taking influence from the old rail dining cars. Diners, especially those along highways, are often open 24 hours a day and serve classic American fares such as burgers, tacos, fries, and pies.
It is also known as a ramen store, a traditional Japanese restaurant specializing in wheat-flour noodle soup dishes. Every area in the country has its broth, so anticipate anything from miso to tonkatsu (pork bone broth). Not all ramen-ya restaurants have table service.
Although teahouses mainly serve tea, some often serve light meals, characteristic of the local tea society. For example, in a British tea space, you’ll find tea sandwiches and tiny cakes; in a French salon de thé, you’ll find an array of pastries; and in a cha chaan teng, you’ll find noodles (Hong Kong tea restaurant).
Not to be mistaken with a tavern, a taverna is a tiny, typical Greek restaurant with rustic furniture, an authentic environment, and a short, inexpensive menu – usually consisting of essential local dishes such as grilled meats, fish and shrimp, and, of course, their popular dips and spreads. The taverna is not only Greece’s most famous and iconic dining establishment; it is also an essential part of the local community.
Fast Casual Restaurant
A modern kind of eating establishment where the cuisine and service are somewhat more upscale than fast food but less expensive than casual dining. This group includes restaurants such as Chipotle, Panera Bread, and NYC’s Shake Shack.
Rising the development of the hospitality industry, pop-up restaurants are temporary eateries that run for a short period in unconventional locations. They provide an excellent platform for young, aspiring chefs to demonstrate their talents or try a new culinary idea before investing in a brick-and-mortar location. Needless to say, they offer patrons a one-of-a-kind dining experience, often involving a theme and imaginative, original cuisine.
Fast food Restaurants
Fast food restaurants, such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, differentiate themselves by their pace of operation, comfort, and affordability. However, they are usually part of large foreign chains or franchises, and their offerings are small and not-so-healthy, typically consisting of hamburgers, French fries, pizza, and soft drinks.
However, in recent years, several fast-food chains have started to cater to millennials by reducing sugar and added additives and serving higher-quality gourmet burgers and made-to-order pizzas. In addition, quinoa bowls, fresh salads, and crispy wraps are being offered by a new generation of organic fast-food restaurants, questioning the traditional high-calorie fare.
A self-service establishment with a variety of foods presented on counters/tables. Most buffet restaurants are all-you-can-eat affairs where consumers pay a flat fee, although the definition varies based on where you are in the world.
In Italy, a Tavola Calda offers mainly pre-made meals, while dim sum houses in China use wheeled carts with various plates of food pulled around the restaurant. Buffet dining derives from Sweden’s smörgsbord custom.
A restaurant that serves grilled prime cuts of beef (strip, rib eye, tenderloin). The menu would usually include veal, pork/lamb chops, and fried chicken, as well as fine wines and several side dishes.
A restaurant where consumers pay a specific price and only serve themselves however much food they choose. They usually have many food stalls, including anything from salads to spicy dishes and desserts.
Whether it is a pizzeria, a quick food restaurant, or a cafe, a kosher restaurant can only deliver food that adheres to kashrut regulations (Jewish religious dietary laws).
Dinner in the Sky
A revolutionary Belgian restaurant idea that allows a limited number of guests to dine at a table suspended in mid-air. Dinner in the Sky is accessible in over 45 countries worldwide.
This is a modern and rare restaurant style where customers eat in total darkness and are served mainly by blind waiters. The idea behind eating in the dark is to stimulate the other senses by removing the sight.
Blindekuh, the first permanent dark restaurant, opened in 1999 in Zurich, Switzerland, while Dans Le Noir, the only restaurant chain of its type, with many locations worldwide, is the most famous.
A la carte
A restaurant where customers can buy individual meals from a menu. It is useful for when a group of people or a family goes to a restaurant and has all different tastes so they can order a dish of their own. This is a traditional food ordering in a restaurant which generally happens. It is more of a food ordering process.
The word gastropub was coined in 1991 and refers to a style of food venue that mixes the elegance and character of a bar with upscale food and better beer. The Eagle in London was the first gastropub.
A traditional French eatery that serves traditional meals, coffee, and beverages every day. Despite the similarity in the cooking style, brasseries are larger and livelier than bistros, with more diverse menus.
A traditional Spanish beach bar offering shade, excellent cocktails, and tapas. Chiringuitos are usually seasonal establishments furnished with plain wooden furnishings, varying from small shacks to good restaurants. The environment is unsurprisingly laid-back, and the menu focuses on fried fish and seafood.
So that’s all from my side. Do let us know if you know of any other types of restaurants? I would be happy to add it to the list under your name. Let me know in comments. I hope I am able to share my knowledge on this. I will see on the other side. Till then, keep exploring, and eat healthy. Good Luck.