One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A small restaurant selling light meals and drinks.
snack bar, cafeteria, buffetView synonyms
- ‘Small restaurants, cafes selling coffee and tea, as well as stalls selling sandwiches and fruit juice are in abundance, spread all over the city.’
- ‘To help maintain your dancing energy, a café will serve inexpensive light meals in the downstairs lounge throughout the evening.’
- ‘He said that the research also revealed that people were becoming increasingly concerned about hygiene practices in takeaways, restaurants and cafes.’
- ‘Young men and women walk or sit together in the parks, while older men gather in cafes to drink tea and play backgammon.’
- ‘He could not enter restaurants or cafés apart from third-class railway and steamer buffets.’
- ‘Even though it was still some time till midday, diners were greedily eating in the restaurants and cafés.’
- ‘We spend the afternoon wandering around the area in the blistering heat, popping into the various cafes to drink the best coffee in the world.’
- ‘There are supermarkets to buy food, takeaways, cafes and licensed restaurants.’
- ‘However, be prepared to step up a gear around the huge variety of bars, restaurants and cafes serving delicious meals at less than a fiver-a-head on the Avineda del Generalrismo.’
- ‘Away from boulevards and cafes, away from lights and crowds, he lived among the narrow, twisting alleys behind the quartier portugais.’
- ‘This corner of trendy Broughton Street has seen a number of restaurants, bistros and cafes come and go in relatively quick succession, but the most recent arrival looks like being a keeper.’
- ‘The idea is that the actual bylaw stays in place but the police will exercise greater discretion to allow drinking in closed off areas outside cafes and restaurants.’
- ‘We could go into cafes and restaurants and enjoy a decent meal without having to exceed a tenner.’
- ‘These events are often held at restaurants, cafes and coffee houses.’
- ‘There are well-lit shopping malls, ice cream parlours, restaurants, eateries, cafes, so on and so forth.’
- ‘They'll be showing up everywhere in cafes, tearooms, restaurants.’
- ‘They are sold in supermarkets, cafés and restaurants.’
- ‘An hour later the three were chatting over hot chocolate in the small cafe that served hot drinks and food to skaters.’
- ‘Urban dwellers may eat a light meal at a café or restaurant in the evening.’
- ‘I want to drink coffee in cafes and laugh with my friends.’
2North American A bar or nightclub.
- ‘I hung out in neighborhoods, and went to cafes at night.’
- ‘The docks area of Leith buzzes with a large selection of pubs, cafes and clubs.’
- ‘People were filling the cafes and bars that occupied the ground floors as we went to bed around 1PM.’
- ‘After we had taken a picture of every square inch of the landscape we headed back inside for a drink in the cafe.’
- ‘The clashes are mostly triggered over protection rackets targeting nightclubs, bars and karaoke cafes operated by soldiers and policemen.’
- ‘I'd felt content, unburdened in the café, drinking and laughing and free of gossip for a spell.’
- ‘Many have taken to paying people to go to bars, cafes and clubs to talk up the relative merits of a product to complete strangers in the guise of casual conversation.’
- ‘We'd go to nightclubs and cafés, hear jazz bands play or go to open-air symphonies.’
- ‘For example, they have a club that hosts gay discos once a week and a cafe / bar which is gay friendly and is mainly used by lesbians.’
- ‘At no more that half an hour's drive or train journey away, we would go there to shop, have a bite of lunch, and stop off at a cafe for a drink.’
- ‘The album as a whole sets you in the back of a 70's jazz café, where you can witness budding young musicians showcasing their talents.’
- ‘Some time later (the next night, it seems) she stumbles drunk into a cafe where he happens to be.’
- ‘Jake suggested the four go to a café for drinks, and all gladly accepted.’
- ‘Like it or not, bars, pubs and cafés are our public squares, where people meet to participate in the social life of the city.’
- ‘Everyone in the cafe had stopped drinking and was looking over at us.’
3South African A shop selling sweets, cigarettes, newspapers, etc. and staying open after normal hours.
- ‘Corner cafes have since been replaced by petrol station 'quick-shops', but these will still be referred to as the corner cafe.’
Early 19th century: from French café ‘coffee or coffee house’.
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