What Is The Difference Between Cafe and Restaurant?

We all love food, and eating out at food joints and trying out new foods is always fun! The places where we eat food have many names. The two most popular places where food is served are cafes and restaurants.

Before we get into the details, the major difference between cafes and restaurants is that cafes are small places that offer unique mocktails and other beverages with limited food on the menu card. On the other hand, restaurants are medium to large places with various food dishes available.

Difference Between Cafe and Restaurant

What Is A Cafe?

Did you know that The word cafe is derived from the Turkish word “Kahve.” The first cafe was opened in 1550 in Constantinople. In the 17th century, cafes were opened in France, Germany, England, and Italy.

A cafe refers to a small place where a large variety of beverages and limited food is served. Cafes can either be small or large, depending on the business.

The most popular beverage served in a cafe is coffee. But why? The main reason behind this is that cafes were originally known as coffee houses.

The food offered in a cafe is limited to coffee, cookies, bread, and other mocktails and drinks. Many cafes also offer complimentary chips and other light snacks that go well with these beverages. As mentioned, the most common beverage served in a cafe is coffee, tea, and more.

Moreover, cafes are popular among youngsters and working-class people. Nowadays, many businessmen, freelancers, and other professionals spend time working on their laptops and having their business meetings at a cafe. These places are also very popular for dating. Did you know that most of the dates take place in cafes? One of the major drawbacks of cafes is that they do not offer a three-course meal.

What Is A Restaurant?

A restaurant is a medium or a large space that sells both beverages and food. The main aim of a restaurant is to offer different types of food, beverages, and other complementary food. Most of the restaurants usually sell three-course meals.

The first restaurant was opened in 1765 in Paris by a soup vendor. The word restaurant is derived from the french word “restaurer,” meaning restore.

The menu at a restaurant includes soups, starters, main course, and desserts. It also includes mocktails, tea, coffee, fresh juices, and more.

Restaurants are mainly popular with the cuisine they offer. For example, if a restaurant is selling Chinese food, then it is known as a “Chinese restaurant.”

Moreover, restaurants are a go-to place if you want to have a good full course meal. It can either be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. However, restaurants are quite loud and are not suitable for client meetings or working.

Comparison: Cafe Vs Restaurant

Criteria Cafe Restaurant
Invented in the year 1550 1765
Cost of food Lower when compared to restaurants Higher when compared to cafes
Ambiance Quiet, calm, little chatting happens here. People usually come here for business meetings, working, and dating. Usually very noisy and not recommended for meetings and working. Restaurants mainly focus on offering good food for the stomach.
Size Small in size Restaurants range from medium to large.
Seating capacity Accommodates 20-30 people Accommodates more than 100 people.


Cafes are places where both food and beverages are available. However, the food menu is limited to fast foods. You can go to a cafe where you have an important business meeting, date, or for some gossip time with a stranger.

On the other hand, restaurants are designed to have full-course meals. The best part is that restaurants are divided based on their specialties and cuisines. So if you are looking for Italian food, you can look for restaurants that serve and specialize in Italian food.

Unlike cafes, you cannot chat with strangers at a restaurant. However, you can have a good time with your family, friends, and others if you want to enjoy a refreshing atmosphere and escape from the normal food routine.

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