AskDefine | Define cafeteria

Dictionary Definition

cafeteria n : a restaurant where you serve yourself and pay a cashier

User Contributed Dictionary



(Mid 19th or 20th century) American Spanish cafetería, coffeehouse, from cafetera, coffee maker, from French cafetière, from café, from Ottoman Turkish qahveh


  1. A restaurant in which customers select their food at a counter then carry it on a tray to a table to eat
  2. A dining area in an institution where meals may be purchased (as above) or brought in from elsewhere

Related terms





  1. cafeteria

Alternative spellings

Extensive Definition

Cafeteria may refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

automat, beanery, bistro, buffet, buvette, cafe, canteen, cantina, chophouse, chuck wagon, coffee shop, coffeehouse, coffeeroom, commons, cookhouse, cookshack, cookshop, diner, dinette, dining car, dining hall, dining room, dining saloon, dog wagon, drive-in, drive-in restaurant, eatery, eating house, fast-food chain, grill, grillroom, hamburger stand, hash house, hashery, hot-dog stand, kitchen, lunch counter, lunch wagon, luncheonette, lunchroom, mess, mess hall, messroom, pizzeria, quick-lunch counter, refectory, restaurant, salle a manger, smorgasbord, snack bar, tavern, tearoom, trattoria
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