A café (also spelled cafe, pronEng|ˈkæfeɪ or IPA|/kæˈfeɪ/) or coffee shop is an informal restaurant offering a range of hot meals and made-to-order sandwiches. This differs from a coffee house, which is a limited-menu establishment which focuses on coffee sales. Depending on the jurisdiction, a café may be licensed to serve alcohol. The term can also refer to bistro or a restaurant facility within a hotel. In many countries, however, the term "café" denotes roughly what "coffee house" denotes in English speaking countries (see below). In American cafés the serving of coffee is incidental to the serving of food, and they may or may not serve alcoholic beverages.

In small towns, the local café is often the central gathering spot for conversation and meetings. Such cafés are especially popular for breakfasts. In central business districts (CBD) of larger cities cafés and coffee shops are often open only for breakfast and lunch, since their patrons leave the area after business hours.

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 [] , Cafe Scientifique in the UK [] , and Cafe Society in Chicago [] .

In Europe

In European countries such as Austria, France, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, etc, the term café implies primarily serving coffee, typically complemented by a slice of cake/tart/pie, a "danish pastry", a plain bun, or similar sweet pastry on the side. Many (or most) cafés also serve small meals such as sandwiches. European cafés often have an enclosed or outdoor section extending onto the sidewalk. Some cafés also serves alcoholic beverages, although British cafés never sell alcohol.

In France, and some other countries, a "brasserie" is a "café" (in the American sense of the word) that serves meals, generally single dishes, in a more relaxed setting than a restaurant. In the Netherlands, a "café" is an establishment selling liquor, as opposed to coffeeshop, which sells soft drugs (cannabis and hashish) and is typically not allowed to sell liquor.

pelling and pronunciation

The most common spelling "café" is the French spelling, and was adopted by English-speaking countries in the late 19th century.Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition (1989), entry number 50031127 ("café")] "Café" can also be spelled "caffè" (the Italian spelling), In southern England, especially around London in the 1950s, the French pronunciation was often shortened to IPA| [kæf] and informally spelt "caff".Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition (1989), entry number 50031130 ("caff")]

A long history of lack of support for accented characters in (first) typewriters and (later) computer OSs (which can be explained principally by the fact that these technologies were largely pioneered by people whose native language, English, generally did not require diacritical marks) has guaranteed that the spelling "cafe" has also become common.

ee also

* Cafeteria
* Coffeehouse
* Greasy spoon
* Internet café
* Sidewalk cafe
* Cafe Scientifique
* [ Corporate Average Fuel Economy(CAFE)]


External links

* [ Internet Cafés Directory]


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