Whether you are simply looking for a new experience or looking to start your restaurant, this article gives you a glimpse into the different types of restaurants and their characteristics that help you choose. The range of different kinds of restaurants continues to expand from the white tablecloth restaurant featuring a three-page wine menu to your hip downtown vegan eatery that serves herb-infused cocktails.

It is still possible to distinguish restaurants based on common factors, though each restaurant has its unique ambience and feel. Therefore, we have curated the list of different restaurants and various elements used to categorize them.

18 Best Types Of Restaurants:

Here are some popular categories of restaurants, their menu, pricing, seating options, service type, and foods they serve. Read on to know more details:

1. Fine Dining:

If you are looking for an upscale dining experience, with everything high-end, different types of fine dining restaurants can be an ideal choice. You can expect higher quality food with great attention to detail, and exceptional customer service, though fine dining restaurants will feature higher prices.

The fine-dining restaurants will require you to wear formals, follow fine dining etiquette, and offer top-shelf wine, spirits, food, and therefore higher cost for the entire experience.

See More: Most Popular Types of Pizzas

2. Casual Dining:

Casual dining restaurants are some of the most popular types of restaurants because they offer an enjoyable and laid-back atmosphere and full table service. The menus in these restaurants serve alcohol, appetizers, and entrees and offer extensive yet affordable menus for customers.

There will have more options for you to explore on their menus, affordable, though you might have to pay more in these restaurants when compared to fast food. You can expect to be greeted, sat by a host, and waited on by a server during your visit.

3. Fast Casual:

If you are looking for a restaurant that blends fast food and casual dining, then a fast-casual restaurant can be an ideal choice. These places use higher quality ingredients, but with the ease and convenience of fast food. Fast-casual restaurants’ prices are higher than fast food. Because the menus feature a customized selection with more complex flavors. Again, though, in terms of quality, you are getting what you pay for.

Fast-casual dining will not feature full table service, but you will have a friendly sit-down atmosphere. The popularity of these restaurants is increasing quickly worldwide.

4. Ghost Restaurant:

There are many types of food restaurants you can order takeout from, but you cannot visit, which is known as a Ghost kitchen or virtual restaurant. The main idea of this restaurant is to minimize costs and help the chefs to focus solely on efficiency to create their food. This restaurant serves customers through the phone, online, or both.

A ghost restaurant requires a kitchen and delivery drives and doesn’t have a traditional storefront with décor or signage. Therefore, they don’t need to change physical copies when they want to alter their menu; they have to change their website.

5. Family Style Restaurants:

If you are more focused on sharing and creating connections, a family-type restaurant is an ideal choice. Large parties can share these restaurants, and they serve large portions of moderately-priced food.

For example, Chinese-Indian food, Italian-Indian food, and traditional Indian food are well-suited for family-style dining. This food includes pasta, noodles, stir-fries, and fried finger foods that come in large shareable portions. Typically these restaurants have a laid-back atmosphere and offer table service.

6. Fast Food:

Fast food centers have the most popular food choices and are one of the most convenient types of dining. These restaurants are a popular choice because they make convenience, and speed their priority. Subway, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Pizza Hut are popular types of fast food places. You can find food at affordable prices at these restaurants, and the younger demographic is more attracted to these places. Subway is one of the popular fast-food chains that operates in around 100 countries.

7. Food Truck, Cart, Or Stand:

If you are looking for a single type of food, such as tacos, sandwiches, ice cream, etc., that specializes in a single kind of food, then Food trucks, stands, or carts are an exceptional choice. The prices in these restaurants on wheels are less, and festivals, events, and parks are the typical venues.

The focus in fast-food restaurants is speed, hence the name. There are sparse or even non-existent seating options in the restaurant on wheels. The food can be anything from Indian to Chinese to Thai, and the style of food determines the price.

8. Bistro:

A bistro is a type of French restaurant that offers hearty meals at a moderate price in a not-so-formal setting, and this concept was initiated in France. However, the format evolved to include more refined décor, fewer tables, finer foods, and higher prices when restaurateurs opened bistros in the United States.

Most bistro owners consider them a classic fare offering multiple courses in an opulent atmosphere because they don’t believe them a fine dining establishment.

See More: Types of Buildings List and Designs

9. Café:

If you are looking for a space to get a quick bite and a cup of coffee rather than an extravagant meal, a café is a perfect place. These types of cafe restaurants are versatile and great for various situations as they are often an excellent meeting point for friends. With small breakfast and lunch menus, coffee, tea, and pastries are items in most cafes.

Cafes don’t cost too much money, provide a casual and relaxed atmosphere, and are great for socializing. However, there are also high-end cafes that have costly menus.

10. Buffet Type Restaurants:

A Buffet provides customers with different food options to choose from and allows diners to customize their meals. These types of cuisine restaurants will enable you to fill up your plate from a wide variety of food options as many times as you want, giving them the name “all you can eat” restaurant. Some restaurants serve dishes from all over the world, but many follow a theme, like Chinese or Indian food.

Guests will help themselves with food laid out on buffet bars for a fixed price. Soups, salads, appetizers, fruit, desserts, and entrees are examples of foods served in a Buffet.

11. Pub:

Pubs and bars are places where the atmosphere is lively, and a wide variety of alcohol is served. Pubs are also associated with playing live music, playing games, and watching sports. In addition, pubs offer table service, and food is served in the evening and morning. The menu in a pub includes general pub-style food with a casual experience.

12. Coffee house:

A coffee house is a concept gaining popularity worldwide, with Starbucks, and café coffee day being some perfect examples. Coffee houses allow the customers to socialize without the pressure to leave after eating. They have a limited selection of cold foods such as sandwiches, donuts, and pastries and provide a casual atmosphere.

The focus of a coffee house is the hot beverage; otherwise, both coffee houses and café are similar. There is a wide selection of coffee drinks available, where food takes a secondary place.

13. Diner:

One of America’s trendy types of restaurants is Diners. Breakfast items, burgers, and fried foods are what you typically find in a diner. You can expect to pay significantly less in a diner and are open all day compared to any restaurant type. Booths, table service, and bar stools at the front and centre of the restaurant are some of the features generally found.

14. Pop-Up Restaurant:

Pop-up restaurants come under the categories of restaurants that won’t be there for long and appear in unexpected places. So, it is better to visit while you can if you want to see a pop-up restaurant. In addition, these restaurants help chefs to try something new before committing to a full-time restaurant and an opportunity to showcase their skills because they will only be there for a limited amount of time.

The menu in a pop-up restaurant varies depending upon the style of food, and they typically feature a specific concept or theme. Along with food, the location also plays a vital role for these restaurants.

15. Destination Restaurant:

The genre of food restaurants that draws patrons from beyond its immediate area or community is called a destination restaurant. The strong history of the establishment, the reputation of the head chef, and the appeal of the food are enough to attract customers when they make a trip to the town, which is all-inclusive in the concept of the restaurant itself.

Unless restaurants have been around for a long time, very few restaurants achieve the destination status.

16. Teppanyaki Grill:

If you are looking for a dramatic flair while having food, the teppanyaki grill, a.k.a. hibachi specializing in Japanese cuisine, is a perfect choice. You can watch the chef prepare their order on a hot grill a foot or two away, which can be done for multiple parties.

The chef entertains guests with various tricks, including building a volcano out of onion slices, catching a lemon on a fork behind their back, flipping small shrimp into the customer’s mouth, etc., as the food is being cooked.

17. Cafeteria:

Cafeteria-style restaurants are trendy in corporate offices, hospitals, factories worldwide, and many schools in the United States. By definition, ready-cooked food items arranged behind a long counter are served in a cafeteria. You can pick the food of your choice by standing in line, picking up a tray, and standing in a line.

Some of the popular food in cafeterias are freshly-cooked, cut-from-the-bone roast beef, omelets, waffles, salads, soups, etc.

See More: Different Varieties of Sandwiches

18. Drive-in:

Drive-in restaurants have been gaining popularity in many metropolitan cities and are considered the latest fad. There are quite a few drive-in restaurants spread across the city, though they started as just one or two outlets here and there. There are multiple options ins cuisines/restaurants in a single location, making drive-ins popular. Another advantage of these types of restaurants is that food would be served in your car itself.

There are giant screens that play movies, live cricket, and various other sports depending on the season and the service is pretty quick. This is a place where you can have loads of fun with your friends with varied food options.

Suppose you were under the impression that there is only one type of restaurant. In that case, we hope this article has given you enough information about the different types of restaurants and the different dining options. Go through all the points before choosing for yourself. Don’t forget to let us know if you found this article helpful!


1. What are the most profitable restaurant types?

Though the profit margins are pretty less in the restaurant business, the following are some of the profitable restaurant types:

  • Delivery-only restaurants.
  • Food trucks.
  • Farm-to-table restaurants.
  • Pizzerias.
  • Pasta restaurants.
  • Buffets.
  • Quick service restaurants.

2. Are there strict dress codes present in restaurants?

Many restaurants allow you to wear anything you want. But some fine dining places have a strict dress code, and all the diners need to adhere to it. If you are unsure, you can call the restaurant beforehand to avoid any problems.

3. What is the dress code in a five-star restaurant?

The standard elements of a five-star dining ensemble include a cocktail dress, heels, and a jacket or wrap. However, no matter how fashionable they are, you shouldn’t wear athletic clothing or appear dressed haphazardly.

4. Where is the world’s largest restaurant located?

Bawabet Dimashq restaurant, translated to Damascus Gate Restaurant, is a 580.000 square-foot dining area in Damascus, Syria, with 6,014 seats.

5. Is it necessary to get a reservation before going to a restaurant?

Not all restaurants require pre-booking, but if you want to visit a popular restaurant during the festive season or when there is a chance of heavy crowds, it is better to get a reservation beforehand. You can either do it online or on a phone call.


About Yashasvi

Yashasvi developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A Parenting expert who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about pregnancy, baby care, lifestyle, and just about anything else.