greasy spoon

a restaurant that serves inexpensive fried foods


greasy spoon = billiges Schnellrestaurant --- GOOGLE INDEX greasy spoon: approximately 1,600,000 Google hits



Just over a decade ago, Frenchtown was simply another boarded-up town on the Delaware River, a GREASY SPOON and a pizza parlor its only businesses.

(New York Times)

Is Britain undergoing a culinary renaissance? After sampling breakfast at his local GREASY SPOON, Simon Busch doesn't think so.

(The Guardian)

Did you

greasy spoon
noun phrase

- a small, cheap restaurant, especially one that sells a lot of fried food

(Cambridge Dictionaries)

Greasy spoon is a colloquial term that refers to a restaurant that usually serves simple food, often grilled or fried. In the UK the greasy spoon (often referred to as a cafe or caff) would likely serve varieties of pub food such as sausages, fish and chips and for breakfast the famous British "fry-up," which can include fried eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans, sautéed mushrooms and grilled tomatoes.

In the U.S. greasy spoons are also known as diners, where the emphasis is on quickly-prepared, inexpensive foods (hamburgers, sandwiches, deep-fried meats, etc.) in a casual environment. The term greasy spoon dates back to the early 20th century in the U.S. and refers both to the greasy and fattening food that makes up most of the menu and the suggestion that hygiene and cleanliness are not a priority.

The modern version of the greasy spoon can be very clean and nice, but prides itself on serving grease-laden types of food that are still beloved by many. The U.S. meanwhile has many chain restaurants, such as the Hard Rock Cafe, that have the look and feel of a greasy spoon, but where higher quality and more expensive food is served.


dive, diner, dump, hash house, grease pit, eatery, lunch counter, grill, chuck wagon

SMUGGLE OWAD into today's conversation

"I'm sick of greasy spoon lunches, let's bring lunch packets and save money instead."

Thanks to Johannes for suggesting today's word!

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