A restaurant or cafeacute of which the patrons serve themselves with meals kept at a counter usually having to pay a cashier at the conclusion of the counter and taking the meals to tables to eat
- a restaurant for which you offer yourself and pay a cashier
1839, United states English, from Mexican Spanish cafeteria "coffee shop," from caf
- mess hall [Am.]
A familiar shape in the dark corner of the cafeteria caught his attention as he passed, and he paused to raise a hand in greeting.