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Diner vs. Grill vs. Café vs. Restaurant

Licking, Missouri……At Dunky’s Ice Cream and Diner , we get referred to by a variety of different terms or names—diner, ice cream shop, restaurant, food place, café, or simply their favorite place to find great food and social wellness, in Licking Missouri! But, as our name implies, we consider ourselves to be a diner. What’s the difference between these terms, and does it really matter?

Restaurant. All food-eating places can be called a restaurant. It may be anything from a fast-food joint to an elegant, upscale, $50 per plate sort of place. However, most of the time, the term restaurant refers to a sit-down location where moderately-priced to expensive food is served to hungry people.


Diner. Diners are a special sort of restaurant; in general, they are warm, cozy, and casual. The diner is a rather American tradition, and often serves American classic comfort foods, such as, grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers, fries, and local favorites. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes & gravy, open faced roast beef, chicken livers…..and so on. I think overall a diner needs that “feel at home” friendly cozy atmosphere. It’s very hard to create it, the establishment just needs to “grow into it”, because, after all – the customer themselves are what makes it happen.


Grill. Obviously the name conjures up visions of grills; charcoal smoke, flat top, gas and so on…but most kitchens have multiple cooking surfaces so what is unique? The menu will most likely be similar to all the other establishments, however we live in an era of “buzzwords” and maybe there is more rustic romance in the word Grill than the alternatives ….


Café. Cafés are generally small, with maybe just a few tables and a limited menu. Many café locations are only open during certain meals, and may offer drinks, quick snacks, and salads.


Does it really “make a hoot”? Nope – not in the least. Whatever you call us, we simply wish to bring you the best food, deserts and social wellness – in the Ozarks of Missouri! We meet this goal by providing the best food, a unique menu, and great customer service, no matter what you call us.


To find out more about our delicious menu offerings  or daily specials, check out our website, social media or stop by for a bite—you won’t be disappointed.

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