I need a word for a restaurant that was used in Middle Ages, close to 1200 if possible.

  • Tavern, inn they're all of that genre. However, this question might be better off on world building SE Aug 7, 2016 at 9:13
  • 1
    Not inn: the principal purpose of an inn is lodging (with associated catering), rather than catering without accommodation. OED: A public house kept for the lodging and entertainment of travellers, or of any who wish to use its accommodation; a hostelry or hotel; sometimes, erroneously, a tavern which does not provide lodging.
    – Andrew Leach
    Aug 7, 2016 at 10:14
  • 3
    There were essentially no restaurants in the Middle Ages. There were inns and similar, however.
    – Drew
    Aug 7, 2016 at 15:00

2 Answers 2



An establishment that sells and serves drinks and food

Robert E. Lewis, Middle English Dictionary, p. 130.

Evidence of use from ca. 1300 onwards


Try delving into the writings of Chaucer and Shakespeare for the use of the English words "tavern" and "inn" or their contemporary synonyms. The French word restaurant wouldn't have made much of an impact on British English until the early-mid-late 19th century when the unfolding impact of the French Revolution sent unemployed French chefs across the Channel in search of employment in the houses of the British aristocracy, the gentlemen's clubs of London's St. James's and with the in-house dining rooms or restaurants of London's grand hotels at the turn of the century. A London-based French restaurant culture evolved slowly at this time and reflected the French belle epoch of the day, and the Anglo-Franco Entente Cordiale of 1904.

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