In Germany, there are many cafés (often combined with restaurants) that are

  • located in a nice setting, typically close to, but a bit outside the next settlement (or inside a small village)
  • mainly catering to people on short excursions, walking or cycling, by serving coffee, soft drinks, cakes and light meals
  • typically with nice outdoor seating, because they are mainly frequented during good weather

These are usually called Ausflugscafé - literally "pleasure trip cafe". They are found a lot in tourist areas, but also on the fringes of big cities, in areas where the inhabitants of the city go to get some fresh air.

Typical examples can be seen on a Google search for "Ausflugscafé" - many cafés call themselves "Ausflugscafé".

Is there an English word (or expression) for this type of café? Or is this simply a German phenomenon?

  • 2
    I'm not aware of a 'concept' name for such things, which may be that the cultural niche in the UK is filled by the 'country pub' which brings up quite a similar set of images. google.co.uk/…
    – Spagirl
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 10:20
  • @Spagirl: Yes, that does look quite similar, thank you.The main difference seems to be that country pubs are typically inside villages and mostly serve the locals, while a "Ausflugscafe" is in an area where people walk/cycle and mainly serves visitors.
    – sleske
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 10:20
  • 2
    The concept just doesn't exist in the US. Even the word 'café' as used in the US names a concept that is realatively new urban idea.
    – Mitch
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 10:54
  • 4
    Yeah, people don't walk in the US, except from the parking lot into the store, so the concept doesn't exist here.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 12:19
  • There is the term "roadhouse", however, which (when not used to refer to a house of ill repute) describes a restaurant or bar which is some distance from the nearest town ("some" here being anywhere from a mile to 100). However, the term is not heavily used, both due to the rarity of the establishments and the association with brothels.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 12:21

5 Answers 5


In the UK, they are sometimes called tea rooms, but these are also found in urban areas. You will often find tea rooms in countryside attractions such as reservoirs and nature reserves, and they can sometimes be found in country parks (and urban parks). Country pubs often have tea gardens where you can enjoy light refreshments and children can play.

National parks, such as Dartmoor, sometimes have country pubs that are miles from anywhere, and they will generally have a tea garden and serve food throughout the day rather than at specific times. The only problem is finding a seat during the tourist season, since they tend to be very busy. If you are visiting the UK, it is a good idea to do some research to find out where they are.

The only other institution that comes anywhere close is the transport cafe, but these are designed mainly for truck-drivers and are often desultory affairs.

Finding decent places for refreshment in the country is difficult in the UK and has been for a long time. Your best option if you are hungry is to head for the nearest town, find a pub, and hope that they are serving food. I would like to be able to say "head for the nearest village", but most village pubs have closed.

Cambridge Dictionary: tea room

Cambridge Dictionary: tea garden

Cambridge Dictionary: transport café

Visit Dartmoor: food & drink


Perhaps just a "walkers' café". This one is on the Yorkshire Dales.

  • There's also a few around Los Angeles, so it's not just a UK term.
    – mhwombat
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 17:26
  • @mhwombat But I bet they can't produce a nice cup of tea, or a bacon roll, like they can on the Yorkshire Dales.
    – WS2
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 17:43

In New England there are a few places similar to what you described. They aren't numerous so we just call them cafés


In the UK, these kind of cafes are sometimes called kiosks - they're not much more than a shed with some tables and seating, and are located on walking trails such as that on top of Symonds Yat on the England/Wales border (not too far from the car park), or along the Ingleton Falls walk in Yorkshire.

Another example:


  • I think Americans would call those cabanas, and that kiosks sell junk like key chains and stuff at the mall (assuming their job isn't to dole out information).
    – Mazura
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 4:34
  • @Mazura Well, the question was for an English word ;) Kiosk is a multi-purpose word in the UK - it is also used for newspaper vendors in train stations, for example...
    – HorusKol
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 4:45
  • Interesting. A "kiosk" seems different from an "Ausflugscafé" in that the latter usually has a "real" building, but otherwise it's quite close. Thanks!
    – sleske
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 8:42
  • Thinking about it some more, and here in South Australia we have a few kiosks near the beach that would be more like your Ausflugscafe
    – HorusKol
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 9:57

Tourist trap, pit-stop, bed-and-breakfast, or a ma-and-pa.

In the US, they're more likely to be part of a franchise than a sole-proprietorship, where they would then be referred to by their company name. E.g., Seven Eleven. Because, as mentioned, "people don't walk in the US, except from the parking lot into the store, so the concept doesn't exist here."

The only thing that even comes close IMO, is a lodge, but those are (out of the way) places you almost always drive to, and walk from.

See also, these offerings found by searching ELU for cafe, as that's what they are at heart, which is probably the one word that's least in dispute throughout all dialects of English.

What is the name of a small unluxurious restaurant?

Hypernym for “restaurant”, “cafe” and other food places?

What should I call a place that sells “street food”?

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