Is there English term for fast food restaurant that have only small area for food preparation and counter (facing street) at which people order food and eat?

Here is a photo from Bladerunner that is an example of what I am referring to.

I found out later that in Blade runner screenplay they refer to this area as Noodle bar.


8 Answers 8


Consider the term food stall.

Stall noun 1 A stand, booth, or compartment for the sale of goods in a market or large covered area. ‘In fact, you don't even have to leave Bangkok to be entertained and amazed by the variety of restaurants, food stalls and markets on display.’ - ODO

The definition above doesn't talk about size, but the terms booth and stand both convey the notion of a small area.

Here is a link to an advertisement for a "Small Hut / Food Stall". (Disclaimer: I'm not knowingly affiliated to the linked business.)


I've heard these called walk-up restaurants.



  1. accessible to pedestrians from the outside of a building: a walk-up teller's window at a bank.

Citation: walk-up. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc.


In Britain, a street-food selling place can be referred to as a kiosk or booth but generally it is only if it is in the name of the company who owns it. Most of the time, I have only heard the term van.

Van is most often used in Britain, as in kebab van

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or burger van.

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The thing with burger vans and kebab vans is that they generally don't just sell burgers. Whilst the name refers to their primary product, they sell other cooked foods.

Kebab vans sell burgers too and both kebab vans and burger vans provide hotdogs, bacon, sausage or egg baps in any combination such as egg and bacon, along with hot and cold soft-drinks.

You may have ice-cream stalls where the stall is static,

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but travelling ice-cream stalls (which sell house-to-house for example) would be ice-cream vans.

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You also have travelling sandwich vans selling sandwiches and cold soft-drinks workplace to workplace.

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  • "but only if it is in the name of the company who owns it." - Huh? I'm not sure what you're getting at here. It's a sandwich kiosk whoever owns it, isn't it?
    – peterG
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 14:43
  • Oops my error, I meant to say that it is generally only named a kiosk if it is part of the name of the company who owns it. Generally speaking, I have only heard them being called sandwich vans. Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 14:47
  • We use term kiosk where I live, but we call it kiosk only if it is small building on street. I want term for something that looks like burger van but it is built inside big building. Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 14:52
  • Sandwich kiosk or sandwich stall would be used for a fixed building on the street selling through a hatch or opening on the side where people eat outside the building. If it is in a big building, with a door and has a seating area inside like Subway, it would generally be a sandwich restaurant or sandwich shop/store. Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 15:00
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    In the US, the first one is called a "food truck".
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 16:50

The OP's question conjures up the idiomatic expression, 'hole in the wall' eatery.

Hole in the wall: a small, very modest, often out-of-the-way place. (Free Dictionary).

Eatery: a usually small and informal restaurant (Learner's Dictioanry)

  • 5
    Hole in the walls and eateries usually have seating (at least in the cases I've seen in the US) Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 14:39
  • 2
    "Hole in the wall" in the UK is a cash machine [ATM]
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 20:53
  • "Hole in the wall eatery" is almost redundant. By itself, "hole in the wall" suggests either a restaurant or drinking establishment. Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 20:57
  • @Tetsujin Uh, is it? That must be regional. I was born here, and I've literally never heard that used. Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 22:59
  • It may be either regional - I'm originally from Yorkshire, though now in London & I don't hear it here; or historical - thinking hard, I may not have heard anyone else say it in 30 years;) Anecdotally, I now live but a few miles from the first ever ATM, according to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automated_teller_machine
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 6:00

Another possible term is a lunch counter (even if they also serve breakfast or dinner). From Wikipedia:

A lunch counter (also known as a luncheonette) is a small restaurant, much like a diner, where the patron sits on a stool on one side of the counter and the server or person preparing the food serves from the other side of the counter, where the kitchen or limited food preparation area is.

So you have the counter, stools for patrons, and small food preparation area.

Note, however, that many of these were/are inside other establishments, rather than their own little holes-in-the-wall. The term may be most familiar to Americans from the Civil Rights-era sit-ins of lunch counters in Woolworth's department stores (see the Smithsonian's "Separate is Not Equal" web exhibit). The image below from VCU Libraries' Freedom Now Project shows students seated at such a lunch counter during a 1963 demonstration.Students seated at J.J.Newberry's lunch counter, Farmville, Va., July 1963. From left to right--unidentified woman in print dress, Joyce Allen, Carlton Terry, Angela Neverson, John Webb (younger brother to Roy Webb). Richmond Times-Dispatch photographer stands at right edge of photo.


There could be different answers based on regional dialect. Here in the Midwest US, I'd call these either a food truck or food cart, depending on whether the motor was integrated into the vehicle.

food truck (noun) a large vehicle equipped with facilities for cooking and selling food. Example usage: "new gourmet food trucks take the street-food game to a higher level" (Google)

food cart (noun) a mobile kitchen that is set up on the street to facilitate the sale and marketing of street food to people from the local pedestrian traffic. (Wikipedia)

  • 1
    Also food trailer, as they sometimes detach from their means of locomotion. However, the question implies a non-mobile eatery to my reading. +1 all the same.
    – Patrick M
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 18:16
  • @PatrickM good point. Then again, I've heard my friends casually refer to a food trailer as a food truck here, even if it's not a self-contained vehicle.
    – neontapir
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 18:33
  • 1
    I've lived in every region of the contiguous US except New England, and the usage is the same everywhere I've lived. It's established enough that it's used in trademarks: tucsonfoodtrucks.com Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 21:01

Bar [bahr]/ noun

  1. a counter or place where beverages, especially liquors, or light meals are served to customers.

Given your image this may be used as well. A bar can be used to describe the long table top where the people are sitting, and does not necessitate that alcohol is served; such as an "eating bar" found in a diner - see image

Definition Source: Dictionary.com


In Britain these are often termed as "kiosk" or a "booth".

These can either be temporary, portable structures or, as in the case of your question, an aperture set into the side of a larger structure.


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