A café or coffee shop is an informal restaurant with full-service tables and counters and broad menu offerings over extended periods of the day. In hotels, the coffee shop is a more popular-priced alternative to the formal dining room. Coffee shops often encourage families and provide special menus for children. To establish a family-friendly atmosphere, in many localities they do not serve wine and beer.
The most common English spelling, café, is the French spelling, and was adopted by English-speaking countries in the late 19th century. As English generally makes little use of diacritical marks, anglicisation includes a tendency to omit them, especially in less pretentious contexts. Thus the spelling cafe has thus become very common in English-language usage throughout the world, especially for the less pretentious, ie "greasy spoon" variety (although orthographic proscriptivists often disapprove of it). The Italian spelling, caffè, is also sometimes used in English. In southern England, especially around London in the 1950s, the French pronunciation was often facetiously altered to /ˈkæf/ and spelt caff.
The English words coffee and café both descend from the continental European translingual word root /kafe/, which appears in many European languages with various naturalized spellings, including Italian (caffè); Portuguese and Spanish (café); French (café); German (Kaffee); Polish (kawa); Ukrainian (кава, 'kava'); and others. European awareness of coffee (the plant, its seeds, the beverage made from the seeds, and the shops that sell the beverage) came through Europeans' contact with Turkey, and the Europeans borrowed both the beverage and the word root from the Turks, who got them from the Arabs. The Arabic name qahwa (قهوة) was transformed into kaweh (strength, vigor) in the Ottoman Empire, and it spread from there to Europe, probably first through the Mediterranean languages (Italian, Spanish, French, Catalan, etc.) and thence to German, English, and others, though there is another well-based theory that it first spread to Europe through Poland and Ukraine, through their contacts with the Ottoman Empire.