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What's the difference between 餐馆 饭馆 酒家 饭店 and all the other different words that exist to say restaurant??? What's the most common and used and what is the one that could fit in quite every situation?

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They all mean restaurant, but a little difference:

餐馆 is normal, not so big, but formal restaurant.

饭馆 is smaller, and casual restaurant.

饭店 is bigger restaurant with higher qualification, be able to perform ceremony such as wedding.

酒家 is an ancient word which means a kind of restaurant providing liquor. Nowadays used for the name of restaurant for antique flavour.

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  • Don't forget 苍蝇馆子! :D
    – Mou某
    May 1 '14 at 15:47
  • By definition 饭店 is hotel, albeit it could mean restaurant colloquially.
    – Ma Ming
    May 1 '14 at 19:45
  • @MaMing Yes, and IMO, I prefer to regard 饭店 as restaurant without context. BTW, there's a similar word 酒店, I prefer to regard it as hotel without context.
    – user4072
    May 2 '14 at 2:03

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