The word cafe comes from coffee -which would suggest the main thing about a cafe is it serves hot drinks and a quick bite to go with them. Restaurants, on the other hand, came from the opposite direction. There the emphasis was on the food, not the drinks. But that was then and this is now. Unfortunately, we can’t make that distinction.
Another idea might be that a restaurant would be more interested in the level of service. You would expect cafe services old lyme ct to be not quite so upscale or at least a little more relaxed. But then you think of service in a French cafe, all white-aproned and black tied and very definitely not casual, serving you with aplomb and not a little attitude. Some cafés would give a five-star restaurant for their money so that distinction doesn’t work either.
You’d also expect to dress a little differently. At the restaurant a gentleman might wear a jacket, right? No. Not at all. The dotcom world means that anyone can go anywhere dressed pretty much anyhow they please. Few restaurants or cafés would have turned the be-jeaned dotcom gazillionaire away, would they?
Is it ambiance? Does a cozy café have a more intimate atmosphere than a swanky upscale place that is happy to take your money but then dictate how you will spend it?
Whatever it is that makes one a café and the other not perhaps it isn’t important. At the end of the day what matters is you have a lovely lunch or dinner, you eat and drink the things you enjoy and at the end, you go home with your senses satisfied. They can call it what they like really, it’s how much you enjoy it that matters.