At / in the restaurant?


Senior Member

What is the correct forme :

She was waiting for me at the restaurant.
She was waiting for me in the restaurant.

Mnay thanks
  • Blumengarten

    Senior Member
    America / English
    Both are fine, but with slightly different meanings. "At the restaurant" means she could be either outside or inside the restaurant, while "in the restaurant" means she's definitely inside.

    Pink and yellow

    New Member
    Hello, good evening.
    what's the correct preposition in this sentence: They have lunch at the restaurant. Or They have lunch in the restaurant?
    You have breakfast in/at the kitchen. what's the correct preposition.

    << This thread has been merged with a previous thread on the same topic. >>
    Last edited by a moderator:


    Senior Member
    English Canada
    At is more likely in the first example because you are not stressing the inside of the restaurant. In the second example, in is the only possibility.

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    I think that the use of 'at' in these contexts gives a very strong indication that we're thinking of the restaurant as an establishment rather than thinking of it as an edifice.

    (If I heard you saying 'we had lunch at the kitchen' I'd assume that 'The Kitchen' was the name of a restaurant.)


    Senior Member
    Hello everybody
    I texted my mother and told her that I was eating in a restaurant.
    My mother asked:
    What restaurant are you in?
    In what restaurant are you?
    (I'm inside the restaurant and I'm eating something.)
    Are these sentences correct in informal English?
    If it's not , what would a native speaker suggest?

    Thank you.


    Senior Member
    English - US
    While both are grammatically correct, "In what restaurant are you?" is not likely to be said by any native speaker even in a formal setting.
    What/Which one?


    Senior Member
    Hello again everybody

    As I said earlier, my mother texted me and said:
    What restaurant are you in?
    I said:
    I'm in Zapata Mexican Restaurant.
    I'm in Zapata.
    Are these sentences correct?

    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    They are, but they are not typical in American English. It would be "at", not "in" if someone was asking you from a distance by text.

    "At" is the general word unless there is some specific reason to indicate you are inside the restaurant.


    This question has been added to a previous discussion.
    Cagey, moderator


    What is the difference between two sentences below:
    I am at the restaurant.
    I am in the restaurant.
    Thank you.
    Last edited by a moderator:


    Senior Member
    English - England
    I am at the restaurant. -> I am outside, in front of, at the side of, behind, or inside the restaurant.
    I am in the restaurant.-> I am inside the restaurant.


    Another factor is context.

    Suppose you'd arranged to meet someone for lunch somewhere. You arrive first and go in to wait for him. He calls you on your mobile to say he's on his way and asks where you are. Here the more natural answer is: I'm at the restaurant.

    Suppose you are with a colleague in the lobby of a hotel. You wander off for a cup of coffee while he stays behind reading the newspaper. After a few minutes he calls and asks where you are. Here it'd be more natural to say: I'm in the restaurant.