- a cheap and rather unsanitary restaurant.
Origin of greasy spoon
An Americanism dating back to 1920–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- slang a small, cheap, and often unsanitary restaurant, usually specializing in fried foods
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
A cheap restaurant, especially one serving short-order fried foods. For example, College students short of cash tend to eat a lot in that greasy spoon. This expression also implies that the restaurant is not very clean. [c. 1900]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.