Ancient Greece and Ancient home thermopolia were small restaurant-bars that offered food and drinks to customers. A typical thermopolium had L-shaped counters in which large storage vessels were sunk, which would contain either hot or cold food. Their popularity was linked to the lack of kitchens in many dwellings and the ease with which people could purchase prepared foods. Furthermore, eating out was considered an important aspect of socializing.
As far back as the thirteenth century, inns served a variety of food — bread, cheese, bacon, roasts, usually eaten at a common table. Parisians could buy what was essentially take-out food from rôtisseurs, who prepared roasted meat dishes, and pastry-cooks, who could prepare meat pies and often more elaborate dishes. Municipal statutes stated that the official prices per item were to be posted at the entrance; this was the first official mention of menus.
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