greasy spoon

noun Slang.
a cheap and rather unsanitary restaurant.

Origin:
1920–25, Americanism

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
greasy spoon
 
n
slang a small, cheap, and often unsanitary restaurant, usually specializing in fried foods

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

greasy spoon

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® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Whether it is the corner greasy spoon or the white linen place, what both restaurants strive for is reliability.
Ordinarily wouldn't be my first choice, but they make surprisingly good coffee for a greasy spoon.
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