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Oct 22, 2005 09:47 AM

Quiet restaurants?

  • t

A pet peeve I have lately is going to some nice restaurant or bistro where you can't have a conversation without shouting. The noise level is so high in many restaurants. I would love to find restaurants with great food downtown or uptown that are not so loud. Any suggestions?

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  1. p
    peppermint pate

    I think that smaller rooms lend themselves to quieter atmosphere. A few off the top of my head - Zucca, JOV, Amuse Bouche, Fat Cat. On the higher end, Boba, Scaramouche and Noce.

    1 Reply
    1. re: peppermint pate

      I don't know about that. The one time I went to JOV, the walls must've had some strange echo effect because the restaurant was extremely loud just with all the conversation around our table. We cold hear everyone talking and it reminded us of a busy Chinese restaurant.

    2. I like Opus on Prince Arthur...Miranda

      1. I can totally understand your frustration.

        This is very difficult to control and I'm sure a lot of restaurants do their best to control the acoustics but then all depending on the clientele and volume of people that are there whenever you're dining this could be virtually impossible.

        Take for example if you're in a room of any size with a few other tables and you're all talking at a normal level you will have no problem maintaining that level of conversation. On the other hand if you're in the room and it is full and everyone is talking or a larger group is dining occupying a section of the restaurant, I hate to say it you will probably find yourself talking louder and potentially shouting.

        To minimize this I would find out when the restaurant generally has a slower night and dine during the restaurants off hours.


        4 Replies
        1. re: Italian4me

          "To minimize this I would find out when the restaurant generally has a slower night and dine during the restaurants off hours."

          yes- avoid busy hours and the restauant will be quiet.

          like 5 pm to 6:30 pm= quiet
          for restaurants open all day- 2 pm to 7pm

          look in the restaurant window- empty restaurant will be quiet

          if you are in kennedy/steeles area in markham/
          HAMA Japanese restaurant is quiet and has good food.

          Hama Japanese Restaurant
          4372 Steeles Avenue East (near Kennedy)
          Markham, ON

          OUTSIDE Market Village, Hama is near the back entrances of Market Village. Look for Satay Ria Restaurant sign - Hama is nearby, outside the mall

          1. re: Italian4me

            A lot of the noise problem is not the crowds so much as the surfaces. I think a lot of places deliberately choose tiled walls/floors, hard chairs and no fabrics at all in order to amplify the noise so that when there are only a few tables occupied it still sounds like a full house and gives off a sense of buzz. Go to a place with carpets, drapes and soft chairs and even when packed you won't have to shout.

            1. re: toothpick
              Toronto Kathy

              I would agree with you that it is the surfaces that make the restaurant, even at quiet times, sound so noisy. Although there are some places that are too loud because they blast the backgound music. There are many restaurants out there that have great food, but I won't go back because they are just frustratingly loud. Give me a nice quiet, intimate restaurant with good food and I'll be back!

              1. re: toothpick

                I do not think they do this to amplify the sound.. it is a more practicle reason: durability and ease of cleaning.. Nob owner wants carpets and drapes in a restaurant that need to be cleaned on a regular basis they would rather have a mop and a bucket to clean the floors. Same with table linen- these services are very expensive (plus enviromentally unfriendly) to wash restaurant linen..

            2. I would suggest Toba at Sherbourne/King East - nice and quiet, great food, amazing service.

              1 Reply
              1. re: DAB

                I second this resto....very quiet and cosy with great food and service.

              2. A lot of these are expensive, and you should investigate before going - e.g. I found Le Paradis dirty (walls, floors) and the food forgettable.