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Noise LEVELS in Restaurants

There was recently an article in the Globe about how restaurant noise is becoming a real issue in the dining industry. Diners are starting to complain about the level of noise, which can mar a good meal and is often so bad they can't even hear the person on the other side of the table. Restaurants are starting to hear these complaints and some are actually trying to do something about it (imagine that?)

It seems like this is the norm now, though. I am looking to treat 3 friends to dinner tonight that I haven't seen in a while and want to enjoy some good conversation in a mid-priced restaurant, but all of my choices seem too noisy. Does anyone have any recommendations for mid-priced restaurants ($40-75 per person, with tax, tip & wine) where you can actually have a nice conversation and not shout?

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  1. Gina Mallet has a positive review of Sidecar in today's Post and she made a point of mentionig it was still possible to have a normal conversation even when the restaurant was full and music was playing. Reasonably priced. -
    http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_pa...

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    Sidecar
    577 College St., Toronto, ON M6G 1B2, CA

    1. I had dinner at the Drake where I had to shriek my order to the server two feet away.

      Will never go back.

      1. Worst experience ever for me was the Rushton on St. Clair... we gave up trying to talk to each other because it was just so loud. Also, don't think there is any carpet, drapes, etc. in there to absorb the sound... it really is as loud (at least) as a nightclub.

        6 Replies
        1. re: abscissa

          My last time in Seven Numbers, I wore my Stihl chain saw hard hat with the ear muffs and took with me a flashlight. I think that their ambiance is just in your face ( literally, ears, eyes) rudeness and they stick it where the sun never shines and I don't mean their restaurant. I have not ventured into their other not so restful restaurants.
          VVM

          1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

            Went to Niagara St Cafe tonight for the first time with 3 friends. Everything was great but it was hard to hear the people across the table. Way too noisy.

            1. re: Flexitarian

              That's interesting because NSC is often suggested/recommended as good for a romantic place. Having to shout across the table doesn't sound very romantic to me.

              1. re: Flexitarian

                Niagra St. when I went was very quiet and pleasant too.

              2. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                Vinnie, my experience EXACTLY -- at Gios Nose, part of the same resto family. Never went back.

                1. re: Dean Tudor

                  Yeah but ambience: festive and boisterous is the reason to go to the Nose imho, over the food. It feels more like a bar to me.

            2. I found Batifole extremely noisy - one of the reasons I won't go back - even for the food :):)

              1. I've only been to Beer Bistro once (as disclosure) for dinner and found it too noisy to have a normal conversation with people at my table, except for the person right next to me.

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                Beer Bistro
                18 King St. E, Toronto, ON M5C 1C4, CA

                3 Replies
                1. re: JamieK

                  The nosy part of it comes from the bar, especially after work. They need to seal off the bar. The resto part is ok, if they could just baffle the bar.

                  1. re: Dean Tudor

                    agree. beer bistro is SO noisy. been there twice, both times were hard to have a conversation with people at my table.

                    1. re: helen0505

                      Yeah, appallingly loud sound levels - impossible to communicate with your dining companions without SREAMING!