Listening in restaurants is one of the biggest challenges our patients report to us, and restaurants continue to become noisier — often by design. Even people with normal hearing have difficulty following a conversation.

Why are restaurants so noisy these days? A November 2018 article in The Atlantic revealed that much of it has to do with a change in architectural trends. Twenty years ago, fine dining meant generous seating and plush interiors. Now sparse, modern décor are in style with high ceilings and little or no soft fabric like upholstery or carpet. The article also points out that loud restaurants are more profitable. They are easier (and thus cheaper) to clean due to all those hard surfaces and the loud environment encourages faster turnover and increased alcohol consumption.

So what can we do about it? Pacific Hearing Service is compiling and sharing suggestions for quiet restaurants in the Bay Area. We would like to hear from you. We will post recommended restaurants on this webpage, our Facebook page, and in our offices.

Our first suggestion is from a patient who told us, "The Fish Market restaurants – upstairs – are great for hearing." The Fish Market has locations in Palo Alto, Santa Clara, San Mateo, and San Jose.

Reminder from Dr. Ariel Fruendt

Sometimes, even the same restaurant can result in different experiences depending on:

  • The time of day you go.
  • Where your table is located.
  • Whether nearby tables are occupied with boisterous groups or quiet conversationalists.

Please take these things into consideration when making your reservations.

We also found a great article from the San Francisco Chronicle with quiet dining suggestions which include Bix in San Francisco, Chibog in Daly City, and Kyain Kyain in Fremont. You can see the entire list with addresses here.

What’s your restaurant suggestion?

Quiet Restaurant Suggestions

(in no particular order)

North Peninsula

Bix
56 Gold Street, San Francisco
(415) 433-6300

Bellota
888 Brannan Street, San Francisco
(415) 430-6580

Sakai Sushi and Grill
243 California Drive, Burlingame
(650) 348-4064

Iron Gate
1360 El Camino Real, Belmont
(650) 592-7893

Chibog
2055 Gellert Boulevard, Daly City
(650) 878-3591

Mid-Peninsula

Café Pro Bono
2437 Birch Street, Palo Alto
(650) 326-1626

Dinah’s Poolside Restaurant
(located in Dinah’s Garden Hotel)
4261 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
(650) 493-2844

Saint Michael’s Alley
140 Homer Avenue, Palo Alto
(650) 326-2530

Sundance The Steakhouse
1921 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
(650)321-6798

Tai Pan
569 Waverley Street, Palo Alto
(650) 329-9168

The Westin Palo Alto – Restaurant Soleil
(across from Stanford Mall)
675 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
(650) 321-4422

Ambience Restaurant
132 State Street, Los Altos
(650) 917-9030

Mid-Peninsula (cont.)

Urfa Bistro
233 State Street, Los Altos
(650) 397-5614

Morsey’s Farmhouse
134 Main Street, Los Altos
(650) 860-6060

Flea Street
3607 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park
(650) 854-1226

Celia’s
1850 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
(650) 321-8227

Sultana
1149 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
(650) 322-4343

Little Store Restaurant
3340 Woodside Road, Woodside
(650) 851-8110

Angelo Mio
820 Santa Cruz Avenue, Menlo Park
(650) 323-3665

Mid-Peninsula (cont.)

British Banker’s Club
555 Santa Cruz Avenue, Menlo Park
(650) 382-3191

Menlo Tavern
100 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
(650) 330-2790

Vino Santo Bistro (quiet when not too busy)
2030 Broadway, Redwood City
(650) 780-0793

Mistral Restaurant and Bar
370-6 Bridge Parkway, Redwood City
(650) 802-9222

La Fontaine
186 Castro Street, Mountain View
(650) 968-2300

Scratch
401 Castro Street #100, Mountain View
(650) 237-3121

Le Petite Bistro
1405 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View
(650) 964-3321

South Bay

Café Torre
20343 Stevens Creek Boulevard, Cupertino
(408) 257-2383

Tao Tao Café
175 S. Murphy Avenue, Sunnyvale
(408) 7363731

Rama V
1028 El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
(408) 738-2177

Fish Market (upstairs is best)
3775 El Camino Real, Santa Clara
(408) 246-3474
Locations as well in Palo Alto, San Mateo, and San Jose

East Bay

Oliveto
5655 College Avenue, Oakland
(510) 547-5356

Comal
2020 Shattuck Avenue, Berkley
(510) 926-6300

Kyain Kyain
3649 Thornton Avenue, Fremont
(510) 574-1819

Menlo Park

3555 Alameda de las Pulgas, Suite 100
Menlo Park, CA 94025
(650) 854-1980

Get Directions
Monday: 8:00 – 5:30
Tuesday: 8:00 – 5:30
Wednesday: 8:00 – 5:30
Thursday: 8:00 – 5:30
Friday: 8:00 – 4:00

Los Altos

496 First Street
Suite 120
Los Altos, CA 94022
(650) 941-0664

Get Directions
Monday: 9:00 – 7:30
Tuesday: 9:00 – 7:30
Wednesday: 9:00 – 6:00
Thursday: 9:00 – 6:00
Friday: 9:00 – 5:00