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.
Quiet Restaurant Suggestions
(in no particular order)
56 Gold Street, San Francisco
888 Brannan Street, San Francisco
Sakai Sushi and Grill
243 California Drive, Burlingame
1360 El Camino Real, Belmont
2055 Gellert Boulevard, Daly City
Café Pro Bono
2437 Birch Street, Palo Alto
Dinah’s Poolside Restaurant
(located in Dinah’s Garden Hotel)
4261 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
Saint Michael’s Alley
140 Homer Avenue, Palo Alto
Sundance The Steakhouse
1921 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
569 Waverley Street, Palo Alto
The Westin Palo Alto – Restaurant Soleil
(across from Stanford Mall)
675 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
132 State Street, Los Altos
233 State Street, Los Altos
134 Main Street, Los Altos
3607 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park
1850 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
1149 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
Little Store Restaurant
3340 Woodside Road, Woodside
820 Santa Cruz Avenue, Menlo Park
British Banker’s Club
555 Santa Cruz Avenue, Menlo Park
100 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
Vino Santo Bistro (quiet when not too busy)
2030 Broadway, Redwood City
Mistral Restaurant and Bar
370-6 Bridge Parkway, Redwood City
186 Castro Street, Mountain View
401 Castro Street #100, Mountain View
Le Petite Bistro
1405 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View
20343 Stevens Creek Boulevard, Cupertino
Tao Tao Café
175 S. Murphy Avenue, Sunnyvale
1028 El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
Fish Market (upstairs is best)
3775 El Camino Real, Santa Clara
Locations as well in Palo Alto, San Mateo, and San Jose
5655 College Avenue, Oakland
2020 Shattuck Avenue, Berkley
3649 Thornton Avenue, Fremont
Tuesday: 8:00 – 5:30
Wednesday: 8:00 – 5:30
Thursday: 8:00 – 5:30
Friday: 8:00 – 4:00