Category Archives: Restaurant Noise Reviews

Restaurant Noise Review: Gonza Tacos y Tequila

Dining Decibels

Gonza Tacos y Tequila:   Durham, NC, Saturday, December 16, 6:30 pm

Restaurant Noise Decibel Rating:  80 dB     Sound Equivalent:  Loud dishwasher

Conversation:  Raised voices necessary

Rating:  Restaurant noise review    Restaurant noise review     Restaurant noise review

Comments:  Restaurant noise interfered with conversation.  We were unable to chat with those at our table. We were seated in a corner of a large dining area with high ceilings and loud music.  All hard surfaces plus wooden table/chairs and floors exaggerated noise levels.  This made it difficult to hear even across the table.  Dining at “peak” dining time, most of the tables were taken with the noise to prove it!  Food was delicious but recommend off-peak hours or outside dining on their patio if you want an easier time chatting!

Gonza Dining area

Gonza Dining area

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Restaurant Noise Review: Dulce Cafe

Dining Decibels

Dulce Cafe, Durham, NC,  Sunday, November 12, 1:00 pm

Restaurant Noise Decibel Rating:  65 dB     Sound Equivalent:  Quiet Office

Conversation:  Easy

Rating:     Restaurant Noise Rating

Comments:  This is a great place to go to chat with a friend or family member!   Small, casual cafe allows for EASY conversation and minimal noise interference.   Good “go to” place to catch up – with great food for lunch or dinner!

Dulce Cafe

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Restaurant Noise Review: Primal Food & Spirits

Primal Food & Spirits, Durham, NC, Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 7:00 pm

Restaurant Noise Decibel Rating:  68 dB   Sound Equivalent:  Office

Conversation:  Easy

Rating:      Restaurant Noise Rating

Restaurant Noise ReviewComments:  This restaurant allowed us to chat easily at a large table in a reserved room.  A sliding door kept the ambient noise at bay.   Our group appreciated the separation and enjoyed catching up with minimal interference from other tables.  Great place to reserve a room for a group celebration!

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Restaurant Noise Review – Shiki Sushi, Durham, NC

Shiki Sushi, Durham, NC, Wednesday, August 23, 2017, 6:30 pm

Restaurant Noise Decibel Reading:  70 dB     Sound Equivalent:  Vacuum

Conversation:  Easy with occasional difficulty


Comments:  This restaurant allowed us to chat easily at a table for 4 even during a busy dining time.  The tables were close but did not interfere with conversation.  Enjoyable to dine and hear!  Suggest choosing your table near perimeter to keep conversation easy.  Also keep in mind the busier weekend evenings may be noisier than mid-week.

Restaurant Noise Review

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Restaurant Noise Review – Kitchen, Chapel Hill, NC

Kitchen, Chapel Hill, NC, Tuesday, April 26, 2015, 7:30 pm

Restaurant Noise Decibel Reading:  78 dB     Sound Equivalent:  Washing Machine

Conversation:  Raised Voices Necessary

Rating:     speaker-red   speaker-red   speaker-red

Comments:     Initially, restaurant noise did not interfere.  We were able to chat easily since we arrived early at this cozy French Bistro. But as the evening progressed, there was much more restaurant noise – and much more difficulty following conversationsKITCHEN-CHAPEL-HILL sm.  Contributing to this noisy competition were the closely set tables and high ceilings that created a noisy interference with your neighbor.  I would suggest coming to this delightful restaurant at an earlier time with less interference and enjoy your dining with easier conversations!  Choose your table wisely!


Restaurant Noise Review: Lucia, Durham, NC

Lucia Bar Italiano, Durham, NC, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 7:30 pm

Decibel Reading:  79 dB     Sound Equivalent:  City Traffic

Conversation:  Raised Voices Necessary

Rating:  speaker-red  speaker-red  speaker-red

Comments: Restaurant noise interferes with conversation. Lucia’s is a delightful open area restaurant with very high ceilings and wide expanse of windows reflecting on mirrors – all of which create poor acoustics for conversation.  The open bar created additional noise that echoed throughout the dining area.  When asked for a quiet location, we were seated in a corner booth away from the bar and center tables.  Yet, even though we were in a corner booth, it was difficult to hear each other.  Frequent repetitions were necessary along with raised voices. We were there to celebrate an event, yet could not engage each other in meaningful conversation. Enjoyed the food but would recommend going at a less busy time if you desire conversation.   

Lucia sm

Restaurant Noise Review: The Cheesecake Factory, Durham, NC

The Cheesecake Factory, Durham, NC, Saturday, October 3, 7:30 pm

Decibel Reading:  78 dB     Sound Equivalent:  Washing Machine

Conversation:  Raised voices necessary

Rating:    speaker-red   speaker-red   speaker-red

Comments:  The restaurant was crowded and noise was bouncing around in all directions:  the open bar, patrons waiting to be seated as well as full dining tables all contributing to the noise Cheesecake Factory smoverload. Fortunately, we were seated in a booth away from the bar and waiting area – which helped subdue the overall noise levels.  This was “peak” dining time with the noise to prove it.  Surprisingly – once we were in the booth, we were able to converse with only a few repetitions and raised voices.  The upholstered booths were able to isolate some of the noise from the open bar and waiting patrons.  Enjoyed the food, but would recommend off-peak hours if you want an easier time conversing together during dinner!

Restaurant Noise Review – Tupelo Honey Cafe, Raleigh, NC

Tupelo Honey Cafe, Raleigh, NC, Monday, July 13, 2015, 7:30 pm

Decibel Reading:  70 dB     Sound Equivalent:  Quiet Passenger Car

Conversation:  Easy

Rating:   speaker-green

Comments:   Easy conversation for this dinner on weekday!  It appears that the design of this restaurant was purposeful for easy conversation.  Separating adjacent booths with wood andtupelo honey cafe sm glass partitions and using small groupings of tables kept the intrusion of other conversations from interfering in your own.  No eavesdropping here!  Great place to linger over a good meal and enjoy conversation.



Restaurant Noise Review: JuJube, Chapel Hill, NC

JuJube – Chapel Hill, NC Wednesday, July 8, 2015 – 6:30 pm

Decibel Reading:  68 dB     Sound Equivalent:  Office

Conversation:  Easy

Rating:     speaker-green

Comments:  Easy to chat and catch up at JuJube, since we were not eating at a peak time. Initially, we were seated under a music speaker, which was promptly turned down making

Jujube2 smconversation much more tolerable.  Few windows, leather chairs and use of tablecloths minimized noise interference as well as being separated from the bar in another room.  As more patrons began to fill the dining area, it continued to be easy to enjoy conversation.  Great place to go to catch up and enjoy a nice meal when dining at off-peak hours.

Restaurant Noise Review: Fishmongers, Durham, NC

Fishmongers – Durham, NC – Tuesday, May 3, 2015, 7pm  

Decibel Reading:  76 dB     Sound Equivalent:  Chamber Music

Conversation:  Raised voices and repetitions necessary

Rating:    speaker-red   speaker-red   speaker-red

Comments:  Hard to follow our group of 4 when talking together.  The wide open restaurant area with expansive windows and high ceilings made frequent repetitions necessary – even at non-peak restaurant hours.  Hard surfaces such as wooden chairs/tables and floors caused the reverberation that interfered with our conversation.  Enjoyed the food but were frustrated with poor continuity of our conversation.