Barking Dog — 71.3 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

We visited Barking Dog, a restaurant located on the Upper East Side, for lunch one March afternoon.  It a place peopled by regulars–the neighborhood place for breakfast, a quick lunch, or to have a family meal.  American comfort food prevails and it very nicely executed.  We enjoyed salads, which were very fresh and filling.

Music played in the background during the whole of our visit. It wasn’t that loud, but, as usual, was unnecessary. Still the space wasn’t too live and the reading was perfectly acceptable.

Overall we found the space to be pleasant though it would have been better without the background music.  It wasn’t very crowded during our visit, so it’s hard to estimate what the sound level will be during a busy evening or at brunch.  We assume that it will be tolerable at worse, but proceed with caution at the very busiest times.

HOURS

7:30 a.m. to  10:15 p.m. every day

LOCATION

(at the corner of 77th Street), New York, NY 10075

WEBSITE

Barking Dog

Rangoli — 67 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Rangoli is a moderately priced Indian restaurant located on the Upper East Side. We  stopped by for lunch after an appointment nearby.  Rangoli offers a very reasonable lunch special–50% off if you eat in and pay cash–a veritable bargain for the area.  Our meal was both inexpensive and very tasty.  If we lived or worked in the area, Rangoli would be on our regular rotation.

The front of the restaurant has a bar and small dining area that is somewhat separated from a larger back dining by a wooden column.  It’s not a true separation, but it does break up the space.  We were seated in the back dining area.  At the beginning of our visit, the room was absolutely quiet.  No surprise, as the place wasn’t that crowded–there were maybe five other tables occupied and many had only one patron. That said, two customers compensated for the lack of a lunch companion by talking on their phones the entire time they were eating. Yes, it was annoying, particularly since people tend to talk a bit louder on their phones than to a nearby companion, but it didn’t move the meter that much.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

The flooring throughout the space is tiled, but tablecloths and upholstered booths and chairs probably helped to absorb or diffuse some of the sound.  Indian ballads played in the background, and while it was a hair louder than it needed to be, the decibel reading shows that the space was perfectly fine.

Overall, conversation is easy during a lunch visit, but we really can only guess as to what the soundscape is like during a busier period.  While Rangoli would no doubt be noticeably louder when packed, we found the staff to be very accommodating and think a request to lower the music volume would be satisfied.  At the minimum, it would be worthwhile to give Rangoli a try.

HOURS

Monday through Friday: 11:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

LOCATION

Avenue (betw. 72nd and 73rd Streets), New York, NY 10021

WEBSITE

Rangoli Indian Cuisine

Cafe Luka — 75.1 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Cafe Luka is more of a diner than cafe.  It serves standard American diner favorites, like wraps, sandwiches, and a pretty good burger.   It’s fine for what it is but it could have been a lot more pleasant if they just lowered the music (or shut it off as no one was listening to it).

Other than the music, the other layers of sound were manageable.  A flat screen tv was prominently placed, but we couldn’t hear the audio.  The chatter was fairly quiet even though the place was full.  In fact, we had to sit at the counter as no tables were free.  Kitchen sounds occasionally colored the soundscape as a bussing station was situated near us, but the bussing noise was manageable,  as was the staff chatter as they ran the orders back and forth.  The only reason for a lackluster review was the music.  It was unnecessary and intrusive.

In the end, Cafe Luka was tolerable.  If you are in the neighborhood and looking for a quick, basic meal, you could do worse.

HOURS

6:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. every day (may be open slightly later on Fridays and Saturdays to accommodate customers)

LOCATION

nue (betw. 70th and 71st Streets), New York, NY 10021

WEBSITE

Cafe Luka

Lexington Candy Shop — 73.8 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Lexington Candy Shop is a New York City landmark.  Founded in 1925, it’s been a neighborhood favorite for over 90 years, and the decor looks like it may have had its last make over back in the 1940s.  The menu features standard diner fare of breakfasts, sandwiches, salads, and a variety of hamburgers, including a butter burger (it’s exactly what it says it is–a burger with a big pat of butter on top).

We were seated near the front door, so the decibel reading includes street noise (the front door was open), along with chatter between the manager manning the cash register and regulars.  The place was more than half full, and music played in the background but the volume was very  low.  Overall, we found the space to be pretty comfortable during out lunch time visit.

If you are craving a perfect old school diner experience, you won’t go wrong at Lexington Candy Shop.  It was a perfectly comfortable space.

HOURS

Monday through Saturday:  7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Sunday: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

LOCATION

nue (at the corner of 83rd Street), New York, NY 10028

WEBSITE

Lexington Candy Shop

Rangoli — 67 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Rangoli is a moderately priced Indian restaurant located on the Upper East Side. We  stopped by for lunch after an appointment nearby.  Rangoli offers a very reasonable lunch special–50% off if you eat in and pay cash–a veritable bargain for the area.  Our meal was both inexpensive and very tasty.  If we lived or worked in the area, Rangoli would be on our regular rotation.

The front of the restaurant has a bar and small dining area that is somewhat separated from a larger back dining by a wooden column.  It’s not a true separation, but it does break up the space.  We were seated in the back dining area.  At the beginning of our visit, the room was absolutely quiet.  No surprise, as the place wasn’t that crowded–there were maybe five other tables occupied and many had only one patron. That said, two customers compensated for the lack of a lunch companion by talking on their phones the entire time they were eating. Yes, it was annoying, particularly since people tend to talk a bit louder on their phones than to a nearby companion, but it didn’t move the meter that much.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

The flooring throughout the space is tiled, but tablecloths and upholstered booths and chairs probably helped to absorb or diffuse some of the sound.  Indian ballads played in the background, and while it was a hair louder than it needed to be, the decibel reading shows that the space was perfectly fine.

Overall, conversation is easy during a lunch visit, but we really can only guess as to what the soundscape is like during a busier period.  While Rangoli would no doubt be noticeably louder when packed, we found the staff to be very accommodating and think a request to lower the music volume would be satisfied.  At the minimum, it would be worthwhile to give Rangoli a try.

HOURS

Monday through Friday: 11:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

LOCATION

Avenue (betw. 72nd and 73rd Streets), New York, NY 10021

WEBSITE

Rangoli Indian Cuisine

Barking Dog — 71.3 decibels NEW LOCATION

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

We visited Barking Dog, a restaurant located on the Upper East Side, for lunch one March afternoon.  It a place peopled by regulars–the neighborhood place for breakfast, a quick lunch, or to have a family meal.  American comfort food prevails and it very nicely executed.  We enjoyed salads, which were very fresh and filling.

Music played in the background during the whole of our visit. It wasn’t that loud, but, as usual, was unnecessary. Still the space wasn’t too live and the reading was perfectly acceptable.

Overall we found the space to be pleasant though it would have been better without the background music.  It wasn’t very crowded during our visit, so it’s hard to estimate what the sound level will be during a busy evening or at brunch.  We assume that it will be tolerable at worse, but proceed with caution at the very busiest times.

HOURS

7:30 a.m. to  10:15 p.m. every day

LOCATION

(at the corner of 77th Street), New York, NY 10075

WEBSITE

Barking Dog

Joe Coffee (Lexington Avenue) — 76.1 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

The Lexington Avenue location of Joe Coffee was crowded when we arrived.  A long table with stools placed around took up most of the space; a ledge ran along a wall providing some additional seating.  The space was tight as a line of people waiting to order snaked around the seating area, making for a less than pleasant experience.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

This location of Joe is a very live space.  It was tolerable but not comfortable.  One annoying customer who droned on to anyone and everyone was distracting, and in a small space there is no escape.  Unnecessarily loud music did not help.

If you really need coffee and you’re standing on Lexington Avenue between 74th and 75th Street outside of Joe, sure, consider it.  But if you want a calm, comfortable spot to enjoy that coffee, we suggest keep on walking.

HOURS

Monday through Saturday: 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Sunday: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

LOCATION

nue (betw. 74th and 75th Streets), New York, NY 10021

WEBSITE

Joe on Lex

Cafe Luka — 75.1 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Cafe Luka is more of a diner than cafe.  It serves standard American diner favorites, like wraps, sandwiches, and a pretty good burger.   It’s fine for what it is but it could have been a lot more pleasant if they just lowered the music (or shut it off as no one was listening to it).

Other than the music, the other layers of sound were manageable.  A flat screen tv was prominently placed, but we couldn’t hear the audio.  The chatter was fairly quiet even though the place was full.  In fact, we had to sit at the counter as no tables were free.  Kitchen sounds occasionally colored the soundscape as a bussing station was situated near us, but the bussing noise was manageable,  as was the staff chatter as they ran the orders back and forth.  The only reason for a lackluster review was the music.  It was unnecessary and intrusive.

In the end, Cafe Luka was tolerable.  If you are in the neighborhood and looking for a quick, basic meal, you could do worse.

HOURS

6:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. every day (may be open slightly later on Fridays and Saturdays to accommodate customers)

LOCATION

nue (betw. 70th and 71st Streets), New York, NY 10021

WEBSITE

Cafe Luka

 

Jean Claude II — 66 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

This French bistro was an absolutely blissful 66 decibels!  Yes, it was a Monday lunch.  Yes, the room was not crowded.  But there was background music–appropriate and low–and chatty fellow diners.  No doubt the space is louder at brunch and dinner–will visit then to confirm–but for lunch, very little comes close to this oasis of peacefulness.  Bonus?  The food is lovely.

HOURS

Monday through Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

LOCATION

1343 2nd Avenue (betw. 70th and 71st Streets), NY, NY 10021

WEBSITE

Jean Claude II

Mon Petit Cafe — 72.2 decibels [CLOSED]

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Our visit to Mon Petit Cafe was brief as we only had time for a rushed lunch, but we wished we could have lingered.  The cafe, which has been a neighborhood staple for over 30 years, offers French bistro classics in a comfortable space.  We enjoyed our meal and found the space to be   pleasant, in large part because the background music did not overwhelm and customer chatter was subdued.  It was only half full during our visit but we were near the busy kitchen, so the 72.2 decibel reading is from the noisiest table in the restaurant.  We suspect that the ceiling tiles (which may be acoustic), cafe curtains, cloth-covered tables, and a long upholstered banquette helped to keep the sound in check.

We were very happy with our decision to give Mon Petit Cafe a try and hope to return for dinner or brunch.  Mon Petit Cafe would be a great spot to visit during a shopping jaunt, as it is near Bloomingdale’s, Barneys, and lots of American and International shops.   A yes for lunch, and given the design elements,  dinner should be manageable, particularly earlier in the week.

UPDATE: After 32 years in business, Mon Petit Cafe, a neighborhood favorite, succumbed to “the crushing force” that is “the climate for [a] small business like ours in New York City.”   Or, in other words, they couldn’t make a penny after payiing the criminal commercial rent demanded by the real estate warlords.  In the end, a city that once thrived with small mom and pop businesses is becoming increasingly overwhelmed by national chains favored by the commercial real estate monsters.  RIP, Mon Petit Cafe.

HOURS

Monday through Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

LOCATION

nue (at the corner of 62nd Street), New York, NY 10021

WEBSITE

Mon Petit Cafe