Lombardi’s Pizza — 80.5 decibels

Lombardi's

Lombardi’s

Lombardi’s claims to be America’s first pizzeria as well as the birthplace of New York style pizza.  It’s been going strong for over 100 years and is an established tourist destination, which explains the almost full main floor dining room during a midweek lunch service.

The restaurant’s design features mostly hard surfaces–tile floor, glass, metal–and they are unforgiving.  When completely packed, which is likely most evenings, the noise level must be unbearable as there is a full bar along one wall that must be jammed with people waiting for an available table.  And there are always people waiting for a table on nights and weekends.

If you are doing a pizza history tour and absolutely must visit Lombardi’s Pizza, go during off hours and hope for the best.  Otherwise, bring your ear plugs or avoid.

HOURS

Sunday through Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Friday and Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.

LOCATION

Street (at the corner of Mott Street), New York, NY 10012

WEBSITE

Lombardi’s Pizza

City Winery (the Barrel Room) — 83.7 decibels

City Winery Barrel Room

City Winery Barrel Room

It was a Monday night.  The restaurant was less than half full.  And the decibel reading averaged 83.7 decibels over one hour, twelve minutes, and 48 seconds.

City Winery has two restaurants: one is in a performance space and the other (the “Barrel Room”) is a restaurant/bar in an adjoining building.  We had our meal in the Barrel Room, the restaurant sans performance space.   But you wouldn’t have known that by the meter reading, as the space was really really loud.  We repeat:  83.7 decibels.  On a Monday night.  With more than half the tables empty.

There was absolutely no reason for the place to be this loud.  Avoid.

HOURS

Sunday and Monday: 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. | 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (bar closes at 11:00 p.m.)

Tuesday through Friday: 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. | 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (bar closes at 12:00 a.m.)

Saturday: 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (bar closes at 12:00 a.m.)

LOCATION

Street (betw. Spring and Vandam Streets), New York, NY 10013

WEBSITE

City Winery | New York City

Round K Cafe — 71.5 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

We loved the physical space of Round K Cafe, which was matched by great service and very nice coffee.  When you enter you will see a takeaway space in the front where you can order a beverage and a sweet or savory treat.  The takeaway space  is separated from seating in the back by not one but two sets of drapes, which helps to keep the noise from the espresso maker and takeaway chatter from entering the back seating area.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

During our visit the space was almost serene.  It would have been perfect except for one couple–they both were loud and they did not stop talking, even while they were eating.   When the male got up to use the restroom we noticed that our decibel meter, which continually averages the decibel reading, dropped by five points!  In fact, it was so quiet we could hear him flush and leave the restroom without the benefit of stopping at the sink to wash his obviously filthy hands.  Together again, they were insufferable (which was not the cafe’s fault at all, of course)

We only ordered a coffee and kept our visit short because of them, but note that there were other customers in the room who were quiet.  Some Sinatra played softly In the background, and we realized that if that one couple wasn’t there the space would have been perfect.  Which is why we intend to follow up this visit with another in the near future.

The website indicates that there may be events scheduled occasionally in the space, so you may want to check their schedule to avoid it (or join in).  Round K Cafe is cash only, so hit the ATM before you visit.

HOURS

Monday through Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

LOCATION

reet (betw. Delancey and Broome Streets), New York, NY 10002

WEBSITE

Round K Cafe