12 Chairs Cafe was mentioned in one of those compilations of quiet restaurants that appears every now and again in the mainstream media, so it went on our list of places to check out. We had high expectations because it was on a very short list, but those expectations were not met. Frankly, we didn’t think 12 Chairs Cafe was very quiet at all.
Almost every tightly packed table was taken during our lunch time visit (and there are more than 12 chairs, by the way), so we can fairly say that our visit should give a good approximation of what the space would be like during dinner service. The noise came was mostly from our fellow diners, work colleagues out for a leisurely lunch, but the background music didn’t help. Although the music wasn’t overpowering, it was unnecessary. No one was there for the music; rather, the other diners clearly wanted to have a conversation with their table mates. Had the music volume been lowered, the space could have been pleasant. We should note that our table was under a speaker, so it’s possible that another table may have been marginally quieter. Possibly.
We liked the food at 12 Chairs Cafe and the lunch time crowd suggests that it’s a neighborhood favorite. Given how busy it was and the number of people packed into the space, it could have been worse. But that shouldn’t be the measure. Long and short, 12 Chairs Cafe was sort of tolerable but it could be so much more.
Sunday through Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.