Walker’s — 72.6 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Walker’s is a longstanding neighborhood bar and restaurant in Tribeca–the go to place for nearby residents.  Despite Tribeca’s reputation as an exclusive neighborhood favored by celebrities, Walker’s is definitely not a place where you would expect to find a scene.  Rather, it’s the place you go with family and friends to enjoy good renditions of American staples–soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, brunch favorites, and hearty pasta, steak, and seafood entrees.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Walker’s has three distinct spaces.  It would be best to avoid the front room if there is a game on.  While it’s the biggest space, It’s also where the bar is located and there are a couple of flat screen tvs.  If there’s an important game we are sure it will be very loud.  That said, while it was noisier when we arrived, it was pretty mellow when we left.

Walker’s also has two narrow dining spaces, and they are usually much quieter than the bar area.  Our visit during a crowded Saturday brunch was pretty pleasant even with a screaming baby (the screaming, fortunately, was short-lived).  Music played in the background, but it wasn’t too loud.  Despite the crowd–and the occasional fuss–the space was perfectly fine and we enjoyed our visit.   Recommended.

HOURS

11:00 a.m. to 3:45 a.m. every day

LOCATION

Street (at the corner of Varick), New York, NY 10013

WEBSITE

Walker’s

Telegraphe Cafe — 75.9 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Telegraph Cafe was fairly busy during our visit, but despite being completely full it was comfortable.  It’s a small space with a handful of tightly packed tables to the right of the entrance and stools lining the counter and the front windows.  Despite having a large glassed front, the sound level was manageable.  We assume that window shades, which had been drawn halfway down, helped to absorb or deflect the sound.

Music was playing during part of visit, but the volume was low so it didn’t add much to the soundscape.  All told, given how crowded the space was, we were quite happy with the sound level and would gladly return.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Telegraphe Cafe offers breakfast and lunch items and well made coffees.  In an neighborhood that offers few comfortable options, Telegraphe Cafe is worth visiting.

HOURS

Monday through Thursday: 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday: 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

LOCATION

Street (betw. 6th and 7th Avenues), New York, NY 10011

WEBSITE

Telegraphe Cafe

 

Gila’s Nosh — 70.8 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Gila’s Nosh is a nice little place located in Kips Bay.  Even though it’s home to plenty of hard surfaces, including the floor to ceiling glass front window and entrance, It’s too small to get uncomfortably loud (the  drop ceiling tiles probably help).  There was unnecessary music playing during our visit, as usual, but it wasn’t not too loud.  We were surprised to find a place this calm on 23rd Street, which is, after all, a busy cross town road.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Gila’s Nosh is perfectly fine for a nosh or a coffee.  The food is Middle Eastern/Mediterrenean, with very good, friendly service.  It’s a nice alternative to the chains that proliferate around this area.   We recommend a visit.

Note: There is scaffolding next to Gila’s Nosh which may make it appear to be closed, but the restaurant is open.

HOURS

9:45 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day

LOCATION

. 23rd Street (betw. 2nd and 3rd Avenues), New York, NY 10010

WEBSITE

Gila’s Nosh

 

Teremok — 75.6 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Teremok is a 300-strong fast food chain in Russia that just recently opened two locations in Manhattan.  We visited their Chelsea location, which had just opened the week of our visit.  True to its roots, Teremok offers Russian fast food: blinys (sweet or savory), kasha, soups (including borscht, of course), salads, and drinks.   It’s a nicer fast food joint, not a cafe or restaurant, but we thought Teremok offered a nice change from burritos or burgers and the coffee was good (regular drip and iced coffee).

The physical space was fine.  There were a couple of tables and a shelf with stools, but every surface was hard.  There’s a lot of glass in the front and a big expanse of tile.  Once again we were confronted with unnecessary music that was a bit too loud and better suited for a discotheque (why were they playing generic dance music?).  But the space isn’t big enough to get horribly loud, though we have no doubt that it wouldn’t be pleasant if was crowded.  Long and short, the Chelsea location of Teremok should be tolerable most of the time.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

The staff was very attentive as the place had just opened and they were trying to doing their best.  If you are in Chelsea and need to eat and run and want something different, you could do worse than Teremok.

HOURS

11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day

LOCATION

nue (at 16th Street), New York, NY 10011

WEBSITE

Teremok

 

French Cafe Gourmand — 74.4 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

You will be hard pressed to find a more comfortable coffee shop/cafe in the Financial District than French Cafe Gourmand.  It is a small space with only five tables for two plus two stools sharing a ledge.  Because it is so small, it is unlikely to get too loud and should always be manageable.  We didn’t hear music during our visit, which helps, but the size is the main reason the space is mostly comfortable.

The owner of the cafe is genuinely French and she serves a lovely selection of fresh and tasty salads, soups, and sandwiches.  There are nice pastries as well–if you like cheese danish this is the place to order it.

French Cafe Gourmand is an odd place for the Financial District, which is a good thing.  It’s hard to find a coffee shop that isn’t a chain (or feels like a chain), the food is genuinely good, and the space is a little quirky.  One black mark: like many small coffee shops in the city, the cafe does not have a public restroom.  Never fear.  The nearby World Trade Center Transportation Hub sports a large mall with plenty of clean bathrooms.

French Cafe Gourmand is the most civilized coffee shop in the Financial District.  We recommend it.

HOURS

Monday through Thursday: 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

LOCATION

9 Maiden Lane (betw. Broadway and Nassau Street), New York, NY 10038

WEBSITE

French Cafe Gourmand

Mae Mae Cafe — 68.8 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Mae Mae Cafe is located in what is now called Hudson Square, that formerly unnamed few blocks south of the West Village and west of Soho.  It is open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday, with dinner served only on Wednesday evenings.

We visited during a Friday lunch time and found it to be a comfortable space.  There were some kitchen sounds, but not many.  Music played very softly in the background, for the most part, with the volume creeping up a hair louder than we would have liked when a Nirvana song came on.  When it ended, the volume eased down to its previous level.

The room was at least half full when we entered, but the place emptied over our short lunch.  It is unlikely, we assume, that the space would be under 70 decibels if completely full, but it should be manageable.  Mae Mae Cafe is a small place, and while there are no textiles or other soft surfaces, there is a lot of wood and not as much glass, tile, and metal as one finds in a typically loud, live place.

In the end, we can safely recommend that you check out Mae Mae Cafe.  The space is mostly comfortable, and both the food and service were very good.

HOURS

Monday and Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Thurssday and Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Closed Saturday and Sunday

LOCATION

Street (betw. Hudson and Varick Streets), New York, NY 10013

WEBSITE

Mae Mae Cafe

 

Pizzetteria Brunetti — 75.7 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Pizzetteria Brunetti is a reasonably priced restaurant located in the West Village.  We visited at lunch time and took advantage of their $10 lunch options, which included pizzas, salads, and sandwiches.  We opted for a pizza and salad and it was more than enough food for two people.  Throw in a couple of glasses of wine, and you can dine leisurely for about $20 each.

Our visit would have been perfect but the space is a bit live and there was unnecessary background music. The volume wasn’t oppressive, but we could hear people trying to speak over the music.   Once again, the music selection did not add anything to the experience other than frustration.  Throw in one or two louder than average people and the meter soon crossed 75 decibels.   In the end, though, the space wasn’t so loud that we regretted staying, but we were not entirely comfortable either.

That said, the food was good and the prices are great for the West Village.  We noticed a small garden in the back.  It wasn’t open during our Friday lunch time visit, but we were told that it is usually open in the evenings.

We can recommend that you visit Pizzetteria Brunetti for lunch but suggest that you proceed with caution for dinner, particularly if the space is full.  The back garden should be a safer space, however, as most restaurants try to keep the noise level down so that they don’t have to deal with complaints from nearby residents.

HOURS

Sunday through Thursday: 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Friday and Saturday: 12:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

LOCATION

626 Hudson Street (at Jane Street), New York, NY 10014

WEBSITE

Pizzetteria Brunetti

 

Parm (Upper West Side) — 73.6 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

We were surprised that our visit to the Upper West Side location of Parm was unexpectedly comfortable.  Why unexpectedly?  Because we’ve been to the original Parm on Mulberry Street and it was LOUD.   And, to be frank, a quick look around the place was concerning because there were lots of hard surfaces–glass, tin ceiling, mirrors, tile floor, and marble bar top–and two flat screens tvs at the bar where we ate our lunch.

So why was the space pleasant?  First, the tv volume appeared to be off–we couldn’t hear it.  Second, while we could hear music, it was playing very softly in the background.  Third, nearby tables were quiet, including a table that had a handful of very small children.   All in all our experience was perfectly fine, but we must note that our visit was at lunch time so it may not be a fair indicator of what the space is like during a busier seating.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

The bar counter is in the front of the large space, which also housed a number of tables and an outdoor seating area.  There are larger dining spaces in the back that are separated from the front of the house by a column or archway.  We checked out the main back dining area and it was fine, but not many tables were occupied.  Given the hard surfaces, large flat screen tv, and the bigger space, it is very likely that the back space would be uncomfortably loud when packed, but we think the front dining area would be fine even if the back is busy.

We can certainly recommend this location of Parm for lunch and suggest a seat in the front area, particularly if the back dining area is busy.  The food is good (although the chicken parm sandwich was not quite as good as was at the original location) and at 73.6 decibels the space is quiet…for the Upper West Side (at least at lunch time).

HOURS

Sunday to Thursday:  11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p..m.

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

LOCATION

nue (betw. 70th and 71st Streets), New York, NY 10023

WEBSITE

Parm

 

Cafe Prague — 77.2 decibels CLOSED

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Our visit at Cafe Prague was more tolerable than the rating might suggest.  The space was fine until someone sat next to us who obviously had untreated hearing loss.  He had a very animated conversation with his guest until he turned his attention to his iPhone.  Before his arrival and during his obsession with his phone, the space was really comfortable.  That said, the basketball game playing on a big flat screen tv to didn’t help, but at least the volume wasn’t too loud, which was remarkable under the circumstances (big playoff game).

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

That aside, Cafe Prague is a nice inexpensive place near Union Square for a nosh.  We enjoyed a chicken schnitzel and some very tasty potato salad that accompanied it (the meal also came with lettuce and sliced cucmber and tomatoes).  We must caution that it’s not a place for anyone watching their weight.  As they proudly announce on their website, Cafe Prague is a place “where calories do not count and time slows down.”  And both statements are true, as you will not feel rushed as you dine on your plate of decidedly not diet food.

Cafe Prague gets very good ratings at Yelp and Google, and they are deserved.  The place feels like it’s been around for a while. It’s best described as a mix of an old country restaurant meets New York City deli.  The food looks and tastes fresh and seating is comfortable.  We definitely recommend a visit if you are in the Union Square area.

HOURS

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

Tuesday through Friday: 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

LOCATION

Street (betw. 5th and 6th Avenues, much closer to 5th), New York, NY 10011

WEBSITE

Cafw Prague

 

Lexington Candy Shop — 73.8 decibels

Lexington Candy Shop

Lexington Candy Shop

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