Critics, bloggers, and Eater readers frequently complain about noise levels in New York restaurants these days. Adam Platt wrote about the "Great Noise Boom" last month, and before that Robert Sietsema offered his own take on the noise problem. With this issue in mind, Eater set out to collect hard data on some of the worst offenders. Here, now, are peak decibel levels recorded at 19 of the city's hottest restaurants in order of loud to loudest:
Before we jump into the hard data, here are some decibel level comparisons from the American Academy of Audiology:
Moderate: 50 - 60 dB. Dishwashers and rainfall.
Loud: 70 - 80 dB. Vacuums and alarm clocks.
Very Loud: 90 - 110 dB. Power tools, snowmobiles, sporting events.
Uncomfortable: 120 dB. Jet planes during take off; dangerous over 30 seconds.
All of the following data was recorded in the dining rooms (not the bar areas) of these restaurants after 6:30 p.m. using the Decibelmeter app.
[All photos by Daniel Krieger unless otherwise noted]
- Uncle Boons
- El Toro Blanco
- Charlie Bird [PhotoBess Adler]
- The Butterfly
- The Butcher's Daughter
- Willow Road
- Saxon + Parole
- Pearl & Ash
- Maysville [Photo Credit]
- Salvation Taco
- Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria. [Photo Credit]
- The Breslin [Photo: Horine]
- The General
It's worth noting that Ryan Sutton includes decibel levels in all of his reviews. — Data compiled by Emma Kestler, Lily Freedman, and Layla Khabiri