Restaurant News

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! These Are the Quietest Restaurants in Boston

A new crowdsourcing app has released its list of local dining spots that aren't, like, totally deafening.


The courtyard at the Hungry I restaurant.

The courtyard at the Hungry I restaurant. / Photos via Keller Williams Real Estate

If your sore-from-shouting throat has you worried that quiet dining rooms are endangered in Boston, you might be right. SoundPrint, an app launched earlier this year that detects and crowdsources decibel levels to help diners find conversation-friendly venues, just handed over its list of the quietest restaurants in Boston- and the most hush-hush spot happens to be one that was recently listed for sale.

The Hungry I, a romantic French bistro inside a Beacon Hill brownstone, is the best place in town to whisper sweet nothings, thanks to a very modest noise level of 58 dB. (For context, normal conversation—the kind that won’t leave you straining to read lips like a RuPaul’s Drag Race judge—is in the 60 dB range.) The whole property was recently listed for $4 million by Keller Williams Realty. That listing is no longer active; we’ve reached out to the restaurant for an update on its fate.

It’s not your imagination that noise levels in restaurants have been trending upward in recent years; The Atlantic recently detailed how interior design trends and evolving perceptions of luxury are to blame- or thank, I suppose, if you’re the type who actually enjoys playing Charades with your table mates. Luckily, there are still a few spots in Boston where you won’t need a bullhorn. The other restaurants SoundPrint shared that are ranked in the 60 db range are: L’Espalier (62 dB), an enduring icon of New England-French fine dining in the Back Bay; Addis Red Sea (63 dB), an Ethiopian staple in the South End; King & I (63 dB), a Thai favorite on the backside of Beacon Hill; Bondir (66 db), chef Jason Bond’s adorable set-menu spot in Cambridge; Seiyo (67 dB), a South End sushi restaurant-slash-wine shop; Petit Robert Bistro (68 dB), a classic French fixture in the South End; and Piccolo Nido (69 dB), a cozy option for hearty, homestyle Italian in the North End. Because SoundPrint relies on user submissions—diners can capture the decibel level with a Shazam-style tap of the app—these numbers change as the noise does. Still, they’re a pretty useful snapshot.

So, now you know where to go when you actually want to hear what your dinner date has to say. Which, depending on the person, may or may not be a good thing. If you need an app to figure that out, stick to Tinder.