Having trouble finding a restaurant that's quiet and cozy enough to facilitate conversation? Here are a few suggestions.
When it comes to established oases of calm and comfort, the same names have repeatedly appeared on quiet restaurant lists over the last decade. If you branch out to include more casual neighborhood spaces, that also lengthens the list of potential quieter dining spots.
Many of these restaurants are housed in older buildings, avoiding that “glass and concrete box” problem newer restaurants face because their architecture results in sound bouncing around more.
Here’s a few you should try:
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1. Cafe Munir, Lebanese (2408 N.W. 80th St., Seattle; 206-783-4190)
Arched doorways help divide the space of this older Ballard building, which in turn helps reduce noise to comfortable levels.
2. Chan, Korean (86 Pine St., Seattle; 206-354-3564)
It’s a tiny space in Pike Place Market, and tables are quite close, yet it’s always possible to hear your companions while sipping soju cocktails.
3. Kezira Cafe, Ethiopian (5100 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle; 206-588-1024)
Tucked into a low brick building in Columbia City, Kezira is divided into two rooms with a number of tall upholstered booths.
4. Peyrassol Café, French/Italian (1083 Lake Washington Blvd. N. #30, Renton; 425-282-5472)
Owned by the original chef of Osteria La Spiga, this Renton cafe has a simple acoustic-tiled ceiling and plenty of space between tables.
5. Modern, Japanese (6108 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle; 206-420-4088)
Sharing the Phinney Ridge space with Setsuko Pastry, the restaurant has a soothing hush to it even with notably modern design.
6. Pair, French (5501 30th Ave. N.E., Seattle; 206-526-7655)
A large rug, tall ceilings and isolated kitchen help create a Ravenna restaurant that feels farmhouse cozy with minimal clatter.
7. Restaurant Marché, French/Northwest (150 Madrone Lane, Bainbridge Island; 206-842-1633)
For the quietest possible dining, reserve a table in the front dining room, but tall banquets keep conversation private throughout this Bainbridge Island spot.
8. Terra Plata, Mediterranean/Northwest (1501 Melrose Ave., Seattle; 206-325-1501)
Thanks to a thoughtfully surfaced ceiling and mostly closed-off kitchen, the noise here never gets too distracting, especially compared to its Capitol Hill neighbors.
9. Mayuri Indian Cuisine, Indian (2115 Bel-Red Road, Redmond; 425-641-4442)
Located in an older stand-alone building in Redmond, the wall-to-wall carpet and well-upholstered seats keep the spacious dining room quiet even when packed at lunch.
10. Boat Street Kitchen & Bistro, French (3131 Western Ave., Suite 301, Seattle; 206-632-4602)
With a soaring wood ceiling, relatively small windows and old wood floors making a softer backdrop than Belltown’s more common concrete (there’s also a small seasonal patio), this rustic cafe provides comforting farmhouse French food.