Conversation-Friendly Restaurants

Conversation-Friendly Restaurants

A Crowd-Sourced Project of Conversations New York


Many New Yorkers are fed up with restaurants where they can’t hear themselves over the din. Critics and patrons have complained in print and on-line. “Too noisy to have a real conversation.” “Tables as close as dominoes – too crowded!” “Rushed service.” “Not hospitable.”

Please help us identify and celebrate restaurants in the Greater New York area whose atmospheres encourage conversation.

They may be inexpensive and self-service, like the Bread and Butter, Panera’s Bread, and other chains throughout the five boroughs which offer large buffets and spacious dining area. Or they may be mid-priced and toney, like Above, a dining room atop the Hilton Times Square hotel, which is uncrowded, and has roomy booths and tables wide apart, with excellent unhurried service. There are also locations where food can be purchased or brought in to café tables. such as Bryant Park and others, and indoor atrias such as Citigroup Center at 53rd Street and Lexington Ave. (A directory of such venues is at

Please submit nominations to Ron Gross at, with “Conversation-Friendly Restaurants” in the Subject Line. Self-nominations by restaurants are welcome. The criteria are noise level, price-range, crowdedness, hospitability, service, and handicapped accessibility.

The findings will be shared with the city’s restaurant reviewers and with the public, and we will encourage guides such as Yelp to enable filtering by “conversation-friendly” (Zagat already does so.) Honorees will receive a placard for display, the same size and style as the “A”, “B” etc. ones from the Health Department.