Where To Get Dinner With Someone Who Talks Too Loud guide image

NYCGuide

Where To Get Dinner With Someone Who Talks Too Loud

12 loud and busy restaurants where you can eat with someone who doesn't have an "inside voice."

We all have a Loud Mouth in our lives who we love (or at least tolerate). Sometimes, that loud talker is your dear friend or a coworker who’s loud in the office and even louder at Happy Hour, leaving you looking around apologetically like you’re holding a crying baby on an airplane. If you need a place where you can eat with that person, here are some restaurants that are loud enough to drown them out when they start oversharing about their last gynecology appointment.

THE SPOTS

Maomao Restaurant imageoverride image

Maomao Restaurant

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1000 Broadway, New York
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At Mao Mao, Thai acid rock plays at Ozzfest-level decibels at all times of day, and the whole place feels like it’s screaming at you through all five senses. Not only can you bring loud people here, you need to. Otherwise, you’re going to feel an awful lot of fish breath on your face every time you lean in to hear someone. Bring those friends who’d not only survive a music festival after age 30, but also thrive in the front row screaming Beyonce lyrics into a stranger’s Instagram story.

Loring Place is a little loud, but judging by the crowds–a couple on their 17th wedding anniversary, women in leather pants annoyed to be waiting for a table, a group of cool grandparents from Westchester–people don’t seem to care. If you want to avoid fielding bad looks from other patrons while your friend wonders very much out loud what to order, bring them here for brunch or dinner.

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photo credit: Noah Devereaux

Grand Central Oyster Bar review image

Grand Central Oyster Bar

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A strong, lasting relationship is built on trust, compromise, and talking a lot of shit about other people. Unfortunately, your loudmouth lover doesn’t seem to understand that the sacred art of talking shit requires a little volume control. So take them to Grand Central Oyster Bar for a romantic night of shit-talking and shellfish in a restaurant packed with tourists and a busy waitstaff. The science on oysters being an aphrodisiac is unclear, but talking about how everyone else sucks should make for a steamy night either way.

This Indian restaurant in Jackson Heights has been around since the '80s, which means a lot of loud talkers have spilled their secrets here. The dining space is only one room, but fortunately, it’s a huge room. So if your friend decides to confess to tax evasion or walk you through their last bad date in full detail, other people probably won’t be able to hear you.

If your friend’s loud oversharing tendencies have ever made you want to back into the bushes like Homer Simpson in that one meme, get some Italian-American seafood in the big garden at Park Side. It’s full of tall trees, bushes, and hedges to hide you from the other tables when your dinner guest orders their manicotti in their worst Super Mario accent. The garden is usually full of big groups who are distracted by their birthday and graduation celebrations, so you can also order your shrimp oreganata like Luigi if you want to.

During peak dining hours, Frenchette can get frenetic and loud—but in a way that reminds you why you live in this city. In addition to being lively, this place also has smoked eel beignets and plates of duck frites that will make your eyes roll back into your head until you’re no longer aware of anything else that’s going on around you. Whenever you come to, have your loud talker make themselves useful by getting a waiter’s attention to order the escargot.

Uva is famously loud, and it’s also very dark. So if your date goes on a diatribe about CIA conspiracies that somehow breaks through the noise, you can slink into the shadows until it's time to leave. Change topics to how good Uva’s handmade cavatelli del norcino is until you can put your headphones in outside and walk away.

Take your most extroverted friend to this huge rooftop terrace where you can eat duck fat confit chicken and artichoke flatbread. On any given evening, you might see foosball tables, popcorn machines, or people chatting loudly over the game on the bar TV. With its big tables and wrap-around couches, this is a great spot for groups, and no one’s going to be fazed by a few loud talkers. It’s completely open-air, so your whole group can feel free to use their outside voices as they cheer people on at the foosball table.

Sometimes, people are loud for legitimate reasons—like maybe they spent their formative years planted next to the biggest speaker at every rave. At Public Records—a restaurant and music venue in Gowanus—you’ll probably be eating your vegan jackfruit tacos around people who’ve had ruptured ear drums since long before they were subjected to your dinner companion’s un-melodic speaking tones. If your friend’s voice still reverberates through the walls like a bass drop, maybe one of the seasoned music fans around will have some earplugs you can borrow.

Your friend is excitedly bellowing about the new engagement ring weighing down their finger, and it feels like they’re banging pots and pans right next to your ear. At this rowdy Sicilian restaurant, they’ll be outdone by the chefs who’ll regularly bang actual pots and pans in the kitchen and sing for three straight minutes whenever they feel like it. It’s not unheard of to see someone dancing on a table on a Tuesday night here. As far as attention-seeking goes, table-dancer almost always beats loud-talker. 

Kyma is the sort of place where you’ll pretty much always find a crowd. It’s spacious, with high ceilings and big white walls, and the bar up front is usually packed. Think of it as a night-out option where anyone can speak at club volume without making you cringe. Order some charred octopus and a whole roasted branzino to share while your friend tells you everything they know about the Greek artifacts adorning the walls at a volume fit for a lecture hall.

This outdoor beer garden in Astoria is bigger than most NYC parks, so your friend can be as loud as they want without bothering any of the 300 strangers around them. Bohemian can have a frat party feel at busy times, but if you’ve got a friend who starts scream-talking like they’re leading pledge week once they get a few beers in, this is the spot for them. It’s a great place to spend a summer afternoon drinking steins of Czech beer, eating bratwursts, and enjoying live music that’ll drown out your friend.

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