According to Zagat Survey, noise is the second most common complaint about restaurants — second only to poor service. One of the most common complaints people come into the Adult Loss of Hearing Association (ALOHA) and their audiologists with is the inability to have a conversation with family and friends in a restaurant. If noisy environments are difficult for a normal hearing person, then imagine how hard it is for the hard of hearing individual.
We have a few tips about eating in restaurants, in general:
- A Family type restaurant is often quieter than a bar/restaurant. Pick a place with lower ceilings, carpeting and heavy drapes, but with good lighting.
- A corner booth is usually better than one in the middle of the room.
- Try not to sit against a hard wall; sound bounces.
- Make sure you can see your companions faces. Most people get a lot of information by speech reading — looking at the face and mouth when someone is talking, picking up visual cues by watching the shape of the lips as they form words. Find a well-lighted spot, but don't sit in the sun. You want to see faces, not squint at people!
- Try not to sit right next to kids. They can't help it, but they may make more noise than adults.
- Stay away from bar area seating.
- Ask for a table outside or in a greenhouse room.
- Keep calm! Let go of any stress and enjoy your meal. Hearing difficulties in a restaurant can be stressful for everyone, not just someone with hearing loss.
The Star ran an article three years ago about this very topic and received a lot of responses. (Editor's note: We have linked to the article, but the comments are no longer available.)
Using the readers response to that article and with additions from our ALOHA members, we've compiled an initial, updated list of the least noisy restaurants in the Tucson Metro area. We've made sure that all of the restaurants listed here were open for business as of September 22, 2013.
Add your favorite to the list — we need more! Some of the names on this list are full restaurants and some are quiet places to grab a sandwich or snack.
Leave a comment about your favorite quiet place to eat and any tips you have. We'll add them to our list and update it regularly and post it to the ALOHA website at alohaaz.org/word_pdf-files/quiet-restaurants.pdf
Tucson's Quiet Places to Eat:
Amber Restaurant & Gallery, 7000 E. Tanque Verde Road, 296-9613.
The Arizona Inn, 2200 E. Elm St., 325-1541.
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road, 883-2702.
Bazil's It's Italian, 4777 E. Sunrise Drive, 577-3322.
Bistro 44, 6761 E. Tanque Verde Road, 298-2233.
Cattletown Steakhouse and Saloon 3141 E Drexel Rd
Cody's Beef 'n Beans Steakhouse, 2708 E. Fort Lowell Road, 322-9475.
Dolce Vita Restaurant, 7895 E. Broadway, 298-3700.
Gold, 245 E. Ina Road in the Westward Look Resort, 297-1151.
The Grill at the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, 5501 N. Hacienda del Sol Road, 529-3500.
Jerry Bob's Family Restaurant, 7885 E. Golf Links Road, 721-8888.
La Placita Cafe, 2950 N. Swan Road, 881-1150.
Las Margaritas Restaurant, 6011 N. Oracle Road, 297-8341.
Lavender Restaurant, 77 E. Paseo de Golf, Green Valley, 648-0205.
Lena's Custom Desserts, 2418 N Craycroft Road, 750-7280.
Le Rendez-Vous Restaurant Francais, 3844 E. Fort Lowell Road, 323-7373.
Lodge on the Desert, 306 N. Alvernon Way, 320-2000.
Mama Louisa's Italian Restaurant, 2041 S. Craycroft Road, 790-4702.
McMahon's Prime Steakhouse, 2959 N. Swan Road, 327-2333.
New Delhi Palace, 6751 E. Broadway, 296-8585.
Pastiche Modern Eatery, 3025 N. Campbell Ave., 325-3333.
Rusty's Family Restaurant, 2075 W. Grant Rd, 623-3363.
Thai China Bistro, 5161 E Grant Rd 325-5185
Vail Steakhouse, 13005 E Benson Hwy, Frontage road in Vail, 762-8777
There is no perfect solution to the problem, but there are some other things that can be helpful. You can also consider using an Assistive Listening Device (ALD), like an FM system or a Pocket Talker with mics, which we will cover in another blog entry.
If you want more information about hearing loss, ALDs or anything else please contact ALOHA, the Adult Loss of Hearing Association at email@example.com or call 795-9887. You may also visit our website at: www.alohaaz.org.
This was written and researched by Sherry Whitfield and Carolyn Olson of ALOHA.