San Francisco Restaurants Rated Among The Noisiest Nationwide and On Par With NYC

by SoundPrint Team

The results of a recent week-long survey of noise levels in San Francisco restaurants shows that the Northern California city is currently on par with Manhattan as having one of the noisiest restaurant scenes worldwide.

SoundPrint, a crowdsourcing app known as the “Yelp for noise,” has a built-in decibel meter that allows users to measure sound levels at establishments and find quieter restaurants, bars and cafes nationwide. SoundPrint partnered with two San Francisco agencies, the Sound Speech and Hearing Clinic and the Hearing and Speech Center ofNorthern California, for a data collection “mapathon” where members used the app to measure and submit decibel levels in nearly 100 San Francisco restaurants.

The sound readings taken during the week were combined with SoundPrint’s existing San Francisco database of more than 700 restaurants, bars and cafes, together contributing to the initial SoundPrint San Francisco “Quiet List” of restaurants, which can be accessed on the website at and includes Alice’s, Acquarello, Bobo’s, Eric’s and Mozzeria, among others.

The data shows that on average, San Francisco restaurants have noise levels of 78 dBA, which is too loud for conversation; while a high number of the venues were above 80 dBA, which is a level that can endanger the hearing health of venue employees and patrons.

“As fans of the Bay Area restaurant scene, we want to support SoundPrint because it offers diners a resource to discover quieter places,” said Melissa Wilson Beer, Audiologist at Sound Speech and Hearing Clinic. “Bay Area restaurants can be quite loud, and those with hearing loss or sensory disorders may be socially excluded if there is too much noise.”

“Many people don’t have a concept of healthy noise levels,” said Gregory Scott, an East Bay native and founder of SoundPrint, who currently resides in NYC. “This can pose a problem when you are trying to have a conversation, and can be dangerous to one’s health. Excessive noise has become a serious public health issue as 40 million American adults, nearly 24%, may have noise-induced hearing loss.”

Scott was inspired to create the app after finding that existing review sites lacked accurate and objective noise level readings, making it very difficult to hear his date in most New York City establishments. SoundPrint users can search for restaurants based on how quiet or loud they are, much like one uses filters to search for a restaurant on Yelp.

About Sound Speech and Hearing Clinic

Sound Speech and Hearing Clinic ( is a private practice located in the Potrero neighborhood offering multidisciplinary care under one roof. The doctors and clinicians offer comprehensive services for both children and adults, creating customized assessment and treatment plans for speech, language, voice, auditory processing and hearing health.

About Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California

The Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California ( is a non-profit that provides holistic clinical, educational and social support services for those with communication challenges regardless of income.  The center’s goal is to improve accessibility and affordability of hearing healthcare for all individuals, which includes increasing education and awareness about all levels of technology and apps.