Anton's is a one of a kind restaurant in the Greater Vancouver area. Pasta portions are very large and reasonably priced. There is usually a line up outside the door so come early.
Hours: Monday to Thursday (11:30 am to 10:30 pm), Friday and Saturday (11:30 am to 11:00 pm), Sundays and Holidays (4:00 pm to 10:00 pm)
My friend and I went to Anton's tonight - first time for me. We knew of the extraordinarily long line ups and were prepared to wait our turn, but arriving at about 6pm we had no wait at all, even though the restaurant was quite busy.
Seated near the window, there was a table right behind me (my friend sat at the window side) and one to my right. At first I thought it might feel very crowded, but I found that it felt a lot bigger than it looked. No bumped elbows or chairs being shoved from behind :)
The hostess asked if we would like anything to drink, and brought our beverages to us promptly (we didn't order anything fancy, just pop.) The menu looked absolutely wonderful - lots and lots of choices! Great vegetarian section, but I felt like a chicken dish tonight. The waitress arrived at just the right moment to take our orders - gave us enough time to thoroughly read the menu but not too long that we felt ignored.
To start, my friend ordered the Anton's salad (large size cos he wanted to take some home) for 8.95, and I ordered garlic bread (2.75). For our main course, he ordered the Fusilli Al'Indiana (with chicken and peas in a curry tomato sauce) and I the Fusilli Alla Toscana (with chicken, mushrooms and white wine in a pesto cream sauce). Each pasta dish was 14.95.
Our starters came fairly quickly, but in the meantime we marveled at the neighbouring table's meals - they smelled and looked absolutely divine! I tried the salad and it was SO good! The dressing, Anton's house dressing, was amazing but hard to pinpoint...almost like a ranch, but with more hints of lemon and vinegar and perhaps some white wine? Anyway, it was delicious. As for my garlic bread, I was a little disappointed - a six or so inch long roll, cut in half and spread with garlic butter and toasted. Not very much garlic butter, and the texture was far too...I want to say crispy, but more like stale. I expected a little more for almost $3.
While we were savouring our starters, we noticed the line up outside getting progressively longer, and praised our luck at arriving just before! By the time we left (about 730) the line up was at least 20 people long, most in groups of 2 or 4.
When our pasta arrived, my eyes almost popped out of my head. I was warned about the size of the meals, and had seen a glimpse of others' meals but this was simply amazing. Enough to feed four people quite comfortably.
The Toscana plate that I had was divine. Nicely tossed fusilli with plenty of pieces of chicken, and lots of mushrooms. I was impressed that the chicken is tossed in, not just 'artfully' arranged on the top of the plate.
My friend's meal smelled awesome - very curry-y. I tried a bit and was pleasantly surprised at the perfect fusion of curry with Italian style tomato sauce. Not too spicy at all, but just the right amount of flavour.
We both took the majority of our meals home with us for leftovers, and I can hardly wait for lunch tomorrow!!
The only thing I would possibly change about the meal is the density of the pasta itself - I prefer a little more on the al dente side, but at least it wasn't mushy!
I strongly recommend Anton's to anyone wanting a great 'comfort' food with leftovers to spare!
I've been to Antons several times, and I've been lucky I didn't have to wait long for a table. They have a great assortment of pastas and they come in HUGE portions! An average eater will only touch 1/3 of the plate and a Hungry Hippo will only eat 1/2! The taste of their pastas are average and might get boring cuz its such a huge portion.
Their service is also not bad for being so busy! Our waitresses always came by to refill drinks or ask us if we needed anything! But you can see they are working really hard! :D
The only downside of this place is they use WAYYY too much styrofoam containers as EVERY diner requires a doggy bag for their leftover pasta!! :)
As a regular patron of Anton's for years (and always happy to bring along friends, family and out of town visitors), I feel sad and sorry to be writing this review, however I think that perhaps my patronage of this restaurant has to come to an end.
After moving further away, my orders with Anton's have become largely "to go" orders, where I can enjoy at home at the end of a long day. The past few times, they have messed up the order, forgotten the bread, increase the oil content of the pastas (or so it seems) and have just been plain rude when on the phone. We have waited for over an hour after being told a pick up time, and this past experience has been the final straw.
Being New Year's Eve, we called well in advance (5PM) expecting to eat around 7:30 or 8:00 PM (an order for 2 people, which I did not feel was unreasonable given the holiday). After a rude server informed us that they would not even look at our order until after 9:30 PM, we asked to speak to the manager. She informed us that we are welcome to come in and sit at the bar, but if we package up the food, it is then "take out" and we must wait until after 9:30. 4.5 hours is completely unrealistic for taking care of customers. We said thanks but no thanks, called up Earls and received a friendly, bubbly, "it will be ready in 15 minutes". What is funny is that Anton's called back shortly after, saying that perhaps they could get the 2 plates of pasta ready by 8:45 instead - too little too late. I understand it is a busy night, but coupled with the recent lack of quality, poor manners of the staff, and apparent disregard for their customers, Anton's will not be where I spend my entertainment and dining dollars from here on in.
Food Rating - Not Great
*worst level of consistency for any restaurant I have ever been to
*always dry or burnt meat topped on pasta
*a few dishes are completely flavorless
*several different choices is nice
Service Rating - Pretty Good
*friendly and polite servers
*long waits at all times with lineups out the door
*Servers are trying to pack up your food while you are still eating
so they can seat the next customers
*no debt - but banks are close by
Value Rating - Average (for the quality) $15 per plate
*again -back to the inconsistency- if it was made perfectly even
75% of the time you went this would be a 4
*minimum of $11 per person so 2 cannot go and share a meal
for value, would be nice if they had half servings
*Quite a few dishes are nothing more than a plate
overflowing with pasta and very little substance
*bread is not served unless requested - not a big deal
Ambiance - no complaints
*always busy so very upbeat atmosphere
*very small space for the clientele they have accumulated over
the years - the line makes it famous too, not only their portions
so I doubt they will want to move to a bigger space
*because your so close to your neighbour you can't help but gawk
at the huge plate of food sitting across from you while you wait
for yours - it all looks really good!
I must admit, I am guilty of eating at Anton's on several occasions...always trying to order something different because there are so many options. It is a popular take-out choice at my work, and I live right down the street. I have never been to a restaurant more inconsistent. The pasta is ok but be careful for the days it is just plain aweful. I thought I found the baked pasta of my dreams about a month ago, maybe I was just really hungry. I raved about the "Manicotti Anton’s" calling it the best pasta dish I have ever had anywhere. Two weeks later I ordered the same dish, not impressed. The cheese was blackened burnt on top, the ingredients tasted different and the noodles were completely dry, I threw it out. Twice they have put the wrong sauce on my husbands pasta, "Al Porto" - a good pasta when cooked properly. It's not worth sending back to the kitchen because it will take another 20 minutes before you can eat. I think you have to go and experience Anton's but don't expect a gourmet meal.
I went their with my family on Saturday, and overall, it was alright. Cheap food, decent taste, nice location, it's a formula that works. Service was decent, I wish that the waiter came more frequently to fill our drinks sooner. It was a lot of pasta, and sauces were good; but I wish they had more vegetables in it. They had Italian pictures over the wall, but they had a sign for a French beer... I thought that was quiet funny.
-They give you a lot of pasta. Sauces are decent.
-The prices are fixed, making it easier to try many types of pasta.
-Menu has variety.
-Nice Italian pictures.
-Too many people attracted by cheap, large quantity food.
-It's mostly pasta, and they could use more veggies.
-They have a sign for a French beer.... shouldn't it be some Italian beer?
-One person bathrooms, guys will be okay, I don't know about girls though.
Lot of mixed reviews here, and I think one person said it's hit or miss with the wait-time, service, music, etc. so I'll second that. Food is great, if you like comfort Italian food and cheap, good eats.
I don't really know what "authentic" Italian food tastes like and I'll bet a lot of people who complain Anton's isn't authentic don't know either. I've tried a lot of their dishes and liked all of them. I've only gone for lunch and haven't had to wait more than five minutes. Our servers have always been friendly and courteous, no stuck-up ones, and yes, they seem to be mostly on the attractive side, for whatever that counts.
As far as good and inexpensive Italian goes, Anton's is my favorite and the left-overs taste even better the next day.
As a business, this restaurant has a winning formula. Good food, huge portions, good service(beautiful waitresses), great selection of pastas, fair prices, and plenty of seating. I realize this isn't authentic Italian cuisine but it's pretty good for what you pay for and get. The huge lineups just about tells you how much people are willing to wait to dine here.
I've tried many of the pasta dishes here and I found them all very good. The complimentary bread(portugese buns) are very good. I also like the fact that the pop is bottomless. The artichoke salad is very tasty as well. I really have no complaints about this place other than the lineup but that's to be expected. Just go later(around 9:30pm) and you should be seated immediately. One thing is for sure is that you will be taking your dinner home in a take out container as it's almost impossible to finish. The portions at lunchtime are pretty big as well...and it's cheaper at around $9.95 each.
What I really don't get is why no other restaurant imitates this place....they'd make a killing.
A long wait, a noisy, crowded restaurant and a frazzled staff are all things I can handle but only if the food is really good. At Anton's it is not. I had heard about this place being an institution, so I went to check it out. The food is inconsistent and even at its best, it's nothing really special. Here's a tip: I'd rather skip the gargantuan portions and have them put their money into good ingredients and savvy cooking. Won't come back.
I've been to Anton's a couple of times now, and have to say, that everytime i go...the food is excellent, and we always end up with great service. A dish i HIGHLY recommend is the MANICOTTI ANTONS. It's a baked dish, and it takes about half an hour to get after you order...but its worth it! Had a friend suggest it, and couldn't thank him enough afterwards. The price of the food is definetly worth it, seeing as you get enough of a portion to have dinner while you are there, and lunch the next day! Also, i've never had to wait more than 25 minutes in line for a table.
Give Antons a try!
I was not a big pasta fan before going to this restaurant. My cousin forced me to go this restaurant and I have returned on a number of occasions. The quality of food is high and very reasonable. It is actually two meals because I end up taking half of my portion home. The menu has options for all kinds of taste and the servers are very knowledgeable. Their desserts are also really tempting. Good food and good atmosphere. Only thing you need to bring is the appetite.
Have been to Anton's 7-8 times and no complaints. Just go early or you will be waiting in line for a while. One of my fave dishes is the shells with a white sauce and mixed seafood. It's an awesome white sauce with a wine and lemony flavor. Hubby loves the linguine with seafood in a white wine sauce. Excellent bellinis!
The line ups are long and the portions are huge, but somewhere along the line taste got left behind. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for ordering a meal and having left overs for the next week as much as the next guy, but put a little taste back into the mix. I would rather pay for a much smaller serving and have my taste buds excited than receiving a mound of food, but lose all interest in it after only 5 bites.
This place has been awesome forever, with lines 365d/y, regardless of weather or appetite. The pastas are all highly garlicked but with very pleasant, savoury ingredients leading to very safe, family oriented pastafests that have stood the test of time over the last 20 yrs or so. It's a shame you can't book but for simple pasta, this place can't be beat, with consistent service, noisy ambience and those huge 2-3 meal pasta servings. The original and still the best.
the portions are huge but the quality of the food is just ok. it's fun the first time you go and probably worth the long line up because of the portion sizes but once the novelty has worn off i wouldn't choose again. My friend and I shared a alfredo with chicken and it was decent enough but not good enough that i would return to the restaurant or want to bother taking any leftovers.
Coming from an Italian background, I do my best not to judge 'Italian' restaurants too harshly since they'll never truly live up to expectation - only a few really do.
We started with a mista salad (garden salad with 'special' dressing), a minestrone soup, and tri-color ravioli in red sauce - all to share, since we could see how large the portions were. I can't begin to describe the 'special' salad dressing other than it was a gelatinous blob that just sat on top of the lettuce and tasted as though it came out of a 'Kraft' container. Too salty and so thick it was challenging to mix the salad. The soup was inoffensive, but boring, with the vegetables cut way too big. The pasta tasted as though it'd been in the freezer for about a year, prior to cooking. The sauce was ok, not too sweet or bitter - the better part of the meal.
It could have been just our server - can't speak about them all - but she was gruff and very rushed in her delivery of our items, just shy of tossing them on the table. Everyone has a bad day, but this was overkill. I really hope folks begin to understand that 5 pounds of pasta doesn't constitute an 'Italian dinner experience'. Olive Garden does a million times better. Really? a couple of free buns at the beginning of the meal - that impresses patrons?
Why is this place so popular?
I'm guessing it is because there is so much food that you always take some home. But the quality is very average.
I met an Italian guy at work recently. He knows the owner, but even he says that the food is not Italian.
I have no idea why anyone would line up to go here. I only went in when there was no line up so wasn't worried about wasting my time.
I really wanted to enjoy this restaurant as I have heard so much hype about it and I am a self-proclaimed pastaholic. My sister and I decided to try it out around 9 pm on a weekday. I expected to wait in line because I have driven past it many times and there has been a line up out the door. Luckily we were sat within 15-20 minutes of waiting. After waiting 15 minutes for someone to aknowledge our presence we were finally introduced to our "lovely" waitress who seemed like she could have possibly been the owner. She proceeded to mock me as I struggled through some of the Italian words on the menu. I let that slide as I was there to enjoy dinner with my sister. When we received our food my sister (who has a lactose sensitivity) noticed that there was cheese in her pasta sauce eventhough there was none mentioned on the menu. She called over our waitress and explained to her that she was very sorry and that she could not eat it. Our waitress continued to belittle my sister explaining to her in a very rude tone that "all of their sauces have cheese in them and my sister should have told her to begin with that she couldnt eat cheese". My sister tried to explain that nowhere on the menu does it state that there is cheese in every sauce. After the conversation started to get heated the waitress finally took the dish away to the back to make one without cheese. While standing at the back of the restaurant our waitress continued to mock my sister with fellow waiters and the cooks. The service alone has turned me off of this restaurant. I cannot give a fair evaluation of the food as I was getting a cold and was not able to taste much of anything. Eventhough part of their "value" is giving you rediculously large portion sizes, I think it is unnecessary as they should concentrate more on the value of the food itself. I would get take out from this restaurant in the future but would not deal with the service, line ups, and very tight tables (we were basically sharing a table with the people sitting beside us).
The food at Anton's was a bit disappointing after all the hype I had from my friends. Maybe it was just the one dish as I've only been there once. I like my pasta to have flavour but my dish had too much flavour. My pasta was so strongly flavoured that I almost couldn't eat it after a couple of bites. Maybe someone spilled the dill jar into my serving? I don't know what happened but it was strong. The serving was crazy huge but they do not allow sharing so be prepared to bring home left overs. I would probably go again and try a different dish as my friends keep insisting that it is a great eatery.
Food: Hit & miss. Sometimes the pasta is great, other times, it's overcooked and not well drained, hence watering down the sauce.
Service: No issues here.
Value: People rave about the cheap prices, but it's PASTA. Portions are indeed generous and definitely enough for two meals.
Ambiance: A nice neighbourhood restaurant.
We ordered the manicotti... as anyone should. Oh man, it's the first time I had to get my dinner wrapped up to go halfway through. This is definitely a feast to be reckoned with. It seemed every plate that went out were filled to the brim with delicious pasta. Our server was genuine and quick on her feet... nothing extraordinary but she definitely did a great job with the amount of business she had to contend with. The atmosphere was definitely unpretentious but didn't really give any sense of ambiance. That aside, I could see myself becoming a regular to this one of a kind restaurant... a gem!