The Old Spaghetti Factory is a US based chain that originally opened its first restaurant in Canada in historic Gastown, downtown Vancouver. All entrees come complete with a crisp green salad, sourdough bread, coffee or tea, and spumoni ice cream at no additional charge.
Food: Very average. Both of the pastas we ordered were ok and nothing exceptional. The only thing nice about the food here is the fact that it all comes with a salad/soup, sourdough bread and spumoni ice cream at the end but even so, it still is a little pricy for the quality of pasta you're given. Popcorn shrimp were excellent I thought - battered perfectly but if they could only give us more quantity....
Service: Had to wait at the door for a while before anyone even greeted us. After we sat down and were given our drinks, our waitress disappeared for 20 min!! I could see her chatting with a fellow co-worker at the bar the entire time and they didn't even look our way to see if we wanted to order!! I must've spent at least 5 min waving my arms around. If it hadn't been other customers that came in, I'm sure I would've had to wait for at least another 15 min before she came by. Let's just say I've had faster and better service at cheap dingy chinese restaurants. For an empty restaurant, this is completely unacceptable.
Ambiance: It's missing the big tram car that are in other locations but other than that, its ok. Nice place for a dinner before a movice IF they fix their customer service.
This place is one of the better spaghetti factories. I've been there a bazillion times, and I always get either the Veal a la Parmigiana or the Seafood Linguine Marinara. My wife stands by the Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo. They give you a ton of bread with two kinds of butter to start, an edible salad, and spumoni to finish off the meal. And it isn't expensive. I also recommend the pinã coladas. They do a nice one here.
I have been to the one in New West (a bit of a dump) and in Gastown (crowded and shabby, but a good patio), and I can say this is the best location. Okay, the one in Toronto is nice too.
If you like REAL Italian food, you will hate the OSF with a desperate passion, but if you just want a predictable meal, and want to save some cash, check it out. Plus the Richmond one is next to the Silver City, so you can eat and see a show...
Over the years we've dined zillions of times at OSF, first frequenting gastown, then new west, and now mostly richmond as gastown is too much hassle, and new west is a dump.
I've always loved the concept of the decor, I can remember going there 30 years ago as a young kid and the tram and decor was the coolest thing. Richmond is not as cool for decor.
When I got older I loved the idea of the bread, salad, and ice cream included (and coffee/tea). Pop is refillable too which is a big bonus. Years ago I was addicted to the bread, now it doesn't seem as good, maybe they changed it.
Biggest problem is quite frankly the food is not so great and in particular the spaghettis sucks. To me it's not drained well enough before serving which results in a watery disaster. It's also usually not al dente enough. The sauces are nothing special. Kids would probably love it though as it's bland enough. Myself I get the seafood fettucine 90% of the time as it's pretty good so I recommend that. They also make a very tasty caesar salad, right up there with the best in the city.
The best deal is to go for lunch and get their salad/soup and sandwich special for like $7.50 or whatever it is now.
Service at the richmond location has been more miss than hit unfortunately. For the longest time we usually got this completely dense waiter who was like a robot who always screwed things up. We'd cringe each time we got him. Everyone else was fine, and hopefully he has moved on by now. When we frequented the new west location we often got one particular server who was one of the best we've ever had dining over the years.
Great value for the combos, nice atmosphere. One of the prefered Old Spaghetti Factory locations and definitely preferable to the food next door at the pub for food and value.
Unfortunately, that's probably the only reason to visit this restaurant--only if you're already out there for a movie. It's a good spot if you can get a table before a movie since if it's a post movie meal, I'd generally prefer to drive somewhere else in Richmond or otherwise for a bite to eat.
The food isn't bad, it's safe, hence, boring.
Party of 30 on a Wednesday to celebrate a birthday. We had reservations and they give us 1 waiter. The service was deplorable. Some had water most did not. Food was passable for most and uneatable for some. The red sauce which I had was ultra spicey and really put a damper on the whole evening. Nice restaurant but you can't eat ambiance. Really hated the outing and swear never to return.
We have been to this location several times in the past, as well as the gastown and whistler locations, so we knew what to expect in terms of food. You get what you pay for. However this time the service really was terrible. We were seated promptly, and waited 10 minutes before anyone approached us. The waitress brought us bread. We ordered right away, and sat trying to choke the bread down our parched throats. A few minutes later, we finally got our drinks along with the sad little salad and 2 sips of soup. We ordered the calamari appetizer, which tasted fine but was quite small. I long ago stopped ordering the spaghetti here as it's always a disappointment. I had the lunch sized lasagna, which was ok, but had a funny taste that I can't quite identify. Trying to pay the bill took a long time also. It's not like the restaurant was busy. I wanted to be generous at Christmas time, but I really couldn't bring myself to give a big tip for such poor service.
Phoned to make a reservation and was told that reservations weren't accepted during the same hour that we were coming in. I.E. A reservation has to be made at least 1 hour and 5 minutes before we arrived. But tonight we were assured that it wasn't busy and we wouldn't have to wait long. Got there in 10 minutes and the wait time for a table was 40 minutes. Young woman at counter did not have a good answer for how the wait time got from "no wait" to 40 minutes. Spaghetti not that special - we left.
Late saturday night we were looking for a place to eat close to the movie theater. Was'nt keen on Japanese so we decided to hit the Old Spaghetti Factory. Not too busy for a saturday night. Service was pretty good. Protions are really good, but the food is lacking. Ambience is not as original as the Gastown location but I guess its a different location catering more to families in the Richmond area. Overall a decent place but dont expect great food. Average at best !
My husband and I took my parents out for dinner the other night at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Growing up, we used to go quite often to the one in Gastown. It was quite a bit of a trek from White Rock, but it was such an adventure to go there. Since we were kind of a cheap family, having a chance to have a full meal .... salad, spaghetti, ice cream and unlimited pop.... was a real treat..... and a nice change from ordering the cheapest thing on the menu like at other restaurants. I remember the service was always really great.... the only bad thing were the long waits to get a table. One of my favourite memory is going with my entire family to the OSF in Gastown and then going to the Stanley Park Christmas Train afterwards.... that was a tradition that we have managed to maintain for almost 30 years since we still all get together every year to do this! The only difference is that there are more of us now. This was our first time trying out the Richmond location and it was really nice. The service right away was very welcoming. They were more then willing to accommodate our seating arrangement (my dad has difficulty with booths) and brought our drinks right away. The food was actually really good. We all enjoyed our meals and also enjoyed the ambience of the restaurant. My dad asked our waiter a random question and he went to find the answer for him right away which I thought was really nice. A washroom stop showed the facility to be very clean and well tended. The only thing I missed in this OSF was the cable car in the middle of the restaurant. I used to love it when we were able to have dinner in the one in Gastown......
Thanks for a great evening and hope to be back soon!
At first it seemed to take a while for our server to get to us, but they were just baking the bread. It was fresh.
I order the spaghetti sampler, which I would give it a 3 out of 6 rating. But this is just because I don't like tomato based spaghetti sauces. I wouldn't say this is their fault, just a personal dislike.
My date had the chicken penne which was very tasty. It had a very subtle cheese taste which is nice as some places are too heavy with the cheese.
Otherwise TOSF is always a good value.
This restaurant is good for a quick bite if your in the mood for pasta. This ambiance in this place isn't bad. The decor is very old fashioned and its nice to assume that all Spaghetti factory restaurants are like that. Food wise the food here is pretty tasty. With you meal you have a choice of soup or salad. I wish that you could have both. It won't blow me out of the water but it great for what you pay for. They even sell movie tickets in this location as you can buy a meal and go next door to silver city afterwards for a movie. Value wise I would give it higher marks as it is nicely priced. The service is pretty good however, it is kind of slow as you have to wait for quite awhile for some attention. Anyways I would recommend this restaurant when you feel like pasta but don't want to spend a lot.
We have been coming to the OSF both in gastown and in richmond for 38 years and never had a bad meal. The salads are ALWAYS fresh (no JEEZ LUIZ, they DO NOT taste like pesticide). The service is usually very good; everybody can have a bad day; except for the winers I guess.
Great value for the money. If you want to go to a 5 star dining facility then you'll pay for it too.
Where else can you get bread, salad, main course, coffee, ice cream and a alcoholic dring for $35.00??????
I've been to this Old Spaghetti Factory a couple of times. It isn't the greatest, but it is conveniently close to the movie theatre.
The pasta here is okay. I would recommend against ordering their "homemade" meatballs, which were tough and rubbery. Also, their marinara sauce is a bit bland and watery. Last time I went here, a friend of mine ordered the marina sauce. It was so watery that when the waitress came to place the dish on the table, the pasta slipped off and on to the paper placemat. Unfortunately, she did not offer to replace it. Rather, she just kind of tilted the plate and scooped the fallen pasta back on, then gave it to my friend (but other than that, I have not had a bad service experience here).
One of my favourite dishes, however, is their spaghetti with mizithra cheese. Although I will admit that the dish is probably the least healthy dish on the menu, it tastes great. It is simply spaghetti, floating in butter, topped with mizithra cheese (which tastes like parmesan).
As we were waiting for our movie to start, we zipped over across the street to the Old Spaghetti Factory; we did not have time to go any further. My experience with this chain was that the food was very predictable: the caesar salad was watery wet, the white sauce tasted like flour paste, the pasta was bland and cooked beyond al dente; our meal here was no exception; it was its usual consistency. Two of us had the Spaghetti and Meatballs; two of us decided to try the Linguine with Clam Sauce--they seemed to have chopped up no more than 2 clams to make this tasteless "bechamel" sauce that dried into a thick white paste in front of us. Because we were sharing this large pasta, we asked for an extra plate. The extra plate was wet as if it was rinsed and not dried. This was the second extra plate we asked for because the first one was dripping wet with food. Since we had to dry our own plates, we asked for extra napkins. The best part of the meal was the fresh bread with butter.
usually not a long wait unless you come on a weekend. you are first served with bread that comes with delicious butter and garlic butter. the pasta is very yummy and it comes with many different sauces to choose from. the kids menu is also fantastic and will give your children lots of choices to decide from. overall is a great place and i wish i had time to go there more often.
First time going to any of the Old Spaghetti Factory restaurants, and man was I ever impressed!!! The wait was about 10 min. even though the hostess said it would be only 3 min. but I guess it was worth in the end.!!
FOOD: The complementry bread was nice with herb/chive(?) butter. I ordered the old spaghetti factory fav., spaghetti&meatballs with x-tra meatballs and my friend orderd the chicken breast dinner. With our meals came a option of soup or salad. We both went for the soup and I ordered the Cookie monster smoothie while he had the ice tea. Needless to say I was impressed with my dish as he was with his. Although they can use alittle less sauce, on mine I thought my dish was a bit 'drowing' in the sauce!!!
The meatballs were a bit plain but really tasted great!!
SERVICE: We went there on Sunday so it was a bit busy. However our waiter had smile on all the time and was courteous. The service was bit slow, but prompt when it ahd to be. P.S the bathrooms were clean and in good shape when I was there!
VALUE: GREAT!!! What more can I say for the amount of food we got, it was amazing!!
AMBIANCE: A littel lacking in the decor side, but not ot bad either!!! The place was buzz with families and noisy kids of course. But overall great place to sit and eat!!!
Overall, at the end of the meal our waiter came and gave us the option of having palin vanilla ice cream or the tripoli flavour ice cream(it has vanilla, chocolate and pistachio), that's right it is a complete meal. From start to finish I was impressed with my entire dinning experince..
Definately, worth checking out, I know I'll be a returning customer!!!
This is a very average restaurant, until the food comes. If you normally buy TV dinners, you may wish to stay at home and buy another one. Or go to McDonald's. I have never had worse spaghetti. To be fair, I've only been here twice, but I don't want to go back. It seems to leave everyone with indigestion...
Service was good, though. And yes, it's cheap, but so's McDonald's. And if you paid $35 for a meal and a drink here, man you got ripped off...
This restaurant caters to many people including families with kids, people who enjoy a meal out but aren't in the position to spend a fortune. If you're looking for a genuine italian meal, of COURSE you're not going to find it here - why would you expect to? If you're being cheap, you're probably not going to find gourmet.
That said, it's a great place to go for a casual meal, to take your kids to without getting the evil eye, to enjoy a night out without spending a fortune. FYI, this restaurant is across from the movie theatres, so if you're expecting to rush in on a friday/saturday night 30 minutes before your movie starts....well, you're not the only one, and no one can perform miracles.
Personally, I've always enjoyed the food here, and any problems I've ever experienced with the servers have been quickly (and overly) rectified by the managers - just ask to speak to them, and you won't be disappointed. No, not all the servers are great, but this is a minimum wage industry during an extreme all-around labour shortage, so no surprises there.
Again, you get what you pay for. If you're looking for 5-star dining, go downtown and pay for it. If you're looking for an enjoyable meal at affordable prices, you've found it.
I am on a very strict diet and I allow myself a 'cheat day' once in 4 weeks. I plan this day with great care. I really love food! I called ahead and made a reservation, since my partner and I would be going out on a Saturday- want to be on the safe side. First, we showed up on time and were greeted warmly by a well-groomed young lady and were lead to our table about 15 minutes after our arrival. Right at the entrance to the kitchen. A cozy table for 2 in the worst place possible. Okay, well, you have to be a trooper since food at such good prices does not come for free. The menu looked ok. I ordered the Sampler spaghetti plate with 3 sauces, meat, clam, and another indeterminate sauce (mushroom?). My partner had the Seafood Marinara. After having spent time in Spain, he is quite well-acquainted with seafood in sauces and loves a good marinara. The bread arrived with the butter- nice ok. The cute, tiny salads quickly ensued and were ok too. If you like your salad out of a Dole bag from Costco. Yes, I can still taste the pesticide. I love pasta- I am a born-again Italian in that respect. What we were served was OVERcooked to the point of mush. The sauces? Judging by the flavour and aroma, there are 2 big pots on the stove in the kitchen- one with white sauce and one with red, and ground beef, chewy overcooked seafood, and mushrooms all in bowls. Like someone dumped out a bit of each into a microwavable dish a zapped for 3 minutes on 'high'. They simply ladled some of those additions into a bit of red or white sauce and dumped it (and I mean dumped! like a chick who puts out on the first date) on there. The ice cream was atrocious and overly sweetened. The service? Rude little waitress kept trying to take my miserable plate away (I realize now that she was probably trying to help me!) over and over again! Well, we left our crappy food on our plates and enjoyed pork shui mai at the Richmond Night Market. That was gorgeous after what they put us through:)
I ate there with my husband on a "date night". The service was decent, the food came fast and was really good. I had the same thing I ordered last time and it tasted exactly the same.. (Good consistancy).
We also took advantage of the dinner and a movie option. I think we saved like $2-$4 on our movie that we were going to across the street. Very good!!! I'll go back next time I go to the movies!