Serving Vancouver for over 51 years, Nick and Pauline have been serving up their famous Italian dishes at this same location, pleasing newcomers and afficionadas alike with their authentic recipes.
A family member said to meet them at Nick's spaghetti house and so i checked out the reviews, needless to say they were not too positive, so i was not expecting much.
yes, when you walk in it's obvious that ppl do not go there for the decor. The women's bathroom (i cant say anything about the men's lol) was sooooo disgusting i can't even explain except to say that when i walked out i tried not to touch the door handle and i shuddered once i got out. It's gross...so pee before you get there!
It was very full, 3 tables left at 7:30 on a sunday.
We had the lasagne and speghetti with meatballs with cheese. both were actually good. i dont know why other ppl said the pasta was bland bc neither of our pastas were bland at all. the meatballs are huge and super tasty. The lasagne was pretty heavy and it seem sthat this past is homemade too?
all in all i would say this was a solid experience. Personally i think i would save this place for take out ...its not the type of place you go on a first date, but for a family restaurant with good pasta, it works.
Four friends decided to " go down memory lane" at NIck's. Have been going there since the late sixties.
Had read many negative reviews but decided we would go and judge for ourselves.
Two orders of Steak and Spaghetti, one order of Ribs and Spaghetti and one order of Meat balls and Spaghetti. Three glasses of wine, one of water for the designated driver.
The Spaghetti was tasteless and watery. The Ribs were grey and stringy, could not eat them. The Meatballs were good but the sauce was the same spaghetti sauce poured over the meatballs, tasteless.
We were seated right away, the place was only half full at seven pm on a Saturday, very unusual for Nicks.
We waited forty minutes for our meals to be served after ordering. Our waitress was very pleasant.
I would never complain about the bill for this meal if indeed it had been good food, but, it was terrible and the bill certainly did not reflect that.
Nick's decor has not changed in thirty years, it has just gotten more tired and grungy, bordering on looking dirty. So, most of the reviews proved to be correct, we hope to find a replacement restaurant so we can enjoy that great Italian flavour again.
My first taste of Nicks was as a 4 year old eating my parents leftovers.41 years later I still love it. Don't miss the spareribs.Just like Nonnas. Nicks never dissapoints. Not many places left where you can feel like your eating in the 60's. Don't be surprised if you run into Jimmy Pattison eating his spaghetti and 1 meatball
This is the second time I've been to Nick's, and I don't see a reason to go back again.
Maybe I am not the target audience for this restaurant: the menu is entirely "safe" classic dishes whose ingredients are uninspired. My party ordered an agnolotti with white sauce, and a half-order of ribs with spaghetti and red sauce, and a rotini with red sauce and meatballs. While the ribs were decent (there are better places to go for ribs), the meatballs were bland and the red sauce was watery. The agnolotti was actually ravioli and the white sauce a bit too simple.
The pricing is completely out of touch with the quality. Mediocre red sauce over spaghetti and three Italian sausages should not cost $20 anywhere, let alone a family restaurant. We didn't order desserts, so no comment on those. All told, entrees for three and a half litre of wine came to just over $60 before tip.
On the up side, even though they do not take reservations on the weekend, my party of three was seated fairly quickly. Although this has less to do with the running of the restaurant than the volume of guests.
Nick's is The Italian Restaurant that Time Forgot; I'm sure the menu was a hit in Vancouver in the '60s, but I have a feeling that the bulk of their clientele are people who have been coming specifically because the food is just how they remember it from their childhoods. Unfortunately for Nick's, what people consider "Italian food" has changed drastically in the intervening four decades, but the increasing sophistication in ingredients, dishes and preparations seems to have passed them by.
Nick's would be a good destination if you are going out with very unadventurous eaters and don't care about the price. But for dollar value, it's just not worth the visit.
After a long relationship of more than 30 years ...it over ...the last three visits were just to dissapointing to make any more excuses....the once excellent pastas have slipped to the likes of a fast food restaurants (BP) nothing more than bland pasta sauces and overcooked noodles.Service that was once a joy with smiling waitresses that cared about the experience is gone ...we felt like we were intruding on the other three tables !!Prices have continued to rise without the quality and the service .Red checkered table cloths just dont cut it anymore . This once fine restaurant is like a a good wine gone bad ......what shame
My husband really wanted to try Nick's out again, having enjoyed meals here years ago. We were so disappointed -- the food was overpriced, the place was dirty, the decor desperately needed refreshing, and the place smelled not of food, but stale and rundown. Owner Nick has four racehorses (which are incredibly expensive to own, stable and race). He should put a chunk of that money into long overdue renovations and kitchen updates, and stop taking customers for granted.
Everyone raves about how great the food is here and though its not bad, I find it to be rather substandard Italian fare for the price. The dishes taste too much like "Chef Boyardee" made them .. soggy, overcooked pasta with too much [bland tasting] red sauce and gobs of gooey cheese baked on them [I'm sure kids like this alot].
I prefer my pasta fresh and "al dente" with at least some semblence of fresh herbs and spices in the sauce. Yes, the portions are rather large but the quality is low-brow for the prices they charge
I am always baffled by the comments about the decor at Nick's. The whole point is that its a hole in the wall from the 70's. I love the fact that this place looks exactly as it does in my childhood memories. There is not restaurant like Nick's, the location, size and decor are all part of the experience. If your looking for a fancy restaurant this is not for you. If your looking for an authentic pasta place, try Nick's. The food is excellent and the helpings are huge. I cant recommend this place enough...in fact, I'm going tonight!
It's turning into a bit of a tradition for the family to take Grandma here for birthday lunch, she always loves it because the food reminds everyone of Auntie Angelina's cooking...
Both times I've had the baby clams, once with the red sauce, and the other time with the white. The red was better, but they are both good and the portions are huge (more than one meal of leftovers).
The rest of the family had the veal cutlets, lasagna and italian sausage and it all went over really well (especially the cutlets) except my mom who thought the sausage was too spicy.
The bread and family-size salad is awesome and the whipped cheesecake was super-tasty and light.
I would definitely go back, and am a little confused about all the bad ratings...since Chianti's closed I haven't been able to find a better Italian place, though I do agree it's a big expensive
Someone took me to nicks recently. One Word, awesome, i had the meatballs and cutlets with a special salad. Real italian old school cookign, it was great. The room is what you would expect, checkered table cloths and an expectation that some "business deals have been done there before
I have read the following reviews, I have to say I am very surprised. First of all, authentic? Yeah right! This is not Italian food. Surprising, considering they are Italian.
I visited Nick's a long time ago & will never return. I had the Veal Parmesan with Spaghetti. Yes, there portions are quite large but, what good is that if the food is terrible? I cut into my Veal only to have a substantial amount of oil spewed into my face (I am very serious, although I'm sure I am not the only one this has happened too). The Spaghetti was overcooked & my plate was swimming in pasta water.
The owners should be ashamed of themselves. Given the longevity of this establishment, I imagine the food was once good. It seems they have lost the love for preparing a good Italian meal. Could care less about the food they serve to non-Italians (seems they don't know the difference). The ambience is definately of Italian descent. Service, ok.
I know it's not easy to maintain a restaurant in Vancouver but, I would rather sell than serve bad food. Meanwhile, I will stay home and cook my own authentic Italian meals, since I have yet to find a decent Italian restaurant in Vancouver. I have been told by many, that Marcello's is the best pizza in Vancouver. Having tried, not even close. If their the best, I rather not go anywhere else only to be disappointed.
Find the love Nick or go home!
I was surprised to see the negative comments about this Vancouver icon. I have been eating at Nick's for more years than I can count and the quality has always been great. A lot of the pastas are made on the spot and they have the very best Italian antipasta salad I have ever had.
Yes, the food is basic and lots of it. It's not fancy or fusion. But, man, is it good.
I had to go back just recently simply to make sure I wasn't dreaming and it is just as good as always. And clean.
But definitely not fancy or upscale is that's what you are looking for. Great pasta, decent bottle of plonk. If you go on a regular basis, you'll begin to recognize the patrons because almost everyone is a "regular".
Try it - you'll love it.
My sister first introduced me to Nick's awhile back, and my mouth waters everytime she calls to invite me to Nick's for lunch. When I mention the restaurant to people, they say we've been going there for years! Where have I been? My favorite is the Pork chops and spaghetti. I've had the steak too, and if I could have it all, I would. Plus dessert too! The portions are generous, go hungry and you won't be disappointed. The decor is original and it shouldn't be changed. If you are looking for fancy this isn't it, but the food is worth every bit.
Yah.... my review echoes most here. We've been 4 times now (keep giving them a chance as they're our 'block restaurant') and we have yet to be happy:( The food is so blah; my own italian attempts (which are very lacking...ask my g/f), are much much better. It seems that all the sauces come from a bag. The pasta is never drained properly (pasta always swimming in water). Everything's way too salty and processed tasting. And the prices. Yikes. I am more than happy to spend $20 on a dish. But I've been so appalled time and time again now, with what I get for $20. Anyhow...I could go on. If for nothing else, it's great decor, and by that I mean dated in the worst way (which I love!). It's very authentic in that way. You can be certain that business deals have been made many a time if you know what I mean... and I don't just mean past tense....you should see the vehicles parked in their lot every day. It's hilarious. Bentleys... etc. It's a great old Van experience for ONE time maybe, but I wouldn't suggest dropping your $ more than once. Anyhow....after your visit, I don't think you'd need my heeding. I hope they could step it up, however I doubt that would happen. They're old, they're Italian, and they're clearing making heaps, so why would they? :)
ps...they're super nice though!!