In March of 1970, the first Old Spaghetti Factory Restaurant in Canada was opened in the Gastown district of Vancouver, British Columbia. The concept was a very simple one; take an old warehouse in a historic part of town and fill it with antiques and artifacts, provide the finest pasta and superb service, to make an extremely unique dining experience.
I moved by this place just a week ago and decided to finally give this place a shot. I went on a saturday so i wasnt expecting much service wise (I never expect fast service in a crowded restaurant on a saturday, if you ask me thats a pretty big wish to get served fast when there at max capacity) Although our drinks came promptly and so did our appies so i was thrilled with my cesar salad. Not the best or anything but certainly on my top 5 cesars. I love there drink list, its very nice and very big. The ambiance and servcie blew me away. As soon as you walk in beside the door there is an old school weight scale and the mast of a boat as you walk in to the lobby plus a giant train cart that had travelled hundreds of miles through gas town. Im sure some people would find that unimpressive but it sure blew me away. Our waitress was just great and we got served in a timely friendly manner. The pasta was good not the best but again on the top five. I thought for what it was, it was very fairly priced food i mean it doesn't pretend to be a five star restauarant its really a family oriented / young group hang out place. They never rush you at the end of your meal no matter how full they are. Ive been there twice already back to back and my new fav drink is there aztec sunset with ice cream and kahlua! Definitly worth a try the only downside is at night all the weird hastings people wonder the streets pan handling but that cant be helped.
You can always count on great value when eating at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Where else can you find a deal like it these days? For the cost of your entree (under $20), you get all the sourdough bread you can stuff, an appetizer of salad or soup, your entree, ice cream and tea or coffee! Everytime I come here, I always get so full on the yummy fresh bread that when it comes to my entree, I can never finish it. It's another meal the next day!I came here with my boyfriend 2 weeks ago. I never expect top-quality pasta as my manicotti was just so-so, but it's a quick meal that you get really full on and the decor is just somethin else. The have an original trolley from back in the day in the middle of the restaurant. Many love to sit there.
My boyfriend had the spaghetti and meatballs with the spicy sauce. He loved it. Like I said, it's a great value for your meal, especially when dining with your family.
A friend of my brother in law used to be the manager here, and he said late at night when the restaurant is closed, there are "guests" that like to make appearances. This fact is well-known by many.
Nice atmosphere. Great for families to take their children to. Great prices for your spaghetti, soup/salad and drink. Definitely, nice fresh bread, too... better than Keg's bread!
Apparently OSF has been around since the 70's. My first trip here was about 10 years ago and I've gone a generous dozen or so times till now. It's remained the same during my time.
Decor doesn't look like it changed much the last decade. The character remains intact and its warm ambience is quite the welcoming attraction.
Food has also remained the same, a bit too rustic and spartan for modern dining. Someone galavanting through the kitchen for the first time could probably whip up something with equal quality. Pastas (especially their Spaghetti) is bland (think pasta with a can of sauce) and sometimes oily and their steaks are often improperly seasoned. Prices the last time I went doesn't look to have changed in quite a while either. I suppose with quality like that they would be robbing customers if they charged much higher.
Servers fortunately make up for the primitive tasting menu. For larger dining groups I've been apart of in the past here I would have preferred that they had scrambled together another server to split the duties but otherwise nothing I would complain about.
Any future visits here will likely be at the choice of others. I doubt I'd come here for the nostalgia.
Had spaghetti with meatballs, there were only a few meatballs, the pasta was overcooked and the sauce was lacking in flavour, watery and not tangy or flavorful enough.. the bread was okay..If your looking for a cheap lunch, includes ice cream, this is it, but if your looking for flavourful pasta/sauce go elsewhere..
Instead of a romantic dinner for two, we had a family dinner, four of us, at OSF. We thought there may be a loooong wait, but nope . . it was finding parking!!
Salad looked a bit wilted but tasted ok. We each had a spaghetti dinner with different sauces. Ice cream was a bit too melted for me.
Service was ok. Waitress brought our main entree out when we were still eating our salad. She was kind enough to take it back until we were finished with the salad. Took a long time to get drink refills and hot water for tea.
All in all, we had a nice time. And our hungry bellies were filled with good food.
The Old Spaghetti Factory never fails to please! I have eaten here on numerous occasions and the food is consistently very good and well prepared. The atmosphere is appropriate and the service lacks nothing. Considering the Factory's low pricing this is probably the best deal in town for quality food.
I wasn't expecting much from the old spaghetti factory. The last time I was there, the food and service was average. This time though, the service was great! We were a party of 30 and the server was right on the ball! Quick, friendly and didn't miss a beat. Although some of our dinner guests didn't enjoy their food (the pesto linguini was dry) I loved my entree. We had the chicken strips to start. A little greasy but good. The veggie lasagne was great! Soooo cheesy. I was so full by the end of my meal I couldn't have the ice cream.
I was going stir crazy and needed to get my eight month old baby, two year old son and four year old boy that I babysit out of the house.
We went to the Old Spaghetti Factory in gastown. They were very accomodating with the double stroller and quickly set up a high chair for the two year old. The place was bright with lots of interesting things to look at for the kids. The children were each given crayons and a colouring placemat.
Our server was friendly and quickly offered a warm loaf of bread. I choose the "Managers Favourite" for my pasta with a combination of rich meat and clam sauce. It was not incredible, but it was certainly tasty enough. This entree came with aforementioned bread, a green salad, tea and ice cream. It is priced at under $11.00!!
For the kids, I choose tortellini with meat sauce. Each serving came with aforementioned bread, salad, a choice of a glass of juice (orange or apple), pop or milk; and ice cream. These items (from the children's menu) were under $6.00 each!!
The kids liked their pasta, the salads came with dressing on the side and the pieces were small enough for little mouths to handle.
The meal came to a very reasonable $30 including all taxes and a 20% tip.
My only problem was that I would like to see the washroom a little bigger and I didn't notice a change table.
Other than that - I think this is a great place to bring young children where they will have a true restaurant expreience (without it appearing like the typical family restaurant or fast food).
The atmosphere is nice, I like saying the name aloud, and I like my childhood memories. The train is neat, carving into the hot fresh sourdough bread, spreading on all that whipped butter. I like the combos with a mini individual salad and ice cream for dessert. And that's all.
The pasta is pretty much terrible here, laughable sauce portion to pasta portion ratio, the alfredo linguine is so dry, it's embarrassing to have to ask for more. Now it'd be alright, I woudln't complain if the sauce was amazing but it's far from it. So bland, tastless and not creamy. The alfredo sauce I buy in a jar far surpasses it, shame on them. The seafood pasta bowl is almost $20, the portion is too small and again not enough sauce.
Spaghetti and meatball is a blasphemy, everything is just so bland and there is nothing italian about it. Better just to open a can of Ragu (yah that's right, the worst supermarket pasta sauce you can buy) and cook some spaghetti and (dry) meatballs at home
Come here ONCE for the atmosphere, order maybe a lasagna, take some pictures and don't expect much of the food
Maybe my tastes have changed or "matured" when it comes to eating pasta, but I remembered enjoying dinners at this place. The bread was always fresh (sometimes we'd order another loaf because we pounded down the first loaf so quickly). I also remember the pasta being good as well. That was a while ago. We went back last week and had to send the bread bad because it looked and tasted "day old". Our second loaf wasn't any fresher, so I guess they were indeed serving day old bread. My ceasar salad had way too much cheese on it (normally that's a good thing, but sometimes too much of a good thing is a bad thing). I couldn't finish the salad. Then came my pasta (meat lasagna). Way too much cheese (inside and out) for me to enjoy. I left half of that behind. My dinner companion ordered the veal with spaghetti and the veal (which is normally quite juicy, was dry, dry, dry).
It took another 15 minutes for our dessert to come and it was partially melted, so we left that too. What an absolutely disappointing meal.
I wouldn't dare think of taking my mom here.
i decided to celebrate my 23th birthday at the old spaghetti factory in gas-town......unfortunately it did not go too well. i called in to make a reservation a week ahead and was given terrible seats, barely any room to move in or out. secondly, the service was even worst....after ordering we waited almost 1 hour and 30 minutes for our entrees. i felt pity for our waitress because she was the only server serving us (party of 18 people) so u could imagine how slow the service was.
the food was good and the value was totally affordable but i had a really bad experience there and i hope no one experience the same as i do.
Altho the ambiance and choice of pasta is good enough to bring several friends and have relaxing evening, the service leaves little to be desired. However if you are not too picky about server not paying attention to the table, you can certainly enjoy their home made bread and garlic butter. Too tempting to fill up on before your meal arrives. My favourite would have to be dry spagheti mixed with several kinds of cheese, quite original and very enjoyable with few glasses of white
I seriously think that the relatively low reviews for this chain are coming from people who expect FAR too much for the very LITTLE that they are paying for their meals.
The pasta always tastes decent, fresh and hot, never mushy (not to my long experience). Service is usually quite good, and for a small sum, all the fresh bread you can eat, a salad, a main course, and ice cream and tea or coffee which is refillable. How many restaurants, let alone ones in "prime" areas, are able to supply this? Very few, to my knowledge.
I eat healthy, so pasta is a definite no-no for me, usually, but when I have a craving for Italian, and a "cheat" meal is ok, I can't think of many other places I'd prefer to come for simple food that is quite so affordable.
The ambience is also excellent - dark and be-decked with old posters and relics. Naturally, the massive (and authentic) trolley car is what makes the place quite different from your ordinary restaurant; it's not corny, it's actually quite... cute.
Regardless, for a good meal at a fair price, come here. If you want to be snobby about pasta, don't come here - what are you expecting for under ten dollars?
The Old Spaghetti Factory is well known and after hearing it mentioned several times, I decided to give it a go with some of my co-workers. It certainly has a lot of charm to the decor, with warm lighting and great old antiques. The service was efficient and friendly, and we were seated fairly promptly.
While waiting for our orders, we snacked on fresh and tasty bread, and following the meal enjoyed the refreshing dessert; the main course of spaghetti, however, was dissapointing and rather bland. The sauce was reminiscent of what one might expect of canned sauce from the supermarket: edible but watery and flavourless, and nothing one couldn't make at home. Sure it's reasonably priced and pretty to look at but I don't know if I'd care to return.
We came in for lunch. The free bread they give you to start out with is delightful, especially with the garlic butter. mmmmm. Main dishes were good eating, at reasonable prices. Nice decorations inside make it a fun place to go.
We only come here when we crave for the bread! one of the best sourdough bread with the yummy whipped butter and garlic butter. the menu is always reliably the same, it's good sometimes to know what to expect. Service is friendly and seating is comfy. Just a good place to go for BREAD!
The only reason I seem to go here, is that every once and a while, I am with a large group downtown. Service is their strength, and the key to their longevity.
The food…. it has not changed in years, and unfortunately, it has never really been “comfort food” for anyone over 12… well maybe for a few still weaning themselves off of Chef Boyardee. Mind you, Chef Boyardee provides more flavor - and Boiardi was a real person! I strongly suspect that the OSF is not a real factory. Who wants to eat at a factory anyway?
Hit and miss with the salad and bread… pasta and sauce is bland, so bland that you foolishly are tempted to pepper and parmesan your meal to at least give it some artistic quality.
Not particularly that great of a deal cost wise for large groups when you consider the quality, but it is simple and those whose palates will not tolerate Japanese, Chinese, or Greek, will find something “safe” on the menu for them to order. Those crunched for time can rely on good, quick, service.
Will I be back? Sadly, yes, and unfortunately I will be eating.
I rarely if ever have anything negative to say about the Old Spaghetti Factory except maybe the waiting times for a table can be long :o) BUT I can understand why there are long line ups!!
the staff is always friendly and quick. if we have special request for seating it's always met with a smile.
the food value is amazing, it's an all inclusive meal!! I often need a take out bag because there is too much food!
the surrounding is comfy and cozy.
the food gets two thumbs up!!
I remember coming here as a kid, dining in the train car, and I just had to try it again.
Ambiance: It's like someone turned on a high pressure hose and blasted "ITALIAN" all over the place. It's not exactly a bad thing, as their manufactured decor of jarred tomatoes and olive oil cans on shelves in random places is actually quite nice.
Service: Our server was quite adept, so nothing to complain about - he obviously had a lot of people on his hands though, as he took away my pasta dish before I wanted him to (I wanted to dunk my bread in the sauce.). I find it odd that they have a section of the restaurant where there is a service station (where they keep cutlery and refill water) right next to everything. No screen or separation, just up against the wall - which we happened to be right next to. It was a little distracting having servers clunk around with ice and glasses just an arms length away. The servers also use this wooden stool to place trays of food on, then distribute them to the tables. I get that it's to help take the load off, but it was right next to the hallway that connects to the other part of the restaurant, and aside from the possibility of a clumsy person tipping it over while walking in, I kept thinking how easy it would be for someone just passing by (like a kid) to do something to the unattended food...
Value: It's a family restaurant, first and foremost, so the prices will be good. Almost everything is a combo, that comes with unlimited bread and butter, soup or salad, your main, ice cream and coffee or tea.
Food: We started with the mussels in a white wine sauce cream sauce. Not great quality mussels, but okay. We also had the deep fried shrimp that came with a dipping sauce. The shrimp were TINY. We could hardly taste it all, it was mostly just breading. They did deep fry it well though. The sourdough bread was fine, and it came with packaged butter and garlic butter. I had the salad, which was a sad affair, as it was mostly some very tired iceberg lettuce. I was afraid I would get a stomach ache from eating it. The Italian dressing seemed packaged to me, though they claim in their ads they make it from scratch. My sister had the minestrone soup - it wasn't to her taste. I had the lasagna, which was alright. Pretty boring, and not a whole lot of flavor, but fine nonetheless. My sister's stuffed rigatoni was reported to be gross though. The ice cream at the end was good. It was part chocolate, and part - blue. I think it was vanilla colored blue, though it might have been bubblegum or even pistachio. The blue part had a flavor I just couldn't put my finger on.
The summary of it is that, for a kid, getting ice cream and plain spaghetti with tomato sauce is pretty awesome for a meal. Though most of the menu is a good price, it's boring and uninspired food. Worth a visit maybe for the decor, history, or to eat in that train car, but you don't need to come back. I know I won't.