Simpatico is a traditional Greek taverna in the heart of Kitsilano. This large restaurant has two dining floors, greenery and pictures of Greeks in traditional costumes. The blue-on-blue checkered tablecloths add a touch more of the Mediterranean.
Great location with equally traditional, rustic looking decor. It's fantastic when it's sunny out and they leave the windows open to the street.
Although a large restaurant for it's kind there only seems to be at most a couple of waitresses working the floor. Hate to see how service is when it's busy. I've had a more mature lady serve us both times I've gone. She is professional and friendly and fairly speedy.
I've had their highly touted pizzas made with whole wheat flour. It comes perched on a rack but the pizza did not live up to the hype. Not that it was bad but I've had similar almost everywhere else and there was no reason it would stand out.
The Moussaka is decent a little overdone. Roast Lamb is fork tender but more stringy than what I've had. Their Stuffed Cannelloni is also decent but the tomato sauce was somewhat runny. The Homous is good but bland, and the drizzle of oil on top seemed nothing more than either low grade olive oil. It also comes with slices of bread on the side but you mind as well order the Pita Bread as what was accompanied was stale.
I've come here a couple of times (the second time on the basis that I had hope it would be at least decent like the first) but after the last experience I won't be coming back. Apparently a fixture since 1969 it seems nowadays only the nostalgia remains. Look elsewhere.
so the lunch here is like 10 bucks and you get a generous portion - for those of us who like leftovers this, like many greek places, has a lot to offer
Their rice is terrible
Their potatoes are amazing as I mentioned in my previous review
The salad is horrenduos- they keep it cheap by using tons of cucumber and the cheapest shdreeded "feta" ever, and way too much of it. SO salty and not good.
The meat is usually well cooked and marinated
Yeah, go for lunch if you are on fourth and want to leave full.
I won't be paying more than 10$ for the food here again.
I figure that I've been going to this restaurant for almost 20 years most times it is excellent. I am afraid to say that today's lunch was a disappointment. I ordered the roast lamb my dineing partner the calamari. Our meals arrived in a resonable amount of time, about twenty minutes which I figure is not that long a wait.
My lamb was a little on the fatty side but it was at least warm. The potatos and rice with taziki dip were cold. Had I not been so hungry and in a bad mood I would of sent it back were they could of at least nuked the thing. I was actually surprised because every time I have been here in the past I have walked away a happy camper. The service was decent, the waitress effecient and pleasant. I guess everyone has a bad day, maybe this was the cooks bad day. I will be back in the future however if I experience a meal like that again it may be my last. Roast lamb dinner, calamari and a couple of beers $41.00
I have been here twice in as many weeks, and I must say both visit were great! Service is friendly, food is excellent and the old world greek feel makes for a very cozy dining room. The pizza is oustanding, homemade whole wheat crust loaded with fresh toppings. As a Kits local, this will become a new staple restaurant for me.
I was in the mood for Greek one night and decided to get takeout from Simpatico. Ordered a spanikapita dinner and pita and tzatziki. It came to about $17. Everything was sub par. First of all, it came with one piece of spanikapita, while most Greek restaurants for that price or less give you two. If it tasted really good I wouldn't care, but it was just ok. The worst part was the tzatiki - it was bland and not at all what I expected, plus there was about a tablespoon for the whole meal. The potatoes were wet and salty. The Greek salad was good, but how hard is it to make Greek salad. Next time I'll just go to Stepho's or Maria's for takeout.
Had lunch here yesterday.....had eggplant dip and saganaki. Both were fine. For main course I had the lamb souvlaki. It was served with Greek salad (fine) on top of thick piece of pita and tsatsiki. The entire dish was then covered with french fries. I hadn't noticed that mentioned on the menu otherwise I would have had them leave it off. Lamb was very dry and chewy. By the time I got down to the pita it was very soggy. I would have liked the pita on the side and maybe a few fried potatoes instead of the French Fries. Service was okay. Could have a better choice of wine by the glass.
Personally I judge a greek Restaurant by its Moussaka, and this place definitely has the best Moussaka in town, my husband and I have been coming here for years for the greek food , Moussaka , lamb dishes etc which have always been excellent and very generous and the service outstanding.
Recently I decided to host an office party at this restaurant for 16 people , 20 showed up and the restaurant accomadated us all without any problems , we had our "own space" , the food as usual excellent, the sevice outstandingand the value for money exceptional. This is an old favourite that has never failed and an excellent venue if you want to host an office party for a very reasonable price
This was quite possibly one of the worst meals I've eaten in Vancouver in a very long time. In a city known for its foodies and excellent restaurants, I am very surprised that Simpatico is still around and people actually still go there for "Greek" food. The only thing this restaurant has going for it is the West 4th Avenue Kitsilano location.
We went there for my cousin's dinner in a group of 11 - so we had a chance to try a variety of menu items. We ordered the kalamari to start and it was bland, tasteless and lukewarm. The tzazitzi tasted really off as well. After waiting almost an hour for our dinner to arrive, we were all starving. Unfortunately being that hungry still couldn't save this meal. The chicken and beef souvlaki were both completely bland, overcooked and totally tasteless, the potatoes were rubbery, even the greek salad was totally bland and I've tasted much better in the deli section of Safeway. The garlic bread was cold and gross. I am not sure how anyone could screw up greek salad and garlic bread but they managed to do it.
Two of us ordered steak and it was absolutely dry and bland. The rice needed a lot of salt just to taste ok. The moussaka had a weird musky aftertaste and it was the first time I didn't enjoy this dish. I've had better moussaka from the frozen food section at the grocery store. There was not a single redeeming quality about the entire meal. Oh and there was only 1 tiny olive in each of our greek salads. Stingy.
Then when we got our bill we found that we were overcharged - they had added three entrees onto it. Also the bartender and what looked like one of the managers just stood around looking miserable and unsmiling throughout the entire night.
We would never go back here again after this meal and would not recommend it. The service was sub-par and the food was terrible. There are much better restaurants in Kitsilano. I even think Opa, the greek food court kiosk in the mall, has better food which says a lot about the food at Simpatico.
Ordered the most expensive entree item on the menu. Rack of Lamb and it comes with Greek Salad.
My Greek salad came with no oil dressing. I asked the waiter if I could please get some olive oil to put on my salad. I was told that they do not use olive oil. I said that I was willing to pay extra for it as I just was hungry and wanted to start eating my salad. Then I asked to speak to the owner. This man was very young looking and he responded that he was the owner. He proceeded to tell me that the price of olive oil is very high and they don't use it! Unbelieveably, well, now that I think about it the food had no taste ! We also had two appy's as well. They all lacked that basic flavour. Well, if you cook Greek food be prepared to use olive oil. IT"S A basic ingredient. I later found out he is the owners son. Anyways, I did not eat my salad as it was not dressed and I took it home to put olive oil on it. It's sad and very disappointing to assume one a Greek Restaurant will use olive oil in their cooking!
Well, if you really like Greek food and know the difference when olive oil is used or not. Stay away from this one. What is the world coming to? No olive oil in a Greek Restaurant.......
I think the food is great at Simpatico... wonderful humous and the lamb is moist and tender with not the usual amount of fat at other greek restaurants. We used to frequent Maria's but it has new owners now and the food isn't as good. Tried Simpatico and were pleasantly surprised. Only complaint was they don't take reservations for less than 5 people.
We were in the mood for Greek food so we only tried the Greek items on the menu. Their other fare includes about a half-dozen Italian dishes and a large variety of pizzas. The Greek dishes were adequate but nothing special. The lamb souvlaki was nicely seasoned, but the quality of the meat was just so-so. The accompanying greek salad consisted mostly of diced cucumbers accompanied by a few tiny pink tomato wedges, no peppers and a thin sprinkling of feta. The decor was very nice but the background music consisted of a certain Greek folk dance number played over and over again ad nauseum. The service was friendly, prompt and courteous but not incentive enough for us to return.
I have been going here for years and years. I always enjoy my meal, and the service is always friendly. I often have the lamb souvlaki but enjoy the pizza too. Their pink sunshine has been on the menu since the 70's.
The scoring choices go from medicore to solid to outstanding, but unless you visit a dump or the food is quite dreadful, or you are really ticked off, most places will come out in the middle. So I have to ignore the meaning of the words and go with number only to try and avoid scoring higher than better places... as, when I look at my history, places seem to coming out too similar for what the overall dining experience is.
I was a bit disappointed to start when the greco-roman menu had limited Greek choice, which is what I was looking for. Limited appetizer choices and, besides slouvaki, fairly limited entree choices of the Greek persuasion. Since I refuse to order slouvaki for dinner I went with the smelts while the others had lamb and chicken slouvaki and pizza. Serving sizes were ample. The calamari appie was fine, although the tzatsiki could have had more garlic but at least it was thick and not a watery, no-fat, yogurt concoction. The large slouvakis have the same amount of meat as small orders but for that dollar more they include rice and potato. The rice had a serving of tzatsiki on it. One person found the lamb more fatty than expected but everyone seemed to enjoy their carbs and salads. Pizza seemed avaerage but a decent amount of toppings. Smelts might not be to everyone's taste but they were lightly battered (more than flour coated but not a heavy batter), quite small and whole and nicely hot served withy the insuffiently garlicked tzatsiki. The greek salads were on part with the majority of greek salads served in Vancouver with no drizzle of olive oil or cider vinegar or even a sprinkle of oregano - typically a disappointment for me, as it takes very little effort to add a speck of flavour to a greek salad. But this place was no worse than most and it was a decent size as a plate serving.
Overall, I wouldn't bother going back as there are places with more selection and more garlic out there. But the service was fine, the speed of the food and heat was fine, the space was decent. Just an average place.
We left Vancouver 12 years ago and now live in Perth, Australia. 12 years later and I still believe that the best roasted lamb and lemon potatoes are in Simpatico!!!!!
Simpatico was opened in 1969 and after 41 years in business they sure do know how to prepare Greek food.
I laughed reading about "terrible rice" - have you ever heard about Greek rice? You wanted rice you got it (!) but don't expect Greeks to be Asians. Salads are fine and fresh and Persian feta is not a Greek thing either. Greeks use light and salty "peasant" style cheese. You want to balance your meat - not overpower.
Anyway, great food and truly relaxed traditional dining!
The atmosphere of this restaurant is pretty sweet. It's got the rustic wood floors and chairs going on, very old country vibe and nice paintings on the wall. Would have been perfect if the lighting was just a little bit brighter, or if the candles on the tables were lit, but they weren't. We told the server we were thirsty but she was pretty bad with filling our water glasses. It was around 9 that we came in, and all the servers were visibly tired and ready to go home. Our server was nice and friendly though.
We ordered the Mona's Smile pizza, medium. It took pretty long to come, even if the restaurant wasn't that busy, and all the other tables had been served. The toppings on the pizza were a good combo, but the crust was soggy/wet near the middle, which is inexcusably lame. They also have a whole wheat crust, that was made clear on the menu, but that's still lame.
The experience wasn't horrible, but there were a couple of things that could make this place and its food better.
I've been going to Simpatico since the early '80s. Nothing has changed...still the best pizza to be had in Vancouver. Some of the other reviews have criticised the place for not being Greek enough. Simpatico advertises itself as Greco-Roman. If you want just Greek, then go elsewhere.
Not in the mood for pizza? The baked meat canneloni is amazing too!
Me and my girlfriend decided to go check this restaurant out because our favorite Greek restaurant was closed. We ordered Greek salad and eggplant dip as appetizer and decided to share the rack of lamb for dinner. The eggplant dip was lack of garlic and it taste like it was made with mayo, it came with whole wheat bread instead of pita bread. Shortly after we finish the appetizer we received our Greek Salad and we noticed that it taste different from other Greek Salad we had in the past. We noticed that it was lack of olive oil so we asked our server to get some for us. To our surprise, he said that they DON'T use olive oil at all. We asked to see the manager or the owner and he told us that he is the owner. He said the reason why he does not use Olive oil because of the cost of the oil. I asked him if he is Greek and does he use Olive Oil for his salad and reply with yes. Also he said they don't use Olive Oil to cook in the restaurant.
WOW......olive oil is one of the main ingredient for Greek food and to my surprise that they don't use it. It makes sense now why the taste of the food was way off. You also figure with that price the service and quality of the food would be better but that is not the case.
In summary, if you want authentic greek food, I would recommend people to go to Stepho's which have excellent food and service.
I have been going to Simpaticos for about 33 yrs.When I was a student at UBC we would go for early morning whole wheat pizza.I went there last sunday and had the roast lamb special $8.95.It was huge and delicious.The service was excellent.I recommend the pizza ,it is still my favourite pizza in town.Muisc and ambience are great.I highly recommend it!
You definitely don't go home hungry from Simpatico's!
I tasted my friend's calamari and it was crisp and light (the way I like it!). I had the souvlaki meal, which was very filling. The potatoes are so good. Also, the greek salad had a reasonable amount of dressing- no swimming cucumbers at this place.
It was a delicious, hearty meal for a reasonable price- no complaints!
Even though the food was great, the portions were quite big - the service is terrible. My boyfriend asked our waitress for a certain liquor, and she said they didn't have it. When we saw it in the menu, he asks her again and she replies she can't understand him (he has a slight french accent). When she brought the drink, it was served wrong - lots of it on ice - which wasn't a bother but the drink definitely had something wrong with it. It was embarassing enough to point out that there was something wrong (politely) - but she got so offended that she dropped what she was doing and pulled out the bartender with the bottle, trying to make us feel like idiots. It's a very french liquor that my boyfriend is very fond of, but he didn't feel like arguing. The rest of the night we received terrible service - I felt so embarassed and uncomfortable that I didn't want to stay long after the dinner - but our bill took forever.
With service like that - never again will I go back.