Pagliacci's has been serving up fresh and funky Italian fare for over 20 years. Enjoy their tasty sandwiches, salads or pastas for lunch or dinner. Go from Sunday to Wednesday and enjoy live music with your meal.
I was here a while ago while on business from Vancouver and stopped in on a friend’s advice. The pasta was good and the ambiance was soothing after a day of work/play. It is located a stones throw from the very busy inner harbour on a quite and characteristic street. A nice change from the regular tourist traps around d/t Victoria
Pag's used to be one of the best places in town, and still can be, but I've had 3 experiences in a row (think I'd give up, wouldn't ya?) where the server was snappy with us. The time a friend visited from out-of-town, she wanted to eat there. I tried everything to get out of it, but it turned out that the service was better. They really do need to pay attention to how their staff treat their customers. They should keep their personal opinions to themselves and try to skip the indignancy that can go with serving others.
I am definitely the kind of person that likes a place more for the food that the setting it is in, but Pagliacci's is an exception. Whilst being a tourist in Victoria, I took out my girlfriend here for a fine dining. I had read about this place before but never really cared to go. Another reason why I probably didn't head here is because the place is kind of difficult to spot. Maybe it is done purposely, as the lineups can be huge.
The decor, lighting & music (live music in case you are wondering) all contributed to making it a fine meal. Sure, it was a little crampted inside, as well as difficult to hold a proper conversation over the amount of noise provided by the music and closeness of overs, but by the time we got a table we were so famished that all we wanted was to get our hands on some food.
The food was as good as it gets. For starters, we had some crab cakes which came with some focaccia bread. Delicious. I didn't try the salads but my girlfriends' half prince of tides salad (I believe that was the name) was good. The items on the menu all had funny names, I opted for the "I'll have what she's having" blindly and ended up liking it. You get all sorts of seafoods such as crab legs, mussels, scallop and clams. Prices are not cheap but justified.
Verdict: Will come again.
I went to university in Victoria (1978 to 1984) and Pagliacci's was a regular hang-out for my friends and me. In fact, for a time, I was eating there almost every day! Then I moved to the lower mainland. Now, every time I come to Victoria, I make a point of eating there. It has evolved from the early days, but still unchanged. Still the long lineups to get it (but worth it and part of the experience, actually!), still the good, honest, tasty food and generous portions, still the excellent value for money, still the noisy, crowded ambiance, which lends itself to leaning over and getting to know your neighbours. The owner is still there, making sure everyone is having a good time. The washroom (tiny!) is its virtually unchanged funky, shabby self. An institution.
Pag's is like the Blethering Place in Oak Bay, for some unfathomable reason people flock here and give it good reviews. The food is plentiful but all around poor, bland and stodgy. It really doesn't resemble Italian food even remotely. I think many of Pag's patrons suffer from the typical north american view that big portions equals good food. I've been here many times over the years and the only thing I can recommend is the ambiance. Now that Victoria has a few more choices I don't have to go back.
Even with 40 minute waits outside this place is a lot of fun. It should score higher but what makes this place special isnt any one thing but rather all of them together. the live music. the good food... It is tight for seating and the line up for 40 minutes outside doesnt usually add to the experience but overall its my prefered place to eat when in Victoria the food is deliscious and the music is good too... You really dont feel like the cost of the entertainment is built into the food.. the restauraunt would be excellent with just the food but the added live music is what makes it that extra special plaec.
This place has pretty good pasta, and mediocre italian meat dishes in a great vivacious atmosphere. The place is brimming with enthusiasm and people respect that it is an institution with celebrity sightings and live jazz. As a local eatery, is has become eclipsed. Yes, the lasagna is great, but you can get as good or better pasta at Lucianos nearby. Pag's is so busy that they did away with reservations so this entails a lengthy lineup to get in - worth it for tourists and your first time, but tiresome and uneccesary for locals. Try Il Terrazo for truly great Italian cuisine beyond pasta. I do Pag's once a year in the dead of winter - and even then I have to line up in the cold a for few minutes or more.
This little Italian place is one of my favorite restaurants to go to; it serves delicious pasta dishes. There is nothing bland about anything on their menu, everything is full of flavor to wet your appetite. They have a variety of spicy tomato, creamy alfredo and vegetarian pasta options. My favorite pasta dish is the Hemingway Short Story. It is a wonderful combination of rich creamy sauce, crispy bacon bits and soft tortellini. There is also several hot and cold beverage options. I always enjoy a glass of wine with my meal. Then at the end of the meal, there is nothing better than a sweet treat- make sure to look at the dessert options. I would highly recommend you go to this restaurant.
A few years ago, this was my friends' favourite place to dine. Then something happened. The bread isn't served with oil and balsamic vinegar, once they even gave us old cold bread leftover from the other tables. Occasionally pastas don't seem as scrumptious. On the most recent visit, the pasta sauce was too liquidy and tasted thrown together. And I discovered that the cheesecake from the Market on Yates is almost as good as Pag's.
I still have Pag's as my top ten in the city, but just because there is always a line outside the door, doesn't mean food quality can slip. Anway, Pag's is a must for any visitor to Victoria.
Small, crowded, fun restaurant, lots of ambiance. Can only make reservations 'til 5:30 - which we did for a party of 8. Fun menu to read - lots of options - not 'haute cuisine', but no complaints. Good fresh caesar salad, great foccacio, tasty pastas. Service just fine, even with two errors. Would happily recommend for family and friends, perhaps a little noisy for a romantic dinner... Link to website and menu shows out of date prices, but still good value with half portions of pasta and salads available.
I don't understand the hype with this restaurant. I find the pasta very plain and sloppy.
The atmosphere is alright but this place is totally overrated. The service is absolutely terrible.The staffs are all about them selves and do not pay attention to their customers. I am done with this restaurant.
This place may be a favourite for its New York style comfort food, however I found the salad to be bland and uninspiring, and my ravioli with cream sauce thathad so much butter fat in it it began to harden before I even finished my meal. This restaurant needs to scale back the amount of dairy they put in their meals. In my case it drowned out the flavor of the pasta. My dining partner who also ordered a pasta dish agreed about the obscene amount of cream sauce. Service was alright, I wouldn't go back purely because the food didn't have any flavor and certainly could not have been good for my health or my legs.
My wife took me here three or so years ago and as we stood in line (not for long) I spied ex-mayor Campbell with Mayor Lowe and others. The place reminds me of something found in New York City - it is noisy, confusing and just perfect. Different than any other restaurant that I've been to here or in Vancouver.
The service was good and the food was delicious and very reasonably priced.
Pag's is unique and the three times I've eaten there (so far) I have not been disappointed. Try it if you haven't already.
I lived in town for years before I finally made it to Pags for lunch, and now I can't stop visiting. The baked pastas are delish, and the bread is addictive. I've yet to try the soup but it's next on my list. I wouldn't pick it as a dinner place as it's quite small and can seem awfully cramped, but the tortellini is a great afternoon comfort food. I'm a pasta snob and I could eat here weekly without getting tired of the menu.
Have been coming here every time we visit Victoria.... but now will remove this restaurant from our list. Both my husband and I had stomach problems after our meals. the meat balls and veal were over cooked, not flavourful, almost as if they had been sitting around, not made fresh. This time it was not worth the wait in the line up outside in the rain.
Went there with my mother and managed to have a nice time in spite of being at this place. Her spinach salad was banal. Had better in a cafeteria. Her chicken was tasteless and seemed to have been freezer burned. My food was fine but nothing special.
The restaurant should be inspected by a fire Marshall. It has to be breaking laws for being over capacity. My mother and I were hearded to a table by a nice but overworked and stressed out server. We were elbow to elbow with the other table.
One thing can be said. These people are making a lot of money. If you are over thirty or have ever travelled outside of Victoria, beware! This is not top notch Italian. It's mall food.
We first ate lunch here about five years ago based on a friend's recommendation. It's slightly away from the tourist crowd, and always seems to be filled with locals. We've had lots of overpriced, poor quality lunches in the area, and I guess the gushing reviews are based on this situation in Victoria. We've eaten there perhaps five or six times for lunch and twice for dinner. The menu is varied, creative and you'll find something on it you'll like. The food is well prepared and tasty, with decent portions. Pricing is good. Service has always been good for such a packed restaurant. At lunch, it's packed elbow to elbow and loud. As far as I'm concerned, this is an example of a baseline quality and value restaurant. You get good food for a good price. Every restaurant should do this at a minimum. We don't bother looking for other lunch places when we're in Victoria any more (2x per year), but it's not four or five stars.
I came to Victoria to visit a friend for the weekend and can say that I would come back just for Pagliacci's even if I didn't know anybody in the area. I ordered a pasta that had a coconut milk sauce, I believe Thai-inspired, and it was amazing. I was happy to see that they had half orders for every dish, which is just the right amount for me and left me full and satisfied, but not bursting. I got a taste my friends' dishes, too, which I remember being quite tasty as well. The service was great, and when we came in we didn't have to wait for a table at all. The server was very friendly and conversational, and so was the host. We had a nice evening enjoying our food, drinks, and each other's company. I recommend it fully!
Pag's is one of my favourites in Victoria. I've been there numerous times and bring all my visiting guests there. Awesome bread, great menu, wonderful food and deserts, and it's priced extremely well. I find leftovers aren't great the next day b/c they use a lot of oil so I tend to leave the restaurant stuffed.
The service is unique. It's not your average restaurant, they won't wait on you hand and foot or pester you (which is refreshing). All of the wait staff I've ever had has been great. You just need to get their attention and they're happy to help. And yes, the line up is horrible at dinner time but that tells you something about the dining experience. The wait staff generally bring around coffee/wine while you wait. (my tip is to go after the rush so you don't feel pressured to leave after eating)
Its sure to entertain. Not great for romantic dinners since it tends to be noisy but that's part of the experience. I especially love when they have the live jazz band playing.
Such a fun restaurant with endless pasta's that would please any palatte. Servers are busy as it is a busy restaurant, but always friendly, prompt, and pleasant. Best part is that dine-in Victoria now delivers Pagliacci's which makes my life (with kids) much easier! This is a classic Victoria spot and I can't say I've ever left not smiling.