Review of 'The Old Spaghetti Factory'

Located in the Johnson Terminal at the forks, “The Old Spaghetti Factory” used to be in the Exchange district where I remember they had a old city street car you could dine in. Times change with their moving to a much larger location at the forks that still serves up basic Italian food in quite large portions. This is a bit of a chain across Canada with restaurants in Manitoba (Winnipeg), Alberta, Saskatchewan (Saskatoon), Ontario (Toronto) and British Columbia though it also appears to exist throughout the United States as well.

Interior - Dining

Despite the austereness of the Johnson Terminal the interior of the restaurant is nostalgic with copious amounts of stained glass, antiques and general, dark, clutter adding to the coziness of the place. Often busy, we had reserved and were shown to the glass walled/ceiling “conservatory” area on the far side of the restaurant looking out through the bushes to the Assiniboine River below.

Interior - Piano

The simple paper menu is divided into “Appetizers, “Entrée Salads”, “Spaghetti Classics”, “Lunch Specials”, “Signature Pastas”, “From our Grill” then “Sides” and “Beverages” (no alcohol here, this is a family restaurant). The prices are reasonable particularly when you read that ”…all our entrees include Italian Sourdough Bread with Whipped Garlic Butter, Minestrone Soup or Crips Green Salad, Spumoni Ice Cream and Hot Tea or our own blend of Coffee.“ The portion sizes are quite generous as well. Having not eaten here for years I opted for the “Lasagna - Mama Pulosi's Secret Homemade Recipe” ($18.25; “Pasta layers filled with rich meat sauce, ricotta and parmesan cheese and then baked with mozzarella”).


The bread was placed on the table shortly after ordering and was a simple fluffy white baguette-shaped loaf accompanied by light whipped butter. Perfectly alright.


I opted for the green salad option with my meal. Perfectly alright and, surprisingly, had a bit of flavour as well with the Italian dressing I opted for.


The lasagne was huge and very, very rich. The sauce spicy but not overpowering though the taste of the cheese was easily drowned out. The pasta, as you might expect, was overcooked so soft and disappeared on eating. Pretty good.

Interior - Stained Glass

This is not a place for those seeking authentic Italian food but for those who want a cozy, simple, filling meal of Italian-inspired classics, look no further. At the price, you can't really go wrong either. The service is adequate if not overly friendly and the ambiance can be quite noisy with huge numbers of dinners regularly in attendance.

Fancy, this is not, comfortable, this is.

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2022-10-27

Cuisine: Italian

Address: The Forks 110 25 Forks Market Road Winnipeg, R3C 4S8 CANADA

Location: Winnipeg (Canada) - The Forks



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Telephone: +1 (204) 957-1391