Hidden Gem: The Old Spaghetti Factory

Remember when Robyn listed Hooters as one of her favourite downtown patios?  Well I’m about to blow your mind again.  You know the Old Spaghetti Factory?  That enormous, kitchy chain restaurant you went with your parents when you were 10 and attending a big event downtown?  Well it just so happens that that very place is one of our FAVOURITE restaurants in the city.

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Where else in downtown Toronto can you get immediately seated on a Friday evening for a three course meal accompanied by free flowing wine in a funky, unpretentious environment for under $30???  Nowhere, that’s where.

We first rediscovered the now lovingly named “OSF” a few years ago when trying to find an inexpensive, casual restaurant to meet a big group of friends in a central location close to the financial district but far away from the Bay street crowd.  Half jokingly, I suggested OSF, and it has since become the go to meeting place for friend reunions, girls nights, and in 2013, our pre New Years Eve party dinner (seriously – check out the mirror room and tell me there’s a better location in the city!).

Upon being seated, we routinely order a litre of their cheapest red (which usually rings in around $20) and inform our server that he can keep the bread and garlic butter coming.  My go to order is the spaghetti with spicy meat sauce with a side of mizithra cheese – for $12.75 this generous serving of spaghetti comes with unlimited bread, a side soup or salad and spumoni ice cream for dessert.

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You won’t find anything particularly creative on the menu here, but that’s the point – OSF is for plain, but well made comfort food, eaten in the company of good friends.  As an added bonus, OSF’s pasta is vegan friendly and is available in both gluten free and whole wheat options, which means the whole gang can join in the fun (and we can add it to our list of All-Itarian friendly restaurants!).

Sometimes we all just need to be six again.  But with wine.

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