Burnaby’s best Italian restaurant also has the biggest portions

How long would you wait in line for food?

If you ask my partner, it would take about five minutes – and even then she would be pacing. (Don’t mess with her if we make a reservation and the table isn’t ready.)

Others are more patient, mainly because what they expect is so worth it.

The longest queues (many nights, especially on weekends) for a restaurant in Burnaby are at Anton’s Pasta on Hastings in the Heights.

It’s no wonder, then, that Anton’s was named Best Italian Restaurant on Burnaby NOW’s A List. The prices are voted on by our newspaper readers.

How many times have I driven and seen 30 people all lined up in the rain to get food. I’m old enough to remember the location of the old Anton near Gilmore which was about a third the size. The place was so small that people lined up around the block to enter. So Anton found a much bigger place, but the place still has long queues at night.

So why are people willing to wait?

Well, the pasta is fresh, the sauces are delicious, and the portions are HUGE. Like, really huge – most people can’t finish a meal there so they get a take out container to feed them the next day. And maybe the next day after that.

This is the secret of success.

This is part of what I wrote previously about its lasting charm: “A reason? The huge menu. There are a lot of choices of different pasta dishes on Anton’s menu. Another reason? Huge portions. It’s a business card. People proudly walk out of Anton’s with a container of food that will feed the family for dinner the next night, or you for a few extra lunches. Life is expensive in Burnaby, so it’s good to have two meals for the price of one. And eating homemade pasta is heartwarming.

Life is still expensive and even more people are unemployed due to the pandemic.

So if you’re struggling but still want to treat yourself, check out Anton’s and feed yourself for a few days. Sometimes food is synonymous with happiness.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @ shinebox44.

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