The Lunch Lady

4.6
135 reviews
CAN$30 and under
Vietnamese
Since 1995, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thanh, most famously known as the legendary lunch lady, has served rotating daily noodle soups to Saigon locals and world travellers. 

“It’s like discovering new neighbourhoods every few mouthfuls.”
- Anthony Bourdain on Mrs. Thanh’s soups, No Reservations

It has always been a dream of hers to share her food with the world. The moment she met Victoria it was an instant connection—two “lunch ladies” with the same passion. Now, Victoria’s Five Elements restaurant turns a new leaf, becoming the home of Lunch Lady in Vancouver. The humble and inspiring story of Lunch Lady takes its next steps in a city that champions culinary diversity in hopes of introducing the true flavours of Vietnam.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitising
  • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
  • Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
Physical distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Staff temperature check required
  • Diner temperature check required
  • Contact tracing information collected
What 135 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
Food
4.5
Service
4.4
Ambience
4.3
Value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Vancouver
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Excellent food and service!

C
Carrie
Vancouver
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Always delicious and a great place to meet up with friends.
The garlic noodles are my weakness. So good!

C
veronicaC
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall4Food4Service3Ambience4

Fantastic food and drinks. Good ambience. Fun place to eat with friends.

RM
RejeanM
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience4

Lunch Lady is a great addition on the up and buzzing end of Commercial Drive, right between Venables street and the Britannia Park. The restaurant is set in one of the oldest building of the street, the atmosphere is a mixture of modern-cozy and fits perfectly in the eclectic Commercial Drive signature . The patio outside is set on the less busy side street with a picturesque wall painting as a background, truly gives value to the modo "Authentic Vietnamese street food". The food itself is a fusion of traditional vietnamese flavors presented with a West Coast flair. We tried the grilled-seared Cod (served on bed of fennels herbs, with rice noodle and crispers, shrimp paste sauce and chopped peanuts) , the deep Fried prawns served butterfly with their whole shells and mild spicy dip (real good), and the mixed green stirred chinese brocoli with tofu skins (good too). Overall, dishes are original and good, though everything was a bit salty to our taste (we returned the garlic chow mein noodles for that reason).

Atmosphere is really great, and the service was excellent, attentive and readily available.
Enjoy with friends, family or a date (at the bar recommended for that).

M
Michelle
Edmonton
8 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience4

The service was amazing! We had an amazing waiter and other members of staff were really attentive as well. You know the staff are providing attentive service when your water is always topped up! The service alone was stellar for me!
The food was really on point and delicious.
We are used to and more accustomed to a specific pho broth that we absolutely love in Alberta, so we were not accustomed to the pho. But the portion was huge!
My Pho Bo Sate (sate pho w/oxtail) was very rich and flavourful. We really enjoyed that.
All our other dishes were wonderful and definitely worth trying:
Cha Goi Chay (veg spring roll w/rice wrapper) - love the crunch of the rice paper wrapper. Delish!
Pho Chay (vegan pho w/sous vide egg - serious depth of flavour sans meat!
Tom Chien Gion (tiger prawns) - the shell was still attached, but deep fried and these were seriously tasty!
Bo Tai Chanh (beef carpaccio) - a dish with all the flavours of salty, sweet, and savoury with all the textures from the soft, tender beef to the crispy crunch of the fried shallots and fresh crisp onion.
Nghau Xao Dua (clams in coconut cream) - large, juicy clams in a beautifully balanced coconut cream sauce accompanied with a banh mi (Vietnamese style bread, similar to a baguette)
Steam Luc Lac (ribeye) - how can you ever go wrong with a ribeye? Seared perfectly and then torched, this dish was simply perfect! It was served with a side of watercress salad drizzled with a savoury & acidic vinaigrette that I personally love!

Highly recommend!

k
vipkk821
Vancouver
121 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall2Food2Service1Ambience2

Honestly this place is so overrated. Where to begin….the food was mediocre. I’ve tried many delicious Vietnamese places and this was by far one of the most overrated spots. I’m sure the original one in Vietnam is delicious but this one was just…nothing special. The worst part of all was the service. The waitress kept coming up to us to rush us, even saying to us “just so you know, we have another reservation coming in at 8 so…” implying that we’ll need to get out in 30-mins. To say the least, we rushed eating while she kept coming in to check on our progress. I couldn’t enjoy the meal and left feeling very rushed. I have no plans on returning.

f
vipfoodnuts
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Everything meets my expectations, will definitely be back !

OT
OpenTable Diner
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience4

love the food and a good atmosphere. server had great recommendations

OT
OpenTable Diner
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Fantastic and mouth watering experience! The beef carpaccio and steak luc lac were phenomenal!

J
Jayne
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Excellent food and atmosphere! Will be coming back to try the things we didn’t get to.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Fantastic experience. Service was friendly, attentive, and informative. Cocktail program is phenomenal. Food is outstanding. Will definitely be coming back.

S
Steph27
Toronto
4 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2021
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience4

Visiting Vancouver! The carpaccio is a must. Wish their dinner menu items were available for lunch. Iced coffee was great! Service was great

JT
JuneT
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Lunch Lady is so freaking good. I went back for the third time in one week, because it's just that good :) the food reminds me of the noodles I used to eat in front of my childhood home in Vietnam. It's really amazing, and decently priced!

j
juanie
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

One of my favourite places in town. The food is always mind blowing, and the service and ambience is next level. Definitely recommend.

JF
vipJudyF
Milwaukee
20 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great spot to have excellent food and service. We had a lovely dinner on the patio and the live music was an added bonus. Staff and service were excellent and I would highly recommend!

F
Fromwhere
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

An incredible, memorable meal! We had the Pho Marrow and Luc Lac ribeye. Definitely worth the trek out from where we live!

KK
vipKimK
Vancouver
19 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2021
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

Great service, good vibe, excellent dishes

S
vipSunny
Austin
40 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

Saturday noodle didn't taste good but Ban mi was good. We will try Po next time

M
Marco
Vancouver
6 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2021
Overall4Food3Service4Ambience3

The pho and stair fried Vegetables were great the prawns and steak were so so

S
Sarah
Vancouver
4 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Lunch Lady is a quaint restaurant with tasty food and a hard-working staff. It has great ambience and is a fun place to dine at.

ET
vipErinT
Vancouver
35 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

Casual. Elevated Vietnamese fusion. Not a place to go to for just your typical Pho noodles!

AC
AmuC
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Food was amazing! Service was great! Highly recommend this resto!

S
Sprkrn
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Amazing service, amazing food. 10/10 would recommend

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 27, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Must try in Vancouver! Incredible

CD
CarlaDeleon
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Our server was so nice. She even recommended combinations when eating our luc lac steak with our garlic noodles. Thanks for making my birthday/Mother’s Day dinner special.

JT
JenT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Food was good! Patio seating outside due to covid restrictions luckily it was a nice day! There were heaters next to the tables.

DK
DanK
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2021
Overall4Food3Service5Ambience4

overall very good, the steak was a bit tough all other food was great

BT
vipBillyT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Im just trying to show my support, I dont like writing reviews. 50 characters is pretty wack. But the food is amazing, unique to our culture. We got so many viet spots throughout the city. This one is Definitely one of the gems. To more success.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2021
Overall4Food4Service3Ambience4

Food was good, atmosphere was great. Server had quite a bit of attitude but was attentive.
Not sure if I’d choose lunch lady over some of the cheaper while in the wall Vietnamese restaurants.

SN
SherriN
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Table was ready at exact reservation time. The food was very tasty and the service was outstanding.

BA
BernieA
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Really good vegan phó and deep fried tofu 🥰 Always my go-to place

RF
RobynF
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on March 21, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

This place is just incredible - get the bone marrow!

JH
JayH
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on March 20, 2021
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience5

Atmosphere, staff, and energy were amazing! The food was very delicious but the portion-size wasn’t super filling. Some dishes felt a little overpriced for the portion size you get but other than that I’d highly recommend giving this place a shot!

Will be going back again 😊

AJ
AnthonyJ
Portland
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Really enjoyed the meal. Ordered the pho marrow, pork belly skewers, game hen, and luc lak. Everything was delicious. Great service. Want to go back and try other items.

J
Justis
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Food was incredible. A truly authentic Vietnamese experience. Service was amazing too.

I
Itzzmency
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2021
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience4

Super flavourful! Pho marrow was on point and the garlic noodles was amazing!!! We did 2 orders of the noodles cause it was so good!

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
4 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Unbelievable experience!!

A
Arch
Vancouver
7 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2021
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience4

Everything was great!. The food and service was excellent!.

G
Gigi
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2021
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

Amazing, we already booked our next table. The hot pot is out of this world.

DV
DavidV
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2021
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience4

Carpaccio, veg spring rolls, garlic noodles - all great

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from The Lunch Lady using the Order Online button. The Lunch Lady also offers delivery in partnership with Uber Eats.

The Lunch Lady is rated 4.6 stars by 135 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.