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The Lunch Lady, Vancouver, BC

The Lunch Lady

4.5
4.5
219 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.

Make a reservation

2 people

May 2022
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7:00 p.m.


Booked 11 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Vietnamese, Comfort Food, Tapas / Small Plates

  • Hours of Operation

    Lunch Tue–Sun 11:00 am–3:00 pm Dinner Tue–Thu, Sun 5:00 pm–9:30 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (604) 559-5938

  • Payment Options

    Cash not accepted, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress Code

    Smart Casual

  • Catering

    Email - Management@thelunchlady.com

  • Private party facilities

    Email - Management@thelunchlady.com

  • Neighbourhood

    Commercial Drive

  • Cross Street

    Commercial Drive & Napier St.

  • Parking Details

    None

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Vegan, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

Menu

View menu on restaurant's website

What 219 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.5
4.5 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.6Service
  • 4.3Ambience
  • 4.1Value

NoiseModerate

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Filters

  1. M

    Mindy

    Vancouver

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall3food3service5ambience4

    Bone Marrow was to sweet in taste, a bit overwhelming Food was a bit overpriced 6 pcs of shrimp for $18 Fried garlic noodles for $20 Drink size is on the small end when compared to the prices

  2. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Our server was respectful and nice. I forgot his name but he is tall and caucasian guy. As he was talking, we met/reach our eye level as we are short, i found that respectful of him! Also he was very helpful throughout our short experience 🫠. I hope we couldve had more time but time limit really sucks lol.

  3. LB

    LaraBewsy

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    I enjoyed a delicious meal with a friend here the other night and had some of the best service that I've had in a long time. Our server was very kind, helpful, honest and guided us through our dish choices perfectly. They also have unique but very tasty twists on some classic cocktails which was a nice way to end our meal. Lastly, their beef carpaccio is pretty much THE best :). I highly recommend this place. (keep in mind you will most likely need to make a reso as this place is so popular!)

  4. LC

    LukeC

    Vancouver

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 6, 2022

    overall3food2service3ambience4

    Been to lunch lady a couple times. I used to really look forward eating here but last night the food was awful. The pork skewers were dry and wagyu pho didn't come till we remind the server. The noodles were soggy after absorbing the soup. Quite disappointed.

  5. J

    Janlin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Great tasting food, nice ambiance and great service. Nothing more needed

  6. JW

    JayW

    Vancouver

    10 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on April 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    We had great dinner at Lunch Lady. The food was delicious and we especially liked the chili prawn appetizer and the seafood lemongrass hotpot. Cocktails were delicious too ! High energy ambiance and the noise level can get on the loud side. Overall a very enjoyable night out.

  7. JS

    JessS

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Had a wonderful dinner. Highly recommend the carpaccio, the fried tofu and the pho. The pho broth was so flavorful with just a hint of sweetness.

  8. DB

    DonaldBlake

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 21, 2022

    overall3food5service2ambience3

    Flavourful food with a large array of options. Recommend sharing plates with a few friends.

  9. a

    asianfoodonly

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    We were seated near the front door so we kept getting a cold draft. Other than thay, everything was great.

  10. RB

    RehmatB

    Vancouver

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on April 21, 2022

    overall3food4service2ambience2

    Great experience tasty food

  11. ML

    MarcusL

    Vancouver

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on April 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    The food was amazing and the service was outstanding. The restaurant staff went above and beyond when they realized that it was our Anniversary. They surprised us with an amazing dessert. Will definitely go there again.

  12. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Delicious!! We’ll be back!

  13. M

    Mochan

    Vancouver

    14 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on April 17, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4

    Bone marrow and turmeric cod with an amazing shrimp paste based sauce was so tasty! Full of umami. Also edgy and welcomed spins on classics such as lime soda with a hint of mint. Jasmine rice lager. Also loved the “street vibe” with old school late 90s early 2000s rap playing in the background. Loved it.

  14. D

    Donnah

    Vancouver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Wonderful food and service. Best beef broth in the city.

  15. MM

    MeiteM

    Vancouver

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    The food is amazing. I’ll have to go back to try the rest of the menu!

  16. SM

    SandraM

    Vancouver

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on April 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    Excellent food and service. Our favorite restaurant on the Drive.

  17. K

    Kayeon

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Best meal I’ve had in a long time. Flavours are outstanding and I will always crave the garlic noodles. Could honestly eat the beef luc lac every day if I could.

  18. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Vancouver

    10 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on March 28, 2022

    overall3food3service2ambience2

    Do not understand the hype. Very average. Pretty sure this was NOT what got Bourdain hooked.

  19. c

    chloeh

    Toronto

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    good food, priced very fairly and i’ve had amazing service both times i’ve been here!

  20. WD

    WongD

    Edinburgh

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on March 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Incredible food. Really friendly servers. Nice atmosphere. Can't wait to come back here.

  21. LK

    LucyK

    Vancouver

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 6, 2022

    overall3food3service5ambience3

    Seating is short (1.5 hrs). Food is good, but overpriced and portions are small.

  22. JA

    JapaneseAligator

    Vancouver

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on March 5, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience4

    Not going back

  23. ZV

    ZachV

    Vancouver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Amazing food, and amazing service. Pho broth was next level!

  24. JM

    JennM

    Vancouver

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 2, 2022

    overall3food2service4ambience4

    Quality has decreased. SO SALTY. Not great for the cost.

  25. HD

    HowardD

    Vancouver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Some of my go to's: Tofu to share with the table, the vietnamese iced coffee. Spring rolls are solid. The instant noodle dish is stunning too. Definitely need a reservation - walk-ins generally takes at least an hour wait.

  26. DC

    DylanC

    Vancouver

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 1, 2022

    overall3food3service1ambience3

    The restaurant was closed. They didn’t cancel my reservation so I showed up and… yeah. Not great.

  27. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Vancouver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Fabulous food staff service

  28. AR

    AmberR

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3

    Food is always amazing. Restaurant can be chilly. Reservations are a must. Service and advice? Impeccable. Please open one in Victoria. There are very few ethnic restaurants there!

  29. LD

    LarissaD

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Really good Vietnamese, the fried shrimp is a must-try!

  30. BJ

    BurnabyJones

    Vancouver

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 14, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5

    Nice comfortable space. Food is moderately elevated Vietnamese fare, with interesting options such as Wagyu beef pho with roasted bone marrow. Garlic noodles were a tad too salty, and the churro dessert was dry and hard due to over frying. Would maybe come back to try other menu items to give it another shot.

  31. NK

    NicK

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 13, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4

    good food. good drinks. good service. 1.5h dining time felt like a rush. Wish there was more Chicken options, there was only one at the time.

  32. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Edmonton

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 2, 2022

    overall3food4service4ambience3

    - Customer service was good - Food was not bad, but not really authentic - Dinner menu is limited

  33. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Vancouver

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on January 31, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience5

    Been here for lunch and dinner now. We enjoyed the lunch more than the dinner. The wagyu pho soup broth wasn’t hot enough to cook the beef which comes on the side.

  34. NW

    NolanW

    Vancouver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    Pork skewers and Steak Luc Lau were our favourites. Spring rolls and garlic noodles were great too. Unbelievable dinner!

  35. LW

    LanceW

    Vancouver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Good was absolutely amazing. I think this was one of my best restaurant experiences in Vancouver.

  36. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Vancouver

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on January 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Simply delicious! Great service.

  37. m

    misterhudson

    Vancouver

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    All the dishes were so good! I love the seafood hotpot, pork skewers, and the mochi dessert.

  38. V

    Veeeeeector

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    I loved my experience at Lunch Lady last night. I felt very welcome by the staff and look forward to coming back to try more items off the menu. I just wish there were more tables available for the possibility of having larger groups come in the future. Let's hope for this once restrictions are eased.

  39. A

    Alan

    Vancouver

    2 reviews

    1.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 24, 2021

    overall1food1service1ambience1

    Our dinner at 8pm on December 23, 2021 had been canceled by the restaurant one day before. I did receive a phone call from a lady, she said she will rearrange our booking asap. and she also mentioned that her manager will send us a coupon for the compensation. But, so far .. none of them has been delivered. Very disappointed.

  40. h

    hungrym

    Vancouver

    13 reviews

    3.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on December 20, 2021

    overall3food4service2ambience2

    Interesting experience at LL. Got there 9 min early for a reservation and was turned away. Told that they would text me when the table was ready. I had parked far away, and it was cold outside and nearby stores were already closed. There was no one else sitting in it even close to the waiting area. Ok I was a bit annoyed about having to leave but I understand if they were taking extra precautions because of Covid. HOWEVER, partway though our dinner, I guess the cooks prepared some bowls of food for staff members and put them on the pass through window. A bunch of staff members crowded around there, using their hands taking food from the bowls, and put into their mouths. THEN put back on their masks, didn’t wash hands and continued to work! Um- I definitely didn’t feel comfortable seeing them crowd around sharing food with their hands - let alone at the pass through window breathing on customers’ food that’s probably sitting there waiting to be expedited. That being said, the meal I had was overall rich but flavourful. But the churros were rock hard and the coffee ice cream that came with was too gritty from all the ground coffee bits…with more ground coffee sprinkled on top! In any case I’m not sure if we will visit again given the inconsistency of their Covid protocol.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitising

    • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • 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
    • Proof of vaccination required to dine indoors
    • Staff temperature check required
    • Contact tracing information collected

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 also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (604) 559-5938.

The Lunch Lady is rated 4.5 stars by 219 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

May 2022
Sun
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
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11
7:00 p.m.


Booked 11 times today
Google Map for The Lunch Lady

1046 Commercial Dr Vancouver, BC V5L 3W9

Additional information

  • Cross Street

    Commercial Drive & Napier St.

  • Neighbourhood

    Commercial Drive

  • Hours of Operation

    Lunch Tue–Sun 11:00 am–3:00 pm Dinner Tue–Thu, Sun 5:00 pm–9:30 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Vietnamese, Comfort Food, Tapas / Small Plates

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress Code

    Smart Casual

  • Parking Details

    None

  • Payment Options

    Cash not accepted, MasterCard, Visa

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Vegan, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (604) 559-5938

  • Catering

    Email - Management@thelunchlady.com

  • Private party facilities

    Email - Management@thelunchlady.com

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