The Lunch Lady

4.5
186 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
  • Contact tracing information collected
  • Proof of vaccination required to dine indoors
What 186 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
Food
4.5
Service
4.3
Ambience
4.1
Value
Noise · Moderate
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NW
NolanW
Vancouver
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

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

LW
LanceW
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

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

OT
OpenTable Diner
Vancouver
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Simply delicious! Great service.

m
misterhudson
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2022
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

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

V
Veeeeeector
1 review
Dined on January 6, 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.

A
Alan
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on December 23, 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.

h
hungrym
Vancouver
13 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2021
Overall3Food4Service3Ambience3

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.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

We were well taken care of. Servers were very attentive and kind. Could not have asked for more.

DS
DougS
Vancouver
14 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Second visit and loved it once again. Prawns are incredible. Very busy and popular spot on the Drive. My new fave.

C
Carrie
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Always a great dining experience at Lunch Lady.

Thank you! :)

L
Leslie
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

This was our second visit - everything we’ve tried was amazing. We started planning our next visit on the walk home!

AM
AndreaM
Edmonton
6 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2021
Overall4Food5Service3Ambience4

service felt rushed. they did tell us they needed the table in 90minutes at the strat of the meal, but the server kept interrupting to move things along. they spoke really fast as if they were in a rush.

CF
CarolF
Vancouver
6 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

2nd time here for dinner. Wowed us again. If you're a fan of tender, perfectly cooked buttery steak, order the steak luc lac. So delicious

OT
OpenTable Diner
Calgary
3 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The food and cocktails were amazing!

y
ycmc
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Amazing food and staff! Would definitely recommend the Wagyu Pho Bo!

RD
RenataD
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

With our reservation having our table was really quickly. The food was amazing, and the service great. The only thing is that the music was kind of higher than I would like in order to have a conversation while I'm eating, but still, great place and food!

s
sanster
Seattle
7 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience3

Thoroughly enjoyed our meal. Our server suggested the fried prawns and veggie spring rolls, and they did not disappoint. We also had the hot pot, and the soup base is really delicious. It came with this house made green sauce and I think they need to bottle it! I want to go back and try other dishes already.

KM
KevinM
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Fantastic meal, everything we ordered was great. We loved the beef carpaccio especially.

A
Aloha
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience3

The garlic noodles with egg were salty and over-fishy. The vegetable stir fry was bland. The steak. pork skewers and churros, as always, were great. Cocktails are overpriced, IMO.

JS
JeremyS
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience4

Great food as always and the staff are friendly. Only complaint was having to wait outside in the cold for 20 minutes past our reservation time. Not a great way to start your experience.

JL
JenniferL
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great server-explained everything to us. Checked in regularly. Manager was super too. our table wasn’t ready so they comped some taro chips which was nice and unexpected. Love all the food. Will definitely be back.

H
Hazel
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall2Food1Service3Ambience1

My reservation was at 5pm but the door did not open until 5:05pm. Food was overwhelming and one of the kitchen staff had his mask down for the entire time I was there. I had to wait over 35 minutes to receive my last dish after the first one. By the time I’ve got my last order, I literally lost my appetite.

JW
JakeW
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience3

Amazing food. Wonderful staff. Felt rushed with courses coming quickly after one another.

FS
FranckS
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2021
Overall4Food3Service4Ambience3

Great place with a decent menu, but the cocktails menus is obviously their forte.
We were seated near the back patio door which pretty much ruined the dinner date as we were both too cold to enjoy anything.

N
vipNghopgood
Vancouver
8 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Food and drinks were unique and delicious and service was impeccable and attentive ! The restaurant itself is more casual than I expected and less of a “vibe” because of the whiter lighting- you definitely go there for the food and its worth it!

B
Barbar
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2021
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

food was pretty good but very small portions lol don’t go if you are super hungry

CF
CarolF
Vancouver
7 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

We ordered the beef carpaccio, crispy shrimp, steak luc lac and garlic noodles for our dinner. Everything was delicious, especially the steak luc lac which was buttery, tender and cooked perfectly. The crispy shrimps had perfectly crunchy shells and juicy flesh. I'm already planning to have dinner here again soon, I enjoyed the food so much!

V
Vero
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2021
Overall3Food2Service4Ambience4

I have been wanting to go to Lunch Lady for a while as it is in my neighborhood and I like Vietnamese food a lot. My feeling was that this place is very hyped. The food was average but pricey for what it was. There are better places in Vancouver in the same genre.

FJ
FoodieJo
Vancouver
10 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2021
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience4

Its a bit overpriced, pho and steak luc lac was good, my suggestion is to serve them at a hotter temperature. Steak and the watercress did not go well together, I’d suggest a different side, maybe eggs or a different salad on the side.

K
Kapok
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Service staff recommended an off menu Cocktail that was phenomenal. Food came quickly and was delicious front to back. I highly recommend the Steak Luc Loc.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Vancouver
33 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The food was sensational and our server surprised us with a dessert for my birthday! Great place for date night!

The prawns were delicious! Way tastier than we imagined. The clams and mussels were huge! So scrumptious!! Fried rice was also exceptionally yummy! Thank you for a wonderful evening, Lunch Lady!! 🙏🏼💕✨

AG
AlejandroG
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2021
Overall1Food1Service1Ambience1

We were there waiting to have our table for 30 minutes, we decided to leave. People that arrived after us were seat first. Just annoying

S
Speakingonbehalfof
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Mussels!!! With chinese doughnuts for dipping.
Hot pot, fried rice, spring rolls - 100% loved it.
Wine was reasonably priced. Beer perfectly curated.
Can't wait to go back.

MD
MaxineD
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience2

Great place to enjoy a meal with inventive Vietnamese dishes!

KA
KatAmp
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Definitely recommend dining in with a group! The appetizers were exquisite, especially the Pho Marrow. Not as messy as you might think, and I love the hands-on experience of serving my table beautiful bone marrow-topped biscuits. The garlic fried noodles are also a must have among their mains! That sous vide egg… delicious!

Also, the cocktails. My table tried almost all of them. W o w ! The lychee passion was beautiful and frothy and not too sweet. Can’t go wrong with the other fruity drinks either. My friends loved them. If you like more bitter flavours, get the café negroni. Exquisite infusion of Campari and Vietnamese coffee.

Excited to come back again and introduce this wonderful corner with other friends.

r
vipraloe
Vancouver
5 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall2Food3Service1Ambience3

Heard a lots of good experiences from this restaurant so we give it a try.
Food is so so and most are salty.
The worst things is the server isn’t professional at all. The attitude is so rude towards customer.
I’m asking for recommendations for drink for my girl.
He told me he don’t know and said I do not know your girl. Really so oh my god.
At the end of the dinner, we want to pay and go.
There is a sign in the front door showing visa master and AMerican Express sign.
Which mean restaurant should took all above payment.
I used my American Express but not successful.
I asked my server, his attitude is so rude.
Of course cannot, we are not taking AE. Ok big sign in your door. How should your customer know ?
Sorry his tone and attitude is so bad.
Overall not a good experience.

SY
vipSYoung
Toronto
10 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Get the garlic noodles and ribeye dish

L
vipLola54
Vancouver
23 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The food and service really made celebrating a double birthday the best birthday dinner! We tried so many things on the menu including the bone marrow with shooters.... very delicious and messy :) The sous vide rib eye, butterflied prawns and fried rice were absolutely delicious!!! We had excellent service and all the servers were extremely knowledgeable about the food. Don't miss all the creative cocktails!

YY
vipYYCFoodie
Calgary
26 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Really neat place. Was glad we got in for dinner. Everything was pretty good especially the pho. Would like to go back for lunch to try their daily soups!

EJ
ErinJT
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2021
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience5

Food was very tasty and cocktails were excellent and creative. We loved the pork skewers and garlic noodles. Pho soup was good but not outstanding. A bit on the pricier side. Service was excellent.

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

The Lunch Lady is rated 4.5 stars by 186 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.