The Lunch Lady

4.6
147 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 147 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
4.6
Food
4.6
Service
4.5
Ambience
4.3
Value
Noise · Moderate
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EJ
ErinJT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
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.

A
Amie
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Come with a group of friends so you can order a bunch of things so you can all try everything, since all the dishes are absolutely delicious! Loved the ambience (R&B music for the win) and vibe of the place. Definitely coming back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Had a fabulous birthday dinner

B
B3333
Calgary
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

One of my new favourites!

E
Edwina
Vancouver
7 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Fantastic service and delicious food. Service speed was as fast as you would expect in a traditional Chinese restaurant, but with the hospitality and friendliness we’re accustomed to in Vancouver. The best of both worlds. Parents loved the food and said they can see why this place is so busy. Normally they just say things like “it’s ok” or “pretty good”, but it was obvious they really enjoyed the food because they gave actual compliments. We also appreciate how the waitress described the 3 layer dessert and advised us to eat a bit of everything in a bite. It really made a difference to how much we enjoyed it.

LR
LaceyR
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2021
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

Great food. Great service! Look forward to going back again.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Vancouver
22 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Amazing service from Jean.
Ben was amazing as usual.
Must try….

T
Tiffany
Toronto
3 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2021
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience5

This was my first time going to Lunch Lady and I was expecting more of the typical family restaurant but the bar and kitchen setup is really clean and modern! We tried their pho ga (daily soup - only 50 portions available each day), lime soda, and bo luc lac steak. The pho ga was the best item since it was made the authentic way you would find in vietnam. I. can't wait to try all their other daily soups. The steak was also very flavourful. Overall I would definitly recommend this spot if youre in town!

PN
PaulineN
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Fast efficient and great service / highly recommend- the vegan Pho was fantastic

L
Leslie
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Still thinking about the food the next day. Everything we tried was excellent and we are already talking about what we will try on our next visit

SS
SeanS
Vancouver
5 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2021
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience4

Based on the fact that the menu is Vietnamese “street food”
The prices are high and portions a little small for what you pay
Rice is also an additional cost if you want it.
Great flavours but we came away still hungry after ordering 5 dishes for two people

SL
StephanieL
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Yummy dishes, Vietnamese style with a modern twist.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Excellent food and service!

C
Carrie
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

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

C
veronicaC
Vancouver
4 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
132 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
46 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.

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 4.6 stars by 147 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.