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CLOSED: Lan Cafe

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 16 reviews )


Contact 212-228-8325

342 E 6th St (at East Village, Manhattan), New York City, New York, USA, 10003

Vietnamese cuisine using vege mockmeats, plus baguette sandwiches, and fruit shakes. Small, cozy space. Reported closed to HappyCow, May 2015. Open Tue-Sat 2:00pm-11:00pm, Sun 3:00pm-11:00pm.

Category: Vegan, Delivery, Take-out, Vietnamese

Reviews (16)

First Review by squirrelgirl

Small place, okay food - Edit

I grew up in Flushing as an omnivore, so I miss Vietnamese food sometimes. I really want to like this restaurant, but whenever I go, I always leave thinking the food was just, "meh." I enjoy the familiar flavors, but I always think there's something missing....

The last time I went was a Friday night. There was only one server. It's a pretty small place, but I got the feeling that he was overwhelmed. It took forever for our food to come out.

Cons: Mediocre food, Service not always great

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Great Pho - Edit

I visited this restaurant when I was in NYC to attend the Vegetarian Festival. I could not get in the first day due to large crowds so visited some local restaurants as an alternate choice. I chose Lan Cafe for dinner. It is a small place, the waiter was friendly and the food was good. I ordered the Pho based on a recommendation and enjoyed it. The portion was perfect for dinner and filled me up. I did not feel the need to order anything else and was quite satisfied. I would return when visiting NYC again.

Pros: Excellent Pho, Friendly service, Convenient hours

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My fav vegan restaurant in NYC - Edit

I have been eating here for at least ten years. This place is perfect. I keep waiting for them to mess up in some way. It hasn't happened yet. Sometimes they are not open the posted hours and that leads to disappointment. But once I am inside, all is good.

Pros: good value, excellent good

Cons: not always open as posted

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ridiculously small portions - Edit

This place has a couple of decent dishes, but it is only fair overall; the lemongrass curry is quite good, as is the papaya salad. The biggest problem is that the portions have become ridiculously small over time. This is significant because their portions were already small to begin with. At this point, every dish seems like an appetizer. The last time I was there, it took 1 appetizer, 3 entrees, a banh mi, and extra rice orders to fill up 2 people (and we are not even huge eaters). It also doesn't help that their service is extremely slow and inattentive.

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Run of the mill, but nice - Edit

This is a small Vietnamese vegetarian restaurant. If it were not vegan, I sense that this would be nothing special--but it is indeed a real treat ot find a Vietnamese vegan place. The decor is very plain, with wooden chairs and tables; the place is small, and the food is OK. The price is good, however, the service is quick, adn the atmosphere is relaxed--it seems particularly suited to a student clientele. Although I feel there are some far greater vegetarian restaurants in the area, sometimes I just want something simple, quick, and cheap--and this fits the bill.

Pros: nice price, Vietnamese vegan

Cons: not gourmet, not fancy

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A great vegan lunch spot! - Edit

I went to Lan Cafe to try the Pho and started with an appetizer of the Rice Crepes which were very tasty but the presentation was lacking. The Pho was also good but I wont say it was the best I have had in the city. This seems like a wonderful place to grab a quick bite or have lunch but it's size and decor makes it less ideal to use as a spot to impress. Where there menu shines is in the selection of faux meats. I think there is something for everyone at Lan Cafe but I went in with super high expectations which affected my experience. I will have to return to try more on the menu. It's definitely worth checking out.

Pros: selection, attentive staff, tasty food :)

Cons: small space, food presentation

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in a neighborhood with a thousand restarants.... - Edit

Lan is my favorite restaraunt in all of NYC! Fresh light and healthy dishes always prepared and served by the same man and his wife. My greatest fear is Lan will someday close because its always a little slow in there so go support Lan everytime you're in the East Village!

Pros: fresh, BYOB, bahn mi and a noodle dish

Cons: love, this, place

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simply amazing place - Edit

this is one of the city's great "speciality" (almost) vegan places. the pho is extraordinary, the owners are humble and friendly... baguettes are awesome, if you haven't been there just go and enjoy the best and only Vietnamese veg place around.

Pros: mind-blowingly delicious, mmmmmm, wow

Cons: space is no-frills

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Whenever we go into the city, we end up here - Edit

Lan cafe is delicious and cheap. The "meat" is out of this world. #26 and #36, both seitan, lemongrass, and noodle dishes, are out of this world. We also get the papaya salad and spring rolls every time. We've been there dozens of times and admittedly, we haven't tried anything else, but anything that comes out to our neighbors,we take a peek at and usually swear we'll try it next time...

Pros: delicious, inexpensive, small

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Authentic Vietnamese! - Edit

This place if probably the only place I have been to that can compare with Pacific Seaboard veg Vietnamese. Even though it is nestled among many Indian restaurants, it holds its own! Althought not a fan of mock shrimp, I ate all of the mock shrimp that came with the papaya salad. As one of my fav Vietnamese dishes, they did not disappoint. The veggies were very fresh with the vermicelli, but the seitan was a bit rubbery. Summer rolls, yes, they are lovely and summery. The small operation is homey but cozy and welcoming. They are not pushy and appropriately nice. I miss West Coast Vietnamese food! This place definitely hits the spot though and I can't wait to go again! The clientele includes people of all sorts, so it doesn't appeal to only veggies, if you know what I mean. The prices are very reasonable and the portions generous. With that said, you will still eat everything because it's so good! If you like Vietnamese, you will appreciate and adore this veg option!

Pros: Fresh, Authentic, Flavorful

Cons: Cash only?, Small, Patience req'd

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Fabulous, light, atypical food - Edit

Lan Cafe offers friendly service and excellent prices for unusual, tasty dishes. Their coconut-potato soup was simple and good; I loved their tofu curry and green papaya salad. The tastes were spicy, but subtle, and completely different from Thai or Chinese cooking styles. If you're looking for a delicious change of pace in a great environment, I strongly recommend Lan Cafe.

Pros: Unusual, Service, Fresh

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Stunningly good! - Edit

Always fans of vietnamese food, we were thrilled to find Lan Cafe, where we didn't have to beg to have the traditional nuoc mam (fish sauce) left OUT. The restaurant boasts 2 buddhist altars - so, no worries here, since everything is strictly vegan, AND the food exceeds the best vietnamese dishes we've had anywhere else! Funky, cozy, unpretentious dining room, lightly scented with incense-and the 2 times we ate dinner cheery vietnamese music was playing. Barbequed seitan was outstanding, as was hot and sour soup and rice noodles with spring rolls. The true dilemma was that everything we saw delivered to other tables was just as aromatic and beautiful as our own food - 2 visits wasn't enough to explore the extensive menu. We'll be back on our next NYC visit - that is, if we can still get seats - this place will fill up fast once the good word is out!

Pros: amazing vietnamese vegan!, cute and funky decor, sweet chef and staff!

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