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Lotus Pond

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 36 reviews )

Victoria vegan restaurant serving Chinese food. Small but popular. Offers buffet lunch and a la carte menu dinner. Use a variety of vegetables, mock meats, glutens, and protein fibers (like soy) to create an exotic menu based on Buddhist principles. The lunch buffet is a pay-by-weight style, and it is reduced to half-price starting at 2:30 pm. Open Tue-Sat 11:00am-3:00pm, Tue-Sat 5:00pm-9:00pm, Sun 12:00pm-3:00pm, Sun 5:00pm-8:30pm. Closed Mon.

Category: Vegan, Chinese, Buffet, Buddhist

Reviews (36)

First Review by dkingdesigndotcom

good vegan options - Edit

This is a good "go to" place for any time of the day if you're in the area. They had a variety of food choices (soups, entrees, desserts) as well as really delicious juices and smoothies.

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Love this place! - Edit

Always reliable; good affordable ethical Chinese food. Sweet people run it; there is a buffet during the day if you're in a hurry. Charming.

Pros: Good food, Sweet staff, All vegan

Cons: Not licensed, Same decor from whenever they opened 30 years ago

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Amazing Vegan Buddhist Chinese Cusine Victoria BC - Edit

This is one of my all time favorite restaurant with a wide variety of dishes to suit almost everyone's taste. No big fish salads here. Great hot and sour soup.. In fact sometimes I just get the large hot and sour soup for 9.95 and that is my meal. I love the turnip cakes.... The chili eggplant is amazing and the Buddhas feast hot pot is awesome. They have a lunch time buffet as well. Yummy yummy and all vegan... Friendly staff... Yum

Pros: Great vegan food, Great staff, Amazing selection

Cons: Closed until April 22 :)

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Always a great meal - Edit

The service at Lotus Pond is always amazing - it's quite a small restaurant and is often very busy for dinner, but I've never felt that the service was lacking in any way due to the crowds. One time they were out of tables, so they set up a little folding table for my friend and I, which totally reinforced the love I already had for the restaurant. Their food is delicious, I'm always craving their wonton soup, and I've brought numerous meat-eaters to this restaurant who've thoroughly enjoyed their meals. The food is flavourful, and the portions are large, so there are often leftovers. I always feel like I got my money's worth. A great restaurant overall, and my go-to when I need a satisfying and affordable meal.

Pros: Great food - so many options, Good service, Affordable

Cons: none

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Such a Treat - Edit

I love Lotus Pond!
It is one of my favourite restaurants in Victoria and I find myself craving it frequently.
The staff are always welcoming, friendly and efficient. The food always comes fast and always taste so delicious. The price is fair and you always get a good sized portion with enough to take home (or sometimes its too yummy and you eat it all)
I've brought family and friends who are meat eaters and they've loved it and said they didn't miss having no meat :)
I would recommend to any veg head or vegan. It's definitely a must try and one of Victoria's little food gems.

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Great food! - Edit

Had a late dinner here after arriving in Victoria. Waitress was very friendly, and quick to take care of us.

Location was easy to get to, as are most things in town.

Food was fantastic, but be prepared for LARGE portions! I would have paid the same amount for half the food. Normally I would just take left-overs home and make a second meal, but being on vacation and not having food storage in our hotel, it wasn't an option.

We took the extras and gave them to someone in need on the way back to the hotel.

Pros: Low prices, Good food, Friendly Staff

Cons: Heads up, LOTS of food

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Met all expectations! - Edit

After reading HappyCow reviews, hubby and I rushed to eat at Lotus Pond.
Ppl mention its dingy but honestly we found it very clean, the staff was also very friendly and the service fast and efficient! We went at 5 for dinner on a Sunday and had the place to ourselves for most of the dinner!
We ordered a 3 item combo.
Tried both the wonton soup and hot and sour. Both delicious, the wonton itself was amazing-broth a lil weak but wonton made up for it. Hot and sour was packed with flavor and veggies and tofu and yumminess! Also comes with spring rolls which are so crunchy and good!!
We had the sweet and sour soya balls which were to die for. The plate was HUGE! Thick, pancake like batter- little bit sweet and very addicting. Best part is I didn't find them over fried, as a clean eater even a few French fries will give me belly aches but these gave only pleasure!
Also had the Bean Curd Skins in lemon sauce. Didn't even know what it was but so glad we ordered. Unique and very pleasurable dish, can't wait to explore more with that ingredient!
And we got way over zelest and got the Buddha delight. Giant plate of veggies and the like! Note- does have a bit of a fermenty- fungusy flavor for those who aren't sure! Great for the digestion however and the bok choy was like candy.
Anddd came with rice.
Lets just say that's enough food for like 4-6 ppl... The two of us brought home doggie bags.
Will most certainly be back again and again! And was so exciting to look at a menu and be able to use or eat everything!!

Pros: Huge variety, Fresh, fast, delicious, Unique dishes

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Dinner at Lotus Pond - Edit

We went for dinner at Lotus Pond last night, I had been there once before for the Lunch Buffet. This time we ordered from the menu, where they made it fresh for us. A very enjoyable meal, from the Mock Chicken balls in a pineapple sauce (chunks of the pineapple itself were like candy), Buddha's Feast (with a great selection of fungus/mushrooms) and our crunchy & spicy chow mien with vegi's. All very good, satisfying. Reasonable price, friendly hosts. Look forward to going back again, soon.

Pros: Selection, Freshness, Friendly

Cons: none

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Lovely lunch at the Lotus Pond - Edit

My husband and I probably wouldn't have gone into Lotus Pond had we not seen its enthusiastic reviews on Happy Cow and been very hungry for lunch. It's not prepossessing from the outside, but we read the extensive all-vegan menu posted in the window and decided to give it a try. So glad we did. Inside, the small dining room was simple but clean, and the staff was welcoming. We chose from the small but attractive buffet and paid by weight. Too bad we didn't have enough time in Victoria to return and order from the extensive printed menu as a few other customers had. Everything was fresh and delicious, and it's such a treat to go to an all-vegan place and not have to wonder about ordering something unfamiliar that might be made with meat. The turnip cake was delicious and a new dish for me, and the spring roll was noisily crispy and flavorful. I particularly like restaurants that offer vegan desserts, and I was attracted to the colorful lotus flower and sesame cakes, even though I assumed they'd be too sweet. Well, they were sweet, but crunchy and tasty too, and the rice-and-wheat-flour pastry enfolding the fillings was flakey enough to rival a well-made pie crust. So much for pre-judgements. The staff was friendly and helpful and we left Lotus Pond full and very happy.
Updated from previous review on Monday September 23, 2013

Updated from previous review on Monday September 23, 2013

Pros: delicious all-vegan food, many choices, nice vibe

Cons: looks dingy from outside, tables a bit crowded

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Very good Chinese food - Edit

Easy to find small restaurant in downtown Victoria. The food at Lotus Pond was really good and service friendly. The taro rolls were delicious. They use a lot of veggies in their dishes, unlike some other vegan Chinese restaurants.
Worth trying if you're in town.

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Chinese Food *YUM* - Edit

We stopped into Lotus Pond on a Saturday for lunch. The buffet looked tasty but being nightshade free ordering off the menu seems like a better option.

We ordered the dinner for 2. It came with spring rolls, wonton soup and brown rice. The two dishes we choose to include were lemon bean curd and buddha's delight.

I advised the server of my allergies and it seemed like maybe she didn't understand what I had meant but when the food came out there was not a nightshade in sight :)

Everything was tasty! The hubster said he found it to be the best veggie place with this type of fare he has ever been too. I quite in enjoyed the lemon bean curd, it tasted alot like egg in my opinion, kinda of like a lemon egg. Maybe that doesn't sound the greatest but it really was good! The spring rolls IMHO were a bit over cooked. The hubster and I both agreed the broth in the wonton soup was heavenly!

Definitely a place I would go back to if visiting Victoria again!

Pros: Friendly Staff, Excellent Value

Cons: Looks run down

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Excellent Chinese food - Edit

I tend to find most Chinese food greasy and unappealing, but this place had the best Chinese food I've ever eaten! The menu had lots of faux meats and seafood and the staff seemed very friendly. I ate there the last time I was in Victoria which was two or three years ago now and I still dream about this restaurant! I may have to make a special trip back to Victoria just to eat there again!

Pros: Great food

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good customer service - Edit

We were late and they were closing the restaurant. We requested them to open late for us and they did. Between 8 of us, we tried all the items and we liked it.
I wish they would have used fresh herbs like basil and cilantro to add flavors (but we were late so they may have run out of these).

Pros: good customer service, fresh food, many options

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This place is awesome! - Edit

We tried this place last summer on our trip. It was amazing! We loved it so much we ate their twice. The hours are kinda dumb and it looks run down but the food was worth it. I was a litte confused by the pay per weight option for the buffet. I eat a lot and find it a pain in the ass to fill one plate (pay for the weight of the plate), eat, and then fill up only to have to pay again. I'm lazy. Good food though and interesting selection.

Pros: Good food, Buffet style, Reasonable pricing

Cons: Pay per plate buffet confusing, Can get insanely busy, Kinda sketchy looking

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always amazing - Edit

We live in Victoria and enjoy Lotus Pond whenever we are downtown for the lunch hour or for take out in the evenings when we don't have the time to eat out...yum... turnip cakes, won ton soup and fake chicken balls. Our meat eating friends enjoy this place as well because it is so delicious. I do not appreciate onions in my food, and i crave the fake meats, so this place is perfection. It is comfortable diner-like place and the staff have always been friendly and accommodating.

Pros: delicious, affordable, good variety

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Just LOVED it! - Edit

We were in Victoria over the week-end and we made a point of getting lunch at the Lotus Pond. The selection is so vast and by taking the three-option special, we had plenty of food for 3 people plus leftovers for a picnic the next day. All for under 35$. I really enjoyed the bean curd in lemon sauce and their chef's choice chow mein had very nicely seasoned and cut seitan in it. There is no quetion that I would recommend this place to anyone visiting Victoria!

It is a smaller type establishment and I would not say it was very fancy if you are looking to have a "dinner out" dining experience. But the location and food are so great that this is easily overlooked in my view.

Pros: Easy to find, Vegan

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lotus pond - Edit

it's always a good cheap backup, especially on a busy Friday around 6 where it seems you can't get into anywhere else. excellent pricing for students who are strap on cash but still would like to go out to eat once in a while.

Pros: cheap, portion sizes are large

Cons: small, a lot of their food is greasy or fried, could be a line up depending on time of day.

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Loved it!! - Edit

I loved this place so much we went there for dinner and then brunch the next day. It's a small cafe that has odd hours, so be sure to check. The server was quiet but nice. There is no garlic, onions, etc in their food, but they manage to make it taste great anyways! We ordered from the "combos" section of the menu, which meant less main course but came with soup, spring rolls and rice. We had the Sweet and Sour Soya balls, and they were amazing. The Pan Fried Vegetables were also great. We went back for the lunch buffet, which has a small selection of "pay by weight" choices, including the Sweet and Sour Soya balls. It was affordable, although several options were added on for $1.00 instead of by weight. You also had to pay for the sauce. I wish I lived closer because this place is awesome!

Pros: Sweet and Sour Soya Balls!, Vegan

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good food - Edit

In the heart of downtown. Buffet (pay by weight) and menu. All vegan. Chinese style. Well-prepared and tasty food. I especially like the turnip cakes. Buffet has stir-fries, stews, spring rolls, noodles, vegetables, etc.
Nice to be able to drop in mid-afternoon and have a good meal or get take-out. Pleasant staff.

Pros: vegan, tasty food

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Fabulous vegan food - Edit

My husband & I celebrated our 8th anniversary in Victoria & I chose this place for dinner. The restaurant is small but the tables were pretty much filled, and many tables seemed like they were regular customers. The menu has so many options! We decided on crispy spring rolls (piping hot, great dipping sauce). I had a bowl of their Veggie Seafood & Vegetables Noodle Soup. It was a HUGE bowl and could have easily served 2-3 people! We shared the #27 Mock Salmon in Peking Sauce (Soya Texture with Carrot Juice for Coloring and slightly wrap in seaweed) and #30 Pan Fried Seasonal Greens with mock meat (we chose mock chicken & fresh green beans). No room for dessert, we were stuffed full of good vegan food and walked back to our hotel by Fisherman's Wharf.

Pros: Delicious, Plentiful portions, Healthy

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Fabulous - Edit

So glad I went! Amazing mock sweet and sour pork! Staff was so accommodating and helpful with menu suggestions. Great place to stop for a meal in Victoria.

Pros: Great value, great taste, friendly staff

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So very awesome! - Edit

If you want great cheap vegan chinese food this is the place to go. You can get a large plate of food during their buffet for only $5-7, and it is really good. Their dinner menu is a little more expensive but still great food :) If you are in Victoria you have to check it out. Beware that they are closed on Mondays.

Pros: cheap, good food, large portions

Cons: dinner menu expensive, not open Mondays

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Good Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant - Edit

We visited Lotus Pond last week. The restaurant was small but doing a good business. The wait staff was friendly. I got the Sweet and Sour Soya Balls and the Buddhas Feast soup. The soup was a great value, as it was excellent and a large portion for the price. The soya balls were very good but as my wife pointed at they were so deep fried they tasted more like zeppolis. So I guess my dish was not quite health food but it was very good none the less, and there is a large variety of other things you can order. If you are vegetarian and in Victoria I would definitely recommend this place, particularly if you are with friends that are meat eaters they will probably enjoy it as well as there are many meat like substitutes on the menu.

Pros: Good chinese food, Variety of dishes on menu, Good for vegetarians and non vegetarians

Cons: Some foods are heavily fried

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Small, but good food - Edit

The food here is very tasty, but I find it greasy. The restaurant is cozy, which means that you better be able to maneuver chopsticks well, or else you'll be poking your neighbour in the face with your elbow. I never had a problem with any of the staff and the food here is cheaper than Green Cuisine and for the most part tastier, but less healthy.

Pros: Taste, Cozy, Oriental

Cons: Greasy, Small

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i love lotus pond! - Edit

i've been going there for years! they have a big menu, and the meal packages are a really good deal. pretty much eveything on the menu is really good! the servers are usually pretty rude, and the decor is nothing special, so i especially like getting take-out - and it's always quick.

Pros: tasty, price

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Different experience? - Edit

I regret writing something not-so-positive about a vegan restaurant but my husband and I did not have the best of experiences at the Lotus Pond. We asked the staff person to recommend some dishes for us and even those they recommended were pretty flavorless wih overcooked veggies, or at least to our taste. They do note on their menu that they avoid garlic, onions, etc. so maybe that makes a difference to those who are used to those flavors. I see that others have had very positive experiences here, so perhaps we just happened in on a bad night or something. To us, though, the food was much better at Green Cuisine down the street.

Pros: Healthy cuisine, Vegan

Cons: Bland and not flavorful (to me)

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best vegetarian restaurant in victoria - Edit

there is not much competition in victoria. out of the 2 true vegetarian restaurants, we prefer this one. the lunch buffet selection is limited, but the half price deal from 2.30 to 3pm makes it worth while. their menu has much greater selections.

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Take Your Meat-Eating Friends Here - Edit

I seriously went to Lotus Pond with my dad, who is an Atkins Diet type of guy. Amazingly, both he and I were spoiled for choice from their extensive vegan, Buddhist menu (Buddhist cuisine means it won't have any onions, garlic, shallots, etc.). They have a variety of "imitation meat" dishes, a standout of which was the Lemon "Chicken". It had that same crisp bite as real fried chicken, but it was made from either tofu or tempeh (I forget!). Prices are very reasonable. We both ordered combos which came with soup, rice and an entree (two people get two combos = two entrees) and paid about $25. I'm definitely going back... and I'll make reservations to skip the line!

Pros: excellent "fake meats", very good value, extensive menu

Cons: needs more seating

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YUMMY DINNER, TOO! ( we find the dinner a little pricey.) We usually spend around 20 CND there(for 2 dishes, not including the gratuity) for dinner. For lunch, we spent only 7 CND (they weigh your foods, there were around 8 choices there- and we put 4 of them on our 1 plate).
Yup, always for the two of us (reg the prices). So: real cheap lunch, :)! Too bad, we only ate lunch there once. We ate dinner there at least 3 times. Always great. Tea costs around 1.50 CND per teapot. They used tea-bags (I personally don't think that tea bag is healthy.) They gave you candies which have red stripes, we asked them if it uses colourings, but they didn't understand us. In any case, this place defenately has the yummiest, most affordable cuisine in Victoria, :D!
VERY HOSPITABLE STAFF, although they are forever on the go- the small place has always been a full-house.


Cons: Not all of the entries have a pic?

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