I went to Siem Reap, Cambodia, recently and it was maybe the best place I’ve visited to date. There are so many different cultures within the city and the mix of Cambodian, French and western influences creates a really unique city. The city itself is still developing, it has lots of local shops and restaurants, which I love as it means you can get a real taste of the culture and also supports small businesses.
If you’re after vegetarian, pescatarian or vegan food, Cambodia has such a good selection of places to eat. Most places have a relaxed, boho style vibe, and offer Asian-fusion food and drinks.
This was my favorite restaurant in the city. I had the fish and I must have said ‘this is so good’ every minute or so. The seating was just a simple outdoor area with some tables and lots of plants, with a canopy over it, but you could see the chefs cooking the food which I always love watching. The food wasn’t the only reason I loved this place, it was also a training facilities for EGBOK (Everything’s Gonna Be OK) students. EGBOK is a hospitality organisation that is aiming to alleviate poverty in Cambodia by training underprivileged young adults to become self supporting and create successful careers.
136 Steung Thmei Road
Moringa was the most chilled place we ate. It has outdoor, tropical beer garden style seating and serves vegan food, beers, ciders and cocktails. We got a selection of snacks to share, including tofu nuggets, spring rolls and samosas, I actually couldn’t decide which was my favorite. They do a flight of different craft beers which was relatively cheap, and the raspberry beer was honestly one of the best beers I’ve ever tasted.
631 Central Market Street
The Hive is a very chill cafe, it’s great for brunch and they have loads of vegan options. I had the tofu and avocado on toast which was eaten too quickly for a photo to be taken, but I promise you it was good. They also use bambo straws instead of plastic, so it’s a big yes from me.
715 Hup Guan Street
Vibe is a vibe. Confirmed. They do amazing vegan bowls which are very Instagrammable and also taste amazing. I went for the beetroot hummus and falafel bowl with avocado, but the burgers also looked delicious, and they do breakfast bowls in the morning, packed with fruit and served in a coconut shell. which I would have gone for if I’d gone earlier. All of the food is vegan, organic and ethically sourced, with everything bar the bread and kombucha made in house.
Art Shadow is tucked away in the trees of a peaceful tropical gardens just outside of town. The food is all Cambodian dishes, and we went for the set menu, meaning I tried things I would never have ordered, ever. This place isn’t really vegetarian but they subbed in fish for meat to make the menu pescatarian for me. I had fish soup, something I personally always thought sounded gross, but the light lemongrass and other spices, actually made the fish taste even better than usual. It wasn’t the smelly fishy gloop that I’d always thought fish soup was. The best part about the place is that you get to watch the traditional Asparas dancing whilst you eat. It is really something you wouldn’t see anywhere else, meaning you get to sit and eat your food whilst soaking up all the culture.
This bar is very different to most bars in Siem Reap, especially all the bars on Pub Street. It’s a small 1920’s style speakeasy bar, that takes influence from Hong Kong. They have a huge cocktail menu, all with Asian influences, and they also offer home cooked Chinese food, but we didn’t eat here. It’s a good place to come to retreat from the loud music and the hustle and bustle of the city centre at night, it’s small and intimate enough to make you feel like you’re somewhere different.
Corner of Street 5 and Shinta Mani
If you’re after beer then definitely visit Siem Reap Brewpub . It’s a microbrewery with it’s own bar and restaurant. They make six types of ale at the brewery and we tried all of them, twice. They offer a flight of four beers so you can sample a few different ones, and the food they do is also really good. We ate because we were starving after our 20 hour journey that day, but it’s more of a sit and chill with a beer type place in my opinion, maybe get some of the honey ale king prawns if you are hungry, because they were amazing.
We went here for a cocktail and ended up getting four or five. Asana is such a nice place to sit, chill and have a chat. Inside, it is decorated with lots of throws, cushions and rice bags (?). It is the only wooden house remaining in the old market district and is just next to pub street. They serve Khmer cocktails and they even offer a cocktail making class which we definitely would have been to if we’d known about it earlier.
The oldest bar on pub street makes this bar kind of a landmark in my opinion. They sell buckets of cocktails and have a very cheap happy hour. It’s a cool bar to visit, and later on it gets really busy. The walls inside are covered in graffiti and you can sit outside and watch the chaos that is Pub Street.
If you’re after a night out, then look no further than Temple Club. It’s full of locals and tourists alike and probably the busiest club on Pub Street. Think Pop World (if you’re from the UK, you’ll know) and they manage to mix old pop songs from the likes of Mr Worldwide himself into a generic EDM song. The music is really not my kind of music at all, but the drinks are cheap, it’s loads of fun and you’ll have a good time here.
If you’re still wondering where to eat and drink in Siem Reap, have a wander round Pub Street and walk down the side streets coming off it and you’ll find somewhere. This is where all of the bars and restaurants are located. I would advise getting an e-visa to visit Cambodia, instead of queuing up to get one on arrival, have a read of this post to find out everything you need to know about getting your e-visa.