Restaurant guide

A guide to eating out and all the best restaurants.

A Guide to Restaurants and Cafes in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Posted on | June 2, 2010 | Comments Off on A Guide to Restaurants and Cafes in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

For anyone traveling to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, you will not be in want of great places to eat and drink. Here is a list of my very favorite ones and my menu recommendations.

Bistro Lorenzo: One of the best restaurants in all of Phnom Penh. Filipino and International food, all of which is delicious. They have a huge menu will all sorts of delicious courses. My favorites so far have been the creamy mushroom and wine soup, the tomato and basil gazpacho, a chicken dish covered in a white creamy sauce, and the mango crepes with ice cream. They have a great cozy atmosphere and the prices are very good for the quality of food. Very friendly staff as well. 092 867 901, St.63

Boat Noodle #1: A small restaurant with yummy and cheap Khmer food. I recommend the spicy beef and basil salad, grilled chicken (on a big spit out front), and the green papaya salad. 012 200 426, on the street right past Lucky Market on Sihanouk Blvd.

Boddhi Tree: Western style food that isn’t the best in the world, but makes up for it in the atmosphere of the place. Tranquil garden setting, mostly outdoor seating. They have some good pastas and sandwiches as well as lots of vegetarian options. Bring a book to spend a relaxing couple of hours. 016 865 445, opposite Toul Sleng Museum

Café Yejj: A cool café with awesome food and drinks, and they always have the air conditioning on full blast. I like to eat here after shopping at the Russian Market (Psar Toul Tum Pong). They have a very nice art gallery on one side, and a fair trade souvenir and clothing shop on the other. I absolutely love their Baja Burrito, which is grilled fish wrapped in a thin tortilla with tropical mango salsa. When you first walk in, it might not be obvious that there is a second floor with more seating, but upstairs is where the air conditioning is. 012 543 360 near the Russian Market.

Chez Dim: I’ve never been to the restaurant but always ordered for delivery. Great pizza and recently they’ve added a small selection of Indian, Tex Mex, Thai, and Panini’s. A great choice if you skipped dinner and then regret it around midnight after everything’s closed…they’re open until 2 am for delivery and they seem to do really well with not getting lost. My favorite on their menu is the Margherita pizza. 012 700 468

Chi Cha Indian Restaurant: This place serves 100% Halal Indian food and is absolutely delicious. It’s in an obscure little hole in the wall location and doesn’t look like much from the outside. But the food is awesome and the prices are unbelievably low. Everything on their menu is good. 023 366 065, St. 110 near the Riverside.

Comme a la Maison: French food in a really beautiful outdoor garden atmosphere. Prices are a bit more expensive here but doesn’t break the bank. I like them for breakfast and lunch, and enjoy the quiche with coffee. They also have nice pizza and a great bakery too. 012 951 869, in the area where all the “foreigner” restaurants are behind Independence monument

Deli Café: Awesome Asian food at some of the lowest prices I’ve found in Phnom Penh. If you can get past the cigarette smoke, you’ll love this place. Nice décor and air conditioning. One of my all time favorites is their fried pork ribs with sweet and sour sauce, only . Also, the beef stew with bread is amazing. They have really good noodle soups and a nice chilled noodle dish with basil and crushed peanuts. The coffee and fruit shakes are great, too. You can’t go wrong with this place. 012 963 366, St. 202 Sihanouk Blvd.

Dosa Corner: Excellent Indian food in one of the most fun parts of town. A tiny little place with extremely low prices. I love the Rava Masala Dosa, and the vegetable pakora is to die for. They serve all sorts of delicious dips and sauces with each order. 012 673 276, St. 51 near Independence Monument.

Elsewhere: This place is amazing…not only for the food which is excellent, but even more so for the atmosphere. It is in a lush garden setting, with a large and a small pool. There are a few tables set up so that when you sit, your feet dangle in the water. You can choose a normal table or lounge on the oversized cushions. All sorts of great, Western-style fare and a huge list of drinks that you can’t find anywhere else in Phnom Penh. Free WiFi too…a modern paradise, one of my favorite places in the city. 023 211 348, corner of St. 51 and 254 (right next to the Boom Boom Room.)

Equinox: A trendy gallery and restaurant that is great fun for people-watching if you sit upstairs near the balcony. Lots of things to do around this street too. They serve a goat cheese salad that is to die for, and if you love crepes with Nutella and bananas then this is the place to be. They have a lot of artwork on display by local artists. Before or after you eat, be sure to visit the Boom Boom Room across the street for cheap music and cool clothes. 092 791 958, St. 278 near independence monument.

Frizz Café: This place is great for traditional Khmer food. Great atmosphere too. I love the traditional Khmer “Amok” dish, and if you want something fun, get the “Volcano.” You get thin sliced meats and veggies to cook over a small coal BBQ. They also have an all day cooking class in English. 023 220 953, St. 240.

Hara’s Café: A Cambodian run café with lots of French influence, it offers both Khmer food and some great European food. I recommend the sweet and sour stir fry, the omelet breakfast, and all of the crepes…they have both sweet and savory. They also have some great souvenirs for cheap, such as Kampot pepper or raw sugar cane sealed in a cute little box, easy to fit in a suitcase. The staff here is just a few Khmer girls that run the place, and are some of the nicest I’ve encountered. 092 941 218, St. 450 near Russian Market.

Jars of Clay: For those days when nothing but French toast with lots of syrup will do, Jars of Clay is the answer. They serve a heaping plate of thick French toast, layered with sautéed bananas, and drenched in maple syrup. In addition, they have all sorts of homey cakes, muffins, pies and other bakery delights. They have an excellent breakfast and lunch menu that is small but everything on it is great. A local favorite is the toasted baguette sandwich with Mediterranean veggies. They are only open breakfast and lunch. You can find a large assortment of used books on the second floor. 023 300 281, St. 155 near Russian Market

Java Café and Gallery: I can’t say enough about this place. I never get tired of Java, no matter how much I come here. Their California Salad with apples, walnuts and Blue Cheese is my lifeline on bad days. I don’t think there is anything on their menu that isn’t great. A great place for breakfast, since you can sit outside and look over the park. They serve western food and have great coffee. In addition, you can find one of the best art galleries in all of Phnom Penh here. They are constantly changing their display, and really put an effort into making the gallery the main feature (even their menu has prints of previously displayed works throughout). Many internationally recognized artists have displayed work here, as well as accomplished local artists. Highly recommended! 023 987 420, Sihanouk Blvd. almost all the way down to where it ends near the riverside.

Khmer Thai Restaurant: This place is a nicely decorated, air-conditioned haven with excellent staff and delicious food. Huge, well organized menu and beautiful surroundings. The staff is extremely friendly and the waitresses dress in traditional Khmer outfits, which is a nice touch. You can choose to either sit at a regular table or lounge on cushions on the floor with a low table. My favorites here are all of the curry dishes, the fried kale with tofu (you have to ask for the tofu, the menu only lists meat with it), cashew chicken, and fried green beans with garlic. 011 211 448, near Olympic Stadium.

Le Duo: If you’re after Italian food with great ambiance, come here! The owner is from Italy, and the food is unbeatable. Absolutely gorgeous restaurant with a replica of the Sistine chapel ceiling overhead. All of the food is fantastic, but some of my favorites are the pizza bread with herbs, Plate of cold meats and cheese, raviolis stuffed with spinach and pine nuts, the Caesar salad, the pizza, and all of the desserts. There are too many good pasta selections to name. They have a genuine wood fired oven for the breads and pizzas. 023 991 906, St. 322

New York Hotel: One of my absolute favorites. A Chinese restaurant that has great dinner and snacks. My friends and I like to go together, order a bunch of different things and share. We always get the steamed pork and spinach dumplings which are a little bit fried just on the bottom side, fried green beans and garlic, prawns, and the best of all: the spinach flatbreads (like a thin tortilla with chopped spinach, browned a little on both sides). 023 214 116, on Monivong Blvd.

The Shop: Some of the best health-conscious food on one of the most pleasant streets in Phnom Penh. I love the carrot pumpkin soup, the grilled beef and parmesan sandwich on chapatti bread, and the huge display case of yummy desserts. 023 986 964, St. 240

Tamarind: Another of my absolute favorites. This is a Mediterranean style restaurant with rooftop seating. Absolutely beautiful, romantic setting. I love the tomato and feta salad, the tapas sampler, the steak, the pasta, and the couscous served in a clay pot. The desserts are wonderful too. One of the best places in Phnom Penh for a date. 012 830 139, St. 240

You can find a guide to travel and life in Cambodia at http://cambodiatraveladvice.blogspot.com/.

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