Feb 02 2012

Mexican food in Phnom Penh

Published by at 11:43 am under Western

Some people complain about how many Americans there are in Phnom Penh, but the upside of their presence is the excellent supply (and demand) for American-style Mexican food. For the purpose of this review, when I say Mexican food, I mean California-style Mexican food, which is outstanding but perhaps closer to what you’d find in Oakland and not Oaxaca.

Viva la American-style Mexican in Phnom Penh!

Garage’s proprietor hails from Los Angeles where he grew up eating California Mexican food (and lots of Hollywood Peruvian food, of course). He’s attempting to recreate the Mexican food of LA at his bar, one dish at a time. The fish tacos and chicken enchiladas are particularly tasty. Two tacos cost $3.50.

9Eo St 110, Phnom Penh
T: (012) 754 763

For more generic American Mexican fare, Viva is a popular favourite. I’ve only eaten at the Siem Reap branch was was disappointed by the lack of chillies, but other people love the place. A carne asada burrito will set you back $6.

111 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh
T: (093) 678 888

Casa Lika
Casa Lika serves up tasty American Mexican and Khmer food. The ex-owner is from California, whose influence is still seen on the menu and in the decor (the place is Khmer-owned now). Be sure to try their San Francisco Mission-Style burrito for $4 which can be supersized for an extra $1.50.

16 St 136, Phnom Penh
T: (012) 429 542

The old stalwart of Cambodian Mexican fare, Cantina’s owner is also from California and the place is known for being a journalist hangout and also for its excellent frozen margaritas. The menu is ambitiously Mexican, but I often find the food doesn’t meet expectations and it’s never cheap.

347 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh
T: (023) 222 502

Alley Cat

Alley Cat has some of the better Mexican food in town — their fajitas are not to be missed and my friends rave about their nachos with queso sauce and fresh salsa. The atmosphere is lacking though, so it may not be the best place for a romantic first date.

42 St 19, Phnom Penh
T: (012) 306 845

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8 responses so far

8 Responses to “Mexican food in Phnom Penh”

  1. Peter Hoganon 02 Feb 2012 at 12:09 pm

    A good report. I’d add that the Huevos Rancheros served at the California Guest House/Bar on the Riverside (yet another place owned by a US expat, this time from San Diego) are well worth checking out as a breakfast/brunchtime feed.

  2. Roberton 03 Feb 2012 at 9:51 am

    Admittedly, I have not eaten at Alley Cat in ages, but the Mexican dishes I did try there were reminiscent of something you would score from a gas station microwave at 3 in the morning. Many others, however, say the food is good there. They’re usually Australian.

  3. Rogeron 22 Feb 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Lone star saloon on street 23 for tex-mex

  4. Shawnon 04 Apr 2012 at 5:07 pm

    We ate at Viva last night.The tacos at happy hour, 11-11:00, were very good. $1.00 each, Taquitos were 3/$3.00….nice pulled pork in those. Good food/ good value. Oh yeah, $0.50 draft beer!!

  5. Review: Taco Beach | Travelfish on Balion 08 May 2012 at 9:05 pm

    […] Always in the mood for Mexican and heading elsewhere in Southeast Asia? We've covered Mexican food in Bangkok, Singapore, and Phnom Penh. […]

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  8. Julietteon 26 Jun 2012 at 1:42 am

    I would add La Cita on St. 282 near Wat Langka (http://lacita.ox2net.com/). Obviously none of these places come near making tex-mex or mexican food that tastes like tex-mex/mexican food you would get in the US … but La Cita makes some pretty decent burritos.

    I’ve been to Cantina once and it was pretty awful – I’ve never had a burrito that was so dry (I’m not even sure how they managed to get the black beans to be so dry). Viva is good – but I think I would pick La Cita over it … Haven’t been to the other places [yet].