Nov 19 2012
Writing about cheap eats in Sihanoukville is a bit like writing about where to find flies in the Australian outback — they’re everywhere. Unlike flies, though, some cheap eateries in Sihanoukville are better than others. These are a few you can count on for a decent meal that will lead you to eat on less than $10 a day.
Telegraph Hill used to be “backpacker central” in Sihanoukville, but for a variety of reasons has fallen out of favour in recent years. This works in your favour if you’re looking for a good cheap meal. It’s a little unfair to single out just one, but Nana’s has been around for years and knows how to make a good, cheap meal. They open early for breakfast and close late for dinner. I recommend their Cambodian and other Asian dishes, but they serve Western food as well and it’s all good value for the money.
There are tons of cheap places to eat in the Ochheuteal beach area, but for your evening meal you can’t do better than taking a short walk up to the Golden Lions and trying one of the little Cambodian restaurants on the east side of the traffic circle. For 5,000 riel (around $1.25) you can get a large serving of fried rice or fried noodles with vegetables, or you can lash out and spend 10,000 riel on a vegetable curry and rice. Not only is the food cheap, it’s well prepared. The fried dishes don’t taste greasy and the vegetables in the curries are fresh and crisp.
There are a lot of equally good Cambodian restaurants in Sihanoukville, but there are some terrible ones as well. The advantage of these is that the food is reliably fresh and the proprietors are accustomed to Westerners. If you do run into a language barrier, just point to what someone else is eating and you’re set.
If you’re looking for a cheap breakfast or Western style lunch, Le Bistro Gourmand, on your left about halfway down Serendipity Road, is your best bet in the Ochheuteal area. While their full breakfast may be a budget buster at $3.50, an omelette, fresh bread and coffee or tea will only set you back $2.75. Lunches start at around $2.50 for a filled croissant and work their way up from there. A lot of places are just as cheap, but the baked goods at Le Bistro are worth paying more for — happily though you don’t have to.
If it’s cheap fast food you’re after, the Total petrol station on the corner of Ekareach and Makara Streets is the cheapest fast food outlet in town. Okay, it’s not air-con like Happy Burger or Pizzana, but for a petrol station, they have a nice setup, with indoor and outdoor tables. Their “burger set” is the best deal of its kind in town. They also serve fried chicken and other fast food “delicacies,” but skip the rice and noodle dishes; you can get much better deals elsewhere.
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