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Phnom Penh

Eat and meet

Bars and entertainment

  • Mansion Heritage Bar
    4 stars

    A taste of history

    #3 Sothearos Boulevard, Phnom Penh
    T: (023) 724 014

    One of the joys of visiting Cambodia is the surprising array of architecural styles. Once you’ve explored the well-maintained delights of Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace and National Museum, we recommend popping over to The Mansion to experience the bohemian ambiance of a more au naturel building ... read more

  • Elephant Bar at Raffles Hotel Le Royal
    4 stars

    Elegant cocktails

    92 Rukhak Vithei Daun Penh, Sangkat Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh
    T: (023) 981 888

    The iconic Elephant Bar at Raffles Hotel Le Royal is known for its bygone-era sense of sophistication, although a recent refurbishment has brought the bar up to the modern age while retaining its classical dimensions and retro feel. ... read more

  • Gay bars and clubs in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    If you missed all of the excitement of Cambodia Pride Week, never fear, there are bars and clubs catering to the LGBT crowd in Phnom Penh every night of the week.“The Phnom Penh gay scene is just coming into bloom,” Marcus Mucous, the organiser of Cambodia Pride and mastermind behind the gay ... read more

  • Rock bars in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    Phnom Penh is probably home to more Western-orientated bars than foreigners, but most of them seem to believe that all Westerners want to hear is Top 40 from three years ago. You can’t walk down one of the busy bar streets without hearing the strains of Lady Gaga or Rhianna, but where should you ... read more

  • Clubbing on Street 51 in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    When you’re ready for a big night out in Phnom Penh, where should you go?Phnom Penh has no end of nightlife and clubbing opportunities, so if you’re heading this way, be sure to pack a pair of dancing shoes. The area around Street 51 (Rue Pasteur) is the most happening spot in town, with many ... read more

  • Irish pubs in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    If you’re looking to get to a taste of the Emerald Isle, Phnom Penh has a few Irish pubs in town to sate you. Other major Asian cities such as Bangkok may be teaming with Irish drinking establishments, but Phnom Penh only has a handful of Irish pubs. None of them serve Guinness draught, although ... read more

  • Live music in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    If you’re at a loose end of an evening during your visit to Phnom Penh, you may want to consider taking in some live music. Many venues in town feature live bands that are locally-based or visiting from abroad, such as El Dealbreakers, Durian, Cambodian Space Project, Dub Addiction and Holliday ... read more

  • Sundowners in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    Plenty of options

    One of the loveliest times in Phnom Penh is sunset, when the locals start their aerobics routines and the expats allow themselves the first cocktail of the day. Some of the best spots for sundowners are those that overlook the river. Here are a few of my favourites. ... read more

  • Sports bars in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    Rumour has it there are one or two big events coming up in the world of sport — if riverside badminton and Khmer boxing aren’t enough for you, here’s a roundup of where you can catch all the kicking, running, jumping and throwing action on screen in Phnom Penh. ... read more

  • Drag shows in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    Visitors here sometimes expect a risque night life scene similar to that found in cities in Thailand, but Phnom Penh is emphatically not Bangkok. There are sensitivities and taboos that may seem curious in a city known for its hostess bars, even though those hostesses are more likely to play ... read more

Cafes and brunch

  • Feel Good Cafe II Coffee Roasters
    4.5 stars

    Best coffee in town

    11 Street 29, Phnom Penh
    T: (017) 497 538

    Feel Good was so good they had to make it twice, so now we have Feel Good II, a small and simple, unassuming cafe on leafy hideaway Street 29, where you’ll find the best coffee in town — and there are people who will get very emotional about that if you disagree with them — honest, ... read more

  • ARTillery Cafe
    4.5 stars

    Honest to goodness goodness

    Street 240 1/2 (near Street 19), Phnom Penh
    T: (078) 985 530

    Fresh, organic, locally sourced, healthy and incredibly tasty food: it’s here! ARTillery has built a menu around delivering the best food that they can find, adapted to suit different dietary needs, such as vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten-free or raw, and has somehow managed to wrap it up in a ... read more

  • Java Cafe and Gallery
    4 stars

    Popular and long running

    56 Sihanouk Boulevard
    T: (023) 987 420

    Showing plenty of foresight, Java Cafe and Gallery has been open since 2000, well ahead of the curve which has seen a new coffee shop open almost every week in Phnom Penh recently. Java is centrally located just two minutes’ walk from the Independence Monument, with views over Sihanouk Boulevard ... read more

  • Brown Roastery
    4 stars

    A great hangout

    #23, St 57 (corner of St 294), Phnom Penh
    T: (098) 888 331

    A lively coffee shop with great service, top-notch coffee and good food. It’s not just the cheery calls of “Suasadei!” when you walk in the doors that make you feel at home at Brown Roastery. The soft light, comfortable, contemporary furnishings and excellent service all play their part too. ... read more

  • The Shop
    4 stars

    A touch of healthy decadence

    #29 Street 240, Phnom Penh
    T: (023) 986 964, (092) 955 963

    Slap in the middle of Phnom Penh’s spending spree-inducing Street 240, The Shop is a great choice for a pre-retail breakfast or a post-Palace coffee. Serving up fresh and tasty food since 2001, this Belgian-owned place is a bit of an institution among expats, who gather in swarms for long weekend ... read more

  • Tini Cafe and Bar
    3.5 stars

    Cute and chilled

    Street 450 (near Street 135), Tuol Tom Pong 1, Phnom Penh
    T: (017) 555 450

    Tucked away on one of the streets running off the Russian Market is Tini Cafe and Bar: tiny by name, and of course, tiny by nature. The little two-storey, all-white outfit nestled in a short stretch of old wooden houses that have somehow been spared the busy neighbourhood wrecking ball, is a cafe ... read more

  • Ordering an iced coffee in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    One of the great pleasures of enduring the weather in Cambodia — those 35 degree afternoons one after the other — is sitting down in the shade with an enormous, sickly-sweet iced coffee. ... read more

  • Alma Cafe
    3.5 stars

    Relaxed Mexican

    42A Street 454 (corner with Street 123), Phnom Penh
    T: (092) 424 903

    If you’re feeling peckish in the vicinity of the Russian Market, Alma Cafe is worth hunting out. A Khmer house might not be the obvious location for yummy, good value Mexican food, but the colourful poncho shows you’re in the right place. ... read more

  • Sisters All Day Breakfast Shop
    3.5 stars

    Honest-to-goodness value for money

    26B Street 446, Phsar Toul Tom Poung
    T: (012) 918 244

    Phsar Toul Toum Poung (aka Russian Market) in Phnom Penh is a sweaty heaving church of consumerism where the most devout can spend hours walking in circles and haggling for bargains. But even dedicated shoppers need time off for good behaviour, which is where the Sisters All Day Bakery Shop comes ... read more


  • The Lost Room
    4 stars

    Low-fuss deliciousness

    43 Street 21, Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Phnom Penh
    T: (078) 700 001

    The archetypal hideaway, buried down a little residential street behind buzzing Bassac Lane, The Lost Room is a romantic little spot with all of the appearance of a Spanish hole in the wall. The menu too reflects a Spanish approach to life, with tapas plates leading you up to the bigger offerings, ... read more

  • Che Culo!
    4 stars

    #6B, St 302, Phnom Penh

    #6B Street 302, Phnom Penh
    T: (081) 470 221

    Che Culo! (“what luck!” in case you were wondering, though Google Translate swears it means “that ass!”) is a very cool little Spanish bar and “eatery”, and though we usually abhor that latter term, it does kind of work for a place that’s so neatly divided between drinking and dining, ... read more

  • Il Forno
    4 stars

    Contender for best pizza in town

    #11, St. 302, BKK1, Phnom Penh
    T: (010) 660 515

    The newest bambino on the block, Il Forno is a smart, contemporary Italian restaurant with a traditional menu and big, gorgeous flavours. Opening in the heart of BKK1 in mid-2015, the Phnom Penh version of the mega-popular Siem Reap restaurant is a very different bowl of pasta from its more rustic ... read more

  • La Creperie
    4 stars

    Authentic Breton fare

    St 308, Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Phnom Penh
    T: (023) 640 7600

    A real Breton crepe is one of life’s simple but very real pleasures: thin and crispy on top, soft and slightly thicker at the bottom, wrapped around a rich sweet or savoury filling of your choice. Given France’s long influence in Cambodia, it’s kind of surprising that there hasn’t been a ... read more

  • Chinese House
    4 stars


    45 Sisowath Quay (at Street 84) in front of the port, Phnom Penh
    T: (092) 553 330

    One of the most stylish addresses in town, Chinese House combines old world Eastern romanticism with a thoroughly contemporary approach to art, music, cocktails and food. In the quiet north of the city, a beautifully preserved Chinese merchant’s house yields two distinct settings: downstairs, the ... read more

  • Khema
    4 stars

    The finest French

    224 Street 51 (inside the Arunreas hotel), Phnom Penh
    T: (016) 611 555

    Unabashed cheeses, forthright saucisses, rich and rugged pates and terrines, luxurious cakes, earthy breads, buttery patissierie and those delicious if, in fairness slightly over the top, macarons the French do so well — if these are the things that make your knees go weak, then prepare to ... read more

  • Pop Cafe
    4 stars

    Great Italian

    371 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh
    T: (012) 562 892

    Quite simply, Pop Cafe serves the best pasta in Phnom Penh, if not Cambodia, and you’ll be hard-pushed to find a soul in the capital in full possession of their wits who would disagree with you. Around a decade ago, Pop Cafe Da Giorgio was the first Italian restaurant to open in Phnom Penh. For ... read more

  • Vegetarian options in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    As with most of Asia, finding truly vegetarian food in Phnom Penh can be a bit of a challenge. It’s not impossible, though, and a few excellent vegetarian restaurants in town serve up tasty dishes that don’t contain any prahok. ... read more

  • Sunday roasts in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    If you’re yearning for a little taste of home in Phnom Penh, there are more than a few places in town among the many restaurants on offer where you can tuck into a traditional Sunday roast. Sunday roasts are most popular with the British, of course, who find that a few weeks on the road are ... read more

  • Afternoon tea in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    If you’re sick of street food and looking for a more refined snacking experience, many of the posh hotels in town offer afternoon tea, where you can put on your most colonial accent and load up on sweets. ... read more

  • Pizza in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    If you’ve had your fill of Khmer food (and Japanese and Vietnamese) maybe it’s time to grab a pizza. As luck would have it, Phnom Penh has quite a few decent pies on offer. ... read more

  • Mexican food in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    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 ... read more

  • Mike's Burger House
    3.5 stars

    Out of the way but worth it

    Sokimex Station Russian Confederation Boulevar

    For those in Phnom Penh looking for a little taste of home, Mike’s Burger House serves up some of Phnom Penh’s most-loved burgers that are noteworthy for being both toothsome and enormous.Proprietor Im Chenda, who goes by Mike, is originally from Battambang province, but at the end of the Khmer ... read more

  • The Empire
    3.5 stars

    A bar, restaurant and cinema

    34 Street 130, Phnom Penh
    T: (077) 488 243

    The streets behind Phnom Penh‘s riverside are a microcosm of the city — there’s karaoke, street food, hostess bars, fast food joints, hairdressers, hotels and tailors. In all the excitement, it might be easy to overlook The Empire, a small bar and restaurant and cinema squeezed into a regular ... read more

  • Mekong View Tower
    3.5 stars

    Dine while you spot the landmark

    Wat Chas Road, Chroy Chungvar, Phnom Penh
    T: (023) 432 2013

    Boasting one of the best views of sunset and the Phnom Penh skyline, Mekong View Tower does exactly what it says on the neon sign. It takes some effort to get there across the bridge at the northern end of town, but those who make the journey are rewarded with two rivers and the beauty of the city ... read more

Khmer restaurants

  • Khmer food in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    Every time I have visitors from out of town I rack my brains trying to think of the perfect place to take them to eat and sample the local fare. Khmer cuisine, with its fermented fishy flavours, can be difficult for those who aren’t familiar with it, and many local restaurants only serve a few ... read more

  • Eating for less than $5 a day in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    Visitors to Phnom Penh are sometimes surprised at the cost of food, but it’s perfectly possible to eat for $5 — or 20,000 riel — a day if you know where to look. The first trick to cheap meals is to put aside thoughts of familiar nosh and get experimental. A Western breakfast can set you back ... read more

  • Laughing Fatman
    3.5 stars

    An old backpacker favourite

    43 Street 172, Phnom Penh
    T: 012 765 591

    A short ramble from the riverside on Street 172 in Phnom Penh, Laughing Fatman is an old backpacker favourite in an upcoming tourist hotspot. Formerly Oh My Buddha at Lakeside, moving close to Wat Ounalom required a name change that wouldn’t upset the monks. Seems they have no problem with ... read more

  • Restaurant Phsar Kabko
    3.5 stars

    Generous portions in unpretentious surroundings

    #5 Street 9, Phnom Penh
    T: 012 703 708 / 023 210 787

    Following on from the lowdown on cheap eats, this particular Phnom Penh provider of good value nosh deserved to have its praises sung a little more loudly. Restaurant Phsar Kabko is almost opposite the market it’s named for on Street 9, just off Sihanouk Boulevard east of Independence Monument. ... read more

Other Asian

  • Mama Wong's Dumpling Noodle House
    4 stars

    Divine dumplings and more

    #41 Street 308, Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Phnom Penh
    T: (097) 850 8383

    The name is pretty descriptive, and accurate, but doesn’t come close to conveying just how good this place is. Mama Wong’s Dumpling Noodle House sits near the end of the row of lively bars and restaurants that make up trendy Bassac Lane, and from this vantage point serves up a richly flavoured, ... read more

  • Fortune Pho
    4 stars

    Cheap noodle soup hit

    128 St 51 (corner of St 242), Phnom Penh
    T: (092) 767 432

    A little bit away from the crowds, but more than worth the minor excursion, Fortune Pho has built up a solid reputation over many years for reliably serving up the same delicious pho, day after day, year after year. ... read more

  • Dim sum in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    Dim sum is the Chinese version of tapas — small plates of steamed dumplings and other tasty treats that were originally meant to be accompaniments to drinking tea and are perfect for sharing with a group. Whether you’re just learning about dim sum or are an aficionado, there are many options ... read more

  • Casual Japanese dining in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    There’s much more to Japanese cuisine than just sushi, and there’s no better place to find out than Cambodia. In Phnom Penh a number of restaurants have recently been opened by Japanese expats that specialise in Japanese casual dining — simple, cooked meals and rice bowls that are made just ... read more

  • Sushi in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    Despite the large number of Japenese expats in Phnom Penh, good sushi is harder to come by than you’d think, with most of the Japanese restaurants in town serving up primarily donburis and other Japanese home-cooking. ... read more

  • Vietnamese restaurants in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    Despite Cambodia’s proximity to Vietnam, it can be harder than you think to find delicious Vietnamese food in Phnom Penh. ... read more

  • A taste of North Korea in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    If you’ve ever wanted to know more about North Korea, Phnom Penh offers a glimpse into the highly secretive hermit kingdom and its cuisine. Two restaurants in town not only serve North Korean fare but also feature a musical floor show performed by Pyongyang’s finest; yes, a complete cultural ... read more

  • Chinese Noodle Restaurant
    3.5 stars

    Divine dumplings, niiiice noodles

    545 Monivong Blvd, Phnom Penh
    T: (012) 937 805

    The surroundings might not be salubrious, but Chinese Noodle Restaurant dishes up delicious hand-pulled noodles and housemade dumplings, and prices are about as cheap as you’ll find anywhere in town. ... read more

  • Warung Bali
    3.5 stars

    Good for those stretching a budget

    25 Street 178, Phnom Penh
    T: 012 967 480

    Tucked into a difficult-to-spot shophouse on Street 178 in Phnom Penh within spitting distance of Phnom Penh’s National Museum, Warung Bali only has nine tables. So before we go any further, you have to promise not to go there when we want dinner. Deal? ... read more

  • Lucky Pho
    3.5 stars

    A Viet hit

    11 Street 178, Phnom Penh
    T: (012) 538 904

    Two minutes from Phnom Penh‘s riverside, just around the corner from perennial tourist favourite the FCC, you’ll find the small but perfectly formed Lucky Pho. If you’ve crossed from Vietnam and have a hankering for soup, you won’t be disappointed here. The price may be higher than on a ... read more

  • Uraetei Yakiniku
    3.5 stars

    Specialist Japanese

    5 Street 360, Boeung Keng Kang 1, Phnom Penh
    T: (023) 218 037

    Phnom Penh has always been ahead of the curve with a wide range of international cuisine for a city of its size. So it was no surprise to learn that a specialist Japanese restaurant had recently been added to the mix. What did take me aback was the reaction when I mentioned the Uraetei Yakiniku ... read more

Phnom Penh

Street food

  • Coconut milk desserts
    3.5 stars

    One of the most mysterious street food stands you’ll find in Phnom Penh (well, maybe aside from the crickets) are the dessert stands — covered in rows of bowls of what appear to be mushy vegetables, you’d never know you’d happened upon a Cambodian ambrosial secret hidden in plain sight. ... read more

  • Eating oysters in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    You’ll forgive me for not immediately realising that Phnom Penh is an oyster town. It’s not next to the sea and there doesn’t seem to be a word in the Khmer language for oyster. And yet there’s an oyster culture in Phnom Penh, with locals and expats alike enjoying oysters on the half shell ... read more

  • Nom banh chok
    3.5 stars

    A quintessential Khmer dish

    Nom banh chok is a quintessential Khmer dish, loved by locals and tourists alike. The dish, which is similar to Thai kanom jeen, consists of rice noodles topped with a green fish gravy and heaps of fresh green beans, bean sprouts, banana flower, cucumbers and other greens. The noodles are ... read more

  • Crickets
    3.5 stars


    Now that Angelina Jolie has revealed that her Cambodian-born son is a huge fan of eating crickets, you may be considering trying the popular snack as well. If little Maddox Jolie-Pitt likes them, who wouldn’t? This is a kid with good taste — between the faux-hawk and having his own ... read more

  • Bai sach chrouk
    3.5 stars

    Pork with rice

    Breakfast-time in Phnom Penh starts around six in the morning, but the street food stands don’t start really hopping until seven. Most of them serve until they run out at around nine. One of the most popular breakfasts — in addition to Khmer noodles — is bai sach chrouk, or pork with rice. ... read more

  • Nom Plae Ai
    3.5 stars

    Just delicious

    End of Street 258 (the Lazy Gecko and Okay Guesthouse area)

    There’s a woman who comes through my neighbourhood every afternoon, shouting in a high-pitched grating tone “NOOOOOM PLAAAAAAAAAAE AAAAAIIIIIII”. Until recently, I had never seen her face, but I could hear her coming from blocks away, and after she passed my house, I could still hear “nooom ... read more

  • Kuy teav
    3.5 stars

    A popular breakfast

    One of the most popular breakfasts you’ll find in Cambodia is kuy teav (another, of course, is my much-loved bai sach chrouk). ... read more

  • Coconut water
    3.5 stars


    Coconut water is one of the easiest and safest street foods for visitors to try in Phnom Penh. As long as the coconut is not damaged, the liquid inside young coconuts is sterile and safe for sensitive tummies. ... read more

  • Norodom street food restaurant
    3.5 stars

    No name but good

    Norodom Boulevard opposite Street 178, Phnom Penh

    On Norodom Boulevard, amid the colonial throwback government offices, beauty clinics and banks, sits an old and dilapidated mansion. By day, it’s just another example of the crumbling, elegant history that Phnom Penh still has to offer. But in the evening its courtyard comes alive with plastic ... read more

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