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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

  • Khmer clubs in Phnom Penh
    3.5 stars

    Most visitors to Phnom Penh who are the club-going type end up visiting one the few Western-oriented clubs in town. But there are even more clubs in town catering to Khmers, and each offers a unique clubbing experience — from daytime discos to live bands and slow dancing — that gives an ... 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

  • Equinox
    3.5 stars

    One of Golden Street's favourite spots

    3a Street 278, Phnom Penh
    T: (085) 023 6767593 / (085) 092 821700

    Close to Independence Monument, Equinox is slap bang in the middle of the evening entertainment strip on Street 278, usually known as Golden Street. Away from the tour groups on riverside or the appealing mother-wouldn’t-approve sleaziness of Street 51, the more refined Golden Street is home to ... read more

Cafes and brunch

  • 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

  • Botanic Cafe and Art Gallery
    4 stars

    Ideal for a cosy natter over coffee and cake

    #126 Street 19
    T: (077) 589 458

    Every so often in Phnom Penh, you pass something that makes you look twice. Granted, it’s often an overladen motorbike or a T-shirt with words you are sure the wearer doesn’t understand. But the Botanic Cafe on Street 19 also prompts a double take. When you first spot it, nestled behind a ... 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 hanging outside 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


  • 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

  • Tepui at Chinese House
    3.5 stars

    South American and Mediterranean flavours

    Chinese House, 45 Sisowath Quay, at Street 84 in front of Phnom Penh Port.
    T: (023) 991 514

    Bringing a bit of South America to Phnom Penh, a team of Venezuelans have opened a new restaurant and bar at the Chinese House on Sisowath Quay. Antonio Lopez de Haro, originally from Caracas, Venezuela, first visited Phnom Penh while he was living in Singapore. He liked it so much he kept coming ... 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

    The Empire, a small 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

  • 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

    Hand pulled noodles

    553 Monivong Blvd, Phnom Penh
    T: 012 937 805

    Long hailed as one of Phnom Penh’s best-kept secrets, Chinese Noodle Restaurant dishes up hand-pulled noodles and homemade dumplings on the cheap. It’s not much of a secret any more, but the place still feels like it’s hidden in plain sight on Monivong Boulevard a few blocks below Sihanouk. ... 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

  • 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

Street food

  • 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

  • Eating 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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