Phnom Penh restaurants are emerging as culinary surprise packages to match larger and more established Southeast Asian neighbours. Traditional Khmer street food surrounds the footpath of haute cuisine restaurants, and cafes and bistros of every variety sprout in alleys and old colonial houses.
Of course you’ll want to try the local food while you’re here, but don’t miss the chance to let Phnom Penh’s foodies delight you with something different, or something you never would have expected to find here. Like most things in Cambodia, dining is cheap so the bill in even the priciest restaurants in Phnom Penh will probably leave a smile on your face.
1. Romdeng (Friends International)- Street 174
Romdeng will fill your karma bank, as well as your stomach, with goodness. Part of the Friends International program, all the staff have been trained in hospitality, food service and management as part of their program to help poor and at-risk Cambodian children break the poverty cycle. Even the cushions you sit on are made by the students. Add to that Romdeng’s menu that features recipes from some of the country’s most remote areas and you have a unique, delicious and worthwhile dining experience. If you haven’t had them anywhere else, give the deep-fried tarantulas a try (served with black pepper and lime sauce). A mid-range priced menu with a good selection of international wines and drinks. Read More…
Opening Hours: 11:00 – 22:30.
Address: #74, Street 174
Tel: 092 219 565
2. Khmer Surin – Street 57
Khmer Surin is famous for authentic Khmer food in a garden setting. In the middle of BKK1’s backpacker district, it stands out with its traditional Khmer timber architecture, and its garden that reaches out into the street to draw you in. But it’s the regional food that you’ll remember. The menu includes Thai, Vietnamese and Western dishes, but this is definitely the place to try Cambodia’s famous fish amok or beef loklak. You won’t pay street food prices, but Khmer Surin is still not expensive and the service and ambience make it great value for a comfortable meal. There’s also an extensive cocktail, wine and beer menu. Read More…
Opening Hours: 11:00 – 22:00
Address: #9 Street 57, BKK1
Tel: 023 363 050
When you find yourself craving a real salad or something lighter and fresher than the fried meats and heavy curries you’ve been devouring from street-food vendors and markets, Artillery is the place to go. Both locations serve the same menu of organic, chemical-free, fair trade ingredients, with a wide-range of vegan and raw dishes. Don’t shy away if you’re a carnivore, they also serve great meat dishes, including their pork sausage and scrambled eggs on a toasted sesame bagel for breakfast. If you’ve still got room for dessert, try the raw key lime pie. Read More…
Opening Hours: 7:30 – 21:00
Address: #13B, Street 278, near the corner of Street 63, BKK1
Tel: 078 985 530
4. 63Restuarant- BKK1
Good simple food at amazing prices – that’s 63Restuarant. You’ll find expats, backpackers and trendy locals all enjoying the cheap and tasty dishes from their Khmer, pasta and pizza menus. You’ll also find an outrageously long cocktail menu. You can eat here for less than $4, including your draft beer. The fried noodles and rice are good staples, and 63’s version of Khmer roasted eggplant with pork is also a tasty favourite. The indoor-outdoor dining area is small, so its popularity sometimes means sharing a table with other diners if you want to eat straight away. You can’t beat 63 for good quality, budget dining.
Opening Hours: 18:30 – Midnight
Address: #179-E0 Street 63, BKK1
Tel: 015 647 062.
5. Foreign Correspondent’s Club (FCC) – Riverside
The Foreign Correspondent’s Club is a Phnom Penh institution. Housed in a French colonial era building overlooking the river and Sisowath Quay, FCC is a great spot for a good western meal, a fancy tropical cocktail, or just to sit at the rooftop bar with a beer and watch the people of Phnom Penh go past. The menu is all fancy enticing fare, with vegetarian options, at reasonable prices though more than the average Phnom Penh restaurant. The tempura prawn shooters are a great appetizer or snack to accompany one of their signature cocktails, like the Kampot Snapper or Hemingway Special. If you’re going to FCC for dinner, make sure you arrive early enough to catch the sunset over the Mekong.
Opening Hours: 7:00 – Midnight.
Address: #363 Sisowath Quay, Riverside
Tel: 023 724 014
6. The Duck – Sothearos Boulevard
With some restaurants popping up and then disappearing just as fast on the Phnom Penh dining landscape, The Duck is one of the stayers. The contemporary bistro prides itself on fresh locally sourced produce for their dishes. Everything from classic French to street food inspirations line the menu, with fusions like Kampot pepper-crusted New Zealand rack of lamb. This is fine dining Cambodian style, so the bill is heftier than normal, but should still bring a smile to your freshly filled face.
Opening Hours: 1:00 – 15:00 Mon-Fri, 17:00 – Late Mon-Sun, Brunch from 9:00 Sat-Sun.
Address: #49 Sothearos Boulevard, near Meta House.
Tel: 089 823 704
7. Taqueria Corona – Street 51
A short walk from Independence Monument, Taqueria Corona is a popular Mexican restaurant, a favourite with locals and expats. The menu is Tex-Mex, with fresh salads and slow-cooked meats as main features. You’ll also find local twists like the fresh seafood taco plate, or interesting alternatives like nachos with chorizo. Of course, the cheap jugs of sangria and frozen margaritas are also popular with the regulars. Most nights of the week it’s a good idea to book if you have your heart set on dining at Taqueria. Affordably priced.
Opening Hours: 11:30 – 14:00 (except Sun) and 18:00 – 22:00
Address: #14E, Rue Pasteur (Street 51)
Tel: 012 629 986/ 089 281 626.
8. Sesame Noodle Bar – Russian Market area
Sesame is not so much a traditional Asian noodle bar as a modern, hip hangout with food to match. The freshly made noodles, coupled with salads and meats of your choice, are a refreshing change from the often heavily fried street variety, but the prices are still backpacker friendly. It’s a little off the regular tourist track, but well worth the visit if you’re checking out Russian Market or BKK1 while you’re in Phnom Penh. The pork (“Mighty Thor”) buns are great, and if you have a sweet tooth, make sure you try the chocolate sesame balls!
Opening Hours: 11:30 – 14:30 and 17:00
Address: #9 Street 460 (between streets 135 & 155), Russian Market area.
Tel: 089 750 212.
9. Piccola Italia da Luigi Pizzeria (“Luigi’s” or “Piccola”) – Street 308
Acclaimed as (arguably) the best pizza in Phnom Penh, Piccola Italia, or Luigi’s, is the star of the up-and-coming TonleBassac bar and restaurant district on Street 308. With Napoli-style thin crusts and margaritas (the pizza and cocktail variety), you’ll also find delicious pesto and deli products available to dine in or take away. Run by one of Phnom Penh’s manyItalian restaurateurs-turned-locals, Luigi’s is busy most nights, and on weekends it’s best to book to ensure a table.Moderately priced for Phnom Penh, definitely try a Piccolapizza with your favourite topping.
Opening Hours: 11:30 – 22:00 (closed Mondays)
Address: Street 308, TonleBassac.
Tel: 017 323 273.
10. The Lost Room – Abdul Karime
The Lost Room is a legend in Phnom Penh food circles, as much for its hard-to-find location as for its stunning selection of fresh tapas-style dishes. The dishes are deliberately small to encourage you to order multiple plates and share. Your host will greet you warmly and give you the run-down of any dish you like, including food and wine recommendations. The pork belly is a must try. Unlike a lot of restaurants in Phnom Penh, The Lost Room segregates smoking outdoors, so you’re assured smoke-free dining if that’s important to you. Priced a little higher than the average Phnom Penh restaurant, and credit cards aren’t accepted, so bring your cash.
Opening Hours: 17:00 – Late (closed Sundays)
Location: Tell your tuk-tuk driver “Svay Pope Pagoda”.
Address: #43 Street 21 (Abdul Karime).
Tel: 078 700 001