By : RJ Fisher Last Update : January 2024
Where to eat in Phnom Penh?
- There is no short and simple answer. The number of restaurants in Phnom Penh is through the roof and it takes a lot of trial and error to separate the good from the bad;
- This is not just a simple list of best Phnom Penh restaurants. In the two years we lived/worked here, as well as on multiple repeat visits we have personally tried and tested all food outlets mentioned;
- Skip the tourist hypes that don’t live up to their rep. Follow our recommendations and go straight for the best restaurants in Phnom Penh.
Here are +40 Best Restaurants in Phnom Penh – 2024 Update
*at the end of this article you will find a map to easily navigate your way to the best Phnom Penh restaurants.
Also read: Phnom Penh Travel Guide – Insider look into things to see/do and the best areas to stay
use the “page contents” button to navigate this article
Phnom Penh draws in a growing stream of visitors year on year. The rich culture and the laid-back vibe of the city attracts travelers by the millions from every corner of the world. While the Russian Market and Bassac area are popular with expats, most travelers stay around the riverside or the BKK1 area. These popular tourist areas are getting more and more crowded with each season.
However, there is a good side to this. The capital has adapted nicely to this influx of visitors and over time created an adequate tourism infrastructure. Moreover, there is an abundance of Phnom Penh restaurants and eateries! and that my dears, is right up our alley. So, on our visit(s) here we just couldn’t wait to dig in and find out where to eat in Phnom Penh.
Traveling to Cambodia? Check the up-to-date entry requirements
Update January 2024
For the record, several restaurants in Phnom Penh from our original list had to permanently close due to the pandemic aftermath. Also, some restaurants that were getting stellar reviews on sites like Tripadvisor and Google didn’t handle their increased popularity very well and now seem to have lost their mojo.
Sadly, we had to remove them from our list and mind you, big names have dropped out. They include Mok Mony, The Vegetarian Restaurant, Friends, Romdeng, Alchemy Gastro Pub, Vibe Cafe, Chinese House, Jars of Clay and Mr Mab. We will keep updating this article with any further information that reaches us, so you will always be up to date on where to eat in Phnom Penh.
Restaurants in Phnom Penh are scattered throughout the city with the largest concentrations of “fancy restaurants” along the riverside and in the BKK1 district. However, don’t underestimate the quality and quantity of eateries in other areas like the Russian Market and Tonle Bassac.
With Phnom Penh being a foodie destination, there is something for everyone. Unfortunately, it’s not all coming up roses. Some of the self acclaimed “authentic Khmer restaurants” tone down the local flavors to suit the (alleged) tourist palate. At the same time, Western food is sometimes prepared by Cambodian chefs. Exceptions aside, not all of them have truly mastered Western cooking yet and their dishes are not always up to par.
Authentic Khmer Cuisine
When trying to figure out where to eat in Phnom Penh, of course you will be on the lookout for authentic Khmer food. However, Khmer eateries offering the real deal require an adventurous spirit and you will need to step out of your comfort zone, i.e tourist restaurants. You will have to enter eateries that might not look appealing at first glance. Sometimes choose dishes by simply pointing, without having the faintest idea what it is.
Don’t worry, it’s not all creepy crawlies. Just dare to be curious and the reward is (usually) a delicious, wholesome meal and a great new experience.
As mentioned before, you can eat your way around the world in Phnom Penh. Restaurants offer dishes from every global nook and cranny with Indian, Italian and Chinese cuisine as the most prominent. Also, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and the inevitable Burger joints are well represented.
Phnom Penh Street Food
Besides restaurants, Phnom Penh street food is also an excellent option to get a taste of Khmer cuisine. When the sun starts to set, food stalls pop up literally everywhere in the city. The areas around the markets usually see the largest clusters of stalls.
Wanna try authentic Cambodian food with the help of a professional? Why not join a Khmer breakfast tour?
Follow our recommendations below for a delicious meal in one of the outstanding riverside restaurants in Phnom Penh.
Traditionally, the riverside is the city’s most popular area for visitors, and with good reason. The majestic mile long promenade offers fantastic views over the Tonle Sap and Mekong river that have picked this spot to come together. Also, Phnom Penh’s most significant landmarks such as Wat Phnom, The Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda and the National Museum are all situated on or right next to the riverfront.
Take five steps away from the promenade to end up in a maze of small streets and alleys where Wat Ounaloum, the most important Buddhist temple in Cambodia is waiting to be explored. Or stroll down Phsar Chas (old Market), Phsar Thmey (Central market) and the Phnom Penh Night Market.
Not surprisingly the presence of so many visitors attracted an abundance of eateries to set up shop in the area. Not all of them are necessarily a good choice to satisfy your appetite though. Obviously price levels are higher than in other parts of the city and quality differs a lot. There are however, a few absolute gems to be discovered.
1. Kabbas Restaurant
Opening hours: Everyday from 11am to 9pm except Thursday closed.
More or less in the heart of the backpackers district, Kabbas restaurant in Phnom Penh is always a safe bet for decent Asian food with constant quality. The backpacker and expat crowd frequenting the place gives it a lively atmosphere. As a bonus the staff speaks English and is super friendly.
The menu offers a variety of curries and stir fry Asian dishes. It also features a selection of Spaghetti and Western salads, so there’s something for all dinner companions. Most important, the food is fresh with good flavors and being a backpacker favorite helps to keep prices at a reasonable level. Just to let you know: back in the day Kabbas used to serve incredible cocktails, but as of lately they went completely alcohol free.
The whole fish with ginger we shared, I think it was snapper but not sure, went for $6. Curries are under $4 and the excellent Prahok Ktiss, a must try when in Cambodia, is only $3.50. I know of a fellow travel couple that ate here 5 times during their 5 days stay in the city. Don’t go overboard like that, you’ll miss out on all the other fine restaurants in Phnom Penh.
2. Khema Restaurant Pasteur
Opening hours: Everyday from 7am to 10pm
Considered an institute among Phnom Penh restaurants, this place never fails to deliver. French inspired with a few Cambodian influences and their own home bakery. Choose from lovely dishes a la carte, but the real steal of a deal is the all you can eat buffet. Free flow breakfast ($13.50) every day from 6am to 10am. Free flow brunch ($21) on weekends from 11am to 3pm with more than +30 buffet options. Wine and dine buffet ($25) on Fridays from 7pm to 9pm.
We enjoyed a lovely brunch and were spoiled for choice. Cold cuts, quiche, rich salads, several meat and fish dishes, crepes and coffee included. I’m actually not a fan of buffet style, but I gladly make an exception for Khema. High quality, fresh and above all very delicious. The only let down (for me) was the 7% cover charge and 10% VAT on top of the prices stated in the menu, which is not common practice in Cambodia.
3. David’s Restaurant – Homemade Noodles
Opening hours: Everyday from 10am to 10pm
“Order the noodles to see the show” is the slogan of David’s restaurant in Phnom Penh. Fact is that the noodles are really good and food wise it’s very accessible. Let’s say you just arrived and your stomach still needs to adjust to the local spices, ingredients and cooking oil. It’s probably wise to wait a few days before indulging on street food. I know what you’re thinking, but skip that Burger King thought. If ever you’re wondering where to eat in Phnom Penh just after arrival then David’s is the perfect and safe intro to local cuisine.
Good, clean and light food. Let your stomach settle in with silky soft noodles and veggie dumplings in a broth not too strong on spices and exotic ingredients ($3.75). Of course if you are up for it then go for the spicy laksa ($6) or a stir fried ginger chicken ($4.50) and wash it all down with one dollar beers.
The mentioned “show” consists of the staff making the noodles by hand in front of anyone to see. A nice gimmick for the tourist visitors, but nothing more than that. I was more taken in by the friendly, family atmosphere, very laid back and feel at home.
4. Pizza 4P’s Phnom Penh
Opening hours: Everyday from 11am to 10pm
I admit, I can never go too long without pizza, it’s my guilty pleasure. So finding a branch of Pizza 4P’s Restaurant in Phnom Penh at the riverside was a nice surprise. Few days later I found that they have another branch in the BKK1 area as well, whoohoo! So yes pizza, but not just any pizza, what they serve here is pretty darn good.
Pizza 4P’s in Cambodia is a Vietnamese restaurant chain with Japanese owners that sells Italian food, confused much?! Their mission is to make you smile and from there to make the whole world a better place by sharing happiness. Sounds like slick marketing perhaps, but fact is that they make their own cheese. Not just Mozzarella, but also Burrata, Camembert and 5 other cheeses. Yes, I’m smiling.
The pizza crust is more towards Neapolitan style with bread-like fluffy edges and thin crust in the middle. Toppings are generous and delish. Take special note of the Japanese toppings like Miso ($13), Teriyaki ($10) and Shashimi ($13). Italian natives might feel it’s blasphemy, but I’ve tried it and it works.
Next to pizza the menu has a whole lot of other dishes as well. Salads go for $5-$8 and spaghetti for $7-$10. Pizza 4P’s certainly isn’t the cheapest pizza restaurant in Phnom Penh, but definitely one of the best.
5. Banteay Srey Restaurant
Opening hours: Everyday 11am to 2:30pm an 6pm to 10pm, except Tuesday closed
One of the great “little” Khmer restaurants in Phnom Penh. The owner is very personable and very involved in the service, as it should. The menu consists of the usual suspect local dishes like Fish Amok ($6) and Chicken Curry ($5), but also spaghetti Khmer style. We really did enjoy our pasta with shrimp ($6) and the grilled chicken ($6.75).
Banteay Srey caters mainly to foreign visitors with accessible flavors to accommodate their palate. Having said that, I feel that the right Khmer basis is definitely there. Such a great place for an introduction to Cambodian cuisine and hospitality.
6. Cousin’s Burger & Coffee
Opening hours: Everyday from 11am to 10pm, except Sunday closed
Good ole burgers are probably one of the most sought after food by travelers. I mean, nothing wrong with local Southeast Asian food, but sometimes you need a break from rice and noodles. There’s certainly no shortage of burgers joints here. It can be rather difficult to find a restaurant in Phnom Penh that serves an excellent burger though. We went out and found just the place for you.
Cousin’s is French owned and this means real cheese on your burger. None of that kraft singles s**t, but real Cheddar, Morbier and Raclette that add an extra layer of taste. Also, fresh baked buns, homemade sauces and quality ingredients from the pickles to the fries, you’re in for a treat.
The Frenchy’s Burger ($6.50) was so juicy and well balanced with the bacon and Raclette cheese. I almost ordered an extra were it not that the side order of French fries had me completely stuffed.
Update February 2024: The restaurant suddenly disappeared from our radar. If anyone knows the latest status, please let us know in the comments. Would be shame to loose the quality burgers of Cousin’s.
When Cambodia opened up to visitors after 1990, expats clustered in the BKK1 district of Phnom Penh. Many NGO’s established their Cambodian HQ here and foreign employees took up residence in the area. Soon, this part of town became rife with modern apartment buildings, restaurants, foreign branded supermarkets, gyms, boutiques and cafes.
Over time, prices for long term rental apartments went up to extremes and some of the first hour expats moved to other areas. For whomever can afford it though, BKK1 is still the place to be. High level Japanese and Chinese restaurants are shoulder to shoulder with more casual Mexican and Italian eateries. Coffee shops serve chai lattes, matcha and kombucha next to Hong Kong and French pastries. As a foodie in BKK1 you are like the proverbial kid in a candy store.
The large expat community won’t settle for mediocre tourist food. Restaurants really had to step up their game, and boy they did. Now some of the best restaurants in Phnom Penh can be found in this area. You too can enjoy the delicious and quality meals of these establishments. The only trick is separating the wheat from the chaff. We already did the heavy legwork for you (oh sacrifice), so follow our recommendations on where to eat in Phnom Penh, BKK1.
1. Le Langka
Opening hours: Everyday from 5:30pm to 10pm
Our first two attempts to secure a table failed since we didn’t make a reservation, our bad. This time was different, we did reserve and were promptly seated on a table for 2 on ground level (there’s an upstairs as well). It’s always packed to the brim here and while seated close to the entrance we witnessed first hand how many wannabe visitors were turned down in one evening.
The reason for Le Langka being one of the most popular restaurants in Phnom Penh is simple, good food. Or better yet, excellent food! The interior is cozy, but not spectacular. The staff is adequate and friendly, but it’s really the food that makes all the difference. French bistro style cooking at its best, even if it’s not a typical bistro menu.
Well whatever you might call the style of cooking, my roasted chicken with mushroom mash ($12.50) was nothing less than fantastic. I was also lucky enough to sample the dish of my dinner partner, lamb chops with Kampot pepper ($23) wow!
2. Khmer Surin
Opening hours: Everyday from 6:30am to 9:30pm
You’re in Cambodia, so naturally you want to try Khmer food. If you also like a nice setting with typical Khmer decorations and artifacts, then this place will do the trick for you. Khmer Surin is one of the better Cambodian restaurants in Phnom Penh and perhaps even the very best in the BKK1 area. They have been around since 1996 so they must be doing something right, right?
But not just Cambodian food. Next to Khmer classics like Fish Amok ($5.50) and Beef Lok Lak ($6), also Thai specialties are prominent on the menu. From experience, the Massaman Curry Chicken ($7) here is excellent, as are the Thai Fish Cakes ($5.50). For dessert we couldn’t resist the mango with sticky rice ($4.50), which we chose to have in their rooftop coffee bar on the 14th floor.
Don’t miss out on this fine restaurant. Besides the nice food and the cozy (recently refurbished) interior it has a very pleasant atmosphere and friendly service. Also, did you note the affordable pricing? Now you’ll never ever have to wonder anymore about where to eat in Phnom Penh.
3. Farm to table
Opening hours: Everyday from 8am to 9pm
One of our favorite hangouts and thrilled to see that Farm to Table is still going strong. Their mission remains unchanged: “To create thoughtfully sourced, sustainable dishes in a natural setting and reduce impact on the local environment”.
These are not just marketing tactics, they really practice what they preach. That includes all employees undergoing an awareness program and actively taking part in neighborhood clean-ups. Moreover, the young and bright staff is so merry and cheerful. It’s always a pleasure to communicate with them.
Now, how about the food, is it any good? Yes, yes and yes! Comfort food from around the world. We visited at lunch time and shared a local sausage plate ($12.5) with lemongrass spiced sausages, meatballs, grilled veggies and served with hot and fluffy flatbread. We also munched on a Roasted Pumpkin Salad ($5.5) with turmeric, tahini and cashew nuts. It was really tasty.
Besides lunch, Farm to Table serves excellent breakfasts and dinners as well. All in line with their “local fresh produced and sustainable dishes” philosophy. Also they host many events, such as live music, cooking classes, pet adoption, clean-up rallies. On weekend days it’s best to reserve as it’s usually packed with (expat) families.
4. 306 Wagyu Steakhouse
Opening hours: Everyday from 11:30pm to 10:15pm
Do you enjoy a good steak? I do. There’s this restaurant in Phnom Penh that serves excellent steak. Unfortunately, I can’t afford it. A 300g wagyu rib-eye steak here does $125 and a 300g wagyu sirloin steak goes for $110. That’s way over my budget. Just imagine my joy when we were invited for dinner at 306 Wagyu Steakhouse by no-one other than the landlord of our apartment building?!
Apparently our landlord knew the owner/chef as we were warmly greeted by the latter. We didn’t go straight for the expensive stuff on the menu, we’re to civilized for that lol. After all it was our new friends treat, so we let him decide on the menu.
We started with a mezze plate with various dips, cheeses and salads to share. Wonderful flavors and textures from hummus, baba ganous, tabouleh and flat bread. For mains we shared a 650g wagyu dry aged T-bone that was cut at the table by the chef himself. Heaven!
I later ended up doing some translation and marketing work for our landlord and that kind of made me feel like we earned this fantastic food experience. So yes, this is one of the more expensive Phnom Penh restaurants, but if you can afford it you should give it a try.
5. More restaurants in Phnom Penh, BKK1 District
Another Phnom Penh restaurant in the BKK1 area that deserves a mention is Digby’s, a mix of Asian and Western comfort food in an American Diner environment. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, Digby’s is a good choice for uncomplicated munching. Burgers, pizza, oysters, Teriyaki, Bah Kut Teh, anything goes here. Prices are above average, but you’re guaranteed good quality and service.
Namaste is a favorite Indian restaurant in Phnom Penh for the expat population in BKK1. The rich decor makes you feel like you’re in an upper class restaurant, until you open the menu to find that Lamb Vindaloo is only $8.8 and any Seafood Curry just $7.8 max. Then, after your first bites, there’s that upper class feeling again. We also shared a Veg Platter with several vegetarian kebabs for $9.8 with a few steaming hot garlic naan breads. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal here.
6. Restaurants in Tonle Bassac District (next to BKK1)
The popularity of the BKK1 district spills over into the adjacent Tonle Bassac district. As of lately, Japanese and Chinese investments enabled full fledged projects here like the high tech Aeon shopping mall and the Naga entertainment complex with developments of more mega projects underway.
For me however, it’s not the large scale projects that makes this area so interesting. I’d rather spend my time in Bassac Quarter, a neat little area packed with exciting restaurants and home to innovative and trendy bars. It’s the new hip and happening place to be in Phnom Penh and especially on weekend nights the area is teeming with activity.
Renowned restaurant in Phnom Penh that somehow keeps raking in stellar reviews. Having visited Malis multiple times I can say that it’s hit or miss. On two occasions I felt like I was in culinary heaven and I was ready to spend all of my savings to eat here every day. However, on another visit I was left completely underwhelmed and broke on top of it.
“Underwhelmed” is an understatement since bland food served cold is definitely not good, especially at these price levels. Having said that, some dishes are actually quite affordable. Fish Amok is “only” $10 and pork rib curry goes for $9.90. If you fancy roasted chicken though ($25) or roast beef ($59) you need to bring deep pockets.
6.2 Wild Creative Bar & Spring Rolls Restaurant Phnom Penh
The spring rolls at Wild are creative, that’s for sure. We visited with friends for drinks and bites and tried several spring rolls which are 3pc per each serving. Some were a hit like the beef-cheddar ($4) and mango avocado ($4.25). Others were not bad like the pineapple-cinnamon and the cheese-tomatoes (both $3.75). Cocktails were great, but expensive (all between $5 and $6) so we couldn’t afford to go all out on those.
6.3 Mama Wong’s Dumpling and Noodle House
Mama Wong’s Dumpling and Noodle House has been around for some time and is still going strong. Excellent for lunch or in between bites when drinking in the Bassac Quarter. Eight dumplings, either steamed, fried or in a soup for $4.50. Same price for a bowl of noodles of your choice. Or go for Asian tapas, small bites starting from $1.50 to $5 each. Tasty, informal and good quality.
6.4 Botanico Wine & Beer Garden
Botanico wine & beer garden: Craft beer in Phnom Penh! This is where the local Cerevisia brewery sells their excellent craft beers in a beer garden setting with live music on most weekends. The IPA’s pair perfectly with the quality pub grub. Juicy beef and cheddar sliders for $7.25 and pulled pork quesadillas for $6.50.
6.5 Bassac Quarter Bars
Admitted, these are not restaurants, but interesting enough for a mention here. Take your pick from 30 to 40 bars such as the Backstreet bar with quiz nights or Can Can with DJ nights and live music. Maybe try Hub for street cocktails or Mars Bar the new favorite haunt for trendy locals. Whatever scene you’re into, there’s a bar for you in Bassac Quarter.
As part of Street 308 (Bassac Street), the small side alley, lovingly nicknamed “Bassac Lane“, is completely filled with bars. Not just any bars, but shoulder to shoulder hip and happening bars. Most of them are just small, not to say tiny, and while some of the interiors and decorations might seem a bit artificial, the atmosphere is definitely real.
6.6 Nagaworld Entertainment Complex
For good measure we have to mention the Nagaworld Hotel & Entertainment complex. 2 huge gold colored buildings near the riverside and the Royal Palace. Nagaworld 1 and 2 are connected by an underground luxury duty free shopping center to accommodate the predominantly Chinese clientele. Apparently they come here to gamble in the multiple casinos of the complex as gambling is forbidden in China. They fly in and take up accommodation in one of the 1000 hotel rooms, dine in one of the in-house restaurants, maybe visit the Royal Palace on a tour and go back to gambling.
Nagaworld has multiple food outlets. Several restaurants, cafes, bars and so-called food pavilions serve cuisine from every part of the world. We cannot attest to the food of the many Nagaworld restaurants as we haven’t tried any. Maybe you can let us know in the comment section if you did. Word has it that the locals love it here. Well, at least the ones that can afford it.
We never tried the food here, because to be honest, venues like these are just not our thing. That’s totally on us of course. The decorations are maximum bling, but made from cheap materials if you take a closer look. Huge lobbies with enormous crystal (imitation) chandeliers. Grotesque gold (imitation) ornaments, all around marble (imitation) counters and cigarette smoke everywhere. I’m not judging, to each his own, just not for me.
The Russian Market in the Tuol Tompoung district is a tourist attraction. Every morning busloads of tourists visit the market on a guided tour. It’s practically the sole attraction of Tuol Tompoung, so they are literally in and out of the market within the hour. What remains is an army of expats, mostly English teachers and NGO workers that relocated here following the price hikes of rental apartments in the adjacent BKK1 district.
In the wake of the expat migration a slew of small businesses arrived, creating a pleasant mix of restaurants, cafes, convenience stores, small shops and residences. Many of the restaurants here are quite small and intimate. Altogether they offer a large variety of international cuisines creating a unique and cozy atmosphere to the area.
Just to let you know, the “Russian Market” (officially “Tuol Tompoung Market”) got its nickname in the 1980’s. After the Khmer Rouge was ousted, Russian citizens were practically the only foreigners to visit Phnom Penh and this particular market was very popular with them. So contrary to what the nickname implies, there are no Russians for sale here.
1. Eleven One Kitchen
Opening hours: Everyday from 7am to 9:30pm
Maybe they don’t serve the most authentic Khmer food of all Phnom Penh restaurants, but Eleven One Kitchen makes up for it in so many other ways. We used to visit here a lot as we practically lived next door and always had a good meal for a reasonable price. The young and bubbly staff is always heartwarming trying to practice their English language skills with the guests. You can opt for the cozy outside garden setting, but there’s also a small air conditioned inside for those hot days.
The limited menu has a mix of Western and Khmer inspired dishes. I still remember the shrimp in deep fried Taro shreds ($4.75), now that’s different. We also repeatedly ordered the delicious stir fried squid with pepper ($5.75), loved the salted egg that came with it. Another winner is the chicken, steamed in a clay pot ($5.25). Peek into the open kitchen to personally witness the kitchen staff having a good time while cooking your dinner. For me that’s always a good sign.
They were actually the first restaurant in Phnom Penh to adopt a no-plastic policy. Good to see that many other Phnom Penh restaurants followed suit.
2. Trattoria Bello Pizza & Pasta
Opening hours: Everyday from 12am to 2pm and 5:30pm to 9:30pm
Lovely, lovely pizza! Who said only Italians can make good pizza? The owner and some of the staff of Trattoria Bello are Japanese. And it doesn’t matter one bit, because the pizza here is fantastic (yes they have pineapple topping). Everyone receives a warm welcome when you walk in. One of the staff notices you and a shouts “new guest” which triggers all of the staff present to acknowledge you and loudly respond “welcome!”, very Japanese.
Most large pizzas (33cm/13″) are under $10, but there’s a choice of 28cm/11″ and 23cm/9″ as well. My favorite is always the Diavola with spicy sausage and fresh chili, but the Salami/Gorgonzola is a very close second. If you’re more into Pasta, you can choose between several Spaghetti and Penne dishes for about $7 for a large portion.
The restaurant itself is kind of small and unassuming, but they definitely succeeded to create a Trattoria atmosphere. It’s usually quite busy, so best to reserve a table.
3. Sumatra Indonesian Restaurant
Opening hours: Everyday from 11am to 9pm, except Sunday closed.
I love Indonesian food, it’s part of my heritage. So there I was in Phnom Penh and I never knew there was this excellent Indonesian Warung within 10min walking distance from our apartment. I only found out after several months that I had been missing out all this time. Once I did know, I soon became a regular patron.
Sumatra serves authentic Beef Rendang ($4.25), a beef stew originating from Sumatra itself before it became a world renowned dish. Did you know it was once voted world’s best food by CNN readers? We also indulged on Chicken Satay ($4), Ikan Blado ($4.50) and to ensure our veggie fix we ordered the Gado-Gado ($2.5). The accompanying fried rice and noodles ($3) brought back memories of home.
Expect a real Warung atmosphere, i.e. no atmosphere at all. However, you are here to enjoy the best Indonesian food in Phnom Penh, nothing else.
4. Greek Souvlaki
Opening hours: Everyday from 10am to 10pm
There aren’t that many Greek restaurants in Phnom Penh. Sure, “Elia Greek Kitchen” restaurant has two branches and is very popular. However, Greek Souvlaki was the first and to this day remains the best value. It’s a tiny place that Nick and his wife built from the ground up into a successful local business.
All the famous Greek flavors are represented in the menu. Tzatziki, Souvlaki, Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Feta, Moussaka, Baklava and the home baked Pita bread is always fresh. Gyros wraps (Chicken $5.90) are large enough to almost feed two persons.
Sample Thursday events have been a big success from the start. Really get to know Greek food that you normally wouldn’t try by sampling various dishes for only $1.50, totally worth it. Less adventurous eaters can always settle for the gyros samplers.
5. “72” Restaurant
Opening hours: Everyday from 6:30am to 9:30pm
This might very well be one of the most underrated restaurants in Phnom Penh. In the middle of Italian, Turkish, Indian and Mexican restaurants you’ll find this Khmer eatery. Talking about rubbing shoulders with the locals, well here it is.
Authentic Khmer food, simple and without frills, cooked by Khmer for Khmer. Several stir fries, stews and soups (traditional Khmer dish), all for $2 or $3. When the whole of Phnom Penh’s restaurant scene upped their prices post-Covid, these guys didn’t.
No need to feel intimidated by the couleur locale, since the staff is used to deal with the expat population. Also, the occasional tourist has found his/her way to this place, so the feature an English menu. Rice and tea are always complimentary.
6. Curry Pot
Opening hours: Everyday from 10:30am to 11pm
Authentic Indian/Nepali food in the heart of Tuol Tompoung. To be honest, I didn’t know typical Nepali from Indian dishes (mental note to myself to research). What I do know is that Curry Pot hits the sweet spot. I still reminisce the piping hot garlic naan bread ($1.75) straight from the pan and scooping up generous licks of spicy hot Vindaloo Lamb Curry ($6.25). First few bites already had me break out in a sweat only wanting more.
Silky soft Butter Chicken ($5.75) and Prawn Masala ($6.50) did little to soften the chili blaze so we made sure there was a steady flow of one dollar Cambodia beers. Only then did I notice the separate page in the menu dedicated to Nepali food. Too late, completely stuffed without room for so much as even dessert I surrendered (mental note to myself to return).
7. Sundown Social Club
Opening hours: Everyday from 4pm to 12am
Although technically it’s not a restaurant, but a cocktail bar, we have to mention the Sundown Social Club, because it’s unique. And they do have a food menu, so let’s not be difficult. The bar is situated on the rooftop of a two story building right in front of the Russian Market and offers an entertaining view of the zinc roofs and the wet market that comes out at night.
I keep coming back to this place and not just for the craft beer. Cocktails are excellent and the limited menu (mainly burgers and tacos) features fresh and tasty food for a fair price. It can get a little crowded with English teachers and NGO worker expats on weekends, but this only adds to the atmosphere.
8. More Restaurants in Phnom Penh, Russian Market District
8.1 Intégrité Restaurant Cafe & Bar
Another one of our favorite haunts where we spent a lot of evenings is Intégrité Restaurant Café & Bar. As of recently, ownership has changed, but the new owner carries the torch with pride. The current menu is predominantly Thai inspired and the Pad Kee Mao (Thai Drunken Noodles) we ordered proved simply delicious. Same can be said about the steamed Gyozas. Beautifully decorated interior, good service and food made with love.
8.2 Nesat Seafood House
One of the more original restaurants in Phnom Penh. Soon after opening in 2017 it was already popular enough for them to move to a larger location. The winning formula of Nesat is simple but effective. Fresh seafood for a reasonable price in a calm and welcoming interior, it really works.
Clam, squid, shrimp or crab stir fried in your favorite sauce for $4-$7.25. But also mouthwatering freshwater lobster in curry for $6.50 and 300g of large prawns in sweet chili $5. Everything we tried was really tasty and brought in fresh everyday from the coastal town of Kampot.
Small garden patio restaurant that serves Khmer food with a hipster twist. Choose from various salads like grilled beef, tempeh or crispy noodles for $6. My delicious Num Pang (the Cambodian version of Banh Mi) with crispy pork belly went for $5 (pretty hefty, but worth it). So happy my partner let me try some of her scrumptious Khor Bourguignon (Khmer beef stew) $6.5. Not a very extensive menu, but definitely recommended.
We also have to mention Guangzhou Noodle, because of the authentic Cantonese breakfasts even if it’s a bit expensive. Same goes for Luigi’s Italian restaurant, serving the best pizza and more in Tuol Tompoung. Last but not least is Backyard Cafe for healthy super foods.
Opening hours: Everyday from 9am to 10:30pm, except Monday closed.
Escape the hustle and bustle while never leaving the city in this tranquil oasis not far from the Russian Market. Just don’t do it on weekends, since the rest of the Phnom Penh population is looking to escape to Maloop as well. Brought to you by the same group that runs Nesat Seafood House and Kinin restaurant in the Tuol Tompoung district.
Nibble on Western tasters such as Gravlax ($4.5) in the wonderful nature garden, or maybe a small bowl of crispy roasted crickets ($2.5) is more to your liking. My favorite is definitely the nr 1 Cambodian street food Sach Ko Ang ($4.5). Grilled beef skewers marinated in lemon grass, what’s not to like? Portions are small, they are after all just tasters.
2. La’Baab Restaurant
Opening hours: Everyday from 11am to 2pm and 5pm to 10pm
La’Baab Restaurant in Phnom Penh is an institute. Tasty Khmer food with impeccable presentation, but the menu also features Vietnamese inspired dishes. Stuffed frog, stuffed snails and stuffed prawns are all on offer, very Khmer. My favorites: Grilled Catfish with mango salsa ($5.80), which was wonderful in all its simplicity and Samlor Korkor ($6.80), Khmer soup with, in this case, lot’s of fish and vegetables.
The wood furnished interior is said to remind Cambodia’s days of yore. I wasn’t there at the time so I cannot confirm, but fact is that the interior is very pleasing to the eye and has lot’s of atmosphere. Dining here was an experience and we highly recommend you to try it.
3. Kravanh Restaurant
Opening hours: Everyday from 11am to 2:30pm and 5pm to 9:30pm, except Saturday from 6pm to 9:30pm.
As one might expect, Khmer food in Phnom Penh is everywhere. There are however, only a handful of authentic Khmer restaurants that also offer a romantic ambiance that invites to linger. At Kravanh Restaurant you are guaranteed of real Cambodian flavors and a wonderful night out.
Fragrant curries to fresh seafood dishes, every item at Kravanh is prepared using locally sourced ingredients to ensure authenticity and quality. Local favorites like Fish Amok ($10) and Lok Lak ($9) are prepared by skilled chefs, bringing out the natural flavors and textures in each dish. I do recommend you to be more adventurous and maybe go for the Frog in Tamarind ($9) or the Khmer Ceviche – Teuk Kreoung ($9). There’s great reward beyond your comfort food zone.
Quality has a price, but I was pleased to find out that Kravanh’s pricing is just a slight notch above other eateries that were at least two notches down food wise.
4. Emperors of China
Opening hours: Everyday from 7am to 2pm
We craved for a Yum Cha brunch and heard good things about Emperors of China so of we went for a taste. It wasn’t the cheapest brunch, but man did we enjoy. With so many Chinese visiting the city you would expect an abundance of good dim sum restaurants in Phnom Penh. However, Emperors of China is just one of few.
They offer an extensive menu of Chinese cuisine with a touch of luxury. We came for the dim sum, but also spotted dishes such as Peking duck and Sichuan-style spicy stir fries. Anyway, the dim sum had so many options, I thought it best to post a link to the menu. Presentation of the food was well thought out and the service is swift and efficient.
5. Cuisine Wat Damnak
Opening hours: Everyday from 11:30am to 2:30pm and 6:30pm to 11pm, except Sunday closed
Such elegance in ambiance and food. Chef Joannes Riviere and his team continue to combine traditional Cambodian ingredients with modern techniques to create innovative and mouthwatering dishes. Cuisine Wat Damnak is a renowned restaurant in Phnom Penh and is a favorite among locals and visitors.
We sat down for an 8-course tasting menu ($45) that was original, creative, fresh and delicious. The one course that really stood out for me was the black rice porridge with quail, calamari and pickled ginger. Actually, all other courses were pretty spot on as well.
Could this be the best restaurant in Phnom Penh? A big yes from my side. Don’t forget to bring money though, especially if you like to drink wine. Between the two of us we ordered 2 bottles, which almost doubled our total bill. No regrets.
6. Bay Ang Eng Pork Rice
Opening hours: Everyday from 7:30am to 1pm
In the heart of BKK3 district, close to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is where you’ll find this typical Phnom Penh eatery. Forget about posh dining or haute cuisine, step out of your comfort zone and join in for a genuine Khmer food experience. Locals and tourists alike can indulge from as little as $2.
Pork over rice is a staple in Cambodia. At Bay Ang Eng Pork Rice Restaurant they serve it in many different ways. Grilled pork chop, minced pork, braised pork intestines, crispy pork belly, but also chicken over rice. Simple honest Khmer breakfast food, high in protein to get you through a hard day’s work.
7. Vitking House
Opening hours: Everyday from 8am to 8pm
A shout-out to Vitking House for being one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Phnom Penh. Lucky for us they have two branches in the city. The Vitking House – Wat Mahamontrey is located near the Olympic stadium and Vitking House – Tuol Tompoung is just within the boundaries of the “Russian Market” district.
Both restaurants offer the same menu with lot’s of noodles dishes, mushrooms, tofu, some mock meats and of course vegetables. I recommend the Kimchi Noodle Soup ($2.5) with lovely textures and full of flavor broth. Or maybe try the wonderful fish with ginger ($3.5). To this day I still don’t know what they use for the mock fish, but the texture and taste was remarkable.
With so many outstanding restaurants you will have a hard time deciding where to eat in Phnom Penh. To add to your choice stress the streets are also an excellent option to have a good meal. The city boasts a zillion food stalls ready to serve you a quick, delicious and affordable munching.
It seems to me however, that food hygiene on the streets of Cambodia is a notch down from surrounding countries Thailand and Vietnam, so be vigilant. One good thing about food stalls is that they are very transparent. You can observe every step of the food handling. Is the raw food kept separate from the prepared food, does the vendor keep his/her hands clean or use gloves, etc. Keep your wits about, your eyes open and you’ll be okay.
1. Russian Market
Opening hours: Food court everyday except Wednesday from 7am to 4:30pm. Food market from 5:30 pm
Markets are always a good location to find street food. In the daytime the small food court in the center of the indoor Russian Market is excellent for a shoulder to shoulder breakfast with the locals. When the sun starts to set, food stalls gather outside in the surroundings of the market even replacing the motorbike parking. Seafood, stir fries and grilled chicken galore.
2. Wat Ounalom/Phsar Kandal, Street 13
Opening hours: Everyday from 6:30am to 10pm
Wat Ounalom is one of Cambodia’s most revered temples and it should come as no surprise that the surrounding street food stalls are some of the best in Phnom Penh. After all, the many local visitors to the temple also get hungry and certainly know their food. The food carts and makeshift stalls that spill out from nearby Phsar Kandal Market offer everything from Bay Sach Chrouk (barbecued pork), Samlor Korkor (Khmer soup) and fluffy Num Kong (Khmer sweet donuts).
3. Phnom Penh Night Market
Opening hours: Everyday from 5am to 11pm
Close to the river promenade, the Phnom Penh night market is kind of touristy, but therefore very accessible for visitors. T-shirts and trinkets in the front, food court and entertainment in the back. Due to its popularity with foreign visitors the prices are somewhat inflated compared to other street food venues in Phnom Penh. Not by much though and the food is pretty good.
Bamboo mats cover the floor of the food court’s central area where you can eat your food picnic style (shoes off please). The surrounding food vendors offer snacks like spring rolls, barbecued skewers as well as stir fried noodle and rice dishes. Except for the occasional karaoke entertainment (ugh) the atmosphere is relaxed and agreeable.
4. Orussey Market
Opening hours: Everyday from 8am to 5pm. Food market from 5pm to 10pm
The food court inside the 3 tiered building is the street food go to place for locals. Usually packed at breakfast and lunch time while most of the action moves outside at around dusk. Lot’s of barbecued meats, grilled eggs on a stick, but also Num Banh Chok (noodle soup), fresh fruits and smoothies. We also tried Num Ka’Chai here for the first time. The rice flour dough cakes filled with chives and served with a chili/fish sauce dip are excellent! Don’t eat too much of the greasy fellows though.
5. More Street Food Venues in Phnom Penh
Of course there are many more locations in Phnom Penh to indulge on street food. From the mobile street food carts that roam the districts to local markets that always feature a concentration of street food vendors. Phsar Chas (Old Market) for instance is the real deal. A very local market with very local street food like grilled fish, chicken, frogs and roasted crickets.
Phsar Thmey (Central Market) is the largest and most beautiful market housed in a French colonial art deco building. The streets around the market are filled with food carts selling Num Pang (baguette filled with anything), but also, sweet cakes, roasted pork, duck and steamed dim sum.
click on the image below for an interactive map of the best Phnom Penh restaurants and their locations
Are there any Phnom Penh restaurants in the above list that you want to give a try? Or maybe you have more tips on where to eat in Phnom Penh? Let us know in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you.
The street food stalls at the markets are definitely the best places to sample authentic Cambodian food. Find large concentrations of street food stalls at Phsar Thmey (Central Market), Phsar Chas (Old Market) and Tuol Tompoung (Russian Market).
1. Le Langka – French Bistro
2. Khmer Surin – Cambodian
3. 306 Wagyu Steakhouse
4. Malis – Cambodian
1. Kabbas Restaurant – Asian and Western food
2. Pizza 4P’s
3. Banteay Srey – Cambodian
4. Cousin’s Burger & Coffee
Food hygiene on the streets of Cambodia seems a notch down from other countries in SE-Asia. Food stalls however, are very transparent. Observe the food handling. Are the raw and prepared food separated? Does the vendor use gloves, etc? Just keep your eyes open and you’ll be fine.
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