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Where to eat in Siem Reap – 2022 Update

Last update: June 2022
10 minute read


This isn’t a short article, but hey, it’s not just a simple list of restaurants in Siem Reap. It will tell you exactly what to expect so you can make the right choice(s). Investing a few minutes to read this article will save you hours of searching and loads of disappointment.

Update June 2022: Sadly, many restaurants in Siem Reap were forced to close doors because of the Covid pandemic, some temporary, some permanent. We updated large parts of this article to reflect the latest situation and we will keep updating with any further information that reaches us.



*”Khmer” is the ethnicity of 90% of Cambodia’s population.

At the end of this article you will find an interactive map to easily navigate your way to each restaurant.


Also read: “Angkor Wat – Overrated!”


Siem Reap is a tourist town, there’s no denying. Nearby Angkor Wat draws travelers by the millions from every corner of the world. Most travelers stay in or around Siem Reap and especially the center of town can be crowded with tourists at times.

However, there is a good side to this. The town has adapted nicely to this influx of visitors and over time created an adequate tourism infrastructure. Moreover, there is an abundance of restaurants and eateries! and that my dears, is right up my alley. So, on our visit here I just couldn’t wait to dig in and find out where to eat in Siem Reap.



Use the “page contents” button to navigate this article

Siem Reap Food Scene


Most restaurants are located in the center of town with the largest concentration on and around the infamous Pub Street. However, don’t underestimate the quality and quantity of eateries in the neighboring quarters and the outskirts of town. That would really be selling yourself short.


Tourist Hub

Being a tourist hub, there is something for everyone in the Siem Reap food section. It’s a real pity though that some of the restaurants tone down the local flavors to suit the (alleged) Western palate. At the same time, Western food is often prepared by Cambodian chefs. Not all of them have truly mastered Western cuisine yet and their dishes are not always up to par.


Where to eat in Siem Reap = Cambodian Chef
Cambodian Chef on the job
Where to eat in Siem Reap = Pub Street
Lively Pub Street

Having said that, the large expat community that calls Siem Reap home won’t settle for mediocre tourist food. For this reason, several restaurants serving Western cuisine have stepped up their game lately, offering a high standard to draw in the expats. You too can enjoy the delicious and quality meals of this establishments. The only trick is knowing where to find them.

Likewise, Cambodians from all over the country flock to Siem Reap hoping to improve their disposition by seeking employment in the tourism branch. Their arrival has instigated a wide array of rural Khmer eateries with a variety that is right up there with the capital Phnom Penh.

To say that Siem Reap is a foodie heaven would be stretching it. However, there’s great culinary reward if you are willing to put some effort into finding the right spots. Or, you can simply follow my recommendations below.


Also read: “Destination Siem Reap”, a comprehensive travel guide.



Khmer Food – Where to eat in Siem Reap


Khmer Restaurants

The Sugar Palm

Outstanding Khmer restaurant that made quite a name for itself. They claim to serve Cambodian home-style comfort food, but of course the menu is also made up of the usual popular suspects like Fish Amok and Beef Lok Lak. However, the dishes are all clean and of high quality. Whenever in Siem Reap, the Sugar Palm restaurant is a must visit. Personally, I go for the Prahok Ktiss every time. Ask them to not tone down on the chilies.

Prices are a bit higher than the usual Khmer restaurant and have gone up even more since Gordon Ramsey visited and endorsed the restaurant. Nevertheless, the price level is still very acceptable for a restaurant of this standard. Starter ~$4.50, Main ~$8.


Where to eat in Siem Reap
Crispy spring rolls
Where to eat in siem Reap
The Sugar Palm Restaurant

Malis Siem Reap

The sister restaurant of renowned Malis in Phnom Penh. For Cambodian standards the menu sure is pricey, but the quality of the food and service are undisputed. Enjoy a night of dining out in the lovely garden setting without ever having to leave the city center.

Khmer dishes are prepared without compromise to traditional recipes and local flavors. I specifically recommend the roasted duck with lemongrass, succulent and delicate. Also, you should really try Malis for breakfast. They serve all the traditional and delicious Khmer breakfasts like Bai Sach Chrouk, Kuy Teav, Lort Char and more. Starter ~$11, Main ~$25.


Kampot Crab Fried Rice at Malis Restaurant


Mahob Khmer Cuisine

Now here’s some traditional Khmer cooking with a modern twist while still preserving the authentic flavors. The freshness of used ingredients is evident in every bite and the presentation is impeccable. Our visit to Mahob turned out to be a real treat to our eyes and taste buds. Located outside of town in a beautiful wooden house with a large garden and led by a revered Cambodian chef.

Considering the offered quality, prices at Mahob are more than reasonable. I went for the surf & turf, which was the most expensive dish from the menu at $15. The juiciest tenderloin and snakehead fish filet on pumpkin mash that I still dream about from time to time.


Mahob Garden Setting
Mahob Surf & Turf


Banteay Srey Restaurant

Where do the Cambodians go for a nice lunch with the family? This is the place! Located outside of the town center, but definitely worth the 5 min tuk-tuk drive. Banteay Srey restaurant (Khmer: ភោជនីយដ្ឋាន បន្ទាយស្រី) serves local food, home made style. Original Khmer, so not all dishes are necessarily accessible to the Western palate. However, it’s the real thing and a wonderful journey to discover new flavors in a clean and pleasurable setting.

Just because it’s local, it doesn’t mean it’s cheap. Portions are huge though and meant to be shared with the rest of the table. They also provide you with a choice of small/medium/large dishes. The restaurant closes at 6pm so it’s really only meant for breakfast or lunch. But, what a lunch!



Khmer Eateries

Hansa BBQ & Seafood

When in Cambodia you have to try Khmer bbq. It’s kind of a mix between a table grill and a steamboat and always a whole lot of fun. Hansa is the perfect place to try it out. It’s very popular with the locals, so you’ll be rubbing shoulders with them. Don’t worry, they also have regular Western clientele at Hansa though, so no-one will think you’re out of place. Only $6 for all you can eat. Make your choice from the well assorted raw food selection, cook it at your table and keep coming back for more.


Where to eat in Siem Reap - Hansa BBQ
Steamboat – BBQ at Hansa


Phteahbay Khun Mea

As local as it gets in Siem Reap (and local prices as well). Food sharing is how Khmer have their dinners and here it’s expected that you do the same. The fried and the barbecued fish are truly outstanding and unlike anything you will get in the tourist restaurants.

There’s a lively atmosphere with locals just having a good time, which always involves food. Oh and beers, lot’s of beers. Did you know that Cambodians like to drink their beer with large chunks of ice in it? Personally, I can’t stand it, but had a great and delicious time there anyway.

Traditional Khmer Food Restaurant

Let’s say, you have booked your accommodation close to Pub Street in the city center and you can’t be bothered to go out of your way for decent Khmer food. The solution is “Traditional Khmer Food Restaurant“! What’s in a name. Maybe it’s not 100% traditional as this restaurant caters mainly to tourists. It’s close enough though and very tasty anyway. The restaurant is tucked away in a small alley between streets 08 and 09 and has a nice ambiance with friendly staff and friendly prices. So, why not?

Fun fact: There’s another restaurant that goes by the name “Authentic Khmer Food Restaurant” and it’s just one block away. It’s not nearly half as good as the restaurant we recommend though, so make sure you pick the right one.

Update June 2022: The restaurant temporarily closed its door, but will hopefully re-open soon.


Where to eat in Siem Reap - Traditional Khmer Food Restaurant
Traditional Khmer Food Restaurant


Street #9

The stretch on Street #9, just above the old market is lined with cheap Khmer eateries serving tasty food and beer. They cater to tourists, so expect the flavors to be toned down a bit, but still delicious. I really love these kind of places for a quick meal. Don’t expect a night out, usually you’ll be done eating and out of there in 45 min max. Maybe these kind of eateries are best for lunch.



Khmer Street Food

Street food in Siem Reap is everywhere. It seems to me however that food hygiene in Cambodia is a notch down from Thailand and Vietnam. So, while most street food is outstanding and delicious, use your common sense. Yes, by all means, do eat on the streets of Siem Reap, but stay alert and use your eyes. Is the vendor using gloves? Is the food heated at high enough temperatures? Are the raw and cooked food stations separated?

Street Food Stalls

Starting from about 5 pm, numerous food stalls are set up on and around Pub Street. Most of them target the tourists and offer snacks like anything barbecued on a stick or nutella/banana pancakes and even fried tarantula.


Where to eat in Siem Reap - Street Food
Street stall barbecue

There’s also an impressive row of stalls along the riverside on Achar Sva Street at the corner with Makara Street.

Old Market

Inside and outside the Old Market (Phsar Chas) are a great number of food stalls that are popular with the locals for breakfast. You should arrive before 8am to experience the couleur locale in full fledge. Eat shoulder to shoulder with the Cambodians and feast on popular breakfast dishes like Bai Sach Chrouk (pork over rice) and Nom Banh Chok (rice noodles in fish broth). Costs are next to nothing.

Night Market(s)

Street food galore at Siem Reaps multiple night markets, as well as in front of the old market (Street 9) after dark.



Food Tour

Food tours are great! There’s so much to learn about a country’s culture through the food and it’s a great way to explore the local culinary scene. Moreover, food tours are fun, informative and you’ll get to try delicious food. Need I say more?


Where to eat in Siem Reap - Siem Reap Food Tours
Siem Reap Food Tours

There are several food tour operators active in Siem Reap, but in my opinion most of them are just meh. I mean, anyone can grab a few grilled meat skewers from the nearest barbecue and present it as local food. Technically they would be right of course, but you catch my drift.

Siem Reap Food Tours is the only operator that offers authentic Khmer flavors with high quality ingredients. They also provide meaningful context about the local food culture, which enhances the whole experience. Not the cheapest, but absolutely the best. You should go with them, or not at all.





You know you want to stay here!

Cambana d’Angkor Suites offers you a luxury stay for a reasonable price. Close to the city center.




Western Food – Where to eat in Siem Reap

Most of the Western food options are in the center of town. Not surprising, as this is where the majority of Western travelers are staying. There is so much choice here that at first it stressed me out. Where to eat? Here, there? What if I eat here and it’s disappointing while I could have gone next door? Or in the next street?

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry, because I already did the trial and error for you. No stress for you, just sit down, relax, eat and enjoy.



Restaurants

Italian Restaurants

Of course there’s the inevitable Italian restaurant. It seems to me that Italian food represents one of the most popular choices of Western food for tourists in South East Asia. There’s certainly no shortage of the Mediterranean food outlets here.


Where to eat in Siem Reap - Mammashop Italian Restaurant
Fresh and creative pasta at Mammashop Italian Restaurant

My personal favorite is Mamma Shop, food wise (especially the fresh home made pastas), as well as price level, ambiance and the location in boutique street. Pasta and pizza dishes from $7.50 to $9. Long time restaurant Il Forno is ok with excellent pizzas, although a tad more expensive. Special commendations go to Pasta la Vista for the lively atmosphere and themed live music events.

Mexican Restaurants

Viva Mexican Bar & Grill on the corner of 2 Thnuou Street and Street 09 is the best Mexican restaurant that Siem Reap has to offer. Maybe not as good as your favorite Mex back home, but still tasty and well worth your buck. $6.50 for a fully loaded beef burrito and draft beers go for $1. Beware though, because there is another restaurant named Viva as well in the city center. Make sure you’re in the right one.

Maybe Later Mexican Bar & Grill is also worth a mention. Just a small place, but with great tacos and burritos.

Burger Restaurants

Next to Italian food, the good old hamburger is popular in Siem Reap as well. I recommend two establishments, both with outstanding burgers that will make you keep coming back for more.

First is “Wat Beast“, what’s in a name? Creative and original burger place that brands its buns. More important of course is that they serve good quality and delicious burgers ($7). The menu doesn’t stop there as they also serve an excellent mac ‘n cheese, great cocktails and craft beer as well.


Wat Beast burger
Can you resist Mac & Cheese dressed like this?

And then there’s my favorite burger joint that goes by the name Jungle Burger Sports Bar & Bistro. Succulent burgers, oh boy, what a treat. Fresh bread, fresh toppings, good quality Australian beef patties and a top notch service crew.

They have about 15 different burgers on the menu so you’re prone to serious “choice stress” here. What to think of the mushroom and creamy black pepper sauce burger? I didn’t try it when there and to this day still feel like I missed out. Fortunately the fond memories of the blue cheese bacon burger that I did try makes up for it. Prices range between $7 and $10 and include fries and a free beer.

The menu also features pizza, sub sandwiches, more Western comfort food and pies kiwi style. Apparently the latter are world famous in Cambodia.



By the off chance that you are not satisfied with your Jungle burger, think twice about writing a bad review. Judging from the owner’s replies on Tripadvisor reviews he doesn’t tolerate any criticism, lol.

Peace Cafe Vegetarian Restaurant

I have to admit, I have not actually tried this restaurant myself. However, lot’s of fellow travelers rave about this place and I know that many of you are looking for good vegetarian/vegan options so I’ll mention it here anyway. The tranquil garden setting will guarantee a relaxing rest once you’re there. The menu offers so much more than the usual (vegetarian) suspects and the price level seems to be moderate as well with $3 to $4 for mains.

The restaurant is located a 5 minute tuk-tuk ride out of the town center. Why not make it a day out and combine your visit with one of the other activities this place organizes like a yoga class or a (vegetarian) cooking class?

Damnak Lounge

Some will go as far as to say that this is the best restaurant in Cambodia. Well, all I can say is that Damnak Lounge is a force to be reckoned with as the dishes are of the highest quality and certainly creative. The cuisine is definitely French, but with the use of Cambodian ingredients.

This might very well be the most expensive restaurant in Siem Reap, so enjoy your wonderful dinner, but bring money, lot’s of money. Having said that, the price level is still nowhere near Western countries. The most expensive five-course menu goes for $65.


Where to eat in Siem Reap - Damnak Lounge
Kampot peppered beef at Damnak Lounge


Also read: “11 Best things to do in Siem Reap – and 5 things to skip”


Cafes

Being on the the banana pancake trail it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Siem Reap has many trendy cafes and hipster bakeries/coffee shops. Lot’s of yogurt, muesli/granola, super-foods, avocados and vegetarian/vegan friendly options. Of course, most of these eateries also respond to the eco trend of bio degradable take away wrappings and bamboo straws. Love it!

Sister Srey

Lovely cafe that started out as a social enterprise supporting students to train on the job. The menu boasts many vegan friendly options and they claim to serve organic dishes that are as chemical free as possible. Prices at Sister Srey are high, but honestly, the food is great and the atmosphere even better. Try the potato hash $5, lentil burger $5.75, avocado toast $5 or the pancakes $4.25 (yes defo the pancakes).

The Little Red Fox

We only had breakfast here, just your normal eggs on toast $3, which was not bad at all. However, we stayed for the coffee, arguably the best in town. Coffee Australian style that is, so double shot long black $2.75 for me! You should visit this place if only for the street in which it is situated with quaint boutiques and local art studios.


Little Red Fox Cappuccino


Vibe Cafe

Vibe is a 100% vegan cafe and extremely popular with travelers. In their own words, “highly nutritious vegan dishes made up of consciously sourced ingredients, presented in a clean and creative way”. I couldn’t agree more. The menu features, among others, acai bowls $6.50, gluten free pancakes $6, egg-less omelets $6.50, raw zucchini pasta $6.50, veggie burgers $6.50 and local kombucha. Beware: all this quality comes with a price.

Update June 2022: Due to the Covid situation, Vibe in Siem Reap is temporarily closed, but word is that they might re-open when the situation changes.

Temple Coffee n Bakery

Such a cool place to hang out for breakfast, lunch, dinner and after-dinner. Ok, so maybe I am a little biased as we stayed right next door so visiting here was oh so convenient. The atmosphere is great though, with high quality food, even if the menu is somewhat limited. The rooftop bar often hosts a dj for after dinner lounging.


Where to eat in Siem Reap - Temple 'n Coffee Bakery
Temple Coffee n Bakery interior
Where to eat in Siem Reap - Temple 'n Coffee Bakery
Temple Coffee n Bakery beef noodle soup for breakfast $4



Want to try Khmer cooking yourself? Check out these fun cooking classes in Siem Reap. Learn how to prepare authentic Khmer food and enjoy your very own delicious creations!



Best of both worlds – Where to eat in Siem Reap


I describe this category as “best of both worlds” since I feel that the qualification “fusion cooking” has kind of an old fashioned, not to say corny ring to it. Also, I use this description to categorize eateries that feature a Western next to a Cambodian/Asian menu without necessarily combining the dishes in one plate. Actually, the latter type of restaurants form the majority in Siem Reap.

Brother Bong Cafe

Atmospheric little coffeeshop where they roast their own coffee (espresso $1.50, latte $2.50) and serve excellent quality breakfast. $2.50 will get you a fruit salad and for $5.75 they’ll serve you a full English breakfast. As expected, the coffee is really good and besides breakfast the menu also features a few original dishes for a bit later in the day. How about Canadian Poutine $4 and Chicken Parmigiana $5? Two dishes that you won’t easily come across in Cambodia.

I came for the coffee and stayed for the chocolate smoothie bowl packed with fresh fruit $4. This is definitely my brekkie place to go when in Siem Reap.


My favorite chocolate smoothie bowl on the top left


New Leaf Eatery

In the center of town, near Pub Street is this wonderful eatery serving a mix of Khmer and Western dishes. Steak sandwich and burgers next to beef lok lak and fish amok. Definitely a higher standard than the usual restaurants around Pub Street, which are of a good standard to begin with, so that should tell you something. Starters are around $3 and mains around $6 so you’re ok in that department as well. They also serve creative cocktails, several Cambodian coffees and breakfast.


Where to eat in Siem Reap
Fish Amok
Where to eat in siem Reap
Bruchetta


The Christa Restaurant & Bar

Three floors of yum Cambodian and Western comfort food with the friendliest crew ever. There’s simply no way to describe the Christa any better. Oh, not forgetting the ok prices. When we were presented with the menu we feared the worst since it isn’t very original and has all the usual suspect tourist dishes. Well, we decided to throw our prejudice out the door and to just go with it. After all, aren’t we just tourists as well?

The joke was absolutely on us, because the food was fresh, clean and simply delicious. We really did enjoy the fish amok $4.25, Khmer curry $4.50 and even a banana pancake $4.50 for dessert. We didn’t try any of the Western dishes, but our neighbors said their burger $6 not only looked good, but tasted even better.

It goes to show that sometimes you don’t need fancy-schmancy to have a delicious meal. Good honest food served by friendly faces will do the trick just as well. Way to go Christa Restaurant!


Staff working hard to serve your meal at the Christa

Haven

Another restaurant with the purpose to train underprivileged Khmer youngsters and emphasis on sustainable sourcing of ingredients. The staff is so bubbly and welcoming, we enjoyed our night out tremendously. The food is a mix of Western and local, although the latter is slightly adapted to the Western palate. I went for the ginger tofu dish, which was fresh and satisfying while Marjolein ordered the cordon blue. Western plates are not really meant for sharing, but I’m so glad she did as otherwise I would have missed this tender and cheesy deliciousness. Prices are reasonable, starters $4.50-$5, mains up to $8. I do recommend.


Restaurant Haven vegan dish
Restaurant Haven Cordon Blue


Urban Tree Hut

Urban Tree Hut is definitely one of the better restaurants in Siem Reap. Both Western and Asian options, executed to perfection by the competent kitchen staff. We mixed our orders with red curry chicken from the East and good old Australian rib eye from down under that paired wonderfully well together.

The restaurant has a wonderful garden setting with special swing chairs that makes one really relaxed. Prices are surprisingly low for a restaurant of this level. Starters $1,50 to $6, mains $4 to $12. Maybe also try some of the cocktails, only $2!!!


Where to eat in Siem Reap -Urban Tree Restaurant
Relaxing swing chair at Urban Tree Hut restaurant


Jomno

There’s a new star on the Siem Reap culinary horizon and Jomno is his name. Ha, I never thought I would use the word contemporary, but there I go. Yes, Contemporary Cambodian food is how best to describe the cooking style. In their own words, “Modern Khmer Cuisine”.

We treated ourselves to an extravagant beef tenderloin with kampot pepper ($8) and a pan seared red snapper in white wine sauce. One word, wow! For me “Jomno” is the personification of a “best of both worlds restaurant”. Excellent and welcoming staff as a bonus.



You should go and try it out, thank me later. Best to make a reservation on time, the place is but small and they fill up quickly.

Update June 2022: Jomno has now moved to a larger premises not far from its original location.

Embassy Restaurant

Truth be told, I haven’t visited Embassy myself so this recommendation is based on the findings of a friend whose culinary opinion I completely trust. Apparently, the two female Khmer chefs in charge are cooking up a Michelin star worthy gastronomic storm.

The set menu for $45 changes every month and offers, in their own words, “a three-star gastronomic experience, showcasing modern Khmer cuisine and its flavours”. Agreed, $45 is pretty steep and that’s not even counting the $29 wine pairing. According to my friend however, the experience is worth every penny, so I for one am eager to try them upon my next visit to Siem Reap.


Fine dining at Embassy-Restaurantphotocredit @embassy-restaurant.com




Where to eat in Siem Reap interactive map


Enlarge the map to see the list of restaurants and their locations



For the record, restaurants that originally featured in this article, but (temporarily) closed down because of the pandemic include: Marum, Burger Gourmand, Cuisine Wat Damnak, Touich Restaurant, the Hive, Cafe Indochine.




Healthcare in Cambodia is hopelessly underdeveloped, so make sure to travel with the right travel insurance. One that covers your medical cost abroad, as well as evacuation and repatriation. Read more about travel insurance here, or get a non-committal and instant quote here.



Are there any restaurants in the above list that you want to give a try? Or maybe you have more tips on where to eat in Siem Reap? Let us know in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you.


Safe Travels!


RJ


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