Whether in Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh or even rural Battambang you’re sure to find a wealth of not only Cambodian but also international cuisine and dishes and of course there are several different levels of presentation. From fine dining to street cuisine to genuine Khmer dishes you’ll find it all, and being Khmer influenced your surroundings are never going to be less than exotic. The dining scene in Phnom Penh has matured and become much more sophisticated in recent years. There are now many excellent dining venues to satisfy all tastes and budgets. They range from Khmer and French restaurants, to American-style bar & grills to budget noodle shops, to contemporary delis and cafés. There are many restaurants featuring unique design themes and original décor. And, yes, fast food is also here. Most types of western food are here, and many American, British, and Irish pubs and bars are also restaurants serving excellent food. Because Cambodia was a French colony, and because of the country’s long exposure to French cuisine, it is not surprising that many of Phnom Penh’s finest restaurants are French.
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.
Alley Cat Café
Tasty Mexican and Tex Mex is what you will find at this hideaway restaurant. From burritos to tacos to enchiladas to nachos to quesadillas, all your Mexican food favorites are here. Burgers, sandwiches and salads are also served up. Try a Fat Cat double burger. Beer, cocktails, milkshakes, and other beverages are available and to set the mood they have live acoustic music.
Boat Noodle Restaurant
This has got to be one of the most unusual restaurants in the city. In an old wooden house, there are many large and small rooms filled with an eclectic mix of Cambodian and other antiques. Each room is different, and a pleasant surprise. Some rooms have low tables where you can lean on pillows and really relax while you eat. There is also a leafy garden with many water features. They serve Khmer and Thai cuisine, such as tom yam, Khmer curry, spring rolls, steamed fish, BBQ, and much more. The staff is very welcoming and pleasant. In the evening, musicians play traditional Khmer music. This place is more of an experience than just a restaurant. Even if you don’t eat there, it is worth a visit.
Freebird Bar & Grill
This comfortable American bar and grill has an authentic neighborhood feel to it. It has a beautiful wooden bar, and the comfortable seating encourages good conversation in a friendly atmosphere. The extensive menu features a selection of American, Tex Mex and other western cooking. On the menu are pizzas, burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, pasta, stews, steaks, chili and much more. Breakfast served all day. A great place to satisfy your American food craving.
A very pleasant decor and atmosphere greets diners in this chic restaurant. Serving authentic, classical Thai and Khmer cuisine, all the usual dishes are here, such as pad Thai, tom yum gung, som tam, and lok lak. They also specialize in some Thai & Khmer dishes that may not be familiar; such as masaman nua (beef & potato in savory peanut curry), koh tiou (caramelized pork with Kompot pepper), and gai hor baiy takhai (marinated chicken breast wrapped in lemongrass & pandanas leaves).
The Lost Room
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.
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