The restaurant scene in Siem Reap has evolved at a dizzying pace and there is now something from every corner of the globe on dining tables around town, as well as the traditional taste of Cambodian cuisine. Many of the more established restaurants have been overrun by tour groups in recent years, making dining quite an impersonal experience, but the food remains good.
Some of the budget guesthouses have good menus offering a selection of local dishes and Western meals; while it’s all too easy to get into the habit of ordering in-house, it hardly counts as the full .Siem Reap experience.
Several of the midrange hotels and all the top-end places have restaurants, some of which warrant an individual listing in this section. When it comes to the luxury palaces and their gastronomic (by Cambodian standards astronomically priced) buffets, the Sofitel Royal Angkor still leads the pack, as you might expect from a French-run chain, but the Victoria Hotel also has a good reputation.
Tel 012 800309 – Add: The Alley – Mains US$3-4
Named in honor of Cambodia’s national dish, and across the alley from Khmer Kitchen Restaurant, Amok is a small stylish restaurant with a big personality.
Tel 944227- Mains US$2-3
Serving a popular selection of Khmer and Asian dishes long-running Arun is one of the few local Khmer places not to have been inundated by tour groups. Fish with ginger is an old favorite here. Arun is north of NH6 east.
Tel 012 855219 – Add: Ph Wat Bo – Mains US$2-4
This huge restaurant caters primarily to tour groups, but has a deserved reputation for tasty and authentic dishes. Set around an inner courtyard, this place has slick service, as staff are used to dealing with dozens at a time.
Ph Sivatha – Mains US$4-7
Set in an elegant traditional villa on the main drag, this restaurant offers a blend of Asian and European flavors. The Khmer food is international more than authentic, but it’s all about ambience here.
Tel 016 909607 – Add: NH6 west – Mains US$4-8
Hidden away from the bustle of the airport road in an old wooden house hemmed in by vegetation, this Khmer restaurant has oodles of character. It offers a fusion of Asian cuisines in exotic surroundings. It’s often busy with groups, but there are small tables on the veranda.
Tel: 012 830761 – Add: 130 Ph Wat Bo – Mains US$2-4
This is possibly the most atmospheric restaurant in town for Thai cuisine, as it is set in a green garden under traditional wooden pavilions. You can choose between floor dining or table dining and then spice up your life with some hot Thai favorites.
Tel: 012 983510 – Add: Ph Wat Bo – Mains US$2-4
Sawasdee is a reliable stop for authentic Thai food, including tasty fish cakes and buzzing curries.
Krua Thai Restaurant
Tel: 6963677 – Mains US$3-6
This new Thai- restaurant is a little way out of town on an up-and-coming strip near Angkor Conservation. Choose between the wooden house and the flourishing garden for dining and don’t rorget the bargain breakfast if you happen to be passing this way in the morning.
Tel: 964933 – Add: Bar St – Vietnamese mains US$1-3 – Western mains US$4-6)
Hit the ground floor for classic Asian breakfasts like pho (Vietnamese rice-noodle soup) at 2500r, just the recipe for traipsing the temples. Upstairs an up market restaurant with a huge menu of Asian and international dishes. The spicy fish in clay pot is divine and there’s homemade ice cream to wrap things up. If you feel like a warm-up or a wind down, head for the rooftop bar (it donates 7% of its takings to Angkor Children’s Hospital).
Tel: 963366 – mains US$6-15
One of Phnom Penh’s best known Japanese restaurants now has a branch in Siem Reap, opposite the stadium, that does steady business with tour groups from the homeland. A slice of Sapporo, but at a price.
Tel: 964282 – Add: Psar Chaa – Sets from US$5)
A small Japanese restaurant opposite the old market. The bento boxes are good value for those in the market for sashimi or the like. It‘s more welcoming and less formal than upmarket Ginga.
Tel: 963353 – Add: Psar Chaa – Mains US$2-5
This is one of the best Indian restaurants in town, with a serious sub continental lection to satisfy seasoned curry lovers. The.thalis (set meals) are good value for those who can’t make up their mind.
Little India Restaunnt
Tel: 012 652398 – Add: Psar Chaa – Main US$2-4)
The oldest Indian in town – that’s the restaurant, not the owner – the food here is consistently good, with its share of vegetarian options.
Tel: 963240 – Mains US$3-5
This popular Siem Reap institution, north-west of Psar Chaa, now has a commanding balcony overlooking downtown Siem Reap and plenty of space for diners to relax. The menu has a bit for everyone, with some Khmer dishes and a Solid selection from beyond, plus it’s a popular pub with its famous “Tomb Raider” cocktail. The recently renovated Red Piano guesthouse is situated nearby down a quite side street.
Diagonally opposite the Red Piano restaurant is another grand old building, housing the Balcony, The menu includes some power shakes and a small selection of Khmer dishes and Western snacks, but there’s no alcohol served – that’s almost commercial suicide in a town like this. Still, 20% of profits go to rural development, so forgive and forget.
Tel: 63289 – Add: Ph Sivatha – Mains US$1-6
One of the few air-con restaurants in town, something you may learn to appreciate if you are here in the hot season. The menu includes good-value Asian eats and some more-expensive Central European dishes. Big portions.
Tel: 012 835762 – Mains US$2-6
This popular restaurant, north- east of Psar Chaa, has been around a while and it’s expanded along the street thanks to an international menu with something from every corner of the globe. There’s also good Khmer grub, like chicken with ginger.
Tel 963723 – Mains US$3-6
Occupying a handsome building on the riverfront northeast of Psar Chaa, this restaurant-bar has an eclectic menu, including a selection from Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia, as well as popular pizzas. A quiet retreat these days.