Battambang has a host of great new eateries. These are our favorite Battambang restaurants.
If you only have time for one meal in Battambang, let it be eaten at Jaan Bai. Jaan Bai (“rice bowl” in Khmer) is an excellent social-enterprise restaurant run by respected Cambodian children’s charity CCT. They provide training and employment for young people in their program. They also serve up a mean bowl of curry.
Jaan Bai’s menu features modern Khmer dishes made from local, seasonal produce and lots of tasty vegetarian options–try the spectacular potato, corn, and tomato curry. The perfectly crafted cocktails with an Asian twist are not to be missed. The green orange negroni adds a hint of sweetness to the usually astringent drink.
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Street 2, Battambang
T: 053 65 00 106
Battambang’s newest Italian restaurant — just opposite the Royal Hotel on Road 115 (near Psar Nath) — offers a large selection of pasta and pizza dishes in a relaxing street-side setting. La Casa is a more upmarket option for dining out featuring some gourmet dishes; the shrimp on the menu get rave reviews from the expat community. La Casa’s friendly atmosphere comes without the pretense of some of Battambag’s other higher-end restaurants. When eating at La Casa you feel that you are getting something unique for the price tag, which is a little higher than the average restaurants around town at $7-10 per dish, but worth it nonetheless. Overall, La Casa great place to treat yourself to something comfortingly different to Khmer food in a nice environment!
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Road 115, Battambang
T: 081 610 177
Lotus Bar and Gallery (temporarily closed)
Lotus is a beautiful bar and gallery that acts as an informal community center for artistically inclined expats and locals. The gallery features works by Cambodian and foreign artists based in Battambang, many of whom can be found enjoying a coffee or cocktail at the bar. The owner, Darren, is very involved in the local scene and will happily tell visitors about the pieces on display and the artists who made them. The space is beautiful, with tables outside, a bar and restaurant up front, and a lounge area toward the back. The tile floor of the restaurant (where they serve great pizzas as well as other Western and Khmer dishes) is gorgeous, with locally made traditional-style tiles in an original lotus design. The upstairs houses the gallery, which doubles as a movie house several times a week: on Thursdays they show documentaries and on Saturday nights, feature films.
53 Street 2.5, Battambang
T: 092 260 158
Choco L’Art Cafe
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this art cafe owned by a French-Khmer couple is renowned for homemade breads and French-inspired desserts made with high-quality ingredients. The simple menu features sandwiches, omelets, and crepes, but even if you can’t fit in a meal, it’s worth coming over just for dessert and a drink. The chocolate mousse gets great reviews and is always on the menu, as is their special chocolate hazelnut cake, plus daily dessert specials, all of which are sure to satisfy even the most discerning sweet tooth.
Hae Tteul Nal
It’s out of the way and unusually quiet, but Hae Tteul Nal has some of the tastiest Korean food in all of Cambodia. The restaurant specializes in pork dishes and the menu is small, but everything on it is good: kimchi jigae with loads of pork, sooyuk, deep-fried sweet and sour pork, and samgyeopsal, fatty grilled pork belly. The menu has photographs so even if you’re not familiar with Korean cuisine it’s not difficult to choose something delicious. Prices are in the $5 to $6 range and portions are large. If you like Korean food, it’s worth a visit.
Street 300, across from Coconut House, Battambang
T: 092 203 489; 099 725 155
Combination coffee shop, art gallery, and co-working space, Kinyei serves what one local expat declares is the country’s best coffee.We’re not sure if that’s true, but the Kinyei staff has won Cambodia’s best barista competition for the last two years running. It’s definitely in the top three, anyway (along with Feel Good in Phnom Penh and Cafe Espresso Kampot), and hands down the best in Battambang. The breakfasts are tasty and so are the cakes.
Kinyei is also home to Soksabike Tours, and you can rent a bicycle there for $2 per day. In addition, Kinyei is a space for social entrepreneurship that provides support for small social ventures, innovative products, and creativity. It’s a cool little place to hang out, do some work (there’s free, fast WiFi), and meet locals who are doing interesting things.
Open daily, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Street 1.5, Battambang
T: 017 860 003
Lan Chov Khorko Miteanh/Chinese Noodle Dumpling
This family-run noodle house may not have a lot in the way of ambiance, but they serve a mean bowl of noodles, which they make fresh every day. The menu is small and inexpensive, featuring an array of hand-pulled noodles served dry or in soup, yummy homemade dumplings, and fried rice. Most dishes are 5,000 or 6,000 riel ($1.25 or $1.50) and are so good you might want to order more than one.
Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Street 2, Battambang
T:092 589 639
Any expat in Battambang will tell you, the pizza at Riverside Balcony is top notch, and with its riverside setting is a favorite spot for enjoying a sundowner. They have a menu of gastropub-style bar snacks, in addition to daily specials and gourmet pizzas starting at $5, with creative toppings on delicious thin crust bases, ranging from the usual margarita and Hawaiian to more unique offerings including pumpkin and feta, lamb, chorizo, and more. They have have a vegan pizza made with cashew cheese.
Open Tuesday through Sunday, 4 to 11 p.m.
Road No. 1, No. 465, Battambang
T: 010 337 7862
Pomme D’amour (Apple of Love)
The Apple of Love is one of Battambang’s oldest Western restaurants, serving French-Khmer fusion cuisine. Most dishes are either French or Khmer, but some straddle an interesting middle ground, like coq au vin made with palm wine or crepes with homemade pineapple jam. It’s not the cheapest option in town, but still reasonably priced, with mains priced between $6 and $10. They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and you’ll often find what feels like all of the French speakers in town out front, practicing conversing in their native tongue.
63 Street 2.5, Battambang
T: 012 415 513; 012 963 189
Scenically located on the banks of the Sangker, The River has an extensive and inexpensive menu of Khmer and Western dishes for between $2 and $4. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, although sunset is a particularly nice time to enjoy the view, and if you want a sundowner, draft beers are only $0.50!
Open daily, 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Road 1A, Battambang
T: 012 781 687
Vintage was also reopened and restyled towards the end of 2015 and has come back with an interestingly unique and eclectic menu. The offerings include, a small selection of simple sushi rolls, and Western and Cambodian dishes. A personal favorite is the sharing platter with a selection of meats and cheeses, which goes well with the broad selection of wines available by glass and bottle. Vintage (Mezze) is a relaxing place to wind down in the late afternoon or evening, and ideally located on Road 2.5 for watching the world go by with a glass of wine. Part of Vintage’s charm is that it’s very different to anywhere else in town, making it that much more enjoyable.
Open daily, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Road 2.5, Battambang
Tel: 092 335 400
Occupying the location that was previously Dubai Cafe, opposite Lux Guesthouse on Preah Vihea Street, Chenda’s is the sister restaurant to the popular Ambrosia restaurant. The menu focuses on Khmer cuisine, and each dish can be made with meat, fish, or tofu and vegetables, providing a broad range of options for non-meat eaters. Dishes are generally priced between $3 and 5, and draft beer is just $0.50. Inside there is an air-conditioned room, but the other tables also have a fresh and airy feel to them. The food is up to the high standard of Ambrosia, and service is friendly and efficient. They also show a movie — generally kid friendly — in the AC room on Monday nights at 7:30 p.m.
Open daily, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Preah Vihea Street, Battambang
T: 070 376 387
Cafe Eden offers large portions of American-style dishes, from Philly cheesesteaks to Texas toothpicks (beer-battered fried onions and peppers with jalapeno ranch dip). “I’m American,” the owner told me, summing up her credo for the cafe. “I want free water with refills and a choice of salad dressings.” And you’ll get just that, plus great service and lots of sauces on the side. Eden is run by a Christian missionary group with the profits going back into staff training and local services. They also have a small boutique on site that sells hand-crafted products and T-shirts. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with happy hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day.
Open daily, except Tuesdays, 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Street 1, on the riverside, Battambang
T: 053 731 525
Mariyan Pizza House
A little out of the way beside Wat Sangker, is Maryan Pizza House. Although their pizza is not so low-cost, the Khmer dishes are delicious and generally come in for less than $2.50. It’s also a nice place to dine with friends as there are a number of small booths in which you can eat.
Open daily, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Street 211, Battambang
T: 096 666 6863
This clean, well-decorated vegetarian restaurant that has been in town for many years, though they recently renovated and changed their name from Mercy House to the much more appealing Monorom Garden. The vegetarian menu is mostly Asian-inspired cuisine, with Korean and Japanese dishes such as stone-pot meals and teppanyaki, alongside more traditional Cambodian specialties like basil fried rice and a vegetarian lok lak.
Open daily, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
La.A Street opposite of Asia Hotel, Battambang
T: 012 243 402
Battambang Vegetarian Restaurant
The aptly named Vegetarian Restaurant is just that: a restaurant selling Khmer and vaguely Southeast Asian dishes that are entirely vegetarian. The menu is huge with the normal offering of fried noodles, fried rice, even some Japanese-inspired dishes such as sushi and teppanyaki. Some dishes contain egg, but vegans can ask for theirs to be made without. The prices are low, but beware: some of the vegetable dishes don’t come with rice, so you have to order it on the side for an extra $1.
Open Daily 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Corner of Street 119 and Street 2.5, Battambang
T: 099 999 338
Vegetarian Foods Restaurant
This little hole in the wall is tucked away near Monorom Garden, and if you blink you might miss it. Not very glamorous, Vegetarian Foods Restaurant seems to appeal to locals and the more adventurous vegetarians in Battambang. The menu features an array of mostly Chinese-style vegetarian food, much of it made with soy faux-meat products. Dishes are inexpensive, costing between 4,000 and 5,000 riel ($1 to $1.25 USD). They also make their own fresh soy milk every day in several flavors.
Open daily, 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
506 La He Street, between Street 101 and NH5, Battambang
T: 012 501 408; 092 335 252
Local style and street food
Pork and Rice Lady
This may not be the very best bai sach chrouk you encounter in Cambodia, but it’s worth a visit if only to sample the smoky, chili-flecked green mango salad that comes along with the chopped grilled pork, fried egg, and standard pickled cucumbers and carrots.
The friendly proprietor sets up shop in the morning outside of her house on Street 2.5 and doesn’t speak a word of English, but responds bemusedly to the basic point-and-smile approach. If this stall doesn’t work for you, there are a few more streetside eateries just around the block. Bai sach chrouk with all the fixings goes for about 5000 riel.
Street 2.5 just north of Street 121
Street-side Khmer Noodle Soup
The best place to get a traditional Cambodian breakfast in Battambang is an informal stall set just back from the road serving Khmer noodle soup, known as kuy tiev. You’ll find this gem on Road 207 towards the President Hotel, just past Dewey University. It would be hard to find if it wasn’t so popular — there’s usually a sea of motos parked around the gateway there to slurp up the tasty vegetable, noodle, and pork broth soup. A bowl is only $0.75 but be sure to get there early as they close up mid-morning.
Open for breakfast
Street 207, just past Dewey University, Battambang
There is an ongoing debate about whether this dish originated in Cambodia or Vietnam, but if you’re in Cambodia it’s best to stick to that side! The traditional bean sprout, vegetable and meat filled egg crepe is available at a multitude of restaurants along road 159D (towards the railway line) for just 3,000 riel ($0.75). There are several restaurants serving banh chao all in traditional wooden houses overlooking the river with great views and also offering a unique cultural experience. The one below, in a green building, is my favorite.
Street 159D northwest of Street 302, Battambang
T: 097 796 9865
The Smokin’ Pot
This very chill little restaurant attached to the Smokin’ Pot Cooking School is a great place for casual and inexpensive local dishes. The menu features classic Cambodian and Thai dishes, including curries and stir-frys. The owner, Vannak, is from Battambang but spent many years in a Thai refugee camp, where he learned to cook Thai as well as Khmer cuisine. If you especially like your meal, you can stay for a cooking class and learn to make it yourself.
1 Street 121, Battambang
T: 012 821 400
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