No matter what cuisine you’re after, Sihanoukville has probably got it.
Serendipity Beach Road/Ochheuteal Beach area
Expats swear by Nyam, a Khmer restaurant located in the middle of a sea of barbecue joints on 23 Tola Street, two streets back from Ochheuteal Beach. Nyam serves traditional Khmer dishes, easy on the prahok to make it more accessible to foreign tongues. The dishes are all remarkably inexpensive, priced between $2.50 and $4.25. The chef, Sinoun, is also the teacher at the most popular cooking class in town, Traditional Khmer Cookery School.
Nyam’s menu likens Cambodian food to tapas and suggests that customers order several dishes and share them. They’ve got the full gamut of Khmer salads–pomelo and prawn, marinated beef, mango salad, tofu salad, banana leaf with chicken and prawns–for $3 each. Meat dishes are $3 for a small or $4 for a large. The seafood menu is extensive and contains classics like amok trei, fish steamed in banana leaves, and of course Kampot pepper squid.
Seating is outside on the restaurant’s patio, making it a less appealing choice in rainy season. All in all, Nyam is incredibly good value (and Cambodia draft beer is just $1 a glass).
In the Serendipity Beach Road area, Cafe Mango offer a menu of the day deal for $5.50 which includes a starter, main and a drink; it’s good value as you can choose from several pizza and pasta dishes including penne amatriciana and pepperoni. It’s available 12 p.m. to 2.pm. and 5 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.
Open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Serendipity Beach Road, Sihanoukville
T: 013 842 169
Up the road from Cafe Mango is Nice Foods, an unpretentious locally owned restaurant that offers a varied menu of western staples such as burgers, fries, and pizzas as well as more authentic dishes such as Khmer curry, noodle soup and fried rice. Prices start from as little as $1.25 (or 50 cents if you just want a plain baguette or steamed rice) which will get you a burger, noodle soup or a pad thai. Draft beer at Nice Foods is always 50 cents a glass and is served in frosty glasses which go down far too easily.
Open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Serendipity Beach Road (near Led Zephyr), Sihanoukville
T: 070 7878
Mike’s Burger House
This popular Phnom Penh restaurant finally has a Sihanoukville branch, serving up California-style burgers inspired by legendary American fast food chain In-N-Out. Owned by Mike Im, a Cambodian who moved to the US after the fall of the Khmer Rouge, the restaurant seeks to recreate the burgers that he loved so much during his 30 years in California. The burgers are thick, juicy, and delicious, offering a taste of home. Read our full review of Mike’s Burger House.
Open daily 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Opposite Golden Lions Roundabout, Corner of Serendipity Beach Road, Sihanoukville
T: 069 559 971
Lucky Pizza and BBQ
Ochheuteal Street is home to a plethora of BBQ restaurants all offering a similar menu; all that competition means prices are pretty low and you can enjoy a hearty dinner with a drink for around $3.50. Most offer a selection of meats and seafood including pork steaks and ribs, local beef steak, marlin, and fresh tuna cooked fresh to order. If you want to spend a little more you can have imported Australian steak for $9 or whole fresh snapper from around $7. Meals are served with a choice of rice or salad and either baked potato or fries, and most places will throw in some free garlic bread.
The meat and fish will be on display so take a look first to make sure it looks fresh. There isn’t too much to choose between them in our opinion; we’ve eaten at Lucky Pizza a couple of times and found it nice.
Open 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
14 Mithona Street, Sihanoukville
Ryoma bills itself as serving “Japanese yatai foods,” and sure enough, the menu consists of filling cheap eats and Japanese dishes that go best with a couple of beers. The beer is only $0.50 during happy hour, so have at it. Ryoma has two locations, a smaller one on Serendipity Beach Road and a larger restaurant on the Golden Lions roundabout. Both are cute, with wooden tables and benches lit by hanging Japanese lanterns.
The Golden Lions location also serves pasta and burgers that come from the restaurant next door, which is under the same ownership. If you’re going to go to Ryoma, though, it’s best to stick to their Japanese yatai foods. Their speciality is okonomiyaki, a sort of Japanese pizza-cum-pancake that is delicious. They’ve also got several types of ramen and rice bowls, such as the excellent pork and kimchi donburi. Portions are not large, but they are tasty. Free WiFi.
This cocktail bar cum taqueria serves what is easily the best Mexican food in Sihanoukville. It’s not entirely authentic, but it is delicious. The menu features tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and taco salad. The tacos are served on either flour tortillas or traditional soft corn tortillas, and the burritos are stuffed to perfection with greasy, delicious pork carnitas, chicken adobado, or beef barbacoa, and there’s even a veggie option. Wash it all down with a margarita made by their Western bartender.
Snooky’s Bar and Bistro
In the Downtown area there a few places that have some great deals. Snooky’s Bar and Bistro have a daily special served from 5 p.m. for $3 including a choice of drink (draft beer or glass of wine). The menu changes monthly, but some recent dishes on offer included chicken tacos, BBQ chicken, and a huge fish and chips. It’s popular with local expats and it has a reputation for providing large portions.
For a couple more dollars they also have regular BBQ nights with dishes starting from $4.75, all dishes are served with a jacket potato or potato salad and their signature garden pasta salad — carb heaven!
Open 12 p.m. til late
87 Makara Street, Sihanoukville
T: 034 677 3444
Popular with Japanese expats and difficult to find for everyone else, Kukai is a small Japanese restaurant that’s open only for dinner and serves some of the best food in Sihanoukville. They offer homestyle Japanese dishes (try the braised pork belly) and rice bowls, and every night they feature one or two types of fresh-caught sashimi.
Get there early, because the sashimi supplies are limited and the restaurant is popular with the Japanese expat population of Sihanoukville. The restaurant is hard to find because it looks like a house and there’s no obvious signage, but look for the large stone outside that has “Ku Kai” in Japanese kanji carved into it.
Open Tuesday through Sunday, 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.
144 7 Makara St (if you are going up Ekareach Street from Ochheuteal, turn left when you see the busy 333 bar street) [map]
Holy Cow is practically a Sihanoukville institution at this point, and offers some of the best vegetarian and vegan choices in town. Don’t worry, there are meaty options as well, and more than enough to satisfy omnivores, too. The menu has some Asian dishes but leans mostly toward Western fare, with homemade soups, fresh salads, and homemade bread on the menu, all of them reasonably priced. It’s an excellent choice for lunch; guests can sit on the breezy balcony and wile away the afternoon. They’ve also got a chill-out bar with happy hour specials from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Open daily, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Ekareach Street, Downtown, Sihanoukville [map]
T: 012 748 510
Sihanoukville’s oldest sushi bar, Cafe Sushi offers pretty good sushi at pretty good prices. It’s all prepared by a Japanese chef and the non-sushi offerings are delicious and authentic. Popular with Japanese expats, Cafe Sushi doesn’t serve the cheapest meal in town, but it’s worth a visit if you’re splashing out.
Open daily, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.
25 Ekareach Street, Sihanoukville [map]
Five Men Fresh Beer
Five Men Fresh Beer is a beer hall and restaurant that serves flavorful Cambodian dishes meant to compliment the glasses and glasses of the “fresh” beer made on site that you’ll almost certainly drink.
The menu offers a wide range of typical Cambodian BBQ-style dishes, like salty and delicious fried corn kernels cooked with dried shrimp, sweet char-grilled pork ribs, spicy mango salad, braised river fish and staples like fried rice. Servings are large and the prices are low — most mains cost $3.75, making it easily possible to have a meal and a dozen beers for less than $10 dollars. Read the full review of Five Men Fresh Beer.
Open daily, 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
19 Mithona Street, Krom 16, Phnom 2, Sangkat 3, Sihanoukville [map]
T: 012 913 346; 015 998 896
Next door to Five Men Fresh Beer, Samnang Restaurant offers an amazing deal of $5.99 all-you-can-eat tabletop BBQ and suki soup. It’s excellent value for money, offering a range of meats, seafood, and veggies that can be grilled or added to the do-it-yourself hotpot soup. Draft beer starts at $0.75 a glass. Read the full review of Samnang Restaurant.
Open daily 5 to 11 p.m.
28 Mithona Street, Sihanoukville
T: 097 887 5184
Also in the Ekareach vicinity, Spaghetti House is a little Italian-run restaurant that offers dishes from a very reasonable $2. Their menu includes traditional pasta and pizzas and they offer fresh pasta daily. We enjoyed a delicious parmigiana and lasagna here. No draft beer, but their espressos are only 75 cents.
Open 11 a.m. til late
Just off Ekareach Street, next to the Pizza Company, Sihanoukville
T: 097 736 0262
CP Five Star
If you fancy something finger lickin’ good but don’t want to visit Sihanoukville’s new KFC, CP Five Star on Ekareach Street is the place to go. It doesn’t look like much — it’s just a stall but they have some seating behind — but their fried chicken is delicious and incredible value at only 3,500 riel (around 80 cents) per generously sized piece.
You can choose from original or spicy coating (we go spicy every time), and they mostly cook to order so you know it’s fresh. They also have several other dishes such as hot dogs and meatballs which look intriguing but we haven’t tried them yet.
Open 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Ekareach Street, next to Orange Supermarket, Sihanoukville
Heading towards the Vietnamese Consulate on Ekareach Street is Va Restaurant, a Danish-run restaurant with several different daily specials that are excellent value as well as being delicious. They offer different meals depending on the day, including a beef rib sandwich (our favorite) and a Danish-style roast beef sandwich. Prices are $3.75 including a free drink.
Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Ekareach Street, opposite the Vietnamese Consulate, Sihanoukville
T: 016 915 906
The Sushi Bar
This new branch of the popular Phnom Penh Sushi Bar offers some of Sihanoukville’s best sushi for surprisingly low prices. Their extensive menu also features a variety of hot food, including bento boxes, udon soup, and tempura. It’s a bit out of the way, but if you’re a sushi fan it’s worth the visit. And the view isn’t bad either!
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