Despite Cambodia’s status as a developing country, its grocery stores are, compared to many neighboring countries, fantastic. Because Cambodia signed up to the World Trade Organization in 2004, the country was flooded with imported goods–maybe not so great for the economy, but the expats in town aren’t complaining! Phnom Penh’s supermarkets and grocery stores aren’t cheaper, of course, than shopping at a local market, but if you prefer your meats refrigerated, your prices fixed and access to Western products, you’ve got many options in Phnom Penh. Here are four of my favorites.
Lucky Supermarket – Sihanouk
Lucky is a chain of Western-style grocery stores in Phnom Penh (four at last count) and although the Sihanouk Boulevard branch is not the biggest, it is probably the most popular. It seems to be the testing ground for new products, and as of late they have been expanding their selection of foreign foods with lots more imported meats, fruits and cheeses. (They’ve even got Greek yogurt and chorizo these days!) Their selection of vegetables and produce is outstanding, although the prices have been steadily climbing so if you’re watching your wallet, it makes sense to buy the locally available items at a local market for half the cost. Lucky also carries a large selection of Western and Asian snack foods as well as dry goods like shampoo and diapers. It gets very crowded after work, so plan accordingly.
Lucky Supermarket Sihanouk
160 Sihanouk Blvd, Phnom Penh
T: 023 215 229
Open daily, 08:00–21:00
If you want to stock your pantry, Bayon Market in Phnom Penh offers the widest array of dry goods at the lowest prices. From American cereals to Korean ingredients, Bayon has brands from around the world, including some surprising finds, like Costco-brand olive oil and vitamins. Bayon carries a few key items that you won’t find elsewhere in town, like canned and dried black beans and chick peas, as well as various other legumes. They do have a small meat and vegetable section, and although their veggies can be much pricier than at local markets, they often carry items that you won’t find locally. They also have a good selection of beer, spirits and wine at reasonable prices. Upstairs they have one of the most complete kitchen supply stores in town, where, oddly, you’ll find items from Ikea and Walmart.
33-34 Street 114, Phnom Penh
T: 023 881 266
Open daily, 08:00–21:00
Thai Huot isn’t a huge store, but it manages to pack a wide array of foreign products, particularly of the French and European variety. They are known for having one of the best selections of cheese in town, as well as pate, foie gras and all things tempting and French, including lentils, tinned cassoulet and duck confit. Obviously, you’ll need a few baguettes to go with all of the above, so of course they have good, reasonably priced bread as well. Their vegetable selection is small, but they have the essentials. Where Thai Huot really excel is in the spice department–they carry many spices sought by Europeans that you can’t find anywhere else in town, such as herbes de provence.
99-105 Monivong Blvd, Phnom Penh
T: 023 724 623
Open daily, 7:30-20:30
Lucky Supermarket – Olympic/City Mall
Although most of the Lucky stores are quite similar, what sets the Lucky inside City Mall apart is that it’s enormous. Wide aisles makes for a great shopping experience, and they have more space to dedicate to some of the sections they skimp on in their other stores, such as household supplies and toiletries. They also have a great selection of fresh meats and seafood as well as fruits and vegetables. It’s a little outside of the city center, but offers a much less crowded and more relaxed shopping experience.
Lucky Supermarket Olympic/City Mall
Monireth Blvd, Phnom Penh
Open daily, 8:00-21:00
Deceptively small in appearance but packed with product, Veggy’s offers a selection of frozen, imported meats and seafood, canned goods, imported wines and features a cold room in the back that is packed with Western vegetables, meats and cheeses. This is the place to go for many hard-to-find items including fresh artichokes, pine nuts, chorizo and manchego cheese, among other things.More of a specialty shop than supermarket, Veggy’s still manages to carry enough to cover (almost) everything you need. While the store could accurately be described as overpriced and the staff as inattentive, Veggy’s still is worth a visit for hard-to-find items. (Read the full review here.)
23 St 240, Phnom Penh
T: 023 211 534