Where to eat in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh has a cosmopolitan culinary scene as shown by its plethora of fantastic restaurants.

Hungry? Check our our reviews of Phnom Penh’s best restaurants:
Cambodian | Chinese | Coffeeshops | European | Fusion | IndianItalian |Japanese and Korean | Mexican | Middle Eastern

Phnom Penh restaurants Cambodia ribs

54 Langeach Sros serves a mean plate of Khmer pork ribs.

Cambodian restaurants

54 Langeach Sros

Definitely one of Phnom Penh’s culinary bright spots, 54 Langeach Sros is a local Khmer-style barbeque and beer garden that serves a mean plate of ribs — tangy with a hint of sweetness and slightly spicy. Don’t bother ordering just one plate. The ribs can take a half-hour to arrive, but they’re always worth it. Goat with black ants, “fried fish on the fire lake” (a complicated dish that involves a whole deep-fried fish cooked at the table in a pool of coconut curry), and crab with young green pepper are all excellent and remarkably affordable.

When you arrive, know what type of beer you want to drink, because you’ll be inundated with friendly requests from female representatives of the various beer companies trying to persuade you to drink their brew all night. Local options are sold by the can or pitcher and imported brands by the bottle. On weekends there’s often a live cover band. It’s worth a visit to get the full Cambodian experience.

Pro tip: many of the lesser food tours in town go to 54 Langeach Sros because they read about it on this blog!

Open daily, 4 p.m. to midnight
15A St 178
Tel: +855(0)17 455 454

 La’Baab Restaurant

Located above Pharmacie de la Gare near Vattanac Tower, after climbing a few flights of stairs, guests find themselves in a wooden interior evocative of mid-1800s Battambang. The menu, however, seems more influenced by the food of the Lower Mekong, where Cambodia’s east meets Vietnam’s south: lots of fish soups and curries, crunchy vegetables, and tart and fermented flavors. La’Baab’s fish amok is perfectly balanced, the curry’s palm sugar sweetness offset by the slight bitterness of the noni leaves, a defining ingredient that is regularly omitted in the Kingdom’s more tourist-oriented restaurants. Another standout is the mam, a dish more popular in Cambodian homes than restaurants. Milder than prahok, here braised mam was served with fatty pork belly, adding an extra rich layer to the sweet, fermented fish.

Open daily, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
81 E2 Preah Monivong Blvd (above Pharmacie de la Gare), Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)99 335 666
facebook.com/LabaabResto

Sovanna Restaurant

Sovanna Restaurant has something to offer just about everyone. They have a newer, more upscale restaurant a few doors down, and have recently renovated the original. Even though Sovanna has lost the dirty-beer-garden feel it once had, the food is still excellent. The grilled beef and pork, tender, smoky and slightly sweet, are the standouts, but the sngor chrouk trey, fish soup with a lemongrass broth, lime juice, and fresh herbs, is not to be missed. Their menu has photographs and English translations, making this a good first Khmer BBQ experience for out-of-town visitors.

Open daily, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
2C St 21
Tel: +855(0)11 840 055

Phnom Penh restaurant review Romdeng

Romdeng specializes in traditional and modern Khmer dishes, like this plate of beef and red ants.

Romdeng

If you’re only in town for a few days and want to try the best of Cambodian cuisine, head to Romdeng. Located in a beautifully restored French colonial building, the restaurant serves traditional Khmer dishes, modern Cambodian cuisine, and even a few “creepy-crawly” dishes, such as deep-fried tarantulas and stir-fried red ants. Be warned that if you order the tarantula dish they’ll bring a live tarantula to your table to freak you out. The menu also features several vegetarian options and salads, so there’s something for everyone. The cocktails are not to be missed; they’re creative and addictive.

Romdeng is part of the Mith Samlanh “Friends” organization that helps train street kids and at-risk youth to work in the hospitality industry. So pat yourself on the back for eating there, and don’t be afraid to tip.

Open daily, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (last order at 9:30 p.m.)
74 Street 174, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)92 219 565
tree-alliance.org/romdeng

Chinese restaurants

Chinese dumplings and hand-pulled noodles

On Street 136 between Monivong and Central Market there are a row of unassuming Chinese restaurants, all serving hand-pulled noodles and homemade dumplings. If you’re craving Chinese food or need a carb infusion, this is the street to head to. Our favorite of the bunch is Herk Fung, but it doesn’t matter which one you choose — they’re all pretty good. Read our full review of the Chinese restaurants on Street 136.

Emperors of China

Another upscale Cantonese restaurant, Emperors of China has a full menu of reasonably priced dim sum. The dim sum menu is so good, in fact, that I’ve tried very little else on their menu, although I have heard it is good. My favorites are the “carrot cake,” actually small radish cakes with X.O. sauce, prawn shui maitopped with tiny orange flying fish roe, and har gow, steamed shrimp dumplings with a chewy rice wrapper. Although it’s a lovely restaurant, the service at Emperors at China can be mediocre, because allegedly they only hire leggy models with no waitressing experience, which can make for a frustrating, if good looking, experience.

Open daily, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
19 Street 63, Olympic, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)23 637 6663
emperorschina.com

Dim Sum Emperors

A spin-off restaurant of Emperors of China, Dim Sum Emperors is a more casual restaurant that serves primarily dim sum. The menu features 19 types of dim sum as well as inexpensive rice and noodle bowls. My favorite dim sum here are the crab meat and coriander dumplings and xiao long bao, also known as soup dumplings, and steamed pork ribs with black bean sauce. The service at Dim Sum Emperors is infuriating, just like at their sister restaurant. We’ve got a full review of Dim Sum Emperors on the blog if you want to know more.

Open daily, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Corner of Street 130 and Street 53, next to Central Market, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)23 650 7452
dimsumemperors.com

Chinese Noodle Restaurant

Expat favorite Chinese Noodle Restaurant is known for their cheap, hand-pulled noodles and homemade dumplings. This is one of those places that is often referred to as a “little-known secret” but is actually very widely known and you’ll always see at least a few English teachers enjoying their delicious fare at ridiculously low prices — a bowl of noodles can be had for less than $2. One of their specialties is Shanghai-style nian gao, also known as Chinese New Year’s cake. The dish consists of slices of chewy rice cakes, stir-fried with wilted lettuce and shiitake mushrooms in an addictive savory sauce. If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to celebrate Chinese New Year, at $2 this dish is the way to do it.

Open daily, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
545Eo Monivong Blvd, BKK2, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)12 937 805

Cambodian latte

Get latte’ed out of it in Phnom Penh.

Coffeeshops

Feel Good

Known for roasting the best coffee in the Kingdom, Feel Good also has two coffee shops in Phnom Penh. In addition to serving a tasty cup of brew, they also have very good breakfasts and lunches. The menus are slightly different at the two locations–you might as well try them both–but we’re fond of the toasted bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon that’s available at both shops, as well as the excellent huevos ranchero at Feel Good II. For lunch there’s a selection of tasty salads and sandwiches. They’ve also got free WiFi, making it a good place to get hopped up on caffeine and get some work done.

Open daily, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
79 Street 136, Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)77 694 702

Open daily, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
11B Street 29, Tonle Bassac, Phnom Penh
T: 017 497 538
feelgoodcoffeeshop.com

Brown Coffee

Probably the most popular coffee chain in Phnom Penh, Brown Coffee has a dozen outlets all over town. This Cambodian coffee chain was one of the first to serve espresso-based coffee drinks, and their iced coffees and frappes are delicious. A place to see-and-be-seen for students, Brown Coffee boast plenty of big tables for work and meetings, but if you are looking for quiet, you had better go elsewhere. Their roastery on Street 57 also offers some single origin filter coffees and cold brew  be sure to specify when you order if you want yours without sugar.

Open daily, 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Street 57 at Street 294, BKK1, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)70 257 474
More locations: browncoffee.com.kh

For more places to drink coffee in Phnom Penh, see our guide to Phnom Penh coffeeshops.

European restaurants

Cuts, Rosewood

The Rosewood is the fanciest hotel in Phnom Penh and the tallest, or at least it’s at the top of the city’s tallest building. Even if you can’t afford to stay there, the magnificent views from the top are within reach. Cuts restaurant, the elegant steakhouse on the 38th floor, has a lunch menu of mostly $50+ steaks and $6 sodas. But there’s also a burger menu, including beef, chicken, vegan, or fish options, that costs only $14 and includes one of the aforementioned $6 sodas. This seems like a ridiculously good deal, and I almost hesitate to write about it in case the hotel’s upper echelons happen upon this and double the price. Although the chicken burger I tried was dry and not very good, the view alone — which is stunning and a little bit shocking — was worth the price.

Open daily, 12 to 2:30 p.m. and 6 to 10:30 p.m.
Rosewood Hotel, Vattanac Capital Tower
66 Monivong Boulevard, Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh
+855 (0)23 936 888
rosewoodhotels.com/phnom-penh/cuts

The Providore

The Providore is a new deli with attached cafe that serves up simple dishes meant to highlight the imported gourmet ingredients and coffee available at the deli. The breakfasts, from eggs and chorizo to chocolate French toast with maple-infused mascarpone get good reviews, as do their lunch sandwiches. But the standout on the menu are the platters, priced at just $10. There are French, Spanish, and Italian platters, each featuring charcuterie, cheese, and accompaniments from their respective countries — the Spanish one is excellent and very good value. Finish it off with a glass of draft Stella or a bottle of wine from their extensive collection.

Open daily, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
67 Sothearos Blvd, Tonle Bassac, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)95 907 879
theprovidorecambodia.com

Irina Russian Restaurant

Long-running Irina Russian Restaurant has always deserved more attention than it has gotten. The surprising culinary diversity of the region is seen on the extensive Irina menu, which features both classic Russian and Ukrainian dishes, but also specialties from the former Soviet states, including Georgia and Uzbekistan. Vegetarians will be happy to hear that the menu also offers an extensive array of vegetarian dishes. Dishes are all reasonably priced between $4 and $7, and they also sell frozen homemade dumplings by the kilo as well as their homemade sour cream and cottage cheese for takeaway. Although Irina’s offers a delivery menu, it’s worth visiting the restaurant to see the collection of Russian and Soviet tchochkes and memorabilia. Read our full review of Irina Russian Restaurant.

Open daily, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
22 Street 29, Tonle Bassac, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)12 833 524

Fusion

Friends the Restaurant

If you’re only in Phnom Penh for a day or two, make sure that the Friends restaurant is one of your stops. The restaurant seamlessly blends Cambodian cuisine with modern European fare, with something to suit everyone. They’ve got a tapas-style menu that’s perfect for sharing, with meat and seafood dishes but also an extensive list of vegetarian options. The menu changes frequently, but favorites include sauteed baby squid with Kampot pepper and rice wine and a smoky eggplant, garlic, and coriander dip served with bread. Friends also serves a mean glass of fruit: they have a nice selection of refreshing freezes, shakes, lassis, and juices.

Friends is part of the Mith Samlanh “Friends” organization that helps train homeless and at-risk youth to work in the hospitality industry. Order an extra dessert — it’s for a good cause. They’ve also got a store next door with some very cool hand-made, recycled souvenirs, and their cookbook, while expensive, is very good.

Open daily, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
215 Street 13, Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)12 802 072
tree-alliance.org/friends

phnom penh restaurants backyard cafe

Backyard Cafe offers live, raw, vegan, and gluten-free fare (although not necessarily all at once).

Backyard Cafe

Backyard Cafe is representative of the new wave of Phnom Penh restaurants. It serves live, raw, vegan, gluten-free, and healthy foods (not necessarily all at once, though). Even if this is not usually the sort of fare you find appealing, you’ll be surprised at how delicious and filling the cafe’s food is, despite the healthiness factor.

The menu is filled with salads, quinoa, sandwiches, and lasagna made without pasta (it’s surprisingly good). After lunch, try a raw dessert made with cashew and nut “cheese” or one of the smoothies or juices. Backyard Cafe can also provide multi-day raw food and juice cleanses, including delivery to your home or work.

Open daily, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
11B Street 246, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)78 751 715
facebook.com/backyardeats

House of Scott

The somewhat oddly named House of Scott (formerly Black Bambu) a restaurant run by the Cambodian Children’s Fund, is a high-end restaurant offering gourmet fusion dining. The lunch menu has a $15 three-course set menu option that changes regularly. We were impressed with their dinner menu as well, which features everything from steaks to sashimi, all plated beautifully. The restaurant is very brightly lit, so perhaps not the best place for a romantic first date.

Open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
#28 Street 228 (corner of Street 55), Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)23 966 895
black-bambu.com

Enso

Enso on Street 240 has a range of international influences on their menu — shakshuka and watermelon salad with pomegranates and rose water pointing to the Middle East, avocado “smash” on sourdough evidencing an Australian influence, pancakes for the Americans, and leek pie with smoked salmon and eggs benedict with leg ham to round things (and bellies) out in continental fashion. They also offer a slew of nice juices and smoothies served in mason jars.

Open daily 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., closes at 5 p.m. on Sundays
50 Street 240, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)78 626 240
enso-cafe.com

 The Salmon House

Salmon House is an amazing find for salmon lovers on a budget. The restaurant is run by a salmon importer who wanted to showcase the versatility and deliciousness of salmon. They have a $2.50 lunch menu that includes several types of salmon served with rice, and access to the all-you-can eat salad bar. There’s a more elaborate two-course $5.90 lunch option that changes daily. The ala carte menu is more expensive but still good value. The preparation is clearly aimed at a Cambodian audience, and some Westerners may be offended by decisions like pairing smoked salmon with a honey mustard sauce, but whatever they are doing seems to be working, because every day the place is packed.

Open daily, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Street 266 behind Pencil, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)12 961 662; 061 221 113

Mr. Mab

Want to try Cambodian street food, but worried about sanitation or unsure how to ask about ingredients? Mr. Mab aims to make Khmer street food more accessible to expats and travelers. Mr. Mab’s menu is an ode to street food around the world. In addition to highlighting classic Khmer street foods, it offers European and Asian street favorites. The drink menu includes a wide selection of beers, cocktails, and rum and whiskey flights. This is Mr. Mab’s second location, the original being a crab market.

Open Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
69 Street 123, Toul Tom Pong, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)87 525 777
mrmab.com

Indian restaurants

Taste Budz

Yes, it’s in the Lonely Planet guide, but this oddly named Keralan restaurant serves up lively, chili-infused southern Indian food — curries and thalis, with quite a bit of seafood — plus beer, lassis, and south Indian and Malaysian-style teas to boot. Try the Kadala curry, made with black chickpeas and studded with black mustard seed and curry leaf, and sop it up with well-made Keralan-style roti, a flaky fried bread. Or come in for breakfast and treat yourself to a terrific dosa — a crisp, crepe-like pancake made from a lightly fermented rice and lentil batter. Dosas come either rolled or folded around your choice of filling, a masala mixture of fragrant potatoes, onions, and spices and rich ghee, or a couple of fried eggs. The dosas are accompanied by sambal and coconut and tomato dipping sauces. The back room is air-conditioned, but we enjoyed sitting in the front and observing the neighborhood goings-on.

Open daily, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
13E Street 282, BKK1, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)17 913 812
indianfoodphnompenh.com

phnom penh pizza piccola

Arriving when they open is the best way to get a seat at Piccola. They are packed most nights!

Italian restaurants

Piccola Italia Da Luigi

Piccola Italia is a popular pizzeria among Phnom Penh expats. The small restaurant in Tonle Bassac is always packed, because they serve the most authentic Italian pizza in Phnom Penh.  Their pizzas are crispy, and thin-crust with bulbous air pockets around the rim, that holds its shape when lifted. If you’re a pizza aficionado, you’ll want to try Piccola.

36 Street 308, Tonle Bassac, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)17 323 273

Brooklyn Pizza and Bistro

Brooklyn Pizza and Bistro serves thick-crust American-style pizzas. They’re large and substantial, drenched in cheesy, meaty goodness. A pizza here can easily make for a meal for three or four. You’ll also find burgers, cheesecakes, and a variety of beers including German and Belgian beers, and local craft beers from Cerevisia Craft Brewhouse at Brooklyn Pizza.

Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
20 Street 123, Toul Tom Pong, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)89 925 926

Kanji Phnom Penh menu

Kanji: some of the best sushi in Phnom Penh.

Japanese and Korean restaurants

Kanji

Kanji Japanese Restaurant is Cambodian celebrity chef Luu Meng’s latest venture. As with his other restaurants (Malis, Topaz, and Yi-Sang), the culinary delights at Topaz don’t come cheap. The restaurant is definitely on the upscale side, perfect for impressing a business associate or romantic partner.

Kanji’s menu is quite extensive, covering the gamut from sashimi to soup and teriyaki to teppanyaki. It’s expensive by Cambodian standards, but not ridiculous when compared to similar establishments elsewhere in the world. Prices range from $9 for tempura or $11 for salmon teriyaki to $28 for makunouchi bento or $14, $22, or $30 for a sushi moriawase combination. Read our full review of Kanji on the blog.

Open daily, 11:30 to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
128F Sothearos Blvd (next to the Almond Hotel), Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)23 220 822
kanjirestaurant.com

Sesame Noodle Bar

This undeniably popular eatery has gotten people from outside of the neighborhood into Toul Tom Pong for the first time in a long time. Russian Market is to Phnom Penh what “above 14th Street” is to the Village-dwellers of New York City–a place that’s regarded as not worth going to. But Sesame Noodle Bar changed all of that with their tiny menu of perfectly crafted meals. The stars of the menu are the sesame house noodle ($3.75) and the sesame fatty noodle ($4.50). The house noodle can also be made vegetarian or vegan, with tofu and vegetable noodles in place of egg noodles. The dishes feature chewy cold noodles with crisp cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes, a hard-boiled egg, and caramelized pork (for the house noodle) or pork belly (for the fatty noodle) with a cold sesame sauce. It’s simple and delicious food. The other stand-out on the menu is the thor bun (2 for $2.25)–roasted pork belly on a steamed bun with homemade pickles and hoisin sauce and a touch of sriracha. Momofuko’s got nothing on this. And on top of that, the place is cute, filled with Japanese toys and action figures. In the evenings they also serve creative cocktails.

Open for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., open for dinner 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Closed Mondays.
#9 Street 460 (between 135 and 155), Toul Tom Pong, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)89 750 212
sesamenoodlebar.com

Sashimi platter at the Sushi Bar in Phnom Penh

Value for money: $5.80 sashimi plate.

Sushi Bar

The Sushi Bar on Street 302 in BKK1 is the first Phnom Penh launch of this Vietnamese chain. It may not have the best sushi in town, but it offers the best value-for-money sushi in Phnom Penh. The menu features a huge selection of sushi, from sashimi to hand rolls to nigiri. They’ve got a great nigiri plate that features 9 pieces of sushi for $5.80. The quality is about what you’d expect from a sushi chain back home; this is not artisanal hand-crafted food, but it’s still pretty damn good.

They’ve got bigger sushi platters with 16 pieces for up to $18. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the Sushi Bar offers only sushi. They’ve got lots of donburis, or rice bowls, bento boxes, tempura, and katsu-type dishes. The restaurant itself offers chain-style ambiance of the fancier sort and is upscale by Phnom Penh standards. They’ve got seating at the sushi bar downstairs and booths upstairs. We prefer the upstairs, which offers booths and slightly more privacy than the open seating on the ground floor.

Open daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
20 Street 302, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)23 726 438; 023 726 439
sushibar-kh.com

Mexicano Phnom Penh

Delicious, delicious carnitas tacos at Mexicano.

Mexican restaurants

Mexicano

Housed in an unassuming shophouse on Street 288, Mexicano, a new BKK1 restaurant, is taking Phnom Penh Mexican food to the next level. Headed by Mario Galan Ibarra, a chef who originally hails from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the restaurant serves refreshingly authentic Mexican fare, prepared by Ibarra himself.  The tacos are served on home-made corn tortillas with simple toppings, just the way it’s supposed to be. The carnitas is sensational: slow-cooked fatty pork, finished by crisping the edges so it has the traditional soft yet slightly crunchy texture. The al pastor is just as good pork marinated with dried chili, spices, achiote, and pineapple juice. Read our full review of Mexicano.

Open Mondays 6 to 11 p.m. and Tuesday through Sunday 12 to 2:30 p.m. and 6 to 11 p.m.
29 Street 288 (between streets 57 and 63), BKK1, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)96 861 2353
mexicanocambodia.com

Middle Eastern restaurants

I.R.F. Restaurant

I.R.F. Restaurant, also called ‘Taste of the Middle East’ is a small, family-run restaurant that serves up home-style Iraqi cuisine. With the matriarch of the family in the kitchen and her teenage sons acting as waiters, it’s easy to feel like you’re getting a real Iraqi home-cooked meal! Middle Eastern favorites including falafel, shawarma, and kebabs, but also lesser-known Iraqi specialties. Maqluba is rice and eggplant casserole with lamb or chicken baked and served upside-down. Kofta are meatballs, here served in two variations, one in a thick yogurt sauce, another cooked with tomatoes. Both are delicious, and like everything at I.R.F., are relatively inexpensive — most dishes are priced between $3 and $7. Flatbread and dips, including baba ghanoush and hummus are a nice addition to the meal. Finish it off with a delicate middle eastern dessert, dripping with honey and chopped pistachio nuts.

35Eo Street 19 (near Street 118) Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855(0)98 713 443; 012 452 314
facebook.com/tasteofthemideastphnompenh

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