Siem Reap offers an impressive range of restaurants and dining venues, despite its relatively small size. Most hotels in Siem Reap have their own restaurants and most guesthouses offer a basic menu of traditional local fare and western dishes including one of the all time backpacker's favourite banana pancakes. While can be convenient after a long day visiting the Angkor Wat temples to order in, it can also be worth the time to see what else eating out in Siem Reap has to offer...
Restaurants in Siem Reap are plentiful and varied - and eating out can be a real treasure!
Our Siem Reap restaurant guide below will provide you with information about eating out in Siem Reap, as well as some suggested places to dine. We also have some general information and suggestions on eating out in Cambodia. Before ending your day with a nice meal, do some shopping in Siem Reap to find the perfect gift!
Food and cuisine in Siem Reap
Siem Reap offers an amazing range of cuisines and dining options for such a small place - from the local Khmer food to various types of European and Asian cuisine, such as Thai, Indian, Sri Lankan, Malay, Italian, French, German, Swiss, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Japanese.
With so much of variety, both in cuisine and restaurant ambiance, you will definitely find one that fits both your palate and pocket. If you are tired after a hectic day of sight seeing, order fried rice or some such simple fare that can be cooked up by the guest house restaurant easily. For a small place like Siem Reap, restaurants are seldom more than a five minute ‘tuk-tuk' ride away. While in town, be sure to have at least one dinner to the accompaniment of a traditional Apsara dance performance . Angkor Village Hotel, Raffles Grand d'Angkor and Soria Moria Boutique Hotel are some of the hotels in Siem Reap that have scheduled performances and places like Kulen II, Jasmine Angkor and Amazon Angkor Restaurant are popular with tour groups.
Coming all the way to Cambodia and Siem Reap, it makes perfect sense to try out some Khmer food and traditional Cambodian dishes. Some places offer Cambodian cooking classes where you actually go with an instructor to the market and get the ingredients to make the food that you have chosen from the menu. However, for those who would like to have something more westernised, you will find a wide selection of hamburgers, pizzas, and restaurants, but as at yet, there are no McDonald's or Burger Kings in Cambodia. You can try out the Amok and Khmer curries.
And, if you really have the urge for some western fast food, KFC has recently opened a few outlets in Siem Reap and, thus, put and end to an ere where Cambodia was an 'American- fastfood-restaurant-chain-free zone'.
Many of the top end hotel restaurants in Siem Reap offer a buffet or set meal to accompany a classical Khmer dance performance and some offer other types of cultural shows. There are many good food stalls and lower end, local restaurants where meals range between US$ 1 and US$ 5. Tipping is not customary in most restaurants but always appreciated as local salaries are very low. This is excluding upscale restaurants and those in hotels where it is added on to the bill. Note that some restaurants are open very early to accommodate those who want to catch Angkor Wat at sunrise. The Paper Tiger is open 24/7 and offer pizzas, breakfasts and ready-made lunchboxes anytime you like.
Most menus are written in English, but in the budget end of the scale you might come across some menus that will put your Khmer reading skills to the test. There is, however, no need to worry as the restaurant staff will help you make your choice, but it is always good to know a few trusted and tried out delicacies that should be on your 'must try' list. If you want to try out your hand at cooking a beef barbeque, go for phnom pleurng - literally translated to 'mountain of fire'. The trei bung gancheyt is a fish dish, where the whole fish is served bubbling in a sauce that has a tasty peanut flavour and is accompanied by green vegetables.
For the budget travellers the choice is still plentiful with many different types of fried rice and noodles - filling and easy on the pocket . All widely available at a whole lot of stalls lining a street to the west of Pub Street - just ask for the 'Rice corner'. These stalls are fairly clean and popular with the locals.
Just to the north of the Old Market, you will find Bar Street or Pub Street as it's also called. Most pubs and bars have happy hours (usually before 8 pm), where drinks cost less than the usual US$1-2 and you can also get the local Angkor draft beer for 50 cents per glass.
There are some nice eateries in Bar Street too that won't burn a hole in your pocket and make also sure you visit The Alley or The Passage between the Old Market and Pub Street where you will find a wide selection of restaurants that offer a range of wonderful salads, contemporary vegetarian, pastas, sandwiches, pizzas and burgers. For all of you who have travelled across the world lured by its fame, Siem Reap offers the ultimate Happy Herbs Pizza and their little cousin, Estatic pizza. These pizzas laced with 'happy herbs' (yes, it's true, they actually are...) are available depending on the vigilance of the police watch on any given day. Make sure you know what you're doing before you try them, lest you get too happy!
Many restaurants open quite early for travellers who like to get a sunrise view of Angkor Wat and it's well possible to have delicious breakfast and lunch bags prepared to your liking if you don't fancy trying one of the many food stalls and food vendors that lines up inside the Angkor temple complex...