One of my favorite parts about traveling is all of the NEW foods you get to try, and Siem Reap had so many options I was eating more than 3 meals a day to try and squeeze them all in. From vegan cafes to traditional Khmer food, there is something for everyone in this food heaven. Here’s a list of the 10 BEST places to eat in Siem Reap.
This French-inspired cafe offers a variety of vegan options for their coffees, smoothies, and pastries—but don’t worry meat lovers, they also have a delicious chicken salad on their menu.
The owner and his wife are extremely kind and happy to strike up a conversation. The walls feature some banksy art and the bathroom is lined with witty phrases that will make you smile.
I loved Wat Else Cafe so much, I visited twice. The first time I ordered the “Wake Me Up” smoothie (coffee, oat, banana, and coconut milk) that was absolutely phenomenal and did what the name suggested. The second time I ordered the “Detox Smoothie” made of spinach, strawberries, bananas, coconut milk, and cashew nuts…which gave it a creamy texture.
Both were only $3 (USD), and they offer a “happy hour” every morning from 8am-9am with half off coffee/teas. Perfect place to start your morning!
The design of this cafe is Pinterest-perfect; from the outdoor seating to the indoor wicker swing and colorful calligraphy quotes on the walls. Make sure to follow the “good vibes this way” sign and eat in the upstairs dining area.
The vegan, superfood menu at Vibe Cafe is filled with unique dishes and drinks that made it difficult for me to choose just one. I ended up going with a lunch special: “Cauliflower Tabouli with a Ginger/Lemongrass Tea” for $6 (USD). The meal was full of flavor and the tea packed a punch too.
They also serve tons of health-conscious snacks and desserts in their refrigerators downstairs like “Raw Mango and Vanilla Cheesecake” and “Superfood Brownie Bites”.
Additionally, the money from your meal goes to support The Good Vibe Foundation which helps to feed 10,000 healthy meals to school children in Cambodia—fill your body with goodness and support a good cause at the same time!
Greek food in Asia? Sounds a little out of the norm—which is exactly why I had to give it a try.
The white and blue, sea-inspired decor drew me in to Elia Greek Kitchen, as well as the Gluten-Free options on the menu.
I ordered the “Watermelon Feta Salad” which was light and refreshing, and the “Mixed Dips” appetizer which included tzatziki, tirokafteri, hummus, beetroot dip, and eggplant dip and was served with fries (GF option; Pita Bread is the normal dipper). It’s a little on the pricier side, but I was content spending $12 (USD) for these delicious bites.
There’s two locations in Siem Riep (both with the same menu), but I preferred the one on Pub Street—the perfect place to people watch while you munch.
Another health-conscious restaurant, Sister Srey Cafe has so many gluten-free and vegan (and all organic) options it made it, again, hard to choose.
I went with the “Detox Salad”, a lighter fare with red cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, pineapple, and walnuts, drizzled with an apple balsamic dressing. The plate also came with two “Power Balls” that were a sweet, healthy addition. It cost $5 (USD).
The cafe has open views to the street, wooden chairs, French-inspired decor, and a set of spiral steps in the middle.
This business donates profits to landmine clearance and focuses on sustainability throughout their kitchen and restaurant. It’s a nice place to relax, listen to modern music, and enjoy a satisfying lunch.
Mexican food in Asia? Another thing that sounds a little out of the norm, but my cravings led me to try this place (located right next to VIBE Cafe).
The 4 story-building of Maybe Later Mexican Bar and Grill is covered with Mexican-style paintings done by local artists, and the restaurant’s mission is to encourage art expression and engagement among the local youth.
I ordered the “Burrito Bowl” decked out with rice, black beans, chicken adobo, cheese, sour cream, corn salsa…and guac! for $6.50 (USD). I used the chips that lined the bowl to taste through their 4 salsas ranging from mild to hot.
This food was Cali-Mex done right, and the combination of the food and the environment gave it an authentic Mexican feel.
After eating healthy all day, I had to dig my teeth into something sweet—#treatyoself right?!
I ran into Blue Pumpkin at the end of Pub Street and decide to scope out their dessert case.
I ordered the “Juicy Carrot Cake” with a simple scoop of “Vanilla Ice Cream”—and the combination was mouth-watering. Make sure to tell them to warm up the cake, as the squishy warm texture compliments the cool ice cream exquisitely.
I enjoyed the sweet treat seated cross-legged on the big blue cushions that line the back wall with a TV-tray style table. Super cute cafe, super sweet treats!
Something cool is a must in the hot heat of Cambodia, and the Gelato Lab has an impressive Italian-inspired line up of Gelato flavors from fresh-milk cremes to vegan sorbettis.
I got a double scoop of “Cafe Carmeliata” and “Noccioola” in one of their home-made waffle cones, and the flavors melted together wonderfully. For only $2-3.50, and tucked away in a cute little alley near Pub Street, this place is a must-try at the end of your night.
If you feel like saving a few dollars and going with more Southeast-Asian style sweets, there are a few options for you to try.
Lined up and down the streets of downtown you can find hundreds (literally) of “fried ice cream” carts (rolled ice-cream with your own topping choices)—all for $1 (USD).
You will also find a few “Roti” (pancake) carts serving up the popular banana-nutella bread fry for only $1 (USD). Insider tip: add peanut butter to this combo and you’ll be in heaven with this warm, rolled up treat.
I stumbled across this restaurant my first night in Cambodia, and had to start off the trip with some traditional food.
This local, “hole-in-the-wall” restaurant featured many dishes—all for $3 or less. I went with the beef “Lok Lak”, a popular Cambodian dish with a sweet sauce and served with a black pepper vinaigrette—and the flavor was absolutely phenomenal. The dish was served over rice and topped off with a fried egg.
The employees were welcoming and educated me on a few Khmer phrases (Sook Sa Dey-“hello” and Or Kuhn-“thank you”). They also give you some sea-salted red peanuts to munch on before your main course.
You can find this place on the dirt road leading to Pub Street…and they will call you in with warm smiles and a “hello”.
Another local Cambodian restaurant, Holy Khmer Kitchen is also located on the dirt road leading to Pub Street, and features a variety of Khmer food also for $3 or less.
I ordered the “Fish Amok”—a traditional dish of coconut cream and curry steamed (and served) in banana leaves. The flavor profiles in this dish matched the exquisite Cambodian dishes that I had tried so far.
Be sure to taste your way through both the local Khmer food as well as the other vegan/gluten-free restaurants that Siem Reap has to offer!