Most of the tourists coming to Cambodia prefer as destination Siem Reap because it’s close to Angkor, tourist-friendly, and full of local attractions and excellent cuisine. Despite its size, Siem Reap doesn’t lack restaurants, eateries, small cafeterias, cafés, bars, and fast-food places. In fact, from a culinary point of view, the diversity you can find here is similar to the one in the much larger city of Phnom Penh.
Khmer Cuisine with a Twist
This is definitely the first thing you have to try after you set foot in Siem Reap. You actually have the rare chance to try real Cambodian food, made of fresh ingredients by excellent chefs. Freshwater fish, pork, local vegetables, are all spiced up to the point where you can’t make the difference between a meal at a fancy restaurant back home and these authentic dishes. At least, that’s the general impression.
- Angkor Palm – Widely known for its spectacular interpretation of traditional recipes, Ankgor Palm is one of the best traditional restaurants in the country.
- Madame Butterfly – An interesting mixture of French colonialism and Khmer… lanterns, this restaurant is focused on local varieties and beverages. A must-see.
- Khmer Kitchen – The extreme variety of this establishment, encompassing dishes like Korko soup or Khmer curry, is complemented by the possibility to take cooking classes. If you want to take such classes, make sure you book them in advance.
- Dead Fish Tower – The peculiar architecture of this restaurant, where each floor has a different height, expresses perfectly the variety of the offer. We recommend the nosh and the Ginger chicken.
International Snacks and Dishes
Just like in many other parts in Asia, international restaurants in Siem Reap have their own way of interpreting cuisines of the world. Some of them are just average, but there’s a handful of places that deserve all the attention.
- Curry Walla – A great Indian eatery, with a comprehensive menu, spreading from Seafood thali to Sambhar and Fish Biryani.
- Villa Siem Reap – For their wonderful BBQs and for the pleasant atmosphere you can find there on Friday evenings.
- Viroth’s Restaurant – Great if you want to have an exquisite Khmer dinner. It’s more expensive than many others, but what it lacks in price it covers in flavored and distinguished dishes.
- Funky Munky – A clean, well-lighted place where you can always find something new in the menu.
It’s true that some of the places mentioned until know are a bit pricey, if you consider a $10 meal expensive. However, Siem Reap has plenty budget restaurants: We suggest street dining, as you can enjoy both a good meal and watching the life of the town as the night falls. And to be honest, food is just as good. Here are two of our favorite budget restaurants in Siem Reap:
- Kamasutra – A joyous place where you can eat a nice assortment of pungent dishes at affordable prices.
- Taj Mahal – Authentic Indian cuisine. This means the brown mustard is fresh and the curry has just enough turmeric. Its North Indian specialties are unforgettable. If you love tangy food, don’t miss it.