Eat/drink like the locals, Phnom Penh

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 15 Reviews

Cambodian Street

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  • Enjoy a Mangosteen, the fruit with the purple
    Enjoy a Mangosteen, the fruit with the...
    by Snipernurse
  • Eat/drink like the locals
    by Snipernurse
  • banana flower salad and local Angkor beer
    banana flower salad and local Angkor...
    by richiecdisc
  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    Eat/drink like the locals: Backstreet food stalls

    by richiecdisc Updated Mar 29, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    savoury veggie pancakes

    This is a perfect example of missing out on something if you are afraid to try it. I had noticed these odd little dumpling-like fritters being fried up in huge woks at many a backstreet food cart before jumping in and giving them a try. Ok, it is embarrassing going up and asking for something (well, pointing at them anyway) and having no idea what you’re going to get, but the payoff is just too great to pass it up. This particular cart was on a filthy dirt road just around the corner from our hostel and was quite busy with locals stopping in for an afternoon snack.

    Favorite Dish: They were more than happy to dish us up a plate for us for 1,000 riel (a quarter) and it was one of the tastiest snacks I’ve had on the trip. They have a gooey consistency inside and a bit crusty on the outside and they give you a nice sweetly spicy sauce to dip them in too.

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    Eat/drink like the locals: Backstreet drink stalls

    by richiecdisc Written Mar 29, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    look for the press and her smile too

    If there’s one thing that irritates me more than traveler’s eating at McDonald’s while in the culinary paradise of Southeast Asia, it’s the preponderance of Coke addicts. Why drink this banal concoction when there is a plethora of local beverages to sample? The young girls that work these are a real pleasure too. It's tough work grinding the cane by hand but they are always full of smiles while doing it.

    Favorite Dish: One ubiquitous pleasure is the sugar cane drink. You’ll know you’ve found one when you see the press that the vendors use to squeeze the juice from the cane. It’s a refreshing drink and though full of sugar, it can’t be worse for you than the acid-like colas people are guzzling. And at 500 riels (12 cents), they’re a lot cheaper too!

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    Eat/drink like the locals: Restaurant 34

    by richiecdisc Written Mar 29, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    banana flower salad and local Angkor beer

    As is typical of me when traveling, beer can be a factor in my picking a restaurant. This little hole-in-the-wall had Angkor beer on draft. We had passed another place as there were just way too many flies cohabitating the premises. This one was not a lot better but they had a fan that seemed to keep the pests at bay. We decided to try some food as the owner seemed a nice enough guy and was genuinely happy that two tourists decided to give his joint a go.

    Favorite Dish: We ordered a salad of banana flowers (2500 riel or 62 cents each) and since it was so cheap, we got two of them. Our mistake was going with his suggestion of getting it with chicken, which turned out to resemble what was left of making up the daily soup special. It was stringy and dry but I tried my best to make it look tasty as I ate a polite amount. It came with a fantastic samla machou (free!), a hot and sour fish soup that would have been more than enough for a lunch. It’s a shame, you never seem able to order this soup on its own, it’s just included with many meals at local eating places. Mugs of the local Angkor beer were 2000 riel/50 cents) apiece. A small bowl of peanuts was 1000 riel and maybe a safer bet if you’re stopping in merely for the beer!

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    Eat/drink like the locals: Backstreet food stalls

    by richiecdisc Written Mar 29, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    fried bananas

    The local food stalls have to be given a try though at times, one can go beyond the boundary of what one should try. We saw these gorgeous looking fried bananas and asked the local woman selling them for a portion by pointing. She likewise pointed to something she felt went well with the requested item. Not wanting to look uninformed, I nodded yes and we walked off with not only the bananas but some kind of odd looking fried fish.

    Favorite Dish: Since it was cooked, I figured it couldn’t do me any harm. Well, before it was cooked it evidently had fermented a bit during storage. This is evidently an acquired taste for the locals and they love it and I must say, the odd sour flavor did go well with the sweet bananas. But later that night, the fermented part of my snack obviously didn’t agree with my stomach. I guess it’s not only an acquired taste but an acquired immunity to the bacteria that goes along with this fermentation (spoiled!?) process. Advice: go for the friend bananas (500 riels or 12 cents) and skip the salty fish (1000 riel).

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    Eat/drink like the locals: Eat at local stalls

    by SirRichard Updated Sep 23, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Some local food

    You will find here many street stalls with a wide variety of local food. Don't ask me what exactly did I eat, as I couldn't answer that, but I survived, and I must say it was delicious and probablu much healthier than the rubbish we eat in the wester world.
    Besides, it's really cheap. I never spent more than 2 USD, including the Angkor Beer!!

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Beer Tasting

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    Eat/drink like the locals: Rice

    by SirRichard Written Sep 23, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Rice in a market

    Rice is a fundamental food in all these countries. Is like bread for us in Europe. We eat it in every meal.
    It's cheap and filling, healthy and everybody likes it.
    If you go to a market, you will find many kinds of rice, many more than those you can find at home.
    But when you order in a restaurant, there is only a "plain rice" dish... maybe the others are for gourmets...

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

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    Best Coffee

    by edachsund Updated Aug 19, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I usually dine in a local vendor around town where I found out that it's cheap and different.
    Another place that I should recommend is Russian Market (Toul Tom Pong Market) . I was having a lunch there before went off to genocide museum.
    Maybe you wanna try 'The Best Coffee In Phnom Penh' for a coffee lover and for some other local meal you can get it just right infront the place itself. Should I category it as restaurant or just a kiosk? ermm I donno.......

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  • Snipernurse's Profile Photo

    Eat/drink like the locals: All kind's of fruits you've never heard of..

    by Snipernurse Updated Jul 8, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Enjoy a Mangosteen, the fruit with the purple
    1 more image

    Cambodia grows all kinds of fruits that are probably not common at your locale. So when you are at the Central Market or Night Market and you see a fruit you've never seen before........buy one and eat it!!!! We had a Mangosteen, it was delicious, if you see one you must buy and eat it. We paid 1$ just for one (in the off season for growing the fruit) and thought it was definately worth it. Different apples, oranges and etc. enjoy

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  • l_joo's Profile Photo

    This is the duck egg I...

    by l_joo Updated Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is the duck egg I mentioned. Cost only a few cents. You can find them at night by the street. These duck eggs are very special not because of the taste only but you are actually eating a baby duck still inside the egg. We broke the egg shell, a baby duck head with eyes and feather, legs are all there, so what you do is using a small spoon they provide, dig a small portion of the duck egg, put on the special sauce and a few green aromatic leaves then put it into your mouth, yeah taste it.

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  • jose_a_juan's Profile Photo

    In Cambodia and specially in...

    by jose_a_juan Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In Cambodia and specially in PP it’s very easy to find fresh bread and they do very good sandwiches. In the stand of the pic they made for us a good noodle soup, some sandwiches and a very good strong coffee.

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  • I have only been to one...

    by mikinho Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I have only been to one restaurant, but it was quite original. On the river front, there is a chain of six small restaurant, each being a small Khmer-type cabanne. They are numbered 1 to 6.
    It's nice to sit there and watch the crowd and the river. There's a vegetarian meal in one of them, but I didn't try it.

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    I had most of my meals along...

    by Svitata Written Aug 24, 2002

    0.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I had most of my meals along Sisowath. There are Thai, French, Cambodian, German, Italian, and lots of other cuisines avaiable. A few places I would recommend would be The Globe (it's just above the Air France office) and The Riverhouse (food here is excellent and prices are reasonable).

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  • XKuger's Profile Photo

    Big on Sea food

    by XKuger Written Sep 18, 2002

    There seem to big on seafood. Most people seem to venture to the sea food places. The guid that I hires seemed to suggest that I got to some of the sea food restaurants.

    I found some veyr nice and cheap and excellent restaurants right outsdide the Ankor Wat in Siem Reap. In Phnom Phen my driver took me to some restaurant right by the river that had a huge selection of sea food on the menu.

    Favorite Dish: I being a vegetarian my selection was limited. But there was quite a bit.

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  • Tedsocoa's Profile Photo

    Chez la Belle-Mère 1: A good real Khmer Restaurant.

    by Tedsocoa Written Jan 19, 2014

    When you are in for a real Cambodian lunch or dinner, this restaurant is made for you. Normally rather full with Khmer families, all eating different dishes at the time. The have a big choise of Asian specialities at a very modest price.

    Favorite Dish: Their Lok Lak is really delicious, further more Khmer noodles with roasted chicken etc etc.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • so_alex's Profile Photo

    Yummy Insects Stall: Snacks in Phnom Penh

    by so_alex Updated Feb 19, 2003
    Deep Fried Spiders

    Just outside the main entrance of Psar Thmei or somewhere else in the street around Cambodia.

    Favorite Dish: Deep Fried Spider (Of coz' I didnt try)

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