Phnom Penh – Eating, Drinking and Jolling

Siem Reap
August 24, 2017
Koh Rong Samloem
November 28, 2017
Phnom Penh boasts the best of both worlds for Expat living. There are countless bars and restaurants to enjoy. But let’s start with breaking Phnom Penh down, there are a few key areas to the city, with different things to offer: • Riverside • Toul Tom Pong (Russian Market) • BKK 1, 2 and 3

Riverside is a great spot, with all types of restaurants and bars lining the Mekong River and it is a lovely setting for evening drinks and dinner at sunset. The FCC (Foreign Correspondent's Club) along with the history that it holds, is a prime location for cocktails and snacks. They have a rooftop terrace that opens in the evening only.

If you are looking for a deal, happy hour along the Riverside is the place to be. Most places offer happy hour (in reality, this is more like happy two or three hours) with local beer draughts at $0.50 each. There is a full range of restaurants – from cheap, local dishes, to fine dining like the Chinese House (the owner and head chef are South African!) with Indian and Mexican in-between.

If you fancy an evening cruising the river, then you are in luck! There are many companies that offer lovely sunset cruises down the river – I have been with a few. Some offer a welcome drink and cash bars; some include food too – it all depends on what you are after. They range between $5 and $10 a person for a two hour cruise.
Riverside is mainly aimed at tourists but it is bustling all the time whereas other areas tend to peak only over the weekend. With the tourists come TUK TUK drivers en masse, so expect to hear "TUK TUK?!" every couple of steps, even if you have just gotten off one.

For the best eggs benedict in town Metro is the place to go (mind you it is on the pricey side at around $9 but well worth it, I promise!)
Toul Tum Pong (Russian Market) is a bustling area of Phnom Penh that has grown hugely in the last couple of years. It is the Expat Hub as most Expats live in, or near TTP. There are some great little bars and restaurant in the area that all offer a wonderful evening out.

Long After Dark is a fantastic little bar on Street 450. The entrance is small but the vibe inside is buzzing. The bar has a wide variety of spirits and cocktails and the kitchen also produces some yum food to soak up the alcohol!

LAD was opened by two Aussie guys in 2016 and it has done so well they have opened a second establishment around the corner, Sundown Social Club, that is also a top spot for a few drinks. It looks over the Russian Market and has a great laid-back feel – cocktail jugs are a real win here! Another favourite for evening drinks and fun is Alchemy - the food is very tasty and they often have live music events.

You won’t be left hungry in TTP: for Mexican you have Alma and Agave Cocina and for Italian food lovers there is a lekker little restaurant called Trattoria Bello that will make you feel like you have been transported to Italy. Brooklyn Pizza is a good place for a hearty, thick crust Pizza.
For a winning breakfast LOT 369 is a great place! If you fancy a Sunday roast whilst in Phnom Penh Buffalo Sister offers a delicious variety of roasts as well as roast beef/chicken sandwiches during the week - a great take-away for a day out adventuring.

BKK 1, 2 and 3: like most of Phnom Penh, the BBKs offer an array of bars and restaurants worth checking out. One of my favourite local eateries is Sovanna BBQ on Street 21. There are two along the street: I and II - go to II and do not judge a book by its cover: the place buzzes with locals and the food is great. Our standard meal is the BBQ beef, BBQ pork, fried corn, egg fried rice with ginger and morning glory (a green vegetable) - accompanied by a jug of beer.

Bassac Lane is a great place to start the night: a little alley with lots of bars and a few restaurants all owned by friends so you can freely move from one bar to another with your drink in hand. You can also order food from any of the establishments - regardless of where you happen to have sat down. Wander down Street 278 and you’ll find the party later in the evening – Zeppelin Cafe is a great bar with a pool table and delicious dumplings for a late-night snack!

One thing is for sure, you will never go hungry or thirsty in Phnom Penh!