The Tonle Bassac area of Phnom Penh is home to bustling Bassac Lane and Street 308, as well as a rising number of boutique bars. Here are 10 of the best spots to spend an evening.
An upmarket dive bar, Red Bar sits around the corner from Bassac Lane on Street 308. Popular with the city’s media bodies, this relaxed hangout serves $1 beers, cheap cocktails, and wine. And if you’re hungry, they let you order from one of the many restaurants on Street 308, and eat indoors.
Injecting a dose of the Cambodian rock ‘n’ roll that defined the country’s golden era of the 1960s, Le Boutier is a stylish three-storey bar that serves up a range of craft cocktails. Situated in a prime spot next to Red Bar, Le Boutier is a must on the Street 308 bar crawl.
The clue is in the name because this bar is intimate. However, this adds to its casual charm with it offering a low-key alternative to other hipster spots on Bassac Lane. Craft cocktails are definitely the order of the day.
This quirky, creative space has a laidback feel, with a downstairs bar and outdoor space, complete with murals on the wall. Upstairs is a room, which often hosts events. Live music, DJs, talks and art regularly take over the venue.
This open air bar is set in a spacious tropical garden, with some makeshift shelter to keep the showers at bay. It has plenty of seating, a chilled out vibe and a menu of great food to boot. The place specialises in oysters, with a selection of barbecue dishes also served.
Another off-the-beaten-track bar is Back Street Bar, hidden on a small alley that cuts between Street 9 and Sothearos Boulevard, next to Phsar Kapko – follow the hanging lights and umbrellas along the narrow lane. The bar is relaxed and a relatively small space, adding to its character.
Owned by the masterminds behind Cerevisia craft beer, Botanico is a popular spot in Phnom Penh with fans of this type of beer. Visitors can sample the rotating six brews from Cerevisia’s lengthy list of options, while sitting in the spacious tropical gardens that act as a getaway in the heart of the capital. Food is also served in the form of tapas and sharing plates.
Samai operates as a functional distillery, creating handcrafted, premium rums using high-quality, locally grown ingredients – you’ll find their brews stocked across the country, the award-winning Kampot pepper rum is a must. However, every Thursday night, it throws open its doors and welcomes the capital’s hipster crowd to sample their range of creative cocktails with DJs and musicians providing entertainment.
Perched atop a nine-storey delightfully contemporary condo block, VEHAA offers great views across the city and Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers. Following a minimalist design throughout, a range of classy cocktails are served, plus spirits, wine and beers. Food comes in the form of Western and Asian classics, with live music and DJs regularly putting in an appearance in this urban chic spot.
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