TINI may be an intimate space but it comes with heaps of casual hip style, and it serves great coffee to boot. With a few tables and chairs inside and a small leafy terrace towards the front, TINI also sells a selection of quirky local art, which is showcased on its walls.
Set in the Toul Tom Poung area of Phnom Penh, Lot 369 boasts a spacious outdoor terrace as well as indoor AC space. Its menu includes a variety of vegetarian and vegan options, including the vegan breakfast bowl, Buddha bowl and vegan chocolate cheesecake.
Building on the success of its Independence Monument and Toul Kork cafes, which double up as creative spaces for young Cambodian artists, Java recently opened Java Creative Cafe in Toul Tom Poung. In keeping with its philosophy of pushing the arts, the spacious two-storey cafe is both an art gallery and features a 54-seat black box theatre, with performances held by resident dance company, Prumsodun Ok and Natyarasa.
Blink and you’d miss it, but this nondescript coffee stall in the centre of Russian Market does what its name suggests: serves the best Khmer coffee. And the best part of it is the hospitality of owner, Ai Bounnareth, who has operated the coffee and fresh juice stand since 1980. Friendly, he is happy to share his knowledge with visitors while he makes drinks from behind the counter. And with coffee costing $1, it’s a bargain compared to the upmarket coffee shops he is competing against outside.
Jars of Clay has been on the Toul Tom Poung scene for some time and is a Cambodian-run cafe that operates as a social enterprise. It employs many disadvantaged and at-risk young Cambodian women and prides itself on upholding Khmer hospitality. It serves a range of Western dishes, cakes, teas, coffees and healthy fresh juices.
A Russian Market stalwart, Cafe Yejj is a bright, bistro-style cafe spread across two floors. It uses organic ingredients in its range of dishes, which take in pasta, salads, wraps and a range of Middle Eastern dishes, such as tabbouleh, Moroccan lamb stew and falafel. It’s also a great place for sundowners, with a daily happy hour running from 4pm to 9pm.
Operating as a 100-percent plant-based cafe, Vibe Asia is popular with the capital’s health-conscious crowd. Heralding the “earth-to-table” approach, all food is ethically sourced and presented in a clean and creative way. The cafe also works with local suppliers of organic produce, and incorporates ingredients believed to have medicinal and healing properties into its dishes and drinks.
Offering an extensive menu of drinks, DEJA Cafe is popular with young Cambodians wanting to socialise while quenching their thirst. The menu spans a range of coffees, fruit teas, frappes, smoothies and sodas. A selection of snacks are available in the form of sandwiches, salads, baked goods and pastries. If a bit of AC is what you’re after, then DEJA cranks it right up.
As the brainchild of four Cambodian cousins, Brown is a homegrown success story. Since opening its inaugural store in 2009, it has helped fuel the capital’s coffee shop culture among the younger generation and now boasts more than 14 outlets, a baking facility and training centre. Offering bright, breezy, air-conditioned interiors, expect all outlets to be packed from dawn until dusk. Food is also served. Its Toul Tom Poung branch is the latest Brown to open its doors.
Joma Bakery Cafe is a popular spot close to the Russian Market that offers an air-conditioned respite from the capital’s humidity. It serves a range of breakfast dishes, including oat French toast with mango, a breakfast burrito and eggs, bacon and toast, as well as baked goods, salads, wraps and sandwiches.