Phnom Penh’s Riverside area – or Sisowath Quay – is a popular spot for tourists, with the lively stretch of street that overlooks the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers lined with restaurants, bars, coffee shops and stores. Here are the 10 best restaurants to be found in this vibrant area of the Cambodian capital.
Restaurant, Hotel Restaurant, Asian, European, Fusion, $$$
A stalwart on the Riverside scene, Kwest Restaurant has been serving the city since 2002 when it opened its doors as one of the first post-conflict modern Western eateries in the capital. Sitting on the ground floor of Amanjaya Pancam hotel, the stylish and spacious restaurant serves a range of Asian and Western dishes. After eating, head up to the rooftop bar, Le Moon, and kick back with a cocktail while enjoying the views across the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers.
Located further north along the Tonle Sap River, Chinese House stands as one of the capital’s most stylish restaurants and bars. Built in 1904 as the home of merchant trader Tan Bunpa, the last decade has seen it restored to its former glory, with the lofty building’s upstairs serving delicious fusion fine-dining meals in the evening. The downstairs area is a bar, offering a range of tapas bites, with the outdoor tropical terrace a great spot to enjoy an evening drink.
Nicknamed Titanic, this restaurant is popular with affluent locals. Perched over the Tonle Sap River, the diner is spacious and kitted out in traditional Khmer style. The menu is as authentic as it gets and isn’t toned down for tourists’ tastebuds. Tuck into a steaming hot fish amok served in a coconut or beef coconut, and watch the flurry of boats pass by on the water.
Riverhouse is another riverside stalwart, having called it home for more than 15 years. Spread across two floors, the corner venue’s downstairs bistro serves up chilled tunes, food and drinks throughout the day and evening. After dark, the upstairs lounge opens and quickly becomes swamped with young Cambodians in the party spirit, with tunes pumping until after midnight.
For some of the best Indian food in Phnom Penh, head to Sher-E-Punjab, located on Street 130 just off Riverside. This nondescript eatery is an intimate and simple affair that has been serving up top curries and other Indian delights for more than a decade. With generous portions, order to share and feast on everything from aloo tikka, chicken samosas and kebabs, to tandoori dishes and curry.
This stylish and cosmopolitan restaurant and bar offers great views, friendly staff, delicious food and a pretty relaxed place to hang out and watch Riverside life pass by. An extensive range of cocktails are served at Metro, and if you happen to be hungry, then tuck into a few of their Asian tapas dishes – the Peking duck pancakes and Tequila black pepper prawns are a must.
Since 1997, La Croisette has been providing the capital with tasty food, drinks and entertainment. Its all-day breakfast is a hit with the daytime tourist crowd, with it also serving a range of salads, burgers, soups, pizza, pasta and Asian dishes. The spacious bar and eatery also regularly holds live entertainment, as the chairs and tables are moved to one side so punters can bust some moves.
For a taste of Thailand and Cambodia in one spot, Lemongrass Restaurant is a reliable diner to compare the flavours of the two cuisines. Situated next to Sher-E-Punjab, just off Riverside, Lemongrass’ menu is packed full of authentic dishes that take in salads, curries, fish and meat dishes.
If you’re craving some tasty tex-mex, then look no further than Viva. This lively Riverside restaurant serves up all the staples, ranging from burritos, nachos and tacos, to quesadilla and a range of salads and rice dishes, this is a great place to feast before hitting Riverside’s many bars for the night.
Adding to the collection of eateries that span the continents on Riverside is intimate Italian restaurant Pop Café. Here, diners can find a range of home-made pizzas, pastas, lasagne and gnocchi, as well as cold cuts. With many of the ingredients imported, this is a true taste of Italy in Phnom Penh.