The 10 Best Street Food Stalls in Tonle Bassac, Phnom Penh

Serving up a hot treat, street-side
Serving up a hot treat, street-side | © Pexels / Pixabay
Photo of Marissa
11 July 2018

Phsar Kapko is a small but bustling market that sits at the heart of Tonle Bassac’s local food offerings. However, there is a wealth of other spots dotted throughout the Phnom Penh neighbourhood to grab local food at. Here are the 10 best street food stalls.

Breakfast at Phsar Kapko

Market, Food Stall, Asian, $$$
Map View
Bai sach chrouk (pork and rice) is one of the most popular breakfast dishes in Cambodia | © Heng Sop
Bai sach chrouk, or pork and rice, is one of the most popular breakfast dishes and types of street food in Cambodia. Served across the city, a great spot to sample the dish is at the street-side eateries on Street 9 outside Phsar Kapko. Here, the scent of marinated pork grilled on barbecues, entices diners to pull up a plastic chair and tuck in.

Num Banh Chok at Phsar Kapko

Market, Food Stall, Asian, $$$
Map View
Nom banh chok, traditional Cambodian rice noodles topped with herbs
Tuck into local food, such as nom banh chok, at Angkor Reach Restaurant | © Jesse33 / Shutterstock

This is a great place to try one of Cambodia’s national dishes, nom banh chok, or Khmer noodles. Eaten either for breakfast or as an afternoon snack, the rice noodles are topped with a fish-based curry gravy made from kaffir lime, lemongrass and turmeric root. This dish is a must-try during any trip to Cambodia.

Donut stall

Food Stall, Asian, $$$
Map View
Cambodian donuts
Cambodian donuts | © Stockcrafterpro / Shutterstock

Forget Krispy Kreme, which made its debut in the capital at the end of 2016, because there are stalls dotted across Phnom Penh selling donuts that are just as delicious and cost a fraction of the price. One of the best is the fried food stand on Street 9, close to Phsar Kapko. For 25 cents (1,000 riel), you can buy a light and fluffy donut with a delicate dusting of sugar.

Chet Chien stall

Food Stand, Asian, $$$
Map View

Found sizzling away in pans of oil, chet chien (deep-fried bananas) is the Cambodian version of the Scottish deep-fried Mars bars. Ripe bananas are flattened and dipped into a sweet batter with black sesame seeds and then deep-fried. While they can be found across the city, the food cart on Street 9 next to Phsar Kapko market serves up mighty fine versions of the snack.

Nompang carts on Koh Pich

Food Stall, Asian, $$$
Map View
Nom pang, baguette and grilled meatballs in Cambodian gravy with green chilli sauce
Nompang, baguette and grilled meatballs in Cambodian gravy with green chilli sauce | © ifoodijourney / Shutterstock

The baguette remains a relic left by the French, with carts stacked full of the bread seen throughout the capital. Street vendors selling the snack can be found across Koh Pich (Diamond Island). So, spend the afternoon marvelling at the European-style streets, the mini Arc de Triomphe, the garish fairground and swathe of development on this manmade island. Stop off for nompang sak koh – a baguette stuffed with barbecued beef, pickled vegetables and chilli.

Snacks outside Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia

Food Stall, Asian, $$$
Map View
Stir fried egg noodles with chicken
The best fast food in Cambodia comes in the form of street carts. | © Vassamon Anansukkasem / Shutterstock

Where there are crowds of students, the street carts follow so it comes as no surprise that at lunchtime and mid to late-afternoon the food stalls flock to the area outside Paññāsāstra University on Norodom Boulevard. Here, you can browse the selection of carts and choose from noodle and rice dishes, fresh fruit shakes and sliced tropical fruit. But be warned, they like their fruit raw and sour – and served with a kick in the form of a chilli salt dip.

Food stalls on Sothearos Boulevard

Food Stall, Asian, $$$
Map View
Tuck into some egg fried rice at a food stall | Tuck into some egg fried rice at a food stall

The pedestrianised walkway on Sothearos Boulevard, opposite Meta House, sits in the shadow of Build Bright University making it another popular spot with food carts. From morning to evening, a varying collection of food carts come and go, serving up a range of local delights cooked in front of you.

Jet's Container Night Market

Map View
Jet's Container Night Market
Jet's Container Night Market, Phnom Penh | © Jet's Container Night Market

The container market trend has swept over from Thailand, with Jet’s Container Night Market proving popular with the young cool Khmer crowd who flock there each evening to snack on food, drink beer or iced coffee, hang out with friends and listen to live music. As well as a feast of food offerings, there are stalls selling quirky t-shirts and other items designed by entrepreneurial locals.

Aeon Mall food hall

Food Court, Asian, $$$
Map View
Feast on local and Asian snacks at Aeon Mall | Feast on local and Asian snacks at Aeon Mall

This may not be the most authentic way to sample street food, but for those erring on the side of caution, it’s a safe way to tuck into local treats. Aeon Mall’s sprawling ground floor food court is packed full of counters offering local eats, as well as dishes and snacks from other Asian countries. While these options aren’t quite as cheap as street food, they’re still bargain bites.

Coffee carts on Street 51

Food Stall, Asian, $$$
Map View
Grab an iced coffee from one of the coffee carts in Phnom Penh | Grab an iced coffee from one of the coffee carts in Phnom Penh

The mobile coffee cart revolution has landed in Phnom Penh. Serving iced coffee from a cart is hardly a new concept in Cambodia, however, the more stylish options cropping up are a few steps up from the traditional basic form. The stretch of Street 294, between Norodom Boulevard and Street 9, is dotted with coffee carts serving a variety of coffees, teas and other refreshments.