Phnom Penh has a cracking bar scene, with the city staying alive well after the sun sets. Here are 10 of the best bars where you can kick back with a beer, cocktail or glass of wine in the Cambodian capital.
This iconic bar has become something of an institution in Phnom Penh. Serving as Raffles Le Royal hotel’s bar, afternoon tea is served, along with a range of snacks and tapas plates. The classical space oozes sophistication and the bar is well-stocked with fine spirits, wines and beer. It also has more than 30 types of gin. While drinks come at a price, Elephant Bar runs a half price happy hour daily from 4pm to 9pm. Try the Femme Fatale, which was concocted especially for Jackie Kennedy during her 1967 visit to Cambodia.
There’s something truly special about watching a city twinkling below. Thanks to the recent addition of Rosewood Phnom Penh to the capital’s hotel scene, the city can now be viewed from sky high. Perched on the 37th floor of the 39-storey Vattanac Capital Tower is the five-star hotel’s SORA skybar, which offers unparalleled panoramic views across the rising capital and beyond. Open just in time for sunset, guests can wave goodbye to the day and watch Phnom Penh light up before their eyes. Simply stunning.
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.
This stylish hangout kickstarted the hipster trend that is sweeping across Toul Tom Poung. The intimate two-floor bar is stocked full of whisky, craft beers, cocktails and wines, with food also served in the form of a range of toasties, starters and mains. A stylish place to be seen, with chilled beats in the background in the evenings.
The second venture from the masterminds behind Long After Dark is Sundown Social Club, which injects a taste of Miami into the Cambodian capital. With a whole host of tiki cocktails on offer, snacks and light bites, cider, real ales, wines and spirits on offer Sundown Social Club exudes a totally different vibe to its sister on the other side of Russian Market. Primely located overlooking the tin roofs of Russian Market, this is – as the name suggests – a great spot for sundowners.
This sophisticated setting – a concerted colonial villa – is the perfect spot to enjoy a few evening cocktails or glasses of French wine with a meal. The open-air downstairs space is home to a bar and barbecue station, with the upstairs home to an outdoor terrace and indoor air-conditioned space. Meals span tapas dishes to main meals, with the coq au vin highly recommended.
Che Culo! is a hip hangout that caters to the capital’s cool crowd. The lofty indoor stylish space boasts a well-packed bar, booth seats and a selection of high chairs and tables. There is also an outdoor terrace with seating. A range of cocktails are served, along with beers, wines and spirits. And a selection of tapas dishes are perfect for sharing.
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, 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.
As one of a cosy collection of bars on Bassac Lane, Hangar 44 doubles up as the showroom for Moto Cambodge, making it a bikers’ paradise. It also serves up a range of craft beers from Himawari Microbrewery and Cerevisia Craft Beer. Make it your first pit stop on a tour of the lane’s quirky collection of bars.
As the younger sister of Bangkok’s Oskar, Phnom Penh’s offering is a classy affair that welcomes the upper echelons of Khmer society. Boasting an expansive cocktail menu, food and tunes from resident and guest DJs, Oskar is often packed until closing time in the early hours. Its kitchen is open until midnight on weekdays and 1am at weekends.