Vegetarians visiting Cambodia a few years ago would have been stuck for choice. Today, however, Phnom Penh is peppered with places catering to non-meat eaters and serving up a creative range of dishes. Here are the best vegetarian restaurants to tickle your tastebuds in the Cambodian capital.
A favourite with the capital’s vegetarians and health-conscious crew, Vive is a 100% plant-based café. Heralding the ‘earth-to-table’ approach, all food is ethically sourced and presented in a clean and creative way. The café also works with local suppliers of organic produce, and incorporates ingredients believed to have medicinal and healing properties into its dishes.
This café and art gallery is the perfect place for vegetarians to fill up. With the focus on hearty and healthy food, options include kale eggs Benedict, avocado toast with dukkah, sunnyside up bowl and green pancakes. There is also an expansive range of fresh juices and smoothies served, and if you want to get super healthy, then ARTillery offers a five-day juice cleanse.
Operating as the sister café to Vibe, Backyard Cafe carries the same philosophy and is another hit with healthy eaters, proving the days of boring vegetarian food are a thing of the past. An example is the Earth Bowl, which features lentils, roasted cauliflower, brown rice, roasted red peppers, pickled beetroot, guacamole, spinach, activated almonds and salad – all washed down with a botanical healing tea, made from calendula flower, rose petals, and lavender.
The Vegetarian is an awesome spot for vegetarians and vegans on a budget, hidden in a tropical garden on Street 19. Boasting a relaxing tropical garden, with seats in the dappled shade as well as a small indoor eating area, the restaurant serves only meat-free food, with dishes starting from $1. The food on offer is mainly Khmer, with the menu offering delights such as lotus root in cashew cream and tofu puffs.
Farm to Table may not strictly be a vegetarian restaurant, but its menu has some great options. Boasting a lush, leafy courtyard complete with a tractor, free-range hens running about and friendly kitties, Farm to Table resembles a mini-farm in the heart of the city. As the brainchild of the team behind ARTillery, Farm to Table’s aim is to promote organic food and farming within Cambodia, boasting a range of healthy meals.
Again, vegetarian food isn’t the only order of the day at Mok Mony, but it does serve up several specialities, such as Cambodian curry with eggplant, tomatoes, onions and long beans, and tofu stuffed with chive, garlic, onion marinated in mirim, sake and sha dong wine. Offering authentic Khmer and Asian cuisine, diners can enjoy their food in the tropical garden or air-conditioned glass section.
As a newbie on the capital’s eating scene, Masala Dosa Street Kitchen opened its doors in Phnom Penh in June as a plant-based café and restaurant, serving cheap and cheerful vegan street-style dosas alongside a range of other Indian veggie street foods in its basic kitchen and eatery. Already proving popular,
This is a popular spot to grab a bite to eat with locals, especially students, due to its super-low prices, fast service and location close to Norton University, Evergreen specialises in vegetarian, vegan and lacto Khmer and other Asian dishes. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a special set menu that includes rice, noodles, hot pot soup and a drink. Limited English is spoken, but the menu features photos next to each dish and is easy to navigate.
Café Soleil has been keeping the capital’s veggie crowd happy for years and is renowned for its wide selection of options, ranging from spring rolls, papaya mixes and pumpkin salads to yummy home-made yogurt. Wanting to ensure all dishes are as healthy as possible, Cafe Soleil uses brown rice over the widely used white rice, with the wholegrain having higher nutrition.
Coriander is an Indian restaurant that offers a vegetarian-heavy menu in a simple setting. Whether it’s a light bite or hearty meal you’re after, this restaurant has it all, from soups and salads, to bhajis, samosas, kebabs and curries throughout lunch and dinner. Think mushroom tikka, soya bean masala and okra bhaji. Yum.