Phnom Penh has a vast range of places to eat, from noodle shops and market stalls, where you can fill up for a few thousand riel, to sophisticated Western places where prices for a main course rise to $15–20. In addition many guesthouses have small, if usually undistinguished, restaurants.

Restaurants

On the whole, the food in Phnom Penh is of a reasonable standard, so you’re unlikely to go far wrong if you pick somewhere to eat at random. The bustling riverfront and Sisowath Quay are lined with cafés, restaurants and bars serving cuisine from all corners of the world. The attractive location means you need to pick carefully if you’re on a budget, with the cheapest single-course meals going for $4–5. Boeng Keng Kang, broadly Street 278 from streets 51 to 63, is packed with swish cafés, refined but reasonably priced restaurants and bars, and the atmosphere is more laidback than the riverfront (where the myriad of vendors and beggars can get a little wearing). For fine-dining on imported meat and wine, there are some noteworthy French restaurants as well as some fancy fusion establishments; even though they’re expensive in Cambodian terms they cost a fraction of what you would pay in the West.

A great place to fill up and try a selection of traditional Khmer dishes is at one of the markets; try the Central Market and Psar Kabkoh; the latter is a few blocks southeast of Independence Monument and dozens of sellers cook into the early evening. Most Cambodians come here to buy takeaway meals, but small plastic stools are ubiquitous and should suffice as a dining room. For sop chhnang day, where you cook meat and vegetables in a pot of stock at your table, there are plenty of establishments to try on Monivong and Sihanouk boulevards.

In addition to sit-down meals, stalls and roadside vendors sell simple noodle and rice dishes for roughly 3000 riel to take away, while fresh baguettes and rolls are sold in the markets in the morning and are available all day around the city from hawkers with handcarts.

Cafés and coffee shops

Phnom Penh’s busy café society of the 1950s and 1960s vanished during the war years, but there has now been a massive revival, with many attached to galleries, shops or internet centres.