Siem Reap is a bustling city with a huge selection of good restaurants, bars and cafe’s to choose from – and if you’re staying for only a week or so, you may be overwhelmed with choices and not know where to go.
I recently spent over 3 weeks here and I only saw a speck of the hospitality industry here. My overall experience was that it was a fantastic city for coffee, beer, wine food and socialising…and amazing prices too! I plan on spending a lot more time here and so will be writing on places individually and updating my blog on more findings as I try and cover more of this fantastic city.
In the meantime I figured I’d write a brief blog on some of the best places I visited while staying here, while covering a few other options in each category (Bar, Cafe, Restaurant). Like I said, there’s a HEAP more on option out there and being only a 3 week tourist in the town, I can only write on what I saw on my visit, and the places that appealed to me. So if you’re in town for the first time and not sure where to go, here’s my list of some of the best Restaurants, Bars and Cafe’s in Siem Reap….so far 🙂
I figured I’d give this place (Pub Street) a section on it’s own, as I’m only going to cover it in general. Main reason being is there’s SO much to choose from here and it’s packed into such a small area, that it’s worth taking a visit yourself, walk around, and find out what appeals to you most. It’s an easy area to cover all in one night – you can walk the whole area in about 15 minutes (without stopping).
With an area in the centre of town called “Pub Street”, there’s no shortage of bars, pubs and nightlife entertainment. This area alone has over 50 places (too many to count) to grab a beer, cocktail or any other beverage of the day or evening. There’s always a happy hour running somewhere as well so it’s not difficult to have a night out on a budget.
First time walking up to this area was pretty impressive – other than places like Bangkok I’d never seen so much night life crammed into one spot. You can pretty much arrive here, and everything you need for a whole night out including, food, dirnk, live music, massages…and whatever else you’re interested in is here.
It was impossible to visit all the places here in a few weeks, and it’s also very touristy, which isn’t a bad thing, but it can get a bit much spending too much time in here. I came here about 10 times on my visit, and what I found was that, wherever I went, the quality, prices and service was all pretty exeptional, so you don’t have to worry too much about choosing the wrong place. As long as the menu has food on it that you like and the ambiance looks OK, I think you’ll pretty much be alright. The prices do vary a little – but it was all relative, in that, you get what you pay for…so I guess what I’m trying to say is I think you’d find it hard to find a place where you feel you did’t get value for money.
So a few places I will mention here which I did visit and I’d recommend visiting also were:
- BAR – Beatnik Bar – This was a really cool “pub” type bar that’s great to chill and have a couple of drinks. They have a great happy hour with beers for only 50 cents, Prosseco (which was my favourite) for $3, and other cocktails and mixed drinks for great prices as well. It’s really relaxed here, and it sits on a corner so you see all the walking crowds of the pub street area and can just watch the world go by. If that bores you, they have a couple of TV’s showing sports. While I was there they had the football (soccer) and Australian Open Tennis on, so I was glued to the tennis for a good hour or so every visit here.
- RESTAURANT – Cambodian BBQ Restaurant – This is one of many restaurants offering a BBQ/Grill with a selection of meats you may not have tried before. I visited this palce as it was something new and different. They had a VERY wide selection of meats including Crocodile and Shark, and you you can choose à la carte style eating, or a set menu. We chose a set menu which was around $12 and included all the popular meats including Chicken, Port, Beef etc. as well as the more different meats like Crocodile and Shark. From memory these guys have a good happy hour too with beers being around 75 cents for a glass of the local draft beer (Angkor).
- RESTAURANT – Hot Stone Cafe – Although not the best steak in town, they do have Australian Rib Eye for around $10. Like I said, it won’t be the best Rib Eye in town, but it was damn good, and considering most other Steak restaurants are charging around $20 for the same thing – it was definitely money well spent, the steak also came with a side of fries. The main difference with this place over the other steak restaurants is that your meat comes out on a hot stone and you can cook it yourself the way you like it. It’s not just steak on the menu either, there’s seafood and other meats to choose from as well as already cooked meals if you don’t want to cook it yourself on the hot store. The ambiance and location of this place is nice as well – I called the area “little Italy” as the narrow streets that run along side it look VERY european/italian and it’s not as busy as the rest of the Pub Street area. Although this place isn’t in the actual “pub street” area, it’s right next to it and still along side all the other bars and restaurants that are in the area.
- RESTAURANT / BAR / LIVE MUSIC – Triangle Rooftop Restaurant and Bar – Although not the best rooftop bar, it’s easy to find and has a good selection of cheap drinks (including cider and wine) and food. They often have a live band playing as well, which although wasn’t the best music (singing out of tune etc.), it wasn’t bad. They were a western band and sung familiar western tunes, so a thumbs up there. There’s plenty of other rooftop bars in town so I’d recommend going around and trying some of the others as well. If you wanted something a little more up beat and “cluby”, you could go to X-Bar over the road but doesn’t really get going until late (but there is a half pipe on the roof and pool tables).
Anyway, that’s enough for the Pub Street – Like I said, there is a heap to choose from here and depending what you like in terms of food, drinks, music and ambiance, your preference is probably different to mine, so take a walk through it and see it all for yourself!