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Indulging In Local Cuisine Without Breaking The Bank In Cambodia

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Indulging in Local Cuisine without Breaking the Bank in Cambodia

Cambodia is a country known for its rich and diverse culinary traditions. From traditional Khmer dishes to international fusion cuisine, there is something to satisfy every palate. One of the best ways to experience the local culture is through its food, and luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy authentic Cambodian cuisine. In this article, we will explore how to indulge in local cuisine without breaking the bank in Cambodia.

Exploring Local Markets

Visiting local markets is a great way to immerse yourself in the vibrant food scene of Cambodia. These markets offer a wide variety of fresh produce, spices, and street food at affordable prices. Here are some must-visit markets in Cambodia:

  • Phsar Thmei Market: Located in the heart of Phnom Penh, Phsar Thmei Market is known for its bustling atmosphere and diverse food stalls. Here, you can find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to local street food specialties like num banh chok (Khmer noodles) and fish amok (a traditional Cambodian curry).
  • Old Market (Phsar Chas): Situated in Siem Reap, the Old Market is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The market offers a wide range of local delicacies such as grilled meats, fried insects, and tropical fruits.
  • Night Market in Sihanoukville: This vibrant night market is a food lover’s paradise. Here, you can sample a variety of seafood, grilled meats, and Khmer desserts at affordable prices.

Traditional Khmer Street Food

When it comes to affordable and delicious food in Cambodia, traditional Khmer street food is a must-try. Here are some popular Khmer street food dishes to indulge in:

  • Khmer Noodles (Num Banh Chok): This iconic dish consists of rice noodles topped with a fish-based curry sauce and an assortment of fresh herbs and vegetables. It is a staple breakfast dish in Cambodia and can be found at street food stalls throughout the country.
  • Beef Lok Lak: Beef Lok Lak is a traditional Khmer dish made with tender strips of beef marinated in a flavorful sauce and served with a tangy lime dipping sauce. It is often accompanied by rice or baguette.
  • Grilled Skewers (Chaktomuk): These skewers are a popular street food snack in Cambodia. They are made with a variety of meats such as beef, chicken, and pork, marinated in a blend of spices, and grilled to perfection. They are usually served with a sweet and tangy dipping sauce.

Hidden Gems and Local Eateries

While exploring Cambodia, be sure to venture off the beaten path and discover hidden gems and local eateries. These places often offer authentic Cambodian dishes at affordable prices. Here are some recommendations:

  • Sisters II Restaurant: Located in Siem Reap, Sisters II Restaurant is a popular spot among locals and tourists alike. They offer a wide range of Khmer dishes, including fish amok, beef lok lak, and Khmer curry, at reasonable prices.
  • Friends the Restaurant: Situated in Phnom Penh, Friends the Restaurant is a social enterprise that serves delicious Khmer and international fusion cuisine. The restaurant supports a vocational training program for disadvantaged youth, making it a great place to dine for a good cause.
  • Angkor Palm Restaurant: This family-run restaurant in Siem Reap is known for its authentic Khmer dishes and warm hospitality. They offer a variety of traditional Cambodian dishes, including fish amok and Khmer curry, at affordable prices.

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

For those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, Cambodia has plenty of options to choose from. Many local eateries and restaurants offer plant-based dishes that are both flavorful and affordable. Here are some vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes to try:

  • Green Mango Salad: This refreshing salad is made with green mango, carrots, peanuts, and herbs, dressed with a tangy lime dressing. It is a light and healthy option for vegetarians and vegans.
  • Vegetable Curry: Cambodian vegetable curry is a fragrant and flavorful dish made with a variety of vegetables, coconut milk, and aromatic spices. It is usually served with steamed rice or rice noodles.
  • Banana Blossom Salad: This unique salad features the tender inner layers of the banana blossom, mixed with fresh herbs, peanuts, and a zesty dressing. It is a popular vegan dish in Cambodia.

Image 1: Cambodia


Exploring Cambodian Street Food

Exploring Cambodian street food is an adventure in itself. The streets of Cambodia are filled with food stalls and carts offering a wide variety of delicious and affordable snacks. Here are some street food favorites to indulge in:

  • Banh Chheo: Banh Chheo is a popular street food snack made with rice flour batter and filled with bean sprouts, green onions, and sometimes shrimp. It is fried until crispy and served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce.
  • Kuy Teav: Kuy Teav is a flavorful Cambodian noodle soup made with rice noodles, pork broth, and an assortment of toppings such as pork slices, fish balls, and fresh herbs. It is a hearty and comforting dish.
  • Pong Tea Khon: Pong Tea Khon, also known as Cambodian iced coffee, is a popular beverage in Cambodia. It is made with strong brewed coffee, sweetened condensed milk, and served over ice. It’s the perfect pick-me-up on a hot day.

Image 2: Cambodia


Staying Hydrated with Local Beverages

Cambodia offers a variety of refreshing and hydrating local beverages to quench your thirst. Here are some popular options:

  • Sugar Cane Juice: Sugar cane juice is a popular beverage in Cambodia, especially during the hot summer months. It is made by extracting the juice from fresh sugar cane stalks and served over ice.
  • Fresh Coconut Water: Fresh coconut water is readily available throughout Cambodia. It is a natural and refreshing drink that helps to cool down and rehydrate.
  • Tamarind Juice: Tamarind juice is a tangy and sweet drink made from tamarind pulp, water, and sugar. It is a popular choice to accompany spicy Khmer dishes.

Exploring Night Markets

Night markets in Cambodia are not only a great place to shop for souvenirs but also a food lover’s paradise. These markets offer a wide variety of street food stalls and vendors selling local delicacies. Here are some popular night markets to explore:

  • Angkor Night Market: Located in Siem Reap, Angkor Night Market is a bustling market with a wide range of food stalls and shops. Here, you can find everything from grilled meats and seafood to traditional Khmer desserts.
  • Phsar Reatrey Night Market: Situated in Sihanoukville, Phsar Reatrey Night Market is a lively market with a vibrant atmosphere. It offers a variety of street food options, including fresh seafood, BBQ skewers, and local snacks.
  • Russian Market (Phsar Toul Tom Poung): This popular market in Phnom Penh is known for its wide selection of food stalls. Here, you can sample traditional Cambodian dishes, as well as international cuisines.

Image 3: Cambodia



Indulging in local cuisine without breaking the bank in Cambodia is not only possible but also a delightful experience. By exploring local markets, trying traditional Khmer street food, discovering hidden gems, and opting for vegetarian or vegan options, you can savor the flavors of Cambodia on a budget. Don’t forget to stay hydrated with local beverages and explore the vibrant night markets for a truly immersive culinary adventure.



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