Vegetarian Food in Cambodia – Complete Guide

Vegetarian Food In Cambodia
Guide to Vegetarian Food in Cambodia | vegetarian food in Cambodia | vegetarian in Cambodia | vegetarian restaurant Phnom Penh | vegetarian restaurant Siem Reap | vegetarian restaurant Sihanoukville | Khmer meal | khmer food | Cambodian food | Cambodian cuisine | Cambodian street food | Indian restaurant in Siem Reap | Cambodian dishes | Cambodian noodles | Cambodian curry | vegetarian guide to Cambodia | #travel #Cambodia #Cambodianfood #PhnomPenh #SiemReap #Vegetarian #VegetarianFood
Guide to Vegetarian Food in Cambodia | vegetarian food in Cambodia | vegetarian in Cambodia | vegetarian restaurant Phnom Penh | vegetarian restaurant Siem Reap | vegetarian restaurant Sihanoukville | Khmer meal | khmer food | Cambodian food | Cambodian cuisine | Cambodian street food | Indian restaurant in Siem Reap | Cambodian dishes | Cambodian noodles | Cambodian curry | vegetarian guide to Cambodia | #travel #Cambodia #Cambodianfood #PhnomPenh #SiemReap #Vegetarian #VegetarianFood
Guide to Vegetarian Food in Cambodia
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vegetarian restaurant Siem Reap
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Indian restaurant in Siem Reap
Cambodian dishes
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vegetarian guide to Cambodia
#travel #Cambodia #Cambodianfood #PhnomPenh #SiemReap #Vegetarian #VegetarianFood

Vegetarian food in Cambodia

A Guide To Vegetarian Food In Cambodia

As vegetarian travelers we have our own set of challenges, but nothing that is insurmountable. We have survived long stays in Europe, Africa, and other parts of the world without major issues. So when we landed in Phnom Penh for a 10-day visit to Cambodia, we were not really too perturbed about finding vegetarian food in Cambodia.

Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia

Thoughts or concerns about food, the basic physiological need as per Maslow’s Hierarchy was farthest from our thoughts. In fact, our thoughts were more focused on intrinsic needs like being wowed by the grandeur of the temples of Siem Reap and having an immersive experience of the country rather than on finding vegetarian food in Cambodia.

Vegetarian food in Cambodia

The Vegetarian Side of Phnom Penh

Vegetarian Food In Cambodia

Phnom Penh came as a pleasant surprise to us. When you think of vegetarian food in Cambodia  Phnom Penh has plenty to offer. Not only is there vegetarian food freely available, but to our delight, we found a plethora of Indian restaurants too in the city. The riverfront is dotted with many Indian restaurants. We share here some of our experiences with food of the vegetarian kind during our stay in Phnom Penh.

Vegetarian Breakfast At Cardamom Hotel

Vegetarian Food In Cambodia

We stayed at the Cardamom Hotel in Phnom Penh and the hotel offered a continental and South Asian breakfast. Vegetarian choices for us were limited considering that eggs too were not part of our diet. But of course, there was Bread toast with butter, jam, fresh fruits, fried vegetables, and vegetable noodles. This was enough fuel for us to set off on our explorations of the sights of the city including the Royal Palace, the National Museum as well as our day trip to the Takeo Province.

Indian Food in Phnom Penh

Vegetarian Food In Cambodia

We had expected to find vegetarian food in Cambodia but what pleasantly surprised us was the availability of Indian food too. One of the things we miss while traveling is the tangy and spicy flavors of Indian food. There is no dearth of restaurants serving Indian food in Phnom Penh. Many small and medium Indian restaurants can be found on the riverfront and other central areas of Phnom Penh. Some of the Indian restaurants that we visited and had our meals at Phnom Penh are described below. All of them serve good and tasty fare that can give the best of restaurants in India a run for their money.

Yellow Chilli

Vegetarian Food In Cambodia

Yellow Chilli is located in the center of Phnom Penh and offers good Indian vegetarian fare. It is a nice place to head to if you are looking for good Indian and vegetarian food in Cambodia.

Indigo-Vegetarian Restaurant Pnom Penh

Vegetarian Food In Cambodia

An Indian restaurant relatively new located on the Riverfront offers authentic Indian vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian fare. The owner hails from Moradabad. They have a standard vegetarian thali apart from other a la carte curries and rotis ( Indian bread ). Their Mango Lassi was awesome. Another nice place for vegetarian food in Cambodia.

Local Vegetarian Food In Cambodia – Phnom Penh

Vegetarian Food In Cambodia

Though we love Indian food, we know that there is a wide variety of vegetarian fare available across the world which has their own flavors and aromas. As travelers, one of our explorations is around food and we do try to delve into the local cuisines as much as possible. After all, food is a living window to the culture and history of a place. We were keen to explore the mysteries of Khmer food and see if it was possible to have a Khmer Meal which was purely vegetarian. So it was that on one of the evenings of our stay in Phnom Penh we landed up in a nice and serene restaurant exotically named as Banana Tree to taste some of the local vegetarian food. We found that Cambodian food consisted of primarily rice along with meats and curries. Cambodian cuisine also uses a lot of local vegetables, fruits, and coconut. Cambodia is also known for the Cambodian street food which is available aplenty on the streets of Phnom Penh.

Apsara Dance in Banana Tree

The Banana Tree Restaurant had a very nice and soothing ambiance, the place also has a spa. Dining is in comfortable environs filled with the fragrance of aromatic oils. A graceful Apsara dance and soothing music on a local Cambodian instrument added to the overall ambiance.

Vegetarian Food In CambodiaVegetarian Food In Cambodia

We enjoyed many of the vegetarian dishes prepared with love and presented beautifully. We also dug deep into a platter of sticky mango rice, which is so popular in Cambodia and other parts of South East Asia. We would recommend travelers to Phnom Penh to head out here for the authentic local fare with great ambiance. Definitely one of the best places for vegetarian food in Cambodia.

Boat Noodles

A small joint serves different types of Cambodian noodles, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. We ordered vegetarian noodles here but were not able to actually eat what we ordered because we found out that the oil used for cooking was common, so we had to forgo our order. We would not recommend the place to vegetarian or vegan travelers.

Sihanoukville – The Beach Town of Cambodia


On our 10 day trip to Cambodia, we covered many lesser known places of the country. We realized that there is so much more to Cambodia than just the temple of Angkor Wat.

One of the gems of Cambodia is Sihanoukville, which is the capital of the province by the same name. It is a town with gorgeous beaches and many casinos. We spent a couple of days here and again our quest for vegetarian food in Cambodia continued.

One does not have too many options for Vegetarians and Vegans in Sihanoukville. There are quite a number of Chinese and local restaurants but no Indian restaurants. One needs to ask the restaurants to prepare special vegetarian fare, but all the restaurants may not be able to comprehend, especially when it comes to the medium in which the food is cooked. So if you are not able to communicate properly you may end up being served vegetarian fare that has been cooked in pork oil!

After a few trials and misses, we zeroed in on a lovely and unique restaurant called Sandan.

Sandan – Vegetarian restaurant Sihanoukville

Vegetarian Food In Cambodia

The best place to head for if you are vegetarian or vegan is a restaurant called Sandan, which is run by an Orphanage trust which has over 1,000 orphans. The restaurant is clean and has a lovely ambiance. The best part is the smiling staff who are sure to win your hearts with their smiles and warmth. There are a few vegetarian options and vegan too.

The quality is very good and they understand your preferences and ensure that all ingredients including the oil are vegetarian only. Same goes for vegan dishes as well. Once you have communicated your choice, you can rest assured that you will get a tasty and wholesome meal according to your preference. They have some nice selection of juices and desserts too.

Vegetarian Food In Cambodia

We recommend the Grilled Zucchini, Eggplant and Capsicum Terrine with Coriander Chilli Dressing, a nice Cambodian curry. This tasted lovely and went well with a bowl of white steamed rice. The dish was plated superbly too.

So do look out for the excellent presentation of their Cambodian dishes, and also buy a few souvenirs handcrafted by them. You are sure to walk out of the place with a holistic feeling of satisfaction. A place with food not only for the body but also for the soul.

We were in Sihanoukville for three days and we had our meals at Sandan all the time. So vegetarians and vegans traveling to Sihanoukville, head to Sandan for the best vegetarian food in Cambodia.

Breakfast At Holiday Villa, Sihanoukville

Soliday Villa Sihanoukville

We stayed at the Holiday Villa in Sihanoukville and used to have their buffet breakfast. The place does have a decent spread, but limited vegetarian fare. Fruits including watermelon, dragon fruit, Papaya and salads of fresh vegetables like tomatoes, Lettuce, etc., are available.

There is bread which can be toasted and eaten along with butter and jam. Breakfast usually has two vegetarian dishes. These mostly include Vegetable Pakoras, Potato wedges or Potato Fries or other variants made from Potatoe.
The food can be washed down with fresh juice or Coffee and Tea. So basically a decent vegetarian breakfast to start the day with.

Onwards To Siem Reap

Kingdom of Angkor hotel

Our last stop in our Cambodia sojourn was Siem Reap, where we stayed at the Kingdom Angkor Hotel. It was a nice and spacious hotel not far from the main business area and eating joints as well as night markets of Siem Reap. In terms of food in our continued quest of vegetarian food in Cambodia, we found that Siem Reap because of its international importance has no dearth of options for vegetarian food. Probably along with Phnom Penh, Siem Reap has maximum options for vegetarian food in Cambodia.

Kingdom of Angkor Hotel

We used to have a fairly heavy breakfast at the buffet spread at the Kingdom Angkor Hotel. Vegetarian options included cut fruits, juices, salads, bread, and vegetable noodles. Our palates yearned for Indian breakfast like Paranthas or idlis, but we had to be satisfied with what was available which was of good quality and fortifying for the long walks to see the temples of Siem Reap.

Indian Restaurants In Siem Reap

Siem Reap is a bustling city and choc a bloc with hotels and restaurants. They are of all sizes and cater to varying budgets. There is something for the uber-luxury traveler as well as the thrifty backpacker, and of course many options in between as well. In terms of cuisines, the city caters to multiple world cuisines.

We had lunch and dinner at different places during our three days of stay in Siem Reap. Here are some of the places that we ate in.

Vanakkam India – Vegetarian restaurant Siem Reap

Vegetarian Food In Cambodia

Vanakkam India is a small restaurant that primarily serves South Indian food. It serves the usual South Indian dishes like Dosa, Idli, Vada, apart from other Indian dishes including a vegetarian Thali. It has a nice and compact look with a typical south Indian ambiance. Food is fairly good, given the circumstances but service was a bit slow.

Royal Indian

The Royal Indian is another Indian restaurant in Siem Reap which serves fairly authentic South Indian and North Indian fare. We had a vegetarian Thali and also tried out their Puliyogare (Tamarind Rice). Food was average, but filling and the restaurant clean and decent.

There are many other Indian restaurants that can be found on a single street in the Krong area of Siem Reap. This is quite near the night markets and is a place worth walking around, soaking in the atmosphere.

As we used to go for exploring the temples of Siem Reap immediately after breakfast, we used to return to the city only around dinner time. For lunch, we used to have something in the vicinity of the temple that we were at that moment. Usually, it would be a bowl of vegetable noodles or vegetable rice. But we had learnt our lesson quite early and used to make it clear to the waiters that we wanted the stuff cooked in vegetable oil only. So much so that at one place they brought a bottle of olive oil to show us that this was what they were going to use.

So we completed an amazing trip of Cambodia, a city which is truly a kingdom of wonders in more ways than one. We were able to find our share of vegetarian food in Cambodia and can say for a fact that it is not difficult to be a vegetarian in Cambodia. We hope our experiences are of some use to those vegetarian or vegan travelers who are heading towards Cambodia and this post serves as some sort of a mini vegetarian guide to Cambodia.

We are vegetarians by birth and by choice and proud of it. If you are vegan or vegetarian how do you manage in countries where it is difficult to get the food of your choice? What has been your best and worst experience of being a vegetarian in a foreign land? Do let us know your thoughts through our comments section.

We were hosted by Cambodia Tourism. However, the views and opinions expressed here are our own.

PinitVegetarian Food in Cambodia - Complete Guide
Guide to Vegetarian Food in Cambodia | vegetarian food in Cambodia | vegetarian in Cambodia | vegetarian restaurant Phnom Penh | vegetarian restaurant Siem Reap | vegetarian restaurant Sihanoukville | Khmer meal | khmer food | Cambodian food | Cambodian cuisine | Cambodian street food | Indian restaurant in Siem Reap | Cambodian dishes | Cambodian noodles | Cambodian curry | vegetarian guide to Cambodia | #travel #Cambodia #Cambodianfood #PhnomPenh #SiemReap #Vegetarian #VegetarianFood

Vegetarian Food in Cambodia - Complete Guide

Vegetarian Food in Cambodia - Complete Guide

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12 thoughts on “Vegetarian Food in Cambodia – Complete Guide”

  1. Noor Anand Chawla

    I have been to Cambodia, so I know how difficult it was to find good vegetarian options there. This is a wonderful post, and will surely help many people.

  2. It’s good to know there are so many Indian restaurants in Cambodia. This is a helpful post for vegetarians planning a trip to Cambodia. Loved the pictures.

  3. Deepa Shri Rajan

    Such a beautiful and well articulated article this is. Loved reading every bit of it. And it’s super useful to me as I am planning to Cambodia soon. And will surely save this link for my travel

  4. Some of those sauces and foods look amazing! I’m not a vegetarian but I feel healthier when I stick to a vegetarian-based diet, so this was helpful!

  5. Though I am not a vegetarian, it’s good to know that Cambodia has a lot of vegan-friendly food for people looking for more healthier options. The food looks delicious too and I’d love to try them when I visit one day. 🙂

  6. The.Holidaymaker

    I have never been. But agree, as a vegetarian, sometimes traveling poses some issues with getting a balanced meal, and also to discern if it is truly vegetarian in its cooking methods. It also means that I miss out on cultural dishes local to an area as they are often rooted in meat or fish. Thank you for sharing.

  7. On my trip to Cambodia I was quite worried about finding enough vegetarian options, because I’d really suffered in Thailand. But Siem Reap in particular was great. One just needs to do a little bit of prior research. Great post!

  8. I love a good mango lassi when on travel. Sometimes (a lot of times) I am bad about eating my veggies out. Also, the yogurt and active probiotics keeps me feeling right. But in warm tropical regions a cool and satisfying lassi is the perfect thing to quench my thirst .

  9. Great guide for the veggie eaters out there, however I am a meat eater so would love to try the meaty side of Cambodia. However I love a good mango on the road, by the beach, and chilling out whilst listening to the waves of the sea. Thats the only time I have mangos. Not sure why.

    Would love to check out the Indian restaurants in this post. I love good Indian food, a combination of veg and meat is always up my street.

  10. I am not a vegetarian but I wish I could be. The presentations you have shared here are so inviting and no doubt healthy. And the Indian influences would be good for us, too!

  11. This is such a useful post for vegetarians travelling to Cambodia. Its not surprising that there are so many Indian restaurants in the country, considering the history of Hindu influence. Thanks for sharing your food experiences.

  12. I’d heard Cambodia was a great place for veggie food but it’s good to see it look yummy too, especially Vanakkam India!

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