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  • Writer's pictureAround the World in Vegan Eats

TOP PLACES TO EAT VEGAN IN SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA

Updated: Apr 3, 2023


We really didn't know what to expect from Siem Reap when it came to vegan food. The city is popular with tourists because of its proximity to the stunning Ancient City of Angkor; as a major part of Cambodia's tourist trail, the likelihood of finding good vegan options was certainly more hopeful. But on the whole, we had found Cambodia, so far at least, to be pretty expensive. In other cities, the vegan options we had found were great, but they were also more rare than in other Southeast Asian countries. So I think it's fair to say that we arrived in Siem Reap hopeful, but with slightly lowered expectations.


Eating Vegan in Siem Reap

"When Angkorian society began, Paris and London were not much more than elaborate villages. Europe was crawling with barbarians, and here were the Khmer engineering sophisticated irrigation systems and constructing the biggest temple in the world." – Kim Fay

I'm very pleased to say that the range of vegan options in Siem Reap delighted us - we were spoilt for choice during our time in the city. Though Cambodia is still more expensive than other Southeast Asian countries, due to their use of the US Dollar, we found some cheaper options - and almost everything we found was well worth the price we paid, too. Read on, then watch our video towards the bottom of the page, to see for yourself some of Siem Reap's excellent vegan choices that we enjoyed - including some excellent Khmer and Western classics!


1st: Banlle Vegetarian Restaurant

Street 26, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia

You might recognise Banlle Vegetarian Restaurant from our recent blog: we headed there to try the traditional Khmer dish, Amok. There were so many things to love about Banlle, from its comprehensive vegan menus, to its tranquil garden setting, and the excellent service, so we were keen to go back. One day after we had got caught in a massive rainstorm and were pretty sad because our plans had been rained off, we knew that we wanted delicious food in a comfortable and welcoming setting, so we headed back to Banlle.


This time, of course, it was raining so heavily that we were soaked by the time we got there - so we didn't sit in the beautiful gardens, instead taking shelter inside their equally attractive restaurant, where we dried out and treated ourselves to exactly what we fancied: for me, this was vegan fish and chips! Now, I am a sucker for vegan fish and chips and was a bit worried about a portion overseas living up to my estimations. But wow, I was so glad I tried it! Like some places in the UK, Banlle used banana blossom to recreate the texture and flavour of battered fish, but here it was much softer and more tender than others I’ve tried. The batter was crisp and flavoursome and the chips were really impressive. I was so excited too that they had a (delicious) homemade vegan tartar sauce to go with it! Mike, who is vegetarian, treated himself to his favourite comfort food: a grilled cheese with french fries. He was equally impressed with the flavour of the dish and the really delicious chips on the side. These dishes were, honestly, everything we needed to make our rainy day in Siem Reap that bit better! Banlle's tasty vegan Amok, which completely exceeded our expectations when we tried it; this second trip proved how excellent their food is, across the different sections of their menu. We're big fans!


Banlle is really conveniently located in the centre of Siem Reap, which was very convenient for us when we were caught in the rain! It is also the only fully meat-free place that we visited in Siem Reap. Their food is so beautifully flavoured and presented, but actually comes in much cheaper than other options here. We were really pleased with their prices. My vegan fish 'n' chips cost $4 (approx. £3.27 or €3.71) while Mike's vegetarian grilled cheese came in at $3.50 (approx. £2.86 or €3.25). The vegan amok that we both tried was $4 per portion (approx. £3.27 or €3.71). Overall, a really great place to indulge and soak in the calm, restorative atmosphere while you're in Siem Reap.



2nd: The Source Cafe

9V53+R34 ផ្លូវតាភុល សង្កាត់ស្វាយដង្គំក្រុងសៀមរាប, Taphul Street, Krong Siem Reap 17252, Cambodia

It's no exaggeration to say that The Source Cafe wowed us for several reasons. The first was the presentation of their food and drinks. The care and attention that goes into making sure that everything served is perfectly and impeccably Instagram worthy blew us away. Not only was the food itself beautiful, the actual receptacles that they were presented in were so considered and wow, honestly, from all angles The Source Cafe's food and drink is flawless.


Then came the flavour. The Source Cafe put an emphasis on healthy living, with an abundance of vegetarian and vegan options on their menu: but this does not mean compromising on flavour. I picked the vegan smoothie bowl, which combined a cool and refreshing base of mango, pineapple, banana and coconut milk with a stunning topping of dragonfruit, mango, almonds, coconut, nuts and seeds. It was served in a giant shell-shaped dish which was incredible: I had been expecting something beautiful but this exceeded my expectations by miles. From the vegetarian menu, Mike picked the fruity pancakes, which were similarly impressive: topped with maple syrup, ice cream and a beautiful range of seasonal fruits (but let's be honest, the really memorable thing here was my giant shell full of smoothie!)


The Source Cafe offered an extensive range of dishes to suit all diets: though they have many meat dishes, these are matched by their vegetarian and vegan choices, with a real focus on this in their menu and social media. Though we visited for breakfast, they offer other dishes throughout the day too. The prices were a little higher, but these dishes were so filling - I couldn't finish my breakfast! My vegan smoothie bowl cost $4.75 (approx. £3.88 or €4.41); Mike's vegetarian pancakes, meanwhile, cost $4.25 (approx. £3.48 or €3.94). It's worth noting, too, that The Source Cafe supports Cambodian students through its work.



3rd: New Leaf

Kratie Monk, សៀមរាប 17252, Cambodia

We are big fans of brunch, and New Leaf is one of our other favourite places to grab a tasty vegan brunch in Siem Reap. A little more savoury than the options we enjoyed from The Souce Cafe, New Leaf's all day breakfast menu includes a wide range of veggie, vegan and meat options. There really is something for everyone.


We became fast fans of omni 'meat' while we were in Southeast Asia, so I jumped at the chance to indulge in a familiar favourite: New Leaf's Omni Muffin! With an omni sausage patty sandwiched between two halves of an English muffin, this breakfast dish was really flavoursome, with the perfect textures of the 'meaty' patty and the soft floury muffin. You can add a slice of Violife cheese too! I added a bowl of baked beans on the side, because I had been missing them so much!


Mike chose the scrambled tofu with smashed avocado, and he added an omni sausage on the side (I told you we were big fans!) This was really well presented, and the flavours were good - we really enjoyed the spinach and mushrooms on the side too! This was a healthy breakfast, and it was hearty too - so many different and delicious flavours!


This was a lovely little eatery, with friendly staff, a good range of choices, and prices that were fairly standard for Cambodian tourist towns. New Leaf is a social enterprise too - they donate a share of their profits to educational projects and the local people; great to know your money is going to a good cause! My omni muffin cost $3.50 (approx. £2.86 or €3.25) while my side of baked beans cost $0.75 extra. Mike's scrambled tofu and smashed avocado cost $3.75 (approx. £3.07 or €3.48), and he paid an extra $1.50 for his omni sausage.


4th: Wat Beast

366b Angkor Night Market St, Reap 17252, Cambodia

We visited Wat Beast for dinner one evening, enticed by the vegan junk food on their menu. Mike was excited by the burger builder (which includes the choice of an omni meat patty!) while I couldn't stop thinking about the idea of vegan mac and cheese! It's surprising how rare vegan mac and cheese still is in the world - it was a very pleasant surprise to find a quality one here in Siem Reap!


Wat Beast is a cocktail bar too, and the restaurant has a friendly, open, and welcoming vibe to it. We loved that many of the burgers were named after people from our favourite comedy shows (a 'Ron Swanson' or a 'Chang' anyone?) and the fact that you could make any of the burgers vegan was really excellent. Mike chose the classic 'Mab Burger' with an omni meat patty and vegan cheese (there is also the option of a mushroom patty, which unlike the omni meat patty does not add on an extra cost). It tasted good, and was presented well: we really enjoyed the way that their logo was branded onto the buns, a nice touch! My mac and cheese was everything I had been hoping for too: the portion was great, it was so visually appealing, and it had that creamy, cheesy, delicious mac and cheese taste. I loved the extra smokiness of the paprika sprinkled across the top, as well as the slight crunch of the herbs. Wow, it was so delicious!


It's worth saying that Wat Beast was the most expensive place that we ate at in Siem Reap: but this is not just standard junk food, this is really well put together cuisine. My mac and cheese cost $6.50 (approx. £5.32 or €6.03), whilst Mike's burger and fries came to $8 (approx. £6.54 or €7.42) - this included a $2 supplement for the omni patty. So pretty pricey, but a really good treat while you're in the city.


Where is your favourite place to get plant-based food in Siem Reap? Are there any new places or old favourites that we've missed? Leave us a comment to let us know (and others who might be visiting too!)



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The centre of Vienna with tall, historic buildings all around
A real once in a lifetime view!

Where should I stay?

One of the most popular options for accommodation in Siem Reap is Babel Siem Reap Guesthouse: a clean, comfortable, and modern hotel. Babel is family friendly, has a pool and an on-site bar with many vegetarian and vegan options on the menu.


For a more lively atmosphere, but with the convenience of a pool, bar and restaurant on site, and a choice of private and dorm rooms, Mad Monkey Siem Reap is a great choice. This friendly hostel get consistently top reviews from their guests.


Tours & Experiences

If you're in Siem Reap, you have to visit the ancient city of Angkor! This highly-rated sunrise tour includes air-conditioned minivan transfer. We travelled by tuk tuk and got absolutely soaked in a dramatic rainstorm, so we wished we'd done this instead!


If that's not for you, why not check out other tours below?



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