The best local restaurants in Siem Reap are the ones which give you a real taste of Cambodia through the underappreciated Khmer cuisine. With elements from neighbouring Vietnam and Thailand, colonial influences from France and many unique traditional dishes, the local cuisine is very tasty. While international restaurants are widely available around the city, trying out a Siem Reap restaurant serving real local food is a must.
For this list, we have included quite a range of options, from the sort of really low-cost places which locals favour to the more high-end places which present your Khmer dishes like works of art in beautiful surroundings. What they all have in common, however, is the delightful Cambodia cuisine, with friendly service also being pretty much guaranteed.
The Sugar Palm
The Sugar Palm is a labour of love by local Chef Kethana, who returned to her home country after working abroad and wanted to revive the almost forgotten Khmer cooking skills she had learnt from her mother and grandmother. The resulting restaurants, both here and in Phnom Penh, have quite a classy traditional look and an astounding menu of regional dishes prepared with locally-sourced ingredients. Highlights include the steamed freshwater fish and the Khmer curry. Sugar Palm was made famous when British TV chef Gorden Ramsey chose it as the place for him to learn how to cook Khmer food and, being quite a high-profile restaurant, the price range is a little high, with average dish prices around US$7.
- Opening Hours: Daily 11:30 – 14:30, 18:00 – 22:00
- Location: Street 27, Siem Reap
- Tel: +855 63 636 2060
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheSugarPalmSiemReap
A popular spot with locals and visitors, Mr Grill naturally specialises in barbecued meats, though there are also plenty of Khmer favourites on the menu for reasonable prices. With that popularity, it does get a little busy some evenings, but it has a friendly atmosphere. The restaurant is also a wine store, so you can also expect a great range of beverages.
- Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 24:00
- Location: Wat Bo Road, Siem Reap
- Tel: +885 69 777 767
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/mrgrillrestaurant
As the name suggests, Father’s is a family-run place on Sok San Road. Fairly modest in appearance, with no air conditioning, it can get a bit stuffy on a hot day. However, if you’re looking for genuine local dishes at genuine local prices, served with genuine local hospitality, this is the best place you will find near Pub Street. The menu features many Khmer favourites, with the amok being particularly tasty.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 22:00
- Location: Sok San Road, opposite Diamond Boutique Hotel, Siem Reap
- Tel: +855 12 948 248
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/fathersrestaurant
MAOM specialises almost exclusively in local dishes, though there is an extremely small choice of international dishes available, too. Top menu items include Khmer curry with rice noodle and M’Chu Prey, with prices generally around US$3.75 per dish. The restaurant is a start-up by an NGO supporting local youth, so eating here also has a wider benefit to the community.
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:30 – 22:30
- Location: Benoit Street, Siem Reap
- Tel: +855 96 600 8808
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/maomrestaurant 67392426
Chan Reash 10 Makara
Sometimes known as Chanrea Dom Makara and also as 10 January Restaurant, this is a very popular place with locals as well as visitors looking for budget meals. A simple, open-air place, it has a great atmosphere and a menu of great Khmer dishes at excellent prices. The popular dishes like beef loklak and amok are very good, with prices generally around US$1-2 for relatively modest servings.
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 22:45
- Location: Sivatha Road, Siem Reap
- Tel: +855 12 925 530
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/chanreash1
There are actually two Khmer Kitchen restaurants, both in the area of the Old Market. The first and finest is set in a beautiful old colonial building right over the road from the market, while the other is in one of the small alleys leading towards Pub Street. Both have a quaint look and cosy atmosphere, as well as an extensive menu of typical Khmer dishes are good prices – generally around the US$3-4 mark for main courses. The restaurants both get pretty busy during the high season as they are particularly popular with visitors.
- Opening Hours: Daily 11:00 – 23:00
- Location: Corner of 2 Thnou Street and Street 9, near Old Market, Siem Reap
- Tel: +855 12 763 468
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/khmerhomecook
Touich is a small and quite exclusive family-run restaurant serving high-quality local dishes. Only open quite late, reservations are pretty much essential, despite the place being quite far removed from the bustling city centre. The prices for great Khmer dishes are a little higher than average here, but are still widely regarded as excellent value for money. Fish dishes are highly recommended – particularly the red snapper.
- Opening Hours: Daily 18:00 – 22:00
- Location: C220, behind Wat Enkosei, Siem Reap
- Tel: +855 92 808 040, +855 12 995 783
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/Touich.Restaurant
Khmer Grill Restaurant
Khmer Grill is quite a small venue right by Wat Damnak, but its popularity with locals and visitors means that it is often full to capacity. As the name suggests, they specialise in grilled local cuisine, though with some western options available, too. The food prices are generally low and offer excellent value for money for the high quality of the preparations. While the typical choices like amok and loklak are the most popular dishes, we recommend trying the signature grills.
- Opening Hours: 07:00 – 23:00
- Location: Rambutan Lane, Siem Reap
- Tel: +855 95 839 899
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/Khmergrill
Chamkar Vegetarian Restaurant
Chamkar is a tasty option for vegetarians and, despite its name, also for those who like meat dishes. The menu is quite small, but the friendly staff focus more on high quality and each of the available dishes is lovingly prepared with high-quality ingredients, with dishes like the pumpkin curry and the wedding dip appetiser being especially noteworthy. The prices are reasonable but, being in a part of town which is very popular for tourists, they will be slightly higher than you would get from other places on our list of the best local restaurants in Siem Reap.
- Opening Hours: Mon – Sat 11:20 – 22:30, Sun 16:30 – 22:30
- Location: Alley W, off Pub Street, Siem Reap
- Tel: +855 92 733 150
The Soup Dragon
The Soup Dragon is probably the best local restaurant on the famous Pub Street. A long-established name, at the east end of Siem Reap’s nightlife hub, they naturally serve serve more than just soup. There are also plenty of sandwiches, dumplings, grilled and barbecued meats and more. The Steamboat Soup is a popular option and consists of a clear broth with meat, vegetables, bean curd and meat balls, served in a clay pot over a portable stove.
- Opening Hours: 07:00 – 24:00
- Location: Corner of Pub Street and 2 Thnou Street, Siem Reap
- Tel: +855 12 731 152