Vegan food in Bassac Lane, Phnom Penh
Things change quickly in Cambodia. In December 2021 we were asked to publish a guest post that highlighted the vegan options in and around Bassac Lane, Phnom Penh’s very own bustling pub street ares, host to locals, travellers, expats, and tourists, with its mixture of bars, restaurants and cafes. As young Cambodians become more aware of the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, it’s exciting to see them enjoy the many vegan friendly eateries available in this Phnom Penh neighbourhood. Sadly, in the time it has taken to gather the words, images and prepare them to be published two of the restaurants have ceased trading. The owners of Ecran Dumplings and Davy Croquettes offered us the following explanation: “Unfortunately we have closed our Phnom Penh locations during January 2022 as we could no longer combine our Phnom Penh and Kampot business activities, though we still provide frozen wholesale supply in Phnom Penh and our Kampot restaurants are also still up and running as usual”. Let’s hope they return when the situation improves, in the meantime we’ve left them in the post as you can head to their Kampot locations when you head South!
For even more vegan food in Phnom Penh check out our recently updated Vegan Guide to Phnom Penh.
Cambodia Vegan Tour
We have been working with the award winning Vegan Travel Asia to create a series of immersive 14 day Cambodia Vegan Tours which launched in December 2022. Exploring the country and learning about the people, the traditions, the culture and the food that makes Cambodia such an enchanting destination. The itinerary for these small group tours will include spending time in Phnom Penh, Battambang, Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary and Siem Reap. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to join our Cambodia vegan tours!
Elia Greek Kitchen
A recent addition to the Bassac Lane restaurant scene, with its quaint open air courtyard setting, Elia Greek Kitchen provides a calm oasis with an intimate setting to share food and friendly conversation. This is their recently opened second restaurant, with their flagship restaurant located in Toul Tompoung, Russian Market. With a great selection on their menu, Elia is the perfect place for groups of varied dietary preferences – including vegans with a sweet tooth. We started off with a sharing mezze platter consisting of a vegan olive tapenade, hummus, and eggplant dip with pita bread. This gave us a good mixture of tastes to get our palates ready for the next course, with the delicate flavours being the perfect start without overpowering your taste buds. We washed down the first course with their fruity red wine sangria, and contemplated on round two. Although I am partial to vegan gyros, I opted to try their new main ‘Imam Baildi’. This dish did not disappoint, it was surprisingly hearty and lightly refreshing at the same time. A baked eggplant dish mildly spiced in a rich tomato sauce served with rice. It was big enough to share but good enough to fight for. To top it all off, I had to try their vegan rizogalo – this was mind blowingly decadent, with its smooth coconut scented creamy texture, and light hint of cinnamon, and I had non-vegan friends fighting me for it. Overall, the experience at Elia is warm and inclusive – the combination of the ambiance, the food and the open kitchen resonates with thoughts of family summer holidays, and good memories.
Vegan Produce Alert: Elia’s EVO and homemade mango jam available for sale.
Elia Greek Kitchen
12b Street 308, Phnom Penh
11am – 11pm daily
Ecran Dumplings at Concept Cafe 2
UPDATE: Now closed
Located right across the infamous Bassac Lane, is the perfect spot to revisit last night’s antics over a coffee or beer, and enjoy watching the flow of Bassac during the day. A cozy setting, Concept Cafe 2 offers a diverse selection of options with Ecran Dumplings and Davy Croquettes restaurants inside.
A long time well established name all the way down south coast in Kampot, Ecran Noodles provides locals and tourists with an affordable, fresh hand pulled noodle and handmade dumpling offering. Known to some as Hangover Central in Kampot, the smell of their fragrant broth and roasted chilli oil brings life back to many after a long night out. Recently, aside from menu expansion to Siev Mai’s and other special edition options in Kampot, they have opened up their Phnom Penh branch, Ecran Dumplings. Ecran Noodles’ produce is also available at Angkor Market, 150m south of Russian Market. After many years of requests, Ecran has created a 100% vegan noodle, broth and steamed and fried dumplings. You can mix and match and order pretty much any combination of these at Ecran. Vegan options are available if you are looking for a quick snack alone, a hearty meal or snacks to share. I ordered a bowl of soup, noodles and vegan dumplings (half steamed, half fried, 5 each) to share with a friend. The noodles were not too soft or chewy with a nice bite, and the broth was really tasty and well balanced. The dumplings were packed with aromatic gingery vegetable mix – the fried ones were a ‘naughty but nice’ treat, and would definitely order them as a bar snack next time I am out on Bassac Lane. Looking forward to maybe trying a vegan Siev mai soon – or am I pushing my luck?
Vegan Produce Alert: Ask for the soy vinegar dip, or roasted chilli oil, these are must-have condiments for my pantry!
Ecran Noodles & Dumplings
#17B, Street 29, Tonle Bassac
10am – 10pm, closed Tuesdays
Davy Croquettes at Concept Cafe 2
UPDATE: Now closed
Like Ecran, Davy Croquettes is another Kampot import that has recently come to the city to share their uniquely delicious treats. Davy Croquettes started off their adventure in a market stall on Kampot Food Street – you can still go visit their stand when you are in Kampot to try their delicious fried treats, and vegan soups. At Davy Croquettes, they offer half a dozen types of delicious 100% vegan soups made with fresh vegetables, mineral water and spices. Made with love, their selection of roasted pumpkin and garlic, carrot and ginger, celery, tomato, potato and leek or roasted bell pepper caters to hit your nostalgic comfort food spot. The potato and leek soup was served with warm toasted Belgian bread, the portion was large enough to be a lunch main. Proud to say, I didn’t miss the cream, even as a dairy fiend, it was exceptionally smooth, rich and creamy.
Vegan Produce Alert: I am so pleased to share that Davy Croquettes are working on a vegan croquette – as well as this, frozen soups are soon to be available.
#17B, Street 29, Tonle Bassac
10am – 10pm, closed Tuesdays
Hidden in one of the many back lanes behind Bassac Lane, this mystical spot with its open area and beautiful displays of flowers and plant life, along with its pool, make you feel out the city, with their fully 100% vegan international fusion offering.
This menu is so vastly varied and vegan, I struggled to choose. Their lower carb meal plan option on the day was a maki roll with tofu or tempeh and edamame – three of my favourite vegan proteins. However, I had been told by many that Bong Bonlai has the best vegan pizza in Phnom Penh, so I opted for a garlic mushroom and truffle pizza with some vegan white wine. I must confess, this homemade nut cheese was better than many stringy flavourless mozzarella offerings available out there. I look forward to trying more of their other options, especially their Chick’N Nugget burger, and cheesecake.
Vegan Produce Alert: Bong Bonlai will be selling their homemade vegan cheese and other exciting take home produce soon. Their meal plan offers hearty and low carb options, and comes very highly recommended if you are looking for a 100% plant based default zero-waste (only reusable or single use bio-packaging) alternative.
13A St 830, Phnom Penh
7.30am – 10.30am Monday
7.30am – 8.30pm Tuesday to Sunday
One of the most reputable Indian restaurants in Phnom Penh – Namaste, which means the divine in me bows to the divine in you. This place truly depicts the philosophy in the name, the staff are extremely welcoming, knowledgeable about the offerings available, hospitable and accommodating. With Indian cuisine being heavily dairy based, the vegan options are currently limited, but Namaste are working on expanding their vegan options and hope to launch a new vegan menu soon, in the meantime they are happy to omit dairy products from as many options as they can.
Whilst perusing the menu, we were served poppadoms with tamarind dip, the dip had a nice balance of sweet and mild spice. We started off with a platter of onion bhajis which were freshly fried and crunchy. The main dish was a specially customised vegan thali consisting of dal tadka, aloo gobi (cauliflower and potato curry), and baingan bharta (eggplant dry curry) served with roti on the side. The spices in these dishes were well matched and while you could feel the heat, they didn’t leave you reaching for your drink and unable to taste anything else. The dishes were filling, and while we opted to not have rice there was still plenty there for two of us and some to take away.
#15 Street 308, Tonle Bassac
10am – 11pm daily
Nestled down a little alleyway just a stone’s throw away from Bassac Lane. Formerly known as Mini Banana, My Way Phnom Penh provides a Cambodian island chic setting with tranquil vibes in the day-time, but vibrant party times when the sun is down. Known to some as the ‘experimental playspace’ for up and coming international DJs, their menu offers a mixture of Khmer classics, and continental European cuisine, with a few french classics and innovative fusion dishes. There are a few vegan options on the menu, but you can request most dishes to be made vegan (including burgers, and most of their bar snacks), their team is friendly, flexible and happy to please.
I would recommend the tofu and roasted pumpkin with walnuts and the 7 vegetable couscous for a main, or a vegetable veloute or corn on the cob if you are looking for a smaller snack. All the food at My Way is made with local produce as much as possible, and always made with love fresh to order.
#136, Street 51
9am – 10pm daily
Located just a couple of blocks from Bassac Lane and with the least vegan friendly name, Phsar Kabko (translates to Cut the Cow Market) offers a number of delicious vegan Cambodia street food snacks for sale alongside plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. We love these ‘Nom Korng’ which are the donut like delights, and also the fried balls stuffed with yellow beans which are called ‘Nom Onsom’ taste pretty good too! Very sweet but very tasty…
A plant-based food crawl around Bassac Lane
Thank you to our guest blogger who wishes to remain anonymous but had the following to say: “I don’t currently live a plant-based lifestyle completely, I do Meatless Mondays and aim to opt for plant-based options when I can/want to. The plant-based food crawl has opened up so many different options for my Monday munching and beyond.”
Extremely impressed with Vegan Options that Basaac Lane can offer in PP
[…] a selection of vegan options which are all clearly marked. We published a guest blog post about Vegan Food in Bassac Lane a few months back and Elia were included. So of course we headed to their Siem Reap restaurant to […]