Vegan Guide to Battambang

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SEPTEMBER 2021: Due to COVID we have been unable to travel for more than 18 months, which means it's been impossible to update our vegan travel guides. Therefore we cannot be sure if the below inclusions are still open, so please contact them directly to check. For up to date information, check out the excellent HappyCow, which you can find via the link at the bottom of this vegan guide.

Updated March 2021

Here is our Vegan guide to Battambang, Cambodia’s second largest city (after the capital Phnom Penh). Known for being an artistic hub and home to the excellent Phare Ponleu Selpak (a non profit art school) and the famous Bamboo Train, Battambang also has some beautiful countryside to explore and some interesting sights to see. Even though COVID-19 has seen a huge drop in tourist numbers and many restaurant closures, there is still some excellent vegan food to be found. There is a sleepy vibe to the city which seems to have a pretty slow pace of life and plenty of places to drink a coffee and watch the world go by, read on for our updated Vegan Guide to Battambang.

Ahaa Boer Vegetarian Food AKA Vegetarian Foods Restaurant

Ahaa Boer Vegetarian Food
505 La He St
Battambang

Opening Hours: Daily – 7am to 2pm

Simple, local, vegetarian food with multiple vegan options, you just need to remind them not to add egg or egg noodles and you should be fine, they offer cheap and cheerful food that set us up for a long day exploring the local countryside. Our favourite dish was the ‘bread curry’ but we also enjoyed the savoury bao and fresh soya milk with pandan, this is a great place to try vegan versions of local Cambodian food.

Vegetarian Foods Restaurant in Battambang
vegan bread curry at Vegetarian Foods Restaurant in Battambang
vegan food at Vegetarian Foods Restaurant in Battambang
vegan bao at Vegetarian Foods Restaurant in Battambang

Monorom Garden

Monorom Garden
Le He St
Battambang

Opening Hours: Daily – 7.30am to 8pm

Another local vegetarian restaurant, but this one has AC for those who need to escape the heat. The huge menu is a little daunting as the English translations are somewhat confusing, the pictures certainly help! The weekday buffet is meant to be very good, but each of our recent visits have been at the weekend where they offer a la carte menu only. We loved the fried straw mushrooms with dipping sauce and the crystal dumplings were also very good. Average cost of dishes is around $2/$3 so this is certainly a value for money option. Remember, it’s a veggie restaurant so make sure to order your dishes with no egg…

Monorom GarBattambang vegan seitan
Monorom Garden Battambang fried mushrooms
Monorom Garden Battambang vegan tofu
Monorom Garden Battambang vegan dumplings

Jaan Bai

Jaan Bai
Street 2
Battambang

Opening Hours: Daily – 11am to 10pm

Jaan Bai restaurant is the social enterprise of the Cambodian Children’s Trust which provides skills and employment for youth in their programs and funnels profits back into their overall project which makes their fabulous work sustainable. The restaurant has had some pretty hefty support from the likes of award winning chef David Thompson (of Nahm Bangkok fame). It’s not a vegan restaurant but it has several clearly labelled dishes on the menu and some really great choices for us plant-eaters. Make sure to order the amazing ‘bao’ pictured below and a portion of some of the best tasting chips we’ve had in Southeast Asia!

shiitake mushroom bao with slaw and peanuts at Jaan Bai
best French fries in Battambang at Jaan Bai
Very tasty vegan dumplings at Jaan Bai
ofu curry with sides of roti and morning glory at Jann Bai

La Pizza

La Pizza
59 street 159 D
Battambang

Opening Hours: Daily – 5pm to 10pm

Vegan pizza lovers fear not, the team at La Pizza have got you covered with a number of delicious vegan pizzas to choose from. Each are listed on the vegan section of their menu (yes, they have a vegan section on their menu!) and some of them feature homemade vegan cheese and vegan parmesan. There are also vegan starters, vegan salads and vegan sorbets to choose from at this converted wooden house on the riverside. We loved our Bari Pizza with brocolli and cheese, also our Penjab pizza with Indian spiced vegetables. Highly recommended!

La Pizza Battambang vegan Bari pizza
La Pizza Battambang vegan Penjab pizza

Vegan Street Food

If you are taking a taxi from Siem Reap look out for the stretch of road where people are selling ‘krolan’ (sticky rice steamed in bamboo), inside these bamboo tubes is a concoction of sticky rice, black beans and fresh coconut which had been seasoned with both salt and sugar before being sealed oJ with a bit of banana leaf and roasted over hot coals, everything slowly cooks and gets a mildly smokey flavour which mixes with the sweetness of the sugar and coconut and is finished off with a hint of salt. Central Market offers a decent selection of fresh fruit and don’t miss out on the tasty vegan desserts that we found on the street outside the market including pandan rice cake and steamed coconut custard with mango. For more Cambodian vegan street food read our Vegan Guide to Cambodian Street Food.

krolan rice in Bamboo
vegan Rice flour layer cakes

Kinyei Cafe

Kinyei Cafe
Road 1.5
Battambang

Opening Hours: Daily – 7am to 4pm

We stopped in here for a coffee after hearing that they do a vegan coconut milk latte made with high quality coffee beans. It was as good as we hoped and this laid back cafe is well worth stopping by at when you’re in town. There are a few veggie items on the menu that we are sure could be veganised if you ask, but we had already eaten at the places mentioned above.

outside of Kinyei Cafe in Battambang
soya latte coffee a Kinyei Cafe in Battambang

Coconut Ice Cream Food Cart

Coconut Ice Cream Food Cart
Junction of St 121 and Rd 2
Battambang

Opening Hours: Daily – 9am to 9pm

We would love to know if this still exists or if it has been another victim of COVID-19 and the lack of tourists in Cambodia. Can anyone confirm one way or the other? We’ve left it in our updated guide as we hope they’ve survived, and we can visit again next time we’re in Battambang.

coconut ice cream food cart in Battambang
vegan coconut ice cream in Battambang

Countryside Tour

Countryside Tour
Call Mr Phi Lay
+855 12 682 230

We spent all day visiting a number of local temples, the infamous killing caves and some local producers of rice paper and dried banana. Mr Phi Lay was perfect company as our tour guide and local friend, explaining the history of his country and his own experience growing up during some very troubled times. You won’t go far wrong if you let him show you around when you’re in Battambang, make sure to say hello from us and don’t forget to add your name to his guest book under the backseat of his tuk tuk!

temple and flowers in Battambang on countryside tour
girl drying bananas in Battambang

Bamboo Train

After many years of rumours, the famous Bamboo Train closed towards the end of 2017 but has now relocated to a new location just out of town. We have to say that the online descriptions of the original train were somewhat romanticised, using the words ‘local’ and ‘scenic’ and leading us to expect that we might be sat amongst bags of rice and kindly faced farmers and you might even think you’ll be hitching a ride with the locals as the wind swooshes through your hair, trust us when we say none of the above applied. Better descriptions might have included bumpy, not for the feint hearted and potential for a slipped disk! Here’s a timelapse video of our bumpy 20 minute ride on the original bamboo train, shown in 6 seconds so at least you get the idea if you’ve never had the pleasure, it was certainly an experience…

HappyCow in Battambang

Of course, no vegan travel adventure would be complete without using the excellent HappyCow website or app, their Vegan Battambang page will certainly help you with your vegan travel plans. HappyCow only works with your input, so please add reviews and pictures from your experiences (good or bad) when visiitng Battambang. Please also reach out or leave a comment below if there is anywhere we have missed, we will happily check them out next time we’re in town and add them to our Vegan Guide to Battambang.

Vegan Food Quest in Cambodia

2021-09-28T08:45:59+00:00

2 Comments

  1. Vincent - Nomade Photo January 31, 2017 at 9:27 am - Reply

    Hello! I’m in Battambang now, but the sweet stalls at the market seem to have disappear. Only fruits, vegetables (and meat). Kinda disappointed after seeing all those pictures on the vegan cambodian street food post.
    Jaan Bai was really good, surprisingly very tasty!!

    • Vegan Food Quest January 31, 2017 at 12:10 pm - Reply

      Hi Vincent,
      What a shame not to find Cambodian desserts – so yummy! I wonder if they have moved somewhere else or sometimes I’ve found that these kind of stalls pop up only at certain times of day. In Siem Reap we tend to see them in the late afternoon but it may be different here. I hope you are still enjoying Battambang though, really liked the time we spent there and thought it had a nice vibe. Do you have other travel plans for Cambodia?
      Caryl

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