Vegan Guide to Battambang

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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 one of the “world’s most scenic rail journeys” (according to the Lonely Planet) on the aptly named ‘Bamboo Train’, Battambang also has some beautiful countryside to explore and some interesting sights to see. Lucky for vegan travellers, there is also 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.

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.

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

Vegetarian Foods Restaurant

Vegetarian Foods Restaurant
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

Coconut Ice Cream Food Cart

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

Opening Hours: Daily – 9am to 9pm

Wow, this was coconut ice cream on the next level, half a coconut shell with freshly prepared coconut besh topped with 4 scoops of ice cream and chopped peanuts, absolutely delicious!

Make sure to say you don’t want condensed milk poured over the top as of course this isn’t vegan…

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

Riverside Balcony Bar

Riverside Balcony Bar
Road 1
Battambang

Opening Hours: Daily – 4pm to 11pm

Despite arriving during monsoon rains (we got VERY wet) we were made to feel immediately welcome at this cool bar just South of town, overlooking the river, the friendly staff were helpful and happy to assist us with questions we had about their menu.

Whilst deciding what to order we enjoyed cold beers and green tea accompanied by a trio of dips with home made flat bread, the star of the show was the pumpkin and chilli dip but they were all very tasty.

The vegan pizzas (we tried 2) were great and all included cashew cheese, in fact any pizza on the menu can have the ‘normal’ cheese swapped for vegan cashew cheese, we also ordered the daily special gnocchi which was possibly the best we’ve ever tasted, packed with roasted veg, tossed in olive oil and perfectly seasoned the addition of crunchy breadcrumbs throughout the dish was the (perfect) final touch.

Hats off to the chef, this place is seriously good.

vegan dips and flat bread at Riverside Balcony Bar in Battambang
vegan saladat Riverside Balcony Bar in Battambang
vegan pizza at Riverside Balcony Bar in Battambang
vegan gnochhi at Riverside Balcony Bar in Battambang

Ambrosia Cafe

Ambrosia
112 Road 2
Battambang

Opening Hours: Sunday to Friday – 9am to 10pm

Right in the middle of town with an extensive menu including lots of vegan options and a decent selection of fresh juices so we thought we should check it out, the juices (we had 1 x lime, 1 x passion and 1 x carrot) were all very good and pretty cheap but don’t forget to order with no sugar unless you like very sweet juices.

We had a vegan curry, fried veg noodles with tofu and fried vegetable fried rice; all dishes were large and cheap but each lacked a little something, good luck to them though as it’s great to see somewhere with everything clearly marked and even an explanation that their vegan dishes are totally free from animal products including fish sauce and chicken powder.

Ambrosia Cafe in Battambang
juices at Ambrosia Cafe in Battambang
vegan noodles at Ambrosia Cafe in Battambang
vegan curry at Ambrosia Cafe in Battambang

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 in 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.

You can read more about Jaan Bai and why it’s a restaurant that we’d definitely travel to eat in again in our restaurant review section, but in short they serve these amazing ‘bao’ and some of the best tasting chips in South East 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

Jewel in the Lotus

Jewel in the Lotus
53 Street 2.5
Battambang

Previously called Lotus Bar and Gallery and full of information about the local arts scene with vegan food on the menu we enjoyed visiting during our last trip, Jewel in the Lotus and can now has an all vegetarian menu which is great news to hear.

vegan fresh spring rolls from Jewel in the Lotus in Battambang

Monorom Garden

Monorom Garden
Le He St
Battambang

Opening Hours: Daily – 7.30am to 8pm

Offering similar food to ‘Vegetarian Foods Restaurant’ (which is just over the road) also with an all veg menu, for some people they may enjoy the ‘classier’ ambiance, better furniture and the fact that it’s fully air conditioned but for us we were more than happy over the road, might be worth checking out the daily buffet served from 11-4.

Monorom Garden in Battambang for vegan food

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
Sweet vegan rice flour custards
vegan Rice flour layer cakes

Battambang Resort

Battambang Resort
Battambang

Battambang Resort is a great option if you are heading to Battambang, waking up to the below view from our lakeside room every day was one of the highlights of our stay.

The owners and staff team were all super friendly and full of tips about how best to spend your time whilst in town plus there’s a lovely pool to relax next to, the rooms are very well designed and they were more than happy to prepare vegan breakfast for us each day.

lily pond at vegan friendly hotel Battambang Resort
vegan fried rice for breakfast at Jaan Bai in Battambang

Countryside Tour

Countryside Tour
Call Mr Phi Lay
+855 12 682 230

Our good friends Tom and Amy at Seeking Skies spent a couple of days exploring the Battambang countryside with a tuk tuk driver and guide called Mr Phi Lay and came back saying how great he was so we arranged a one day tour with him.

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 acting as tour guide and friend whilst explaining the history of his country and his own experience growing up during some very troubled times, he even took us back into town mid tour for lunch and loved trying vegan coconut ice cream with us

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!

buddha statue in Battambang on countryside tour
temple and flowers in Battambang on countryside tour
girl drying bananas in Battambang
delicious dried bananas in Cambodia

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, so at time of writing this article you can still experience the famous bamboo train in Battambang.

We have to say that the description of the journey on the Lonely Planet website was somewhat romanticised, it used the words ‘local’ and ‘scenic’ and lead 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 our 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 and worth a visit if you are in Battambang.

Check out all of our Cambodia vegan travel guides

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2018-06-05T06:15:11+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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