Vegan Guide to Battambang
Updated August 2022
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.
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!
Le He St
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…
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!
Ahaa Boer Vegetarian Food AKA Vegetarian Foods Restaurant
Ahaa Boer Vegetarian Food
505 La He St
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.
59 street 159 D
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!
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.
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.
Coconut Ice Cream Food Cart
Coconut Ice Cream Food Cart
Junction of St 121 and Rd 2
Opening Hours: Daily – 9am to 9pm
The location of this institution is kind of fluid because it’s a food cart, and it moves. But on our last trip to Battambang in May 2022 we are happy to report we found them and the coconut ice cream tasted just as good (if not better) than we remembered. Well worth the effort to hunt them down…
+855 (0) 53 953 900
We’re super excited to have worked with Bambu Hotel and their passionate and talented kitchen team to add vegan dishes to each of their menus. Multiple vegan breakfast options are now available including a full English and noodle soup with dumplings, also veganised local favourites such as lok lak and amok, and they’ve even got vegan burgers on their menu too. They have been a pleasure to work with and we love the way they’ve embraced these changes, sourcing locally made soya milks, making their own vegan mayo and contacting their bakers to ensure everything is vegan. Well done to everyone at Bambu Hotel and we can’t wait to see you all again soon…
Street 1.5, near Central Market
+855(0)12 54 20 19
We’ve been working with the team at Soksabike to adapt their existing tours to make them ‘vegan friendly’ and we’re happy to say they can now offer an amazing way to explore the countryside surrounding Battambang and the old town, meeting some of the families and local businesses they work with along the way, whilst enjoying some specially created veganised local food in a Khmer countryside home. Not yet on their website, but if you’re interested drop them an email or give them a call and we’re sure they will be happy to hear from you.
Phare Ponleu Selpak
Phare Ponleu Selpak
Phum Anh’Chanh Village
+855 (0)77 554 413
We’ve supported the team at Phare Ponleu Selpak in their efforts to add vegan options for guest who join them for a half day or full day workshop package. Once introduced to the wonders of vegan oyster sauce and vegan chicken powder, their chef was able to create some delicious vegan dishes with the expert help of their in-house nutritionist. So not only will the food be vegan and plant based but it will be healthy and nutritious too!
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.
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!!
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?