Siem Reap is so vegan friendly that we made it our home, known to some as ‘Temple Town’, it’s home to the magnificent Angkor Wat which should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list to see. As a vegan traveller you won’t go hungry here, with multiple choices including vegetarian restaurants with plenty of vegan options and omni restaurants that also serve plant based cuisine. We’ve written a detailed and extensive Vegan Guide to Siem Reap that lists nearly 40 places where you can dine after an exhausting day exploring the temples but the following restaurants are some of our favourites.
With 2 locations in town, Chamkar is a must visit for all vegan travellers passing through Siem Reap; plenty of traditional Khmer cuisine is on offer as well as some great salads but the dish that you should try is the interestingly named ‘Cambodian Wedding Day Dip’, a creamy peanut and coconut milk creation that is served with fresh chillies and slices of baguette – perfect for sharing a starter (or just order it and eat it all yourself as it’s delicious). The lovely owners at Chamkar were kind enough to share the recipe with us which you can find here meaning you can make it yourself at home too!
You often read about organisations that offer help to those less fortunate than others, especially whilst travelling in Cambodia. Some of these organisations shine brightly above others, like Haven who train and support vulnerable young people, who may be from orphanages or very rural poor areas, to work in their very fabulous restaurant. We love what they do and we also love their food; the menu is omni with a number of vegan options and they are always willing to veganise other dishes wherever possible. Pay them a visit to enjoy a tasty meal whilst supporting this great initiative which has been in Siem Reap since 2011. You can even take your own bottle of wine and pay a corkage charge of $10 which goes straight into the tip jar (another great way to support the Haven family 🙂
The chilled out vibes, good food and service to match at the Peace Cafe never fails to deliver. With part of their philosophy being to “nourish the body and soul of our customers” you can be sure that you’ll leave having enjoyed a tasty meal whilst enjoying supporting a social enterprise that has vegetarian cuisine at the core of its values. Check out the gift shop where they stock a whole range of responsibly sourced gifts that you can either buy for yourself or to take home to friends and family… So many dishes to choose from but please remember one of the ‘vegan rules of Siem Reap’ and that is that you must try the ‘Khmer Kreung Khtis’ at least once – you have been warned!
Veg G Table
Veg G Table has quickly made it onto our favourites list on account of their falafel plate; all home made, with light and crispy falafels, creamy hummus and amazing flat bread thta’s worth travelling to Siem Reap just to eat. There’s also a killer vegan beetroot burger to try too, and on our last visit we enjoyed a delicious bean and lentil chilli, laced with cocoa and served with an avocado mousse and poppy seed flatbread. It’s all veggie, but the menu is mainly vegan friendly and has been created with passion and the love for tasty, wholesome food plus the portions are really generous too.
Only a few hours away from Siem Reap is Battambang, the second largest city in Cambodia behind Phnom Penh; despite the size it has a sleepy vibe and a thriving arts scene. Life revolves around the central market and tourists make a short visit to ride the bamboo train and see the surrounding countryside. Our Vegan Guide to Battambang tells you everything we learned from our last trip there, which included riding the bamboo train.
Without a doubt our favourite dining option was the wonderful Jaan Bai, a social enterprise restaurant that had legendary chef David Thompson create the menus – when you visit be sure to sample the delicious shiitake mushroom bao with slaw and peanuts; you can read our restaurant review of Jaan Bai here.
A sleepy riverside town that is well worth a visit, Kampot is also where you’ll find some of the world’s finest pepper. Spend a few days here and discover plenty of vegan food options. We loved our day at Bokor National Park and would highly recommend hiring a moto and setting off to explore, it was a truly wonderful day. Here is our Vegan Guide to Kampot with more details of the vegan food options in town, but in the meantime here are a couple of our favourites:
Ellies Cafe Kampot was one of our favourites in Kampot; decent coffee, a nice ambience, friendly staff and a very tasty vegan salad with sesame crusted tofu – what more could you want?
Rikitikitavi is a great hotel in a perfect location on the riverside where you can enjoy happy hour whilst wathcing the sunset over the river. They also offer vegn breakfast for guests (upon request) and the main menu has a number of vegan options which were all very enjoyable, our favourite were the veg burritos which they happily ‘veganised’ for us.
On the coast and often only a stopover to the nearby islands, there are multiple vegan options including Khmer food, falafels, hot dogs (yes, vegan hot dogs!), pizza and quite simply the most amazing vegan pancake stack we’ve ever eaten, it was so good we went back the next day for more, for more details on where to find vegan food in Sihanoukville check out our Vegan Guide to Sihanoukville.
Dao of Life
These pancakes can be found at the wonderful Dao of Life which is an all vegan restaurant owned by the lovely Shazia and looked after on a daily basis by her über friendly local team; if you find yourself in Sihanoukville you need to visit here as many times as you can, while your there check out the awesome vegan burger too.
The bustling capital city of Cambodia is busy, busy, busy but it’s a key place to visit to transit through to other places as well as visiting the infamous and humbling S21 prison and the Killing Fields, after some sobering sightseeing you will need to find some vegan food. Our Vegan Guide to Phnom Penh has the lowdown but here are a few of our favourites here:
You can find great falafels and other Lebanese food at Hummus House, it’s not a fancy place but fancy isn’t required when good falafels are on the menu.
Having recently opened to rave reviews in Siem Reap ARTillery Cafe is already a firm favourite on the Phnom Penh scene and well worth a visit, whilst not vegan (or vegetarian for that matter) they offer a variety of raw and vegan options including tasty pulled jackfruit tacos, a beetroot burger and their own homemade vegan mayo which is delicious! Renegade Travels have included ARTillery Cafe in their veggie guide to Phnom Penh which you can read here.
We love Evergreen, a simple vegetarian restaurant (check with them which dishes contain eggs) that many fellow vegan travellers had told us about before we visited. Expect local food veganised, some delicious noodle soups, homemade seitan and some really tasty dumplings. Order the addictively tasty ‘fried mushrooms’ if you want to try one of our favourites. Travel bloggers, Justine from Travel Lush and Ali from Bottled Air have both included Evergreen in their vegan & vegetarian Phnom Penh posts, along with other favourites of theirs.
Psar Thmei (Central Market)
Central Market is a great place to shop and an awesome place to go and see the wonderful fruits of Cambodia alongside some really good traditional food. Find sugar topped rice flour donuts, akor cakes, jackfruit sticky rice and more amid the hustle and bustle of this cool local market.