Siem Reap has no shortage of great cafes where you can enjoy expertly made coffees, fresh juices and the type of home cooked food that long (or short) term travellers and expats come to crave over time. Here, in no particular order, is a round up of my personal favourites.
Located on the outskirts of the up and coming Kandal Village tucked away behind the Riviera Hotel, The Hive is everything you want in local café and more thanks to Claytons warm and friendly team.
From their detox juice programs to their occasional “Late night at the Hive” pop up parties, they cater to all needs, not forgetting their great coffee and an eclectic menu who’s influences span the globe.
Whether its just a couple of slices of good quality Rye Bread with Vegemite ($2.5) the seemingly decadent but surprisingly healthy “Breakfast Pavlova” ($4) of crusty bread slathered with cream cheese, mango and passion fruit drizzled with honey or the “Rough Morning Cure” ($4.75) of potatoes sautéed in tabasco with crispy bacon, cherry tomatoes and fried eggs, breakfast here is a bright and breezy experience with Sokheoun making what has to be one of the best flat whites in town.
The lunchtime menu offers everything from the Sri Lankan favourite of “Kotthu Roti” ($4) to hearty Ham and Cheese Toasties ($4.5) Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap ($5) or a Feta and Marinated Vegetable Salad ($5). Be sure to try and save room for a slice of their famous carrot cake too!
(Closed on Tuesdays)
Owned by two vivacious young Aussie sisters, Sister Srey is a Social Enterprise that aims to provide the inhabitants of Siem Reap with great coffee but also to provide “help and support Khmer students and to make a sustainable impact into the community”
The pretty riverside location is one of my favourite places to sit and watch the world go by with a great flat white or juice (their Detox Juice made with apple, orange and ginger is my go-to) and the adorable team there never fail to put a smile on my face with their genuinely warm and heartfelt service.
For breakfast I tend to go for their Corn Fritters with crumbled feta, spinach, poached egg and homemade chutney or their Tavocado, slow roasted tomatoes and avocado on toast with homemade pesto and feta but their delicious Matcha Smoothie Bowl made with blended spinach, banana, chia and flax seeds and topped with fresh fruit and seeds is rapidly becoming a fast favourite.
From the lunch menu, their Vegetarian Lentil Burger with a side of chunky chips takes some beating but I also love the Cashew and Chilli Vegetable Stirfry and the Bowl of Goodness with its brown rice tabbouleh, homemade falafels, hummus and yoghurt.
Whilst the menu lists gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options, meat eaters will still find there is plenty of choice from the Big Daddy Fry Up with all the trimmings to their Beef or Summer Mango and Chicken Burger as well as a simply Grilled Mackerel Fillet with pickled cucumber and steamed rice.
(Closed on Mondays )
One of the newer kids on the Siem Reap Café scene, Artillery is the sister café to Phnom Penh’s Farm to Table and Artillery on Street 2401/2 offering a great menu suitable for vegans, vegetarians, gluten free or simply the more health conscious people amongst us.
Their wide range of Smoothies ($2.50+) can be supplemented with everything from Protein Powder, Spirulina, Acai and Stevia to Maca Powder and Almond Butter with Fresh Squeezed Juices also available from $3
Their small breakfast menu includes Gluten Free Pancakes ($5) with local cinnamon and maple syrup as well as Smoked Salmon Bagels ($5.5), Avocado on Toast ($4.5) or Muesli ($4) although as with most of the other cafes on my list, you can order from the lunch menu at any time of the day too.
Favourite lunches include their Macro Bowl ($4.5) with Ibis brown rice, roasted vegetables, wakame seaweed, lentils and pickled apple and cabbage slaw as well as the Raw Pizza ($6) made from fresh and sun dried tomatoes with green leaves and cashew nut cheese on an almond and flax seed base, with recent specials like the Spiced Jackfruit Tacos ($6) also proving very popular.
Artillery is open until 9pm every night with a weekday happy hour between 4-7pm offering buy one – get one free on wine and beer as well as a small but appealing selection of Tapas from just $3.
(Open 7 days a week)
Tucked away on Street Hup Guan in Kandal Village, The Little Red Fox combines great coffee (from Phnom Penh’s “Feel Good” Coffee Roasters) and food with a fantastic music playlist, art displays from renowned locally based artist Sasha Constable and Siem Reaps best hair salon – what’s not to like?!
As well as making excellent espresso based drinks, the team also offer a great range of cold drip coffee, perfect for the scorching heat of late, as well as herbal teas, chilled drinks and a small selection of well made cocktails.
Whilst their menu offering is the smallest of the cafes listed here, with dishes including Coconut Milk Bircher Muesli ($2.5) with apple, dried fruit and chia seeds, Honey Roasted Pumpkin Bagel or a Breakfast Bagel with fried egg, bacon and sausage, you will still have plenty to choose from to enjoy alongside your morning cup of Joe, and that cheeky Espresso Martini ($4) can also be paired with a homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie ($1) filled with Nutella or a slice of Grandmas Carrot Cake ($2.5) for a truly decadent afternoon treat.
Even better, all offerings are also available to enjoy in their upstairs salon if you manage to snag a coveted hair appointment with David (early booking essential)
Located just the other side of Wat Bo road on Street 24, Pages combines being a boutique hotel with the sort of relaxed, laid back café you can return to time and time again.
The breakfast menu has plenty to choose from, with both Asian and Western favourites being equally well represented. An English Set ($4.5) includes 2 eggs done any way, bacon, tomato and a crusty baguette as well as a pot of tea or coffee and a freshly squeezed juice, whilst the Asian Set ($4.5) offers Curried chicken noodles, a fresh fruit plate, pot of tea or coffee and a fresh juice. A La Carte breakfasts are also available.
It is at lunch or dinner when I think the menu really shines with a great selection of Sandwiches ($2.50-$5) Salads ($2-$4.5) and Soups ($3) available alongside an eclectic Tapas and Finger Food Menu with dishes including Mackerel Rillettes ($3.75) Feta and Mint Filo Cigars ($4.25) or Whole Roasted Quail ($4) and an option to mix and match a few items to share from just $4.25.
It is worth keeping an eye out for their Facebook specials, with evening events including a Pop Up Street Food Festival as well as wine tastings, art displays and film presentations. They also offer the chance to enjoy a Saturday BBQ by the pool for expats or travellers whose hotels or guest houses don’t have a pool option available.
(Open 7 days a week)