Alan & Pheap, (h)A.N.D., Phnom Penh: Where to go for vegan or vegetarian food in Phnom Penh? Considering the abundant access to farm fresh produce, the selection of entirely plant-based restaurants in Phnom Penh is surprisingly small. Most of the restaurants catering to the expat/tourist crowd will have a couple of vegan or vegetarian items on the menu, but healthy, organic, plant-based food is still considered a luxury, so don’t expect your kale salad or your açaí bowl to come cheap. Here is a selection of our favorite places to go for vegan and vegetarian food in Phnom Penh. Please note that except for Sacred Lotus and Bong Bonlai none of them are 100% plant-based:
Farm to Table
Farm to Table is a really cozy restaurant/urban farm, in BKK 1 with outdoor seating among jackfruit trees and clucking chickens (for obvious reasons, dogs aren’t welcome). The ingredients are locally sourced, and what is in season dictates what is on the menu. Farm to Table is not entirely plant based, but the good selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes along with the restaurant’s focus on local produce and the beautiful garden secured Farm to Table a spot on this list.
What to order? The Greener Bowl is delicious.
Best for: All meals of the day, but the outdoor seating area really comes to life after dark, and makes Farm to Table a beautiful place for dinner.
Backyard Cafe is a nice place to go for tasty, good-for-you food. The restaurant is not entirely plant-based, but the majority of the menu items are meatless, and made with local, organic, ingredients. There are currently three Backyard branches, and the one on Street 246 tends to be the busiest.
What to order? One of the bowls and a cold pressed juice. The raw brownie is also delicious.
Best for: All meals of the day.
Backyard Cafe, 11B Street 246, Phnom Penh
Surn Yi – Vegetarian Restaurant
Surn Yi is a well established vegetarian restaurant located opposite the Plantation Hotel on Street 184. The inexpensive vegetarian food is prepared without garlic and onions, but some of the dishes contains egg. The menu is extensive, featuring more than 400 items, with soups starting at $1.25 and mains at $2.50. The food is served with complimentary green tea. Very popular among the younger local crowd and very busy around lunch time. Surn Yi is located next to Vegetarian Restaurant featured below.
What to order? The fried mushrooms with soup and rice is delicious.
Best for: Lunch
Surn Yi Vegetarian Restaurant, #15, Street 184 (opposite Plantation Hotel), Tel: +855 16 664 666
Nice, casual restaurant that uses mushrooms as a meat substitute. The noodle soup with fried mushrooms is a favorite, but the noodles without soup are also delicious. The restaurant is popular among the local youth and around lunchtime, you might have to wait for a table. Vegetarian Restaurant is located next to Surn Yi featured above.
What to order? Any of the noodle dishes with mushroom
Best for: Lunch
Vegetarian Restaurant across the street from The Plantation Urban resort & Spa, Phnom Penh
Eleven One is not 100% vegetarian, but has a concept, similar to Farm to Table mentioned earlier in this guide, with a focus on local, fresh produce and a good selection of plant-based dishes. There are two Eleven One restaurants in Phnom Penh: One is at the Russian Market and one is in BKK 1, and both restaurants are very nice and so similar in layout and vibe that we have difficulties telling them apart. Eleven One has a no plastic policy so the straws are made from bamboo and the packaging (for home delivery) is biodegradable. A lot of people go there for the pizza (at the Russian Market branch), but we think the local dishes, such as the tasty vegetarian version of the traditional Khmer dish amok, are a better option. The Eleven One at Russian Market is right next to Crumbs (a cute little bakeshop) so you can order Crumbs freshly baked cookies from the Eleven One menu.
BKK 1: Eleven One, #20, Street 334 (between st.51 & st.57), Phnom Penh
Bong Bonlai Vegan Restaurant
Bong Bonlai Vegan Restaurant is a casual vegan restaurant set in a cozy courtyard. The food is good and slightly cheaper than its rivals on the budding Phnom Penh vegan restaurant scene. The dessert selection is rather limited, but you could always grab one of the delicious smoothies ($2.50 and up) if you are craving something sweet. Main courses are around $5. Bong Bonlai is attached to the YK Art House hotel, a boutique hotel with an independent art gallery and a library.
Bong Bonlai Vegan Restaurant, 13a, Street 830, Phnom Penh, Tel: +855 70 740 051, open Tue-Sun 7:30am – 5pm
Sacred Lotus recently popped up on our radar, and after checking it out, we decided that the hostel/vegan restaurant definitely deserved a spot in this guide. The strictly vegan menu features plant-based versions of classic Khmer dishes as well as international food, and the portions are generous.