Young Pioneer Tours

Cambodian Cuisine


Cambodian cuisine, or as we know it in country, “Khmer Cuisine”, is probably one of the most underrated cuisines in the world.

Food in Cambodia is generally quite a mixed bag of tricks. There have been heavy influences from neighbours Thailand and Vietnam, as well as from China, India and the former colonial overlords France. Khmer cuisine tends to therefore mix foreign cuisine, all with a Cambodian flavour to it (often a spicy one).

Here’s our guide to the food situation in Cambodia. All of our Cambodia tours are half board (breakfast and lunch included)

Breakfast in Cambodia

Breakfast in Cambodia is not one of the strongest meals of the day, but there is usually something resembling an English/American style of breakfast, as well French style continental style. If nothing else you will find bread, eggs, and jam plentiful.

Lunch in Cambodia

Most of the lunches we do on tours tend to be quick fuel stops and in Cambodia this tends to be noodles. Cambodian fried noodles are usually a good trustworthy go to, with the more soupy varieties in the countryside also being very good.

Dinner in Cambodia

This depends massively on where you happen to be of an evening, but in Phnom Penh for example, literally every cuisine known to man is available. Outside of the big smoke, Khmer BBQ is extremely popular and certainly something you will try on tour. As in much of Asia, BBQ comes on the street and is accompanied by beer (on ice).

Street Food Cambodian Cusine

Being surrounded by countries like Thailand, Vietnam and China it is no wonder that Cambodia has great street food. Some of the best can be found in Phnom Penh, Kampot, Battambang, Sihanoukville and even Poipet.

Western Food in Cambodia

Cambodia now offers a great range of western food, particularly in Phnom Penh, Kampot and Siem Reap. This ranges from pizza to paste, steak, hot dogs and everything in between. You can read about my favorite burger here. And it does not stop there, with even Japanese, Slavic and English food like fish and chips being represented here.

Vegetarian and Vegan Food in Cambodia

As a Buddhist country Cambodia is extremely vegan and vegetarian friendly. Most dishes come with rice or noodles, and the fruit and vegetable situation is extremely good.

For more about being a vegan in Cambodia click here.

Top dishes to try in Cambodia

  • Cambodian Fried Noodles – A perfect trustworthy one when you do not want to get too adventurous. Fried noodles come with vegetables, your choice of meat and usually an egg.
  • Street Food Cambodia – We’ve mentioned it before but nothing quite beats Khmer BBQ on the Mekong washed down with beer on ice.
  • Weird Foods – From tarantula to fertilized duck eggs and every bug known to man! If you like eating weird food then Cambodia is heaven.
  • Lok Lak – A dish popularised during French colonial times and now claimed by both Vietnam and Cambodia. Thin cubes of beef cured and then served to perfection. A popular dish for both street and restaurant dining.
  • Beer on ice! OK, we keep mentioning this, but it is a very Southeast Asian thing. Beer warms up quickly, so you get a glass with ice to keep it cool. A lot better than it actually sounds!