While many of the restaurants catering to the expat/tourist crowd have a good selection of plant-based options, entirely vegan or vegetarian restaurants are still not very common in Phnom Penh. Most of the vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the city have a predominantly expat/traveler clientele, which is reflected in the pricing, so don’t expect your kale sald or your acai bowl to come cheap. Here are some of our favorite places for vegan and vegetarian food in Phnom Penh:
Vibe is supposedly the first (and only?) 100% vegan restaurant in Phnom Penh. The bowls at Vibe are out of this world, and their smoothies and cold pressed juices taste like sunshine and wellbeing. A juice and a bowl cost about $12, which is expensive for Phnom Penh, but a steal if you are traveling on a European/US budget. Except for bread and kombucha, Vibe makes everything in-house from organic, locally sourced produce and their extensive menu caters to most diets.
What to order? We would go for one of the delicious bowls.
Best for: All meals of the day. Gets busy around lunch time and in the evening.
Masala Dosa Street Kitchen
Masala Dosa Street Kitchen is an Indian vegan restaurant specializing in dosa (Indian rice crepes) with all kinds of sweet and savory fillings. They also have a small, but tempting, selection of other vegan dishes as well as a daily lunch special, and of course lassi and chai made with non-dairy milk.
Masala Dosa Kitchen, 31E0, Samdach Sothearos BLVD 3, Sangkat Chey Chumneas, 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
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, and the food is served with complimentary green tea. Very popular among the younger local crowd and very busy around lunch time.
Surn Yi Vegetarian Restaurant, #15, Street 184 (opposite Plantation Hotel), Tel: +855 16 664 666
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 Tabel 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.
Update September 2021: Mok Mony is temporarily closed but set to open at a new location
The menu at Mok Mony is not 100% vegetarian but the vegetarian food they make is excellent and innovative. Try the tofu steak stuffed with chives, onion and garlic and served in a sake/mirin/soy marinade, it is delicious.
Backyard Cafe is the sister restaurant to Vibe, and compared to Vibe, the food at Backyard Café has a little more substance, with a menu that goes beyond just bowls and smoothies. Not 100% vegetarian, but with a focus on healthy food that makes you feel good.
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