Finding great food is 50% of the reason that I travel around looking the best countries to retire cheap. As you know, I love Siem Reap, Cambodia. Last year, it was #2, on my best countries to retire cheap list. LINK TO CURRENT PLACES TO RETIRE CHEAP and it might make #1 this year.
One reason, Siem Reap appears constantly on the best countries to retire list is the abundance of GREAT food. As an international hub, you’ll find quite a bit of variety for food. Chinese, Mexican, English, Thai, Malay, Indian….they’ve got enough great affordable restaurants to make this a place to come just to eat.
Old Beijing Dumpling House: This is a MUST GO if you like dumplings. While they have other Chinese food on their menu, I highly recommend the steamed or fried dumplings. Seriously, with the word “Dumpling” in the title, you’d be a fool to get something else. When a friend of mine suggested it, I was like, “Dumplings? I love dumplings…. but I’m also super fussy about dumplings as I’ve eaten them in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Richmond.” It’s not a fancy place, but some of the best street food I’ve had often comes from unassuming places. These were some of the BEST dumplings I’ve ever had in the world. Every batch is hand made, and the price is $3 for 13 dumplings. That’s right…..under 30 cents a dumpling! They are a mom/pop shop, and make them fresh, so EXPECT at least a 20 minute wait after you order your dumplings…… (HINT:If you’re going to eat multiple orders of dumplings, order the second plate when the first one appears….so you never run out).
Bliss Villa: A great little hotel, where I’ve found some of the best English food in the city. Meat Pies, spaghetti, and burgers are all great here. With an average price point of $3.50, you won’t go broke trying it. Their food comes out hot, and I’ve never been disappointed with any of it. You can tell that the food is good, because guests from other hotels nearby (that also have restaurants inside), frequently come over for the food.
Bread and Bubble:This little gem of a store is a cozy sandwich shop. It made the list, because of it’s authentic Vietnamese Banh Mi. I’ve spent months in Vietnam, and one of the main reasons to go is for Banh Mi. Until I tried Bread and Bubble in Siem Reap, I’ve never found another restaurant that makes a decent Banh Mi outside of Vietnam. (Don’t even get me started about the crappy ones I’ve had in Ecuador.) This place is also crazy cheap, averaging $2 for a delicious banh mi, made with fresh baguette.
Viva Restaurant: For Mexican and pub style food, this is my go to place. They make their own tortilla chips daily by hand, and you can taste the difference vs store bought chips. Most afternoons, if I want a cheap beer with some great food, this is where I’ll head to. Some friends of mine go there so often, they know the order number for their favorite dishes like “78”. At $4.50 a meal on average Viva is one of the more expensive on this list. But at the time of writing, they are having a 30% off ALL meals deal. Making this place not just delicious, but a great value.
Temple Design Restaurant: This is part of the Temple group, and if you’re in Siem Reap, I swear you are going to see something from Temple Group every few blocks. From restaurants, to nightclubs, to hotels they have an imprint everywhere. What that means, is it has impeccable standards. Ive been to several of the Temple restaurants and they always have great service, beautifully presented food and 50 cent draft. If you want to try Khmer food this is where I’d go. The presentation and the food will truly impress. Most places in Siem Reap if you’re going for Khmer food will just just serve it slapped on a dish. Here they actually work just as hard on the plating and presentation as the food itself. It’s Instagram heaven for food photography. Bonus tip: They take credit card here!
There is a lot of food to go try in Siem Reap, and I’m going to endeavor to go eat at ALL the great places. If you know a fantastic place, that didn’t make this list, let me know in the comments! And as always have a great time looking for the best food in the world!