It might seem that being vegan in Cambodia would be difficult, because there is traditionally so much meat and fish sauce in Cambodian food.
Eating out in Phnom Penh can be very exciting. Many places offer vegan versions of traditional Khmer dishes, and there are a number of restaurants with cuisines from other parts of the world. And some minority groups like the Khmer Krom actually follow a vegan diet.
37 Street 123, Corner 460
South of Russian Market, Eleven One Kitchen offers a relaxing atmosphere, with its green courtyard and a separate air-conditioned space when you need a break from the hot weather.
It offers a nice selection of vegetarian and vegan food, including vegan versions of Khmer dishes. You can sample foods like the Amok tofu, vegetable Khmer curry, and tofu and glass noodle salad with Khmer dressing. The restaurant also has delicious fruit smoothies that you can request without milk.
Every fortnight, it offers a new vegetarian dish on the menu. Just make sure to double-check with the friendly staff that it is also vegan or can be prepared that way.
74 Street 174
A training restaurant for marginalized young people, Romdeng is affiliated with Friends International. In addition to benefiting a good cause, it’s set in a charming colonial villa with a small pool that customers can use.
The menu at Romdeng is unique in its creative use of Khmer flavors. It doesn’t offer a lot of vegan options, but the ones it does will surely make an impression on you. You can order the more traditional Romdeng’s Famous Pumpkin and Zucchini Amok with Tofu or the more original Khmer Vegetable Curry with Sweet Potato and Spinach Dumplings.
67 Street 123, Toul Tompoung
Also in the Russian Market area, Sumatra has a super-friendly staff and is one of the best Indonesian restaurants in Phnom Penh.
Half of its menu is vegan, so there is always something new to try. The vegetable curry and the gado-gado—a salad with slightly boiled vegetables, fried tofu, and peanut sauce—will not disappoint.
For fans of something a bit spicier, the balado dishes, consisting of Indonesian chili sauce with tofu, tempeh, or eggplant, will make you come back for more.
Whatever you order, be sure to try the refreshing passion fruit juice with your meal.
24 Street 334, Boeung Keng Kong 1
Irrawaddi, decorated with artwork depicting life in Myanmar, is a great place to go with friends to try an array of vegan dishes.
It offers a variety of traditional dishes, such as tea leaf salad and potato curry.
Street 240, 1/2 laneway (near Street 19, behind Wat Botum Vathey, and near the Royal Palace)
The ARTillery café is tucked away in a quiet alleyway. Most of the items on its menu are vegan, with many salad, raw-food, and sandwich options.
The Raw Sampler sharing plate features cashew cheese, and the Macro Bowl is packed with plant-based protein and nutritious vegetables.
ARTillery also offers vegan dessert, like the nut-based raw cheesecake, which is a must-try.