Here is the secret way to eat Cambodian street food that saves you money.
I am a local Cambodian people but I was not familiar with street food. Until I got married and my wife asked me to bring her to markets.
She was pregnant, otherwise I would suggest her to go alone
Then I started to eat some food. My favorite was noodle soup.
I was surprised.
All the food there tasted very good and the most interesting was that the price was much cheaper than I usually paid at the restaurant.
You might think that Cambodian street food is not clean. I won’t say you are wrong by saying so. I know you might feel afraid of getting sick.
The best advice I can give you is to observe first. If the food stand has many people eating around, it can be trusted. They are the regular customers. They are not just passing by today. Most of them come very often. If they like any food stand, it must have a good reason for it.
It is not difficult to verify by yourself either because the food stand is just right in front of you. There’s no hidden kitchen like in the restaurant.
Robyn Eckhardt, a food journalist said (Source):
Street food has two advantages over food cooked in restaurants: transparency and immediacy. When you eat on the street nothing is hidden; you can judge whether or not the person handling your food, the surface on which it’s prepped and the plate on which it will be served is clean.
Here are some places I would recommend to you to check when you are at any of these 3 cities:
1. Phnom Penh
- Central Market (Phsar Thom Thmei)
The market was built and opened in 1937.
It was completely renovated lately in 2011.
It’s my first recommendation.
Central market is the most beautiful and clean market in Phnom Penh. The best time to visit would be in the evening. I usually see they still open even late at night but not a good time to visit after 8pm.
- Night Market (Phsar Reatrey)
Night market was recently opened.
I think one or two years ago.
The idea was to promote Cambodian products.
The street food there is also great. They mostly don’t provide the table. They provide mat to sit directly on the floor. It might be a good experience to eat in Cambodian way.
Don’t forget to order a sugar cane juice, you won’t regret it.
Beside these two markets, there are also few markets in Phnom Penh such as: Russian Market, Phsar Chas and Phsar Boeung Keng Kang etc.
You can can find street food easily almost everywhere in town. I will keep updating this post, when I have a new good place to recommend.
Or if you have any of your favorite, I am happy to add.
2. Siem Reap
Old Market (Phsar Chas)
The Food stands around the market are good and cheap.
You will be surprised there is a lot of difference of the price if you just move yourself a few meters from the Pub street.
I tried food stands around the market many times and the food was delicious and haft cheaper than the restaurants around the pub street.
Not only at the market, there are many food stands around the city. You just need to choose which one is the most comfortable for you.
- Phsar Leu (Sihanoukville)
Like any market in Cambodia, Phsar Leu in Sihanoukville provides Cambodian street food, especially seafood because it is located at the beach.
Personally I found the restaurants in Sihanoukville, even for local people is a little expensive than in Phnom Penh. Maybe because we all become tourist when we go to the beach.
Knowing a good place to eat would be very convenient.
- Night Market Sihanoukville
There’s anther good place to check out is Night Market at Golden Lion.
I personally didn’t try any food there yet you can have a look and see if there’s something you can try out.
When I have chance to visit the beach again, I will give more details about the place.