Best Cafes in Siem Reap
If you’re the kind of person who can’t start the day without a hit of caffeine and you know your ristretto from your espresso, then fortunately Siem Reap has a decent selection of cafes, the best being Little Red Fox Espresso on hip Hup Guan Street. In the old quarter, Cafe Central and The Sun make good coffee, do reasonably good food and have loads of colonial-era atmosphere. New Leaf Cafe and Sister Srey are good spots to meet expats while Peace Cafe is a favorite with vegans and vegetarians.
The coffee may not be the best in Siem Reap and the food can be hit and miss. But there are few more relaxed places to hang out than the wooden tables and benches at the front of this sunny cafe opposite the riverside. Owned by two Melbourne sisters who do a lot of charitable work, it’s a good spot to meet expats and there’s a noticeboard promoting volunteer opportunities and other ways to give back.
This breezy new al fresco coffee shop located at the Ecole du Bayon pastry school in Siem Reap looks into the school’s gleaming kitchen so you can watch the dedicated young cooks piping cream and decorating cakes. The pastry school was established by the Bayon L’Ecole School, near Bayon temple in Angkor Archaeological Park, to provide training and career opportunities for their female graduates and other disadvantaged young women from around Siem Reap, who would otherwise be staying at home or working in massage parlors or construction sites. The keen students undertake pastry classes, as well as lessons in English, mathematics, business skills, such as stock management and accounting, and personal development. They also do internships of six and ten weeks in the kitchens of Siem Reap’s finest five-star hotels. The earnings from the coffee shop go directly back into the school, which provides on-site accommodation, bicycles and an allowance for the students, so you know your money is going to a great cause. Expect excellent coffee and delicious European-style baked goods such as French madeleines and financiers, chocolate fondant, raspberry mousse, and, my favourite, lemon meringue pies. The café is open Tuesday to Sunday 7.30am-5pm.