Phnom Penh is home to an abundance of bars, ranging from the cheap and cheerful to the chic and boutique, and everything in between. Stick with us, and we’ll show you the best options around.
Wherever you drink, on of the country’s favourite beer, Angkor, will be on offer. Brewed with the soft spring water from the hills of Sihanoukville coupled with the finest ingredients sourced from around the world, this quality lager has earned the brand numerous Gold Awards from Monde Selection, an international quality institute, making it a rich source of national pride. The same company also produces global cola brand Pepsi and local drinking water brand Angkor Puro, vital in combating the effects of those scorching hot days in tropical Cambodia.
Another highly popular Khmer brew is Cambodia Beer, made in a state-of-the-art facility on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. Cambodia is a refreshing and easy to drink lager with a rich, fruity head giving way to a full-bodied and creamy flavour.
The Riverside area (Sisowath Quay and the adjoining streets) boasts many upmarket establishments, although several cut-price places can still be found amongst them.
The Rising Sun is a popular choice – a cosy little pub with cheap drinks and serving great food also. This homely place has been a Phnom Penh institute for over a decade thanks not only to a menu packed with British comfort food, but also a bar which is busy in the evenings with mostly Australian and English expats enjoying a drink and plenty of banter. The staff are great too!
A ride south across will find you at the up-and-coming neighbourhood surrounding the Russian Market, known locally as Toul Tom Poung. Here, try Seabird’s Place, run by one of the founders of local craft beer label Riel Brewery, serving beers, cocktails, wine, spirits, smoothies and milkshakes. The popular IPA and Coconut Brown Ale from Riel are on tap, as well a rotating seasonal brew.
Do you dream of sipping cocktails in the sumptuous surroundings but don’t have the wallet to match? Don’t worry! The renowned happy hour at the exclusive Elephant Bar of the upscale Raffles Hotel Le Royal places it on the affordable list, with special deals between 4pm and 9pm daily.
French-run Dodo Rhum House is a fairly priced option, serving a selection of flavoured rums, such as passion fruit, chocolate and prune, and its signature Ti punch.
Duplex Belgian Tavern is the ideal place to hang out, nurse a beverage or two, and enjoy the atmospheric bustle of this charming city. Prices are reasonable and the selection of Belgian beers – 30 different brands in total – is impressive.
If German beer is your thing, then head to Hops Brewery & Craft Beer Garden, a stylish microbrewery with a beer garden & grill, a restaurant, an art lounge and a sports bar with high-end billiard tables and electronic darts. The brewing ingredients are 100% natural, imported from Germany, and their beer is produced following the highest German brewing standards.
Craft Beer Garden is the official taproom for Cerevisia CRAFT Brewery! They strive to provide the freshest ingredients combined with creativity and fun, and invite you for a taste, while hoping that you too find joy in the bottom of your glass.
Botanico is their other location, a beer garden restaurant/bar set within a leafy green garden oasis. It’s the perfect hideaway by day, and fantastic social spot by night. They host regular events, such as quiz nights and live music, and carry at least 5 different craft beers at any one time.
Lovers of craft beer should also seek out The Box Office, which offers no less than six locally-made brews on tap. It’s a popular expat hang-out running plenty of events to keep all entertained. Along with live music from local bands, there’s a popular quiz night every Wednesday as well as occasional comedy nights.
To experience the higher end of ale drinking, the state-of-the-art Himawari Microbrewery is the first and only microbrewery launched inside a hotel in Cambodia. The beers start at $7 for a pint, with master brewer Neo Say Wee ensuring his four different labels will quench the thirst of every customer.
For another sublime beer experience, Kingdom Breweries has a $8 tour of their brewery, ending at the Taproom, where you’ll be treated to unlimited samples of their range of beers, all the while enjoying a pleasant river view. Make sure to taste their new Indochine White and Indochine IPA.
KWest boasts a lively bar scene during the evenings with its ideal Riverside location adding to its popularity. The expert bar team is renowned for mixing delicious cocktails and there’s a varied selection of wines.
Heading down south in the quest for more drinking fun, hit the Toul Tom Poung area for a glass of ice-cold craft beer at Alchemy GastroPub. This stylish but chilled out venue offers dozens of excellent local and regional craft beer labels, best savoured together with their delicious fusion tapas and other dishes.
Bouchon (St.174) set in a century-old house, boasts a healthy selection of French wines, mostly from Bordeaux, to accompany a menu with a flair for French cuisine.
Well-established wine bars have been joined by a crowd of new operators all clamouring to cater for lovers of the vine, with glasses starting at around $3.50 and going up to and above $20.
One place for wine lovers to check out, Il Forno is in the capital after amassing great success in Siem Reap. This upscale Italian restaurant is stirring things up in the city’s culinary scene with amazing wood-fired pizzas and a chic wine lounge upstairs.
Phnom Penh has finally got its own Hard Rock Cafe. Make the most of the buy one, get one free Happy Hour deal on their cocktails including mojito, Long island ice tea, classic margarita, Electric blues & Fruitapalooza, as well as draft beer, house wine and spirits from 4-7pm daily.
The Riverside is also home to several refined drinking spots, including the stylish Café Metro famed for its espresso martinis and chic ambience.
In a majestic colonial building with strong elements of Chinese design is Chinese House, a restaurant & bar that offers a refined ambiance with classy cocktails such as the China White, the Red Sun, and the Apple Crumble.
Rokku, a multistory dining and entertainment lounge, is the home of signature sake cocktails created by their in-house mixologist, including the Yes Mam, named after Rokku co-owner and Cambodian-American singer Laura Mam.
Riverside Bistro is a long standing establishment perfect placed on the riverfront, and perfect for an evenings drinking. They offer a good range of well-priced beers, and a cocktail menu with some great house specials, along with juices, shakes, teas and coffees.
Shenanigans gives the weary traveller a taste of home from so very far away, welcoming all with a green sill and stone patio. Watch the big sporting events on the huge screens with the other punters while sampling all the classic drinks from Jack Daniels to the local brews.
Chaplins, is a classy, expertly renovated bar. Special offers run daily where you can get discounts on drinks such as cocktails and wines. The venue is ideally located close to the riverside area on a popular strip.
Club 88 is your portal to Phnom Penh’s premium karaoke experience. All 20 of their private rooms are fitted with state of the art systems offering sing-a-long songs in multiple languages, including English. You can also enjoy the pool table and private bar with its extensive list of cocktails, spirits, wines, beers and soft drinks.
Head to Sora and unwind high above the city and take in spectacular views at one of the best sky bars Phnom Penh has to offer. The bartenders are true craftspeople, adept at everything from advising on beers and matching wines to preparing specially curated cocktails.
Of course, drinking isn’t all hard drinking in the city. Blue Pumpkin is a chain of bakeries offering not only delicious high quality baked items and meals, but also really good coffees, juices, smoothies and more. It’s a great refuge from the heat or the rain!