Siem Reap might be most well-known for the temples of sprawling Angkor Wat, but the shining light of the Cambodian tourist industry is also increasingly earning itself a reputation as the home of numerous great cafés and coffee shops.
Whether you’re looking for a pick-me-up caffeine fix, a soulful brew of afternoon tea, or something more substantial to eat, these are our picks of some of Siem Reap’s best cafés and coffee shops.
The Little Red Fox Espresso
At the heart of the trendy and socially-minded shopping area of Kandal Village on Hap Guan Street, the Little Red Fox Espresso has forged itself a reputation as purveyor of some of Siem Reap’s very best coffee. This is a small, eco-friendly spot with a clear mission to serve great coffee; inside the ground-floor space, there’s just one large communal table and a few stools at a bar, while pleasant, tropical-greenery-shaded outdoor seating on the front terrace looks onto the quiet street. They’ve recently also launched an extra in-between level up some stairs that’s known as The Den.
Australian barista Adam is in charge downstairs, while partner David runs a popular hair salon at the top of the building. The short menu includes espresso-based drinks like the obligatory flat white, to cold drip, teas, and sodas, plus bakery snacks and light meals, and even a small selection of innovative coffee-inspired cocktails. The Little Red Fox also runs regular live music sessions and art exhibitions.
Thursday-Tuesday, 7am-5pm; Hup Guan Street (Kandal Village); 016-669-724; www.thelittleredfoxespresso.com
Just around the corner, and also forming part of Kandal Village, The Hive is a duplex-setup coffee shop with a relatively unassuming frontage concealing its likewise excellent coffee. The brew at the Hive is some of the best we’ve tasted in Siem Reap, and the extensive food menu makes this a great spot whether for breakfast, brunch or lunch.
Meals run the gamut from unmistakably Australian-inspired brunch options like vegemite toast and smashed avocado and poached eggs on rye with a gorgeous tomato chutney, to more international choices like Sri Lankan kottu roti. There’s also a wide selection of fresh detox-friendly juices and shakes served in trendy jam jars with eco-friendly reusable bamboo straws from nearby Saarti (the same ones we use at our pool bar!)
Wednesday-Monday, 7am-6pm; Psar Kandal Street (Central Market Street); 097-763-3484; www.facebook.com/thehive.siemreap
Pages is a stunningly retro, industrial-style refurbished complex that comprises everything from architects’ offices to apartments and hair and beauty salon – plus, of course, a stunning multi-purpose café-bar-restaurant. Tucked away in a beautifully peaceful corner of the Wat Bo neighbourhood, it’s another of our favourite spots to hide away, whether alone with a quiet coffee or with friends for a few drinks, some tapas plates to share, and a good catch-up.
The menu includes local and international dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner – this is a spot that’s open well into the evening – along with a good selection of wines and cocktails. The open doors and windows often catch a lovely breeze, and there’s a gorgeous range of high-quality boutique souvenir items to peruse, too. If you like the unassumingly tranquil setting of Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel, Pages is another arty hideout you’re sure to love.
Daily, 7am-10pm; Street 24; 063-966-812; www.pages-siemreap.com
Artillery’s cafés already have a loyal following in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, and the Siem Reap branch is making similar waves. The café comprises a retro space that’s popular among coffee shops in Siem Reap, but also boasts a large outdoor courtyard space that few others can match.
Artillery has a focus on environmentally-friendly practices, and is also a healthy-minded café. That means you can expect a solid range of cold-pressed juices, and plenty of vegetarian, vegan and raw dishes. Needless to say, there’s great coffee on offer, plus ice cream – and they stock a range of health, beauty and homewares products to take home, too.
Daily, 7.30am-9pm; Wat Bo Road; 085-856-511; www.artillerycafe.com
Yet another of our favourite cafés in Siem Reap, and a regular haunt of ours, Sister Srey Café is a social enterprise that donates a portion of its profits to the Hearts to Harmony Foundation, as well as running a number of other initiatives to help the café’s staff and others in Cambodia to build a better life for themselves.
The riverside café, set up by two sisters (‘srey’ means ‘sister’ or ‘woman’ in Khmer), is popular for its strong coffee, good-value and health-conscious, predominantly western meals that include a range of raw food dishes, and above all else for the friendly services and positive vibes that the place has quickly become known for. Upstairs from the café, there’s also a boutique and reading area, the perfect spot to settle in for a couple of hours on a rainy day, or simply for a break after exploring Angkor Wat.
Tuesday-Sunday, 7am-6pm; Pokambor Street; 097-723-800; www.sistersreycafe.com
Where to stay in Siem Reap
Looking for a Siem Reap hotel from which to explore the best cafés, coffee shops and nightlife that Siem Reap has to offer, while also being within easy reach of the famous Angkor Wat temples? Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel is waiting for you – click here to take a look at our relaxing rooms, all with free breakfast and use of our gorgeous swimming pool.
Which café or coffee shop in Siem Reap is your favourite? Let us know which spots we should include on our list – leave us a comment below!
Sister Srey Café photo by Sister Srey Café; all other photos by Chris Wotton.