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Updated by Joanna James on Nov 16, 2020
Headline for 6 Facts You Need to Know about Food in Cambodia - Embark on a Unique Culinary Adventure!
Joanna James Joanna James
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6 Facts You Need to Know about Food in Cambodia - Embark on a Unique Culinary Adventure!

A vast and expansive nation that is brimming with diversity, Cambodia is home to people of vibrant cultures, unique ethnicities and most of all an amazing cuisine. Read on to know six interesting facts about Cambodian food culture!


It is not a "version of Vietnamese and Thai food cultures!

Although Vietnam and Thailand lie right next to the borders of Cambodia, the nation's food culture does not resemble traits from these nations! Cambodia features an assortment of delectable food items that are endemic to the nation. Cambodian cuisine features soups that are sour and with unique tastes which you cannot taste anywhere else on the planet.


Western and French influence

Although the nation has a population that still prefers to consume traditional and authentic Cambodian cuisine, people who live in the capital and developed cities around the nation are accustomed to consuming western food items. These cities also have a lot of western food chains such as KFC, Burger King and a few other fast food joints which slowly converts Cambodians to consuming western food. Similarly, the nation was colonized by the French and their influence can also be noticed in today's Cambodian food culture.


Cambodians love the grill

Grilled meat is a widely consumed delicacy around Vietnam. Chicken, duck, pork, fish and other meat items are covered in rubs and sauces that are made with local spices and they are grilled to perfection over charcoal. Grilled meat is usually consumed with raw vegetables such as zucchini, cucumber and carrots. Even a few Cambodian desserts are made on the grill – grilled bananas are a favourite local snack

Note: Local beers excellently complement the grilled meat dishes!


Exotic meats and peculiar food items

Like its neighbouring counties, Cambodia has its fair share of exotic meat items – snakes, water bugs, bats, frogs, snails and even spiders are sold by street vendors around the country. Though these food items are clearly not for the squeamish, they mostly taste good and are safe to eat since they are cooked thoroughly and are seasoned with an assortment of local spices.


You could find menus in English

Unlike Vietnam and Thailand, Cambodia has menu's typed in English even at the most basic eateries though there could be issues with spellings, it is far better to not make any sense of what is written on the menus that a few minor spelling errors. Vendors also speak and understand English so you could get what you want. You also have a variety of dining options – form tiny little eateries to upscale and exclusive establishments the likes of Anantara Angkor Resort which offers its guests a palatable and cosy Siem Reap dining experience.



Cambodia is one of the few countries in the world where you could directly pay your bills at a restaurant in dollars. They even mention the prices of food items in the menus in dollars and at times you could even pay with a combination of the local currency (Riel) and dollars. But, it is recommended that you stick with one currency for your payments for which you can keep track of your spendings and avoid confusion.