When I had visited Phnom Penh for the first time, I had Googled to find vegetarian restaurants in that city and found this little restaurant called “The Vegetarian” on Street 200. I even stayed in a hotel close to this restaurant (Luxury World) so that I would get vegetarian food close to my hotel. I had loved The Vegetarian and had even wished that I had stayed in Phnom Penh longer to be able to have more vegetarian meals there. The restaurant later moved to its current location on Street 19 (No. 158, St. 19 off Sihanouk Blvd., South of Botum Pagoda, Phnom Penh Cambodia (Tel.: 012 905 766). I found it again though with a bit of difficulty because the address alone does not help much. I had to call them and have them speak to my tuk tuk driver twice before the driver could take me there (See location map below). Actually, it would be really difficult to spot this place in the dark. See the picture of the restaurant front below and you will know what I mean. Yet, when you do find it you will be really happy. The food they serve is worth more than all the trouble. “The Vegetarian” is open 10.30am to 8.30pm, Monday to Saturday.
The food is all vegetarian and thankfully not much of fake meats (Soy) are used. There are real vegetables and real recipes from several countries. See the list below:
Cambodian Lok Lak
Malaysian Curry Noodles
Congee (Mix Mushrooms)
Shanghai Fried Rice
Indian Samosa and Masala Chai (Milky Spiced Tea)
Just reading the list makes you feel hungry, doesn’t it? The prices are a delight too. Most of the main course dishes here cost USD 2 – 2.75 a serving. What you see in the picture above is Buddha Mixed Vegetable Delight (2.75) with Brown Rice (0.50).
The menu is classified into Pancakes, Sandwiches, Fried Noodles, Noodle Soups, Spaghetti, Fried Rice, Plain Rice, Curries, Light Meals/Snacks, Salads, Soups, Drinks, Fresh Fruit Juices, and Cocktail Juices. A few notable items are Mexican Salad Wrap (USD 2), Thai Tom Yum (USD 2), Clay Pot Eggplant with Tofu & Mushrooms, Indian Curry Masala Soy Fish, Cambodian Banana Flower Secret Recipe (all USD 2.75 each), and Thai Crispy Sesame Morning Glory Nest (USD 2). There are a total of 25 curries from Cambodia and other counties, and 12 types of snacks apart from sandwiches, pan cakes, and other desserts. Fresh Dragon Fruit or Avocado Juice at 1.75 USD are too good to miss (don’t know why I ordered Carrot but that was nice too). In fact, you will have to dine here a few dozen times if you wish to taste all of their food. I want to do just that.
Guests have the option of dining in the open area or in the dining hall (both fan cooled). The decor is pleasant and the service is quick.
The Vegetarian also gives away free books related to Buddhism / Vegan topics for those interested. The free book shop is inside the restaurant.
Instead of struggling to find the place, just call them and hand over the phone to your driver. Its works better that way.
Front View (I will get a day time shot during my next trip)
The Vegetarian already gives so much without asking but I still wish they opened on Sunday too. Whatever, this is one vegetarian restaurant in Phnom Penh that you should not miss.