Millions of tourists come to Siem Reap, Cambodia every year to experience the magic of Angkor Wat, but when the sun goes down and the temples have been conquered, where is the place to be in Siem Reap? The answer is clear: Pub Street.
Pub Street, officially titled Street 8, is the culinary and nightlife hub of Siem Reap – sort of the city’s answer to Bangkok’s famed Khao San Road. On Pub Street, you’ll find an assortment of restaurants and bars, as well as entertaining street performers and some fantastic people watching.
From 5 p.m. onwards, the street is blocked off to motor traffic, making it a relaxing place to stroll and take in the sights. You can’t visit Siem Reap without stopping by Pub Street at least once, and you may just love it so much you’ll make it your nightly haunt.
The recipe for a perfect night in Siem Reap? After an afternoon in Mad Monkey Siem Reap’s pool and enjoying drinks at their poolside bar, kick off your evening at the hostel’s Top Banana Rooftop Beach Bar. It is complete with sand, $1 beers, and inexpensive cocktails and shots. You’ll also enjoy beer pong tables, great music, themed nights, and meet some of the best people in Siem Reap.
Keep the party going until the wee hours of the night by then heading to Pub Street, just a five-minute away and filled with places to make this the most memorable night of your trip.
Getting to Pub Street in Siem Reap
Pub Street is located in the south end of central Siem Reap, steps from the Old Market and Night Market, and, more importantly, from Mad Monkey Siem Reap. You’ll find it labeled on city maps as “Street 8.” Mad Monkey is one of the best places to stay in Siem Reap for proximity to Pub Street. From there, simply turn right on Sivutha Boulevard, take a slight left on 2 Thnou Street, and continue walking until you spot the glowing sign announcing Pub Street. Too easy!
Where to Eat on Pub Street
Pub Street may be known primarily for its nightlife, but it’s also a fantastic place to grab a bite to eat any time of day. Considering Pub Street is such a popular tourist destination, meals are very reasonably priced, generally ranging from about $4 to $8 U.S. for a main. Most of the restaurants’ menus feature a mix of Western and Khmer foods, so no matter your tastes, you’ll find something that suits you. Menus are displayed in front of each restaurant, so wander the street and browse the menus to take your pick, or consider one of the following restaurants.
On the corner of Pub Street, Banana Leaf serves a variety of food, including tapas, dim sum, and even a Crocodile burger. There, you’ll also find live bands, sports broadcast on a big screen, and a fantastic selection of cocktails and wines.
Are you craving Tex Mex? Then Cafe Latino is the place for you. It may not be the cuisine you’d expect to find in Cambodia, but when you need a break from local food, Café Latino sure does it well and also serves steaks and other Western food.
If you’re in the mood for something a little more adventurous, pay a visit to Cambodian BBQ Restaurant. On the menu? Everything from traditional barbecue favorites like chicken, beef, and seafood to wild selections like crocodile, ostrich, frog, kangaroo, and snake! Choose from degustation menus that will allow you to try seven or fourteen types of meat, or stick with their starters or soups.
Khmer Family Restaurant
With a cute interior, comfy, plush chairs, and fast, free wifi, Khmer Family Restaurant, as its name suggests, is locally owned. Its photo menu can be helpful in selecting a Khmer dish even if you know little about local cuisine. Give the Khmer curry a try for just $5. Delicious!
Khmer Idea Restaurant
Sometimes quieter than surrounding restaurants because of its unassuming appearance, Khmer Idea also is a little cheaper than others on Pub Street but still just as delicious. It specializes in a variety of Khmer dishes, but you can also find Western food here. Taste the beef Lok Lak and pair it with a fresh fruit shake for a meal you won’t regret.
Paper Tiger Eatery (Le Tigre de Papier)
At Le Tigre de Papier, you can enjoy authentic Khmer dishes as well as Western cuisine. If you’re feeling lazy, they even will deliver pizzas to your hotel room twenty-four hours a day. More interestingly, though, this restaurant offers cooking classes, which will take you on a visit of the market to purchase your ingredients before learning to prepare a three-course Khmer meal starting from $15 per person. Impress your friends back home with your newfound Cambodian cooking skills!
The Red Piano – Pub Street
This two-story restaurant is a bit pricier but well worth it for their European food. It is known as Angelina Jolie’s favorite spot from the days she spent in Siem Reap filming Tomb Raider. Her choice of cocktail, Cointreau, lime, and tonic, is now named for the movie – do not miss out on visiting The Red Piano while visiting Pub Street!
Where to Drink and Party on Pub Street
Cheap drinks, fun, young travelers, and beautiful, warm nights, Cambodia is one of the best places in the world to have a night on the town. Siem Reap may be a relatively small city, but it still has a nightlife scene that’s raved about by visitors from all over the world. Pub Street, as well as its surrounding streets, is easily the best part of Siem Reap for nightlife. Here are a few of the best bars to drink and dance your night away.
The Angkor What? Bar
Pub Street’s first bar, The Angkor What? Bar is more than just a hotspot for pun lovers. Travelers are invited to leave their mark via graffiti lining the bar’s walls, and it is usually one of the last on the street to close so you can keep the party going all night long. With three stories, including a rooftop bar, you’ll find one that’s just your speed at The Angkor What? Bar.
Barcode Siem Reap
Just off of Pub Street, Barcode is one of Siem Reap’s most popular LGBT bars and lounges, with sophisticated décor and an outdoor terrace and garden. Barcode also serves French tapas and hosts a spa for men that offers massages, manicures, and pedicures.
Miss Wong Cocktail Bar Siem Reap
On a lane parallel to Pub Street, Miss Wong has a sophisticated old Chinese interior as well as a good selection of cocktails, wines, and beers, which can be accompanied by snacks.
X-Bar has an open-air rooftop and is known for its open mic jam sessions every Wednesday. On other nights of the week, you’ll find live DJs and bands and some of the best views in town!
Many of Pub Street’s patrons live and breathe the “you only live once” philosophy, so this bar is aptly named. Located in an alleyway just off of Pub Street, YOLO Bar provides hammocks for guests to relax in while sipping $2 mixed drinks.
Other Highlights of Pub Street
If the ostrich and kangaroo mentioned above weren’t adventurous enough for you, give fried scorpions a try. If you’re lucky, you’ll find street vendors selling these on Pub Street.
Fried Ice Cream
Top off your meal by keeping an eye out for this unique ice cream sold on Pub Street, mixed with your choice of toppings like pineapple, passion fruit, mango, or Oreos.
You’ll find lots of fantastic live music within Pub Street’s bars, but don’t forget to stop and have a listen to the street performers you’ll find wandering up and down the street.
Siem Reap Night Market Pub Street
If Pub Street isn’t enough for you (I’m sure it will be!), stop by Siem Reap’s Angkor Night Market, running from 4 pm until midnight, a bustling area packed with stalls selling handicrafts and souvenirs as well as a few other spots for dining and drinking.
Pub Street could keep you occupied for nights on end, but if you’re craving more, you’ll also find no shortage of restaurants and bars clustered around Pub Street. Go exploring and find the perfect spot for your meal or night out. Pub Street is sure to bring you some of the best memories from your Cambodia trip, so enjoy your time there, and make the most of your time in Siem Reap!
About the Author
Kirstie Jeffries is a digital marketing specialist and travel blogger at Venga, Vale, Vamos. Originally hailing from Pasadena, California, she lived in Madrid and Sevilla, Spain and Sydney, Australia before setting off on her current trip around the world. You can read about her latest adventures on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.