4 restaurants in Kampot every foodie needs to check out

A 2.5-hour drive from Phnom Penh, Kampot is Cambodia’s best-kept secret with a laid-back charm and a blossoming food scene.

Kampot river.
  • Cheong Kamei
  • November 2019

Kampot has long been a favourite getaway destination for locals and backpackers looking to escape the bustle of the city. Its chill vibe is a draw but what few tourists know is its growing cosmopolitan restaurant scene is on its way to rival that of Siem Reap’s. Here are four hidden gems to check out while you’re there.

1. Baraca

Grilled pumpkin from Baraca.
Grilled pumpkin with sriracha butter.

Run by a Belgian couple, this popular guest house and bar opens in new window serves up tapas featuring market-fresh produce, from classics like patatas bravas (crispy potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce) to more locally inflected plates like holy basil squid. Wash it all down with a glass or two of cava.

Address: #7, Street 726, Krong Kampot
Tel: +855 11 290 434
baraca.org opens in new window

2. Tertúlia

Tiger prawns from Tertulia.
Tiger prawns fried in garlic with Kampot pepper, basil and white wine.

Fresh seafood is the star of the show at this refined Portuguese restaurant opens in new window that specialises in dishes such as slow-cooked octopus and tiger prawns stir-fried with Kampot pepper. There are hearty meat options as well, such as piri piri chicken.

Address: Kampot Center, Street 724a, Door Number 4, Krong Kampot
Tel: +855 96 264 5251
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READ MORE: Meet the Singaporean who became a Kampot pepper farmer opens in new window

3. Twenty Three

Seared tuna with Kampot pepper at 23 Kampot.
Seared tuna with Kampot pepper, black sesame and lime dressing.

A casual bistro setting, warm service, wallet-friendly prices where a dish is typically no more than SGD$8.50, and a menu of European comfort food (braised lamb shank or apple tarte Tatin, anyone?) ... these all make for a great night out. But throw in the fact that the plating would not look out of place in a fine-dining restaurant and you know you’ve found yourself a real gem opens in new window.

Address: #23, Street 726, Krong Kampot
Tel: +855 88 607 9731
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4. Cafe Espresso

A stack of pancakes and sliced bananas at Cafe Espresso.
Fluffy pancakes served with salted caramel sauce, sliced bananas and strips of bacon.

Owned by Australians who moved to Cambodia in 2011, Cafe Espresso opens in new window like any self-respecting Aussie café takes its coffee seriously. It serves one of the best flat whites (made from Southeast Asian coffee beans roasted in-house) in the country, and has a menu built around local produce.

Address: NH33, Krong Kampot
Tel: +855 92 388 736
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Plus! Lai Poon Piau, founder of Kampot pepper label Hong Spices opens in new window, shares his top stalls that serve local favourites.

Cafe Menza

Menza Cafe dish.
Menza Cafe is located within the compound of Kampot Referral Hospital.

Kuy teav is a comforting bowl of rice noodles in pork broth. Lai loves the one at Menza Cafe that opens till midday. The stall also sells khor ko, a Cambodian beef stew.

Address: Kampot Referral Hospital, Riverside Rd, Krong Kampot

Stall at the Durian Roundabout

Num pang stall.
Num pang is a local delicacy of pork pâté and roasted pork belly in a baguette.

It might look like banh mi but num pang is a meatier beast. At the nameless stall at the Durian Roundabout, locals flock to get the delicious late-night snack.

Address: Durian Roundabout, Krong Kampot

READ MORE: The foodie's guide to eating in Phnom Penh