1.) Brown Cafe
The undisputed home-grown heroes of the local coffee scene, Brown Coffee has been blazing trails since it was set up a little over 5/6 years ago. It’s so good you’d be hard pressed to find something that’s NOT nice.
Almost everything is amazing on the menu! Coffee standards has not dropped 1 single bit all these years, and they have not stopped innovating either. The staples remain as good as ever, and the new Brown Roastery offers the innovative fare with a slew of cold brew coffees where you pour milk onto iced coffee cubes to enjoy a cup of coffee that gets less and less diluted over time.
The architecture of every cafe, is amazing by the way, and industrial chic theme of red/white bricks white steel and glass facades, standing out very nicely against a ton of poorly designed buildings in the rapidly developing Phnom Penh.
In short, try it. You’ll never quite run out of choices. The smoothies are amazing too, not to mention the pastas, the sandwiches, the salads and the spread of pastries, it’s really just everything on the menu. Just. Try. it.
2.) Feel Good Cafe
A long time fixture in Phnom Penh, owners Marc and Jose have the coffee that you will not taste anywhere else. The way they blend, roast and brew, it’s just amazing, I’ve never quite had anything like it even after tens of thousands of coffees all around the world. And I always find myself missing it whenever I’ve been out of Phnom Penh for too long.
Try the piccolo, it’s a secret favorite the owners recommend. The flat white & lattes are similarly out of the world if you’re going for something more substantial. Chat up the friendly baristas and you might just get a really cute piece of latte art!
Food is first class too. The sugared butter buns are a great selection for brunch while the blue cheese burger is a must-have for hungry carnivores looking for some authentic western food.
3.) The Shop on 240
The whole stretch of shops at 240 is an attraction in its own right, comprising boutqiues, art galleries, museums, cafes and restaurants housed in beautifully conserved colonial shophouses with outstanding spiral staircases its signature statement right at the front entrances.
The shop at 240 started as a designer chocolate bar (it still has the best chocolates in town by the way, but we’ll address that in another post) but also serves one of the best coffees in town! Obviously the chocolate infused coffees deserve a special mention here, such as the mocha and a variety of creative drinks. They have done so well that there are a number of outlets around town, and a brunch restaurant right beside this one with great fusion food. You’d be hard pressed to find a seat here but with the best chocolates and arguably one of the best coffees in town too, you just have to try!
4.) Java Cafe
Java has been one of the earliest players in the Cambodia Coffee revolution, and as such has its own special place among the expats living in Phnom Penh. It’s excellent location on Sihanouk boulevard near the Independence monument helps in its popularity too. Refreshingly good coffee with a dependable brunch menu and a relaxed atmosphere on the biggest boulevard in town, it’s hard not to see why its so popular.
5.) Best Iced Coffee
The only Khmer-based coffee that makes the mark in our list! The name of the stall is called Best iced coffee and its in Russian market, with the owner having been running it for a mind-boggling 33 years! Locals swear by it, foreigners who’ve been here long enough to try it also swear by it. We currently haven’t met someone who’s tried it and not sworn by it. So do yourself a favor and go try it. Not so easy to find among the colourful umbrellas and hustle and bustle of Russian market, but they actually have a facebook page! So you can work out your own way there 😉
6.) Bloom Cafe
A famous social enterprise, this is housed within a nice bungalow away from the usual tourist or expat strips. While they are much more well-known for their cupcakes, their coffee is quite good too. And goes without saying, a cupcake AND a coffee goes perfectly. It’s a very nice atmosphere with friendly staff and usually not too crowded.