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Angkor Restaurants

Off Highway 6 (Airport Highway)
Siem Reap
Tel: 855 12 644 286

Though it's a bit hard for first-timers to find (down a quiet lane just beyond the Angkor Hotel, westbound on Highway 6), everything else about Renaud Fichet's relocated restaurant is an upgrade on his former in-town spot. There's a chic air-conditioned dining room as well as a candlelit garden terrace, although Fichet's bon vivant personality—and a clientele of longtime expats—tamps down any white-linen pretensions. But the biggest change is the kitchen, now that talented chef Pascal Schmit, formerly of La Résidence d' Angkor, is directing the show. The nicely plated Continental- and Asian-style fine-dining entrées include T-bone steak with Kampot green-pepper sauce, scallops and crabmeat in ginger-sesame sauce, and crocodile-tail curry. Save room for the crazy-sinful chocolate truffle.—Christopher Cox

Open daily 11 am until late.

The Passage, Psar Chas (Old Market)
Siem Reap
Tel: 855 63 965 501

The Old Market area got even more of a groove on with the 2008 arrival of the loungelike Aha restaurant. Located on the ground floor of Hotel Be Angkor, it's an off-site venture operated by Hôtel de la Paix. The menu, created by Joannes Riviere, executive chef of Meric, bears a similar mix of Continental and Khmer fare, albeit in tapas-size portions (try the classic deep-fried potatoes with roasted-garlic aïoli or grilled beef with green-papaya pickles), with the addition of salads (prawn and pomelo with toasted coconut) and stir-fried plates ranging from eel with holy basil and chili to pork with braised ginger. The 60-seat dining room is air-conditioned—unusual for a nonhotel restaurant in Siem Reap—though the local expats prefer the limited seating on the shaded, pedestrian-only Passage.—Christopher Cox

Open daily 11:30 am until late.

Carnets d'Asie
333 Sivutha Boulevard
Siem Reap
Tel: 855 63 965 105

Formerly a Chinese restaurant, this lovely courtyard Khmer/French bistro serves some of the freshest fish in town. And Francophiles will enjoy the library of French books and newspapers. There are even computers, so after lunch or dinner you can e-mail snapshots to envious friends back home.

Chivit Thai
Wat Bo Street
Siem Reap
Tel: 855 12 830 761

With low prices and outstanding food, this is the best Thai restaurant in town. The atmosphere is charming, and all of the dishes—including the tom yum soup and yam wun sen—are perfectly prepared. But if you ask for spicy, be warned: Thai cooks know how to make things crazy spicy.

Khmer Kitchen
The Passage
Siem Reap
Tel: 855 12 763 468

Mick Jagger's visit and a mention in The New York Times put this restaurant front and center on the international tourist map. Fortunately, the notoriety hasn't changed the place much. The only noticeable difference is that the backpackers who have been coming here since the early '90s have been joined by the well-heeled (which, come to think of it, is evident all over town). The kitchen serves up delicious local fare with a modern twist, such as Khmer chicken curry and chicken soup with lemongrass, lime, and mint.

Madame Butterfly
Airport Road (Highway No. 6)
Siem Reap
Tel: 855 16 909 607

This traditional raised wooden building, a half-century-old Khmer home converted by Frenchman Yves Polouet into a restaurant in 2001, is a bit incongruous amid the bland big-box hotels plaguing National Highway 6. Inside, the comfortable, unpretentious old-style decor—low-slung rattan chairs and Buddhist bric-a-brac—complements the teak exterior. The large menu's Thai and Khmer specialties, such as Penang curry beef and banana-flower salad, a tangy blend of grated banana buds, chicken, and fresh vegetables tossed with a peppery white-wine and fish sauce vinegar, have been slightly toned down for Western palates. Day-of reservations are suggested, as it's popular with groups lodging at nearby hotels.

Sivutha Boulevard
Siem Reap
Tel: 855 63 966 000

A foodie favorite since its 2005 opening, the Hotel de la Paix's fine-dining establishment marries Continental classics and Khmer creations developed by French-born executive chef Joannes Riviere. His open kitchen turns out French-style pepper steak, a tender Australian beef sirloin coated with crushed Cambodian black pepper, and grilled chicken with banana-bud salad. Mull over the menu with a Khmer martini (kaffir lime– and lemongrass-infused vodka with dry vermouth). The highly seasonal Khmer table, with dishes such as dried snake and green mango salad or grilled prahok fish paste and crudités, is available à la carte or, for the more intrepid, as a seven-course prix fixe. Book a day or two ahead during the high season.

Viroth's Restaurant
246 Wat Bo Street
Siem Reap
Tel: 855 16 951 800

Located east of the Siem Reap River (near La Résidence d'Angkor) in a quieter, mostly residential section of town anchored by the venerated Wat Bo temple, this airy, candlelit restaurant turns out Khmer fusion cuisine. Khmer/French architect Lisa Ros's elegant, contemporary design employs raised decks, shade trees, and silk scrims to foster privacy in the 150-seat space. This way, you can enjoy your fragrant Khmer-style chicken, roasted with ginger, onion, morning glory, and Chinese basil, or the lake fish with ginger, spring onions, and local herbs without being disturbed by other diners (usually a mix of expats and small groups of travelers).

Open daily.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.