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Phnom Penh Restaurants

Baan Thai Restaurant
13 Street 99
Phnom Penh
Tel: 855 23 362 991

Its name means "Thai village,'' and Arun Loythong's restaurant delivers down-home cooking with roots in her native Thailand's rural Surin province, which has a substantial ethnic Khmer minority. The very affordable menu (dinner for two with drinks runs about $20) mixes Thai classics like spicy satays and Panang curry with earthier Khmer dishes such as stir-fried minced pork with coconut milk, roasted peanuts, and prahok fish paste, or fish soup with tomatoes, pineapple, squash, lily root, and tamarind. The rustic, romantic setting—the veranda of a traditional raised, wooden house shaded by large mango trees and outfitted with low tables and floor pillows—primarily attracts expats and veteran travelers, especially since Baan Thai relocated in 2007 from the Boeung Keng Kang diplomatic quarter to a quiet residential street east of the Russian Market. —Christopher Cox

Open daily 10 am to 10 pm.

Foreign Correspondents Club
363 Sisowath Quay
Phnom Penh
Tel: 855 23 724 014

Opened in 1993 and originally a watering hole for journalists, diplomats, and aid workers during Cambodia's uneasy reconstruction, the Foreign Correspondents Club may be the city's most venerated and vibrant spot for dinner and a drink—or an expat party (Democrats Abroad celebrated Barack Obama's election on the third-floor terrace). There's a lot to like about the "F": It's housed in a French colonial building cooled by ceiling fans; geckos skitter along the walls of the open-air second floor; the unbeatable location overlooks the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers; and the menu is an upscale mix of Mediterranean (spinach-and-feta risotto), Asian (Chinese pork dumplings), and Khmer (lotus root salad with caramelized pork and smoked shrimp in a hot-and-sour dressing). Cocktails, such as the Angkor Sunset (vodka, rum, coconut rum, and pineapple juice), are half price and draft beers are $1 during the daily happy hour, 5 to 7 pm; teetotalers can face nightfall with passion fruit–honey smoothies. Outside awaits the city's largest, most persistent gaggle of tuk-tuk drivers, touts, and beggars.—Christopher Cox

Open daily 7 am to midnight.

Khmer Surin Restaurant
9 Street 57
Phnom Penh
Tel: 855 23 993 163

Situated in the heart of "NGO Land,'' the Boeung Keng Kang neighborhood south of the Independence Monument, this efficient, casual eatery is a long-standing luncheon favorite of expat aid workers, diplomats, and middle-class Khmers. The decor, especially the Angkor-inspired pilasters and lintels, is slightly over-the-top, but hundreds of hanging plants and orchids impart a gardenlike feel to the shaded, open-air space. Western dishes are available, but try such Khmer favorites as loc lac—slices of beef stir-fried with oyster sauce and green peppercorns—or frog's legs stir-fried in a paste of lemongrass, galangal, and garlic.—Christopher Cox

Open daily 10 am to 10:30 pm.

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