Siem Reap, Cambodia is bursting at the seams with fantastic vegan meals. The best part is, the majority of the restaurants in Siem Reap that cater to plant-based vegan or vegetarian eaters are also sustainable with initiatives to support the local community, environment, and beyond. Many of these spots in the largest tourist hub of the Kingdom of Cambodia are also fantastic places to work if you’re a digital nomad. I often hung out these cafés from breakfast to dinner as the food and ambiance are very welcoming and encourage creativity. These are the best Siem Reap ethical eateries and vegan cafés.
VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN SOCIAL ENTERPRISE SIEM REAP CAFES
Over the 6 weeks, I spent in Siem Reap very few days went by where I didn’t find myself at the fully-vegan eatery, Vibe (GoogleMaps). From the lovely decor at the café with inspiring wall murals that embody non-violent messages to the extensive menu — I just couldn’t stay away. To make my love for Vibe even deeper I was thrilled to discover that they operate The Good Vibe Foundation which provides meals for children in need around Cambodia. Their goal is to serve 10,000 Khmer children to date have been provided nutritious clean meals that are the same quality as the food served to patrons at the café. The cost of the program is $0.50 per child per day.
Vibe was the first 100% vegan restaurant in Siem Reap. Clean produce is sourced from local farmers who have committed to growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs without pesticides or chemicals. You can seriously taste the high quality and freshness of the vegan food at Vibe. Each dish is vibrant and nourishing.
I love the cashew milk latte, although the coffee portion is quite small. They have many smoothie bowls and savory bowls to chose from with tasty ingredients that are hard to find such as tempeh, organic brown rice, sauerkraut, acai, pesto, and miso. Many of the items are also safe for those who are gluten-free eaters or have other dietary restrictions.
For breakfast, I always struggled to choose between the gluten-free positive pancakes with mango and raspberries or the decadent chickpea omelet. One morning I was feeling unwell with traveler’s belly and the activated charcoal juice at Vibe whipped me right back into shape. Vibe also has a variety of kombucha and smoothie options. Lunch and dinner options are seriously unlimited. I had at least 30 meals here and never at the same thing twice, except for breakfast. I whole-heartedly recommend the nourish sandwich, explorer quesadilla, or ritual bowl.
GREEN-GO VEGAN GARDEN
Green-Go (GoogleMaps) vegan garden is one of the most affordable vegan eateries in Siem Reap and has a massive variety of options. Green-Go is open late and has cozy floor seating and an upstairs terrace making it a great spot for digital nomads who like to work from cafés. Each month as a part of the charitable program for a sustainable community a local charity is selected to receive a percentage of profits from various special items on the menu such as Animals of Our World and Elephant Valley Project.
The owner is from Malta and makes excellent Italian food including vegan pizza and pasta. If you have limited time in Siem Reap order the trio samplers so you can choose three types of mini pizza or try the pesto trio but be sure to clarify how you prefer your pasta prepared as mine was a bit firm. You can also add on a healthy side salad so you get a dose of greens too. Fresh coconuts served with bamboo straws as well as smoothies and juices are available to quench your thirst.
Mahob Bous (GoogleMaps), which means vegetarian food in Khmer, is a tiny yet darling hole-in-the-wall vegan café with many plant-based traditional Khmer and Southeast Asian dishes. Mahob Bous gives 20% of proceeds to the Azahar Foundation, a non-profit which promotes non-violence through yoga and art. Be sure to practice at their yoga studio to support this excellent cause.
I had a flat rice noodle dish and the grapefruit salad. The portions were small, especially for the price, but the food was tasty and went to a good cause.
Peace Cafe (GoogleMaps) is a vegetarian social enterprise which provides holistic education programs, permaculture workshops, and supports local community organizations such as The Institute For Opportunity and Building Future Opportunity. There is a great ethical boutique at the cafe and many community-led events like a monk chat, yoga, free Khmer language lessons, and vegetarian cooking class. The gigantic vegetarian menu has plenty of vegan options. I don’t recommend the gado gado but everything else I tried was excellent from the juices to the grapefruit salad. The outdoor garden seating area has plenty of fans making it a great spot to work in nature for the day.
VEGAN-FRIENDLY SOCIAL ENTERPRISE SIEM REAP CAFES
Spoons (GoogleMaps) near Wat Damnak is an absolutely stunning bamboo training restaurant that’s apart of EGBOK mission which provides classes, housing, career, and financial support to young disadvantaged Khmer who are studying at hospitality schools in Siem Reap such as the Sala Bai Hotel School. At Spoons, trainees receive hands-on hospitality. Profits from Spoons financially support EGBOK, which has been recognized by the Cambodian government for their excellent work.
If you’re looking for a romantic place to have a date night or to treat yourself to a memorable vegan meal in Siem Reap, Spoons is the place to go. There are several plant-based items on the menu that have been inspired by Khmer street food classics and home-style favorites. I had the num krok coconut pancakes and sandek. The sandek was my favorite meal I had in Siem Reap! Please go try it and send me pictures so I can drool over how mind-blowing the flavor was.
BAYON PASTRY SCHOOL CAFE
Bayon Pastry School (GoogleMaps) is a non-profit which provides a free 11-month vocational training to underprivileged Khmer women with education and internship programs that teach them how to make pastries as well as English and computer lessons. The Bayon Pastry School café is set in a lovely garden. There are several pastries and treats that are vegan which you can order a la carte, or you can take the mix and match platter which came with a panini, pastry, pancakes, fruit bowl, and coffee.
NEW LEAF BOOK CAFE
New Leaf Book Café (GoogleMaps) is one of my favorite social enterprise restaurants to eat and work from in the heart of Siem Reap. New Leaf has a wide variety of options for vegan eaters and a calming open-air yet cool atmosphere. The menu has so many plant-based options, most of which are Khmer, but some western options too. I love the mushroom salad, banana blossom salad, Amok, and the big vegan fry-up breakfast platter. You can get fair trade coffee at New Leaf Book Café from Three Corner Coffee Roaster.
The café is also a bookshop, profits from book sales are given to local NGOs. There are also run book drives to collect English books to donate to local schools in need. Monthly 30% of the profits from the café are donated to select charities that provide support to children’s education, women’s empowerment projects, and assistance to disabled children. Over $40,000 have been donated to date! They’ve created a 10-step environmental awareness program which includes locally sourcing produce, eco rubbish clearing, recycling, and more.
THE LITTLE RED FOX ESPRESSO
Located in my favorite neighborhood of Siem Reap, the ultra-creative Kandal Village, is the spot for the best coffee in Siem Reap, Little Red Fox Espresso (GoogleMaps). There are a few options on the menu at this Siem Reap café that are great options for vegans or vegetarians. I love the tri-grain salad and chickpea toast with spinach — both come with a divine beetroot hummus. They also sometimes have a vegan chocolate chip cookie! Little Red Fox is dedicated to sourcing fresh, seasonal, organic produce from local farmers and serve delicious fair trade coffee.
Little Red Fox is operated by a talented staff of Khmer baristas who’ve received professional hospitality training, English language lessons, and other benefits. They’re also taking care of the community environment with a wide array of eco-friendly initiatives. They’re mostly plastic-free and use biodegradable bags CLEANBODIA and food containers as well as bamboo straws. Anyone can refill their water bottle for free at Little Red Fox as the café is a part of the Refill Not Landfill program. If you’ve acquired some recycling while visiting Siem Reap you can drop it off at the community recycling center outside of Little Red Fox. They compost all of their organic waste as well. Excess oil is donated to NagaEarth which turns the upcycled material into biofuel. Little Red Fox is closed on Wednesdays.
The gorgeous social enterprise eatery Haven is located in the tranquil neighborhood of Wat Damnak (GoogleMaps)is a restaurant that trains marginalized young adults who were living in orphanages. The project began with 25 students in 2011 has expanded annually with 15 additional students to create opportunities for others who are in need of steady employment. The students are also provided with complimentary housing, meals, medical care, a monthly allowance, English and computer lessons.
Haven has some of the freshest vegan meals in town as the chef sources produce directly from the in-house garden and local markets each morning. Local farmers make organic tofu and coconut milk for the restaurant. Other ethical ingredients come from Eggscellent, Three Corner Coffee, and Senteurs d’Angkor.
There are a few items on the unique menu which fuses together Western and Khmer foods that vegans in Siem Reap will love. I went with the vegan version of traditional Khmer amok and it was incredible. They’re also dedicated to preserving the environment by using biodegradable takeaway containers, bags, and cutlery in addition to reusable metal straws. Like the other ethical eateries listed here, Haven donates excess cooking oil to Naga and uses the biofuels they create. Organic waste is used as feed for bigs or compost for the organic garden. Haven is closed on Sunday and is cash only.
SISTER SREY CAFE
Sister Srey Café (GoogleMaps)is a gorgeous social enterprise healthy eatery located on the Siem Reap River. Most of the ingredients used at Sister Srey are organic and chemical-free and sourced from local suppliers such as Bosco Bakery School. The menu has a variety of options for vegans, vegetarians, gluten-free eaters, and other food intolerances or preferences. I love their matcha smoothie bowl and traditional Khmer noodle breakfast soup.
This spot is popular among expats and locals for their excellent food and their ongoing support of young disadvantaged Khmer. Profits from the café helps to provide students training skills in hospitality, and lessons in English, personal development, health, hygiene, and banking. They also make ongoing donations to APOPO, an organization that’s clearing landmines.
Their approach to sustainability includes eco-friendly programs such as sending compostable waste to Green Gecko Farm as they have a waste management system — 90% of the supplies used at Sister Srey are recycled or composted. Here you’ll find bamboo straws and a free water refill station.
Marum (GoogleMaps) is a vocational training restaurant that’s a part of Tree Alliance, an organization dedicated to building a sustainable future for marginalized children in Cambodia who lack any other opportunities. The training restaurant is run by the NGO Kaliyan Mith which supports Khmer children living on the streets. At Marum, there’s also a small social-enterprise shop which offers creative goods from local artisans who utilize recycled materials to create their masterpieces.
The setting offers diners the choice between enjoying their meal in a lush outdoor garden or inside a traditional wooden home. The creative vegan food at Marum is excellent, light, and fresh. It’s tapas style so you can order a few small dishes to share. I tried the refreshing lotus and jackfruit hummus as well as the coconut, beetroot, bamboo, and pumpkin seed salad. Both were exceptional!
Footprint Cafe (GoogleMaps) is a social enterprise that is dedicated to helping local communities. 100% of net profits become grants for local educational projects. Most of the employees are Khmer who receive complimentary training and educational advancements. The café is very digital nomad friendly (Super fast WiFi but limited power outlets) and also has a co-working space on the second level.
Footprint has a lot of vegetarian and vegan-friendly items on the menu which features locally and ethically sourced produce. Every time I went to Footprint I indulged in their various mango dishes — vegan mango pancakes, vegan mango salad, and a vegan burger with mango. They serve fair trade Feel Good Coffee.
JOE TO GO
Joe to Go (GoogleMaps) is a social enterprise café in the heart of Siem Reap near pub street that has a few options on the menu for vegans. The café gives all of its profits to The Global Child which provides education to former children living on the streets. In addition to the restaurant, there’s an art gallery on the second floor that features the work of local artists.
This is a great spot to work for the day if you’re a digital nomad. Unfortunately, they still were using plastic straws as of December 2018 so be sure to ask for no straw, chambaeng te. The coffee is great and I ate the traditional Khmer Amok curry with a side of rice.
VEGAN-FRIENDLY SIEM REAP VEGETARIAN RESTAURANTS EATERIES
BANLLÉ VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT
Chamkar, which means field in Khmer, is a vegetarian restaurant in Siem Reap. There are two locations but the one near pub street (GoogleMaps) is often crowded and doesn’t have WiFi, the outpost on the outskirts of town (GoogleMaps) has a much more inviting environment and WiFi for those who are digital nomads. The vegetarian organic menu has loads of vegan-friendly meatless options. I loved the wedding dip (which is like a thick peanut sauce), the pumpkin curry, and eggplant curry — both of which are served with yummy brown rice.
VEGAN-FRIENDLY SIEM REAP EATERIES
The very best vegan Italian food can be found in Cambodia thanks to an Italian chef who fell in love with Siem Reap and decided to grace the Kingdom of Cambodia with real Italian cuisine. From pizza with vegan cheese to creamy vegan cheese sauces, you won’t get enough of La Pasta (GoogleMaps), trust me! They even make gluten-free pizza. They’ve even managed to find a local vendor who grows real Italian basil.
I was invited to try an array of dishes and honestly can’t choose a favorite. There’s the vegan carbonara with tofu cream sauce, shiitake mushroom ‘bacon’, and black pepper which is absolutely divine. I celebrated Dia de Ñoquis with ñoqui in a rosa sauce made with cashew cream that competes with my abuela’s rendition.
I wanted the tofu mushroom ravioli to last forever due to the creamy alfredo sauce made from cauliflower, almond milk, and vegan parmesan. Go overboard and have a vegan pizza before your pasta, as they do in Italy. It’s so hard to come across actual vegan mozzarella that is melt-in-your-mouth good but La Pasta has perfected this with a hearty dose of Italian basil.
Bang Bang (GoogleMaps) is a super cute cafe has loads of vegan treats available including plant milk for lattes and cappuccinos. You’re in luck if they have the vegan mozzarella in stock (usually comes in on Wednesdays, plan accordingly!) as it is the absolute best. You can enjoy it on a bagel or go all out and get the massive vegan Caprese sandwich — it’s heavenly. Bang Bang always has a few vegan treats and baked goods available. The chocolate cake is the best I’ve ever had and almost too good and too huge to eat alone.
Bang Bang is closed Monday and Tuesday. The space is quite small and there aren’t many comfortable spaces to work so come here for brunch but not for a work session.
ARTillery (GoogleMaps) is a beloved Cambodian cafe that has outposts around the country. The stylish spot has several dishes on the menu that will appeal to vegans including ice cream! ARTillery uses locally-sourced organic ingredients to make yummy meals such as falafel waffles, Mexican wraps, and beetroot hummus. They also have cashew milk for coffee.
Coming across vegan ice cream is such a treat! The gelato selection at Gelato Lab (GoogleMaps) includes a few fruity flavors like passionfruit and dragonfruit which are so refreshing. Bring your own bamboo spoon as they use plastic spoons and the cone is not vegan.
Brother Bong (GoogleMaps) is known for its excellent coffee but the café doesn’t have a super vegan-friendly menu. Go here for the smoothie bowls, but don’t try to make vegan swaps on other dishes as they aren’t very willing to accommodate plant-based diets.
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I was a guest at La Pasta. All opinions and photos are my own. This article contains affiliate links. Please read the Miss Filatelista disclosure policy for more information.