Best Street Food Sihanoukville in 2024

Street Food Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville is famous, or rather infamous for a number of things from unfinished buildings to genuinely serious crimes, but does it still have any charm and is there a culinary and street food Sihanoukville scene?

The answer is that while the city has lost a lot of its charm while trying to convert itself into a Chinese version of Macau, it does still have some charms, particularly with regards to street food.

What the Sihanoukville?

Sihanoukville City, or to be more precise Preah Sihanouk is a costal city in Cambodia named after the former head of state (among other things) King Sihanouk. Fun fact this chap was formerly best friends with Kim Il-Sung.

Aside from that it is also the second most important Cambodian city, home to 75,000 people and also famous for its crime.

There are though nice beaches here and it is the gateway to the joys that are Koh Rong, and Koh Rong Sanloem. You can also get to Koh Kong from here, the next “destination” the Chinese are building.

Sihanoukville a gangster town?

Driving around this city you will notice that 3/4 buildings are unfinished and the writing is all in Chinese. This is part of the great sale of Sihanoukville to China in the late naughtiest and early 10’s that turned the city from one where there was a great expat scene to one where Chinese now dominate.

This is of course not say that the Chinese are bad, but the reality now in the city is that not only will these buildings likely never be finished, but that it is truly unlikely to ever be the “New Vegas”.

Aside from this there has also been huge controversy with regards to “black” call centers where people are kept in slave like conditions. Probably enough said about that the better.

Food in Sihanoukville

So, while I have concentrated on the bad of Sihanoukville, specifically with regards to the Chinese influence that is not to say that it is all bad, with the food of Sihanoukville making it worth the visit itself.

Firstly Chinese food here is amazing and as good as you would get in China itself – something I will review in more detail…

There are also very good Khmer seafood and regular restaurants, local, Chinese and even Indonesian street food, as well as high end restaurants that are in the most part linked to the casino out here. There is though a dearth of western food, with then city no longer as popular as it once was with “barang”.

Best street food Sihanoukville at Otres Beach

Of course the best street food in this city os based around seafood and in particular the excellent squid that is available throughout the country. And the best fried squid is found at Otres Beach. Here vendors will set up camp with their carts and laid out tables quite literally on the beach. Here you do your order, they deliver and you eat it next to the ocean.

While enjoying said succulent meal kids will come past offering stuff like jack fruit and overall you will not want for much.

Quite honestly this is some of the best squid I have every had, knocking Phnom Penh squid off the chart. Does it beat Thailand? Probably not, but that does not take away from the quality.

The beach further offers a great array of other Sihanoukville street foods,. Covering everything from oysters to ice-cream, fresh juices and the fertilized duck egg “pong tia cun”. You cannot alas buy the pong muan ang.

And lastly there are some great restaurants further down the beach which offer higher end seafood on the beach, but still qualify as street food Sihanoukville.

Street Food Sihanoukville – Best of the rest

I will give the Chinese food of Sihanoukville its own article and instead concentrate on the street foods you can throughout Sihanoukville. The Khmer BBQ is excellent, cheap and popular here, as well as being rather colorful!

Next down from this is lort cha, or rather friend noodles, as well as fried rice. As expected these are at their best when served with fresh squid, shrimp and other seafood, with the level of spice being buyers choice…..

So, overall the Street Food Sihanoukville scene is enough to keep you entertained for a few days, or at least until you can get out to somewhere a little more jazzy, such as Koh Rong, or one of the other islands.

You can check out my bespoke Cambodia tours here.