There are not a huge number of restaurants to choose from in Battambang, but nearly all are bustling when open. Most guesthouses and hotels have their own restaurants catering more towards travellers, but in the central area there are a couple of quirky, quality options.
Despite a surprising lack of food vendors compared to other Asian counterparts, a small food market does emerge every night on the riverfront near the museum, although the focus is mainly on barbequed meats, fresh juices and fried insects. Around Psar Nath there are a few daytime vendors of dubious quality, with spam baguettes a curious favourite.
Recommended Battambang restaurants and dining
The Bamboo Train: A mainly Khmer offering with a few popular Western dishes such as pizzas and burgers, the banana flower and green mango salads are great Cambodian fare. Good range of spirits and one of the few pool tables in town.
Chinese Noodle Restaurant: Just down the street from White Rose, heading towards the river, this is the place to go for cheap noodles and Chinese soups – the best option for an authentic local breakfast of fresh meat and Kuey Teo (noodle soup).
The Bungalow Guesthouse Restaurant: The restaurant and bar of the attached guesthouse features a large menu of Khmer and Western favourites, comfortable seating, and a decent cup of coffee.
White Rose: A Battambang institution on a prime corner location in the middle of the central dining area. Always crowded and hugely popular with locals and tourists alike, the menu is comprehensive but uninspiring. They do a fine line in desserts and ice creams, and also take-away service.
Bus Stop Guesthouse: The intimate downstairs bar of the guesthouse features a big screen playing live sports. This Australian run establishment does the best pub food in Battambang, with mammoth burgers, schnitzels and bangers and mash, making it popular with the tiny expat community.
Smokin Pot: Not the hippy hangout the name suggests, but rather an excellent Thai-style restaurant run by local personality Vannak. Although slightly more expensive than White Rose and the noodle shops across the road, definitely worth the extra. They also run highly recommended cooking classes.
Fresh Eats: Dining for a cause at this vocational training establishment run a by a local NGO, with all-day breakfast and complementary WiFi.
Khmer Delight Restaurant: A large range of good-value Asian-Western fusion dishes and some of the best look lak and amok in town, you can also find Indonesian, French and Italian dishes, with a delicious lasagne the highlight. The portions are huge, as is the range of local fruit shake.
Sunrise Coffee House: Next to the Royal Hotel is Battambang’s only true coffee shop. Grab one of the prized outside seats for a full Western breakfast and decent street watching, complimented by real coffee and a cinnamon roll.
Recommended Battambang bars and nightlife
Bars are few and far between aside from the boutique watering holes at La Villa and Riverside, and Battambang is definitely not a party town, though its one nightclub Sky Disco is always fun for a boogie with younger Khmers. Opening hours are generally as listed, but most places are will stay open as long as there are customers.
La Villa: The best fine dining option in the city, the romantic location across the river at a restored 1930s colonial estate house is the epitome of chic. A fully air-conditioned restaurant with a large garden patio, La Villa features quality Asian and European dishes. There is also a reasonably priced wine list and a decent range of cocktails, while the bar is famous for its Cambodian cognac, distilled just outside of Battambang.
Riverside Balcony: Along with La Villa, the best bars in Battambang. A little way out of town but well worth the moto ride, this western run bar in an old wooden house offers sweeping views of a quiet stretch of river, where a large patio, pool table and sizeable meals draw a steady stream of regulars.
Sky Disco: The (only) place to go in Battambang for some late evening hip shaking and serious drinking, with a nightly DJ playing a uniquely Cambodian mix of hip-hop, dance and Khmer ballads.