As we’ve mentioned before, eating gluten free in Asia can be frustrating and sometimes leaves you wanting more (read: HANGRY). So before you shed anymore tears, let us introduce to Siem Reap: our favorite little getaway. Siem Reap is located in northwestern Cambodia and is a painting come to life. It is the perfect amount of French influence mixed with Khmer culture and pride. As an added bonus, since it is a hot spot for tourist there are a lot of up and coming gluten free options.
As a rule, when we travel to new countries and scope out of the gluten free choices, we try to reach out to the restaurant prior to traveling. This helps us gauge what level of understanding they have of gluten free food preparation and as well as scope out the menu to see what we would be interested in. Here are the places we researched and some short reviews of the places we tried.
Another bonus for our vegan/vegetarian friends: Siem Reap has a lot of options for you!
Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw, & Gluten Free Options located right on Wat Bo Road. Open most day from 0730-2100 (only open until 1600 on Wednesdays).
Right away this place looks adorable. They have an indoor/outdoor seating area with a small area that sells local and sustainable goods. The menu clearly states what is vegan, raw, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, and paleo. What more could we want? Oh wait, there is more. They also give out free cards explaining your allergy in both English and Khmer. Shook-ith. In addition ARTillery supports local growth, be it farmers or their art community. They are well practiced in consistently trying to improve their environment impact efforts.
More of coffee only in the morning people (less we get heart palpitations), we opted for a Chai Latte, a pressed juice, fresh coconut, and smoothie. They provided us with the a humus dip on carrots as a free starter and we were shockingly surprised with how delicious they were. We each picked a different kind of meal (gluten-full, gluten-free, and dairy-free). All the food was very satisfying. We loved this place so much we came back twice.
Definitely check out their ice cream and macro bowls (you can build your own) for something refreshing. The big guy in our group agrees that the sandwiches are filling. There was also high praise for the Hearty Stir Fry with Chicken and the Grilled Tuna.
As an added bonus, the place serves alcohol and a cold white wine was super refreshing with lunch after a busy morning.
They have vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options and their coffee is fantastic. Only open 0700-1600/1800 depending on the day.
If you want to try some local food for lunch, look no farther than Brother Bong Café. After being in Siem Reap for a full day, we quickly learned they like the indoor/outdoor seating arrangements and this was no exception (read: bring your bug spray on this trip).
The great thing about Brother Bong is that there were a lot of Khmer options. Although we found Siem Reap to have a lot of gluten free options, it lacked local flavor.
100% vegan with gluten free, raw and sugar free options. They have an allergy warning about cross contamination, but we didn’t have any issues. Bowls, gluten free marked on menu. Open 0730-1630.
Before coming here we confirmed that it would be safe. The reply back was exactly what we wanted to hear (changing of gloves, different pans, etc). When we went to order the waitress spoke little English and did not seem to understand our gluten free request. We asked for a manager. The manager 100% understood and confirmed the food would be safe and we didn’t have any issues with the food. Don’t be afraid to ask for management, especially in countries where English is not well understood by all.
We started with cauliflower BBQ bites. Being that everything we ordered was gluten free and vegan we found our food fell apart quite easily. The tacos were good, but we found ourselves still hungry after eating here, but then again we normally eat Western-sized meals. We recommend getting a few plates to make sure you get your fill. We didn’t mind eating a few extra pancakes to help fill us up.
They have the best Kombucha we found in Siem Reap, so much so that we made a second trip back during a shopping outing just to get some more.
Don’t walk, run to breakfast here. Open from 0700-1800. We wish we would have tried this place sooner. The food is wonderful, the coffee is yummy. They go above and beyond to contribute back to the community by helping local students, committing to safety initiatives (i.e the landmine problem), and support other small businesses. We mean… please just take our money.
On top of having a killer hash breakfast and a super friendly staff, the ice coffee was great and then we saw they had Kombucha and we had to give that a go. Yum!
We will be visiting Sister Srey again.
They have an entire gluten free menu
We stopped by this place, but we weren’t really in the mood for Italian. They have a special fryer, but we did not confirm the how the pizza is cooked because it totally slipped our minds (we obviously were not in the mood for Italian). It’s on our list to try next time.
We did a quick stop in for some gelato and it was a lifesaver on a hot afternoon. Spoke to the owner of Gelato Lab, who is also the owner of the Italian Restaurant Il Vicolo, and said there are multiple gluten free options there as well. We did not end up going there for dinner, and didn’t ask in detail about how the food was prepared.
Really enjoyed this place for a little bit of Mexican, but after a check up, it appears this place has been sold. The new owner has not yet taken over the Facebook page and the previous owner does not know if they are keeping up the gluten free standards and options. For your safety, make sure to check with the new owners before you chow down.
Blossom cakes/Bloom café
We were sad that this place is now officially closed.
We didn’t get to go to these places, but were told they are suppose to have gluten free options. All three state to ask the server and they will be able to help you navigate the menu for what can safely be made gluten free.
Hope you find our tips helpful! One more thing before we go: if you have any questions about how the food is prepared and what options each place has for you we suggest sending the restaurant a message on Facebook. A lot of small businesses in Asia rely heavily on Facebook as there official website and means of communication. When in doubt, just reach out! They tend to respond pretty quickly!
Disclaimer: Our Celiac has very severe reactions to the smallest cross contamination and because of that, we do not take many risks. There were certainly other options, but these were the places we felt comfortable eating at.