You wouldn’t know from first glance but the capital city of Cambodia has a booming nightlife scene just as cool as anything back in the western world.
Do yourself a favor and leap into a night full of hipster delight amongst expats and locals alike. From high-class speakeasies to alternative dive bars and the new rage of microbars that have taken Phnom Penh by storm – you would swear you’ve been transported to New York.
Although a lot of travellers seem to pass through this inconspicuous city, you’re doing yourself and your taste buds a real disfavor if you haven’t checked out the incredible bars below.
There’s something to say about nostalgia, cheap drinks, vinyl and alternative scenes. In every great city, if you look hard enough you will find a little watering hole that not only fits your wallet but will feel like a slice of home. Whether you’re into art, craft beer or heavy metal, you can’t go wrong with these budget-friendly dive bars.
Show Box is a hipster haven with an underground vibe that you’ll want to go back to time and time again. They host art exhibits, poetry slams, open-mic nights as well as an array of live sets and DJs making the place vibrantly alive each night.
It’s both a bar and restaurant doubling as a community art-space with free beer every day from 6:30-7:00PM. Vintage couches, graffiti on the walls and an outdoor area; you’ll be sure to meet an eclectic mix of travellers, local artists and expats.
Address: #11 Street 330, Boeung Keng Kang 2 Commune
If there’s one thing I love, it’s cheap drinks, cool vibes with heavy metal played on vinyl all night. If you’ve never gotten over the 70s and 80s, you’ll love Zeppelin Café. With their new and larger space, you’ll be transcended back to the good ol’ days with retro furniture, a plethora of records to drool over as well as a pool table and a stage for live performances.
Address: #13 Street 278, Phnom Penh
Although trendy and reasonably known given its location in the Russian Market, this spot shouldn’t be missed. With over 170 vinyls on deck, live sets, over 65 types of whisky, craft beers and cocktails for every taste bud – you’ve got everything you need and then some.
If you’re craving some food with all those drinks, they’ve got you covered too with many options to choose from including vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Address: #86, street 450 Russian Market
Long After Dark
This speakeasy hosts a great list of cocktails and wines in a dark and smoky setting fitting the speakeasy vibe down to a T. The location is hidden down an alleyway, smoking is permitted and if you want to be where all the hipsters are, this is the place for you.
Address: 32EO, Street 240, Phnom Penh – down the dark alley
If you want the ultimate speakeasy experience, behind the Coca Cola machine, you will find Battbong where you can order tapas and drinks in a cozy and dim lit setting with chilled out music.
Address: 132 Z13, 51 St 55
If you like to dance, look no further than Doors where the décor is vintage and street art is hung on the walls. Here you can enjoy every genre of music, which is different by the day. They host life music by local and international artists with a heavy sound system and large dance floor to ensure you don’t spill your exclusive cocktail created by mixologist Dan Hassan.
Address: No. 18 Street, 47 & 48
Microbars have become all the rage and “stylish boozing” is the adulting version of the mid 20s hipster. Microbars are tiny little specialty bars decorated just right with top quality drinks and dishes left to leave your taste buds soaring (for a price of course – but trust me, its worth it.)
Four words: Head straight to Bassac Lane.
Address: Street 308 (Bassac Lane)
Love Books? This cozy microbar is full of them and their cocktails are some of the best in Phnom Penh. Be sure to try their espresso martini and passion fruit spirit.
Half micro bar, half motorcycle showroom, this badass microbar dishes out cool rides, fresh local beers and an array of cocktails.
Address: 44 Bassac Lane
Stop by this classy and elegantly designed micro bar for the best gins from around the world. Their kaffir lime leaf gin is beyond delicious.
Feature image: Exploring the night markets and bars in Phnom Penh. Photo credit: Anthony Tong Lee
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