There were two must-dos on our itinerary when we visited Siem Reap, Cambodia. The first was obvious: Angkor Wat. The second was scoping out the vegan scene in the city, which we were surprised to find is actually quite sizable. Based on the recommendation of friends familiar with Siem Reap, we headed to the Peace Cafe, and were not disappointed.
Although the breakfast menu, which included a tempting tofu scramble, looked delicious, we opted for something more fitting for dinner. The wide-ranging menu serves up a variety of Western and Asian dishes: Italian panini and pasta; Indonesian gado gado; Japanese sushi; Thai curries; and of course, amok, a local Khmer favorite.
Set within a beautiful, peaceful garden, the Peace Cafe offers yummy, reasonably priced meals. Mindy ordered the sweet-sounding pineapple chickpea curry, whereas Ligeia chose the gado gado, a meal she loves from the Moosewood Cookbook. Since we found the portion sizes to be on the small side, we also devoured the fresh spring rolls and even got a dessert to share.
With our vegan restrictions, a few things set the Peace Cafe apart from other restaurants. Substitutions didn’t seem to scare away the kitchen staff, as soy milk could easily replace the milk in drinks, and sweetened coconut milk was an advertised alternative to the condensed milk in the local delicacy, kachang.
In addition to its great food and relaxing ambience, the Peace Cafe hosts free Khmer lessons on the weekend, daily yoga classes, cooking classes, monk chat, and even has a meditation hut on site. There’s also a good sized fair trade store next to the kitchen, where you can buy the cutest salt and pepper shakers.
Overall, we give the Peace Cafe big thumbs up and the next time we’re in Siem Reap, we’ll definitely return, perhaps for breakfast, to try more items from the menu.