Outside of the casinos and a couple of street-side noodle stalls there is a surprising lack of dining options in Poipet, generally because nobody tends to linger longer than possible here, and that package tours have their own cafes further inland where rest stops are made. The various casinos are the best place for a decent meal, mainly Thai or Chinese buffet-style. There is even a fake Starbucks. Some impose dress codes so your full-moon party t-shirt may not be the best choice of attire.
During the day it is difficult to find anything open, with most guesthouse kitchens and food stalls opening around 17:00 for overnighters and locals. On the main road there a few random noodle vendors, including one reasonable Vietnamese pho (noodle soup) stand on the right-hand side around 300m from the border.
Around the bus terminal(s) and any transport hub there are always some form of sustenance, and near the market there is also a smattering of food stands of questionable quality. All of these stalls take Thai baht, with meals usually costing no more than 30 baht.
There is one convenience store, similar to a 7-11, around 200m past the border. If you have failed to stock up on anything that you may need for your onward journey on the Thai side then this is an option, but the rugby scrum of touts can make for slow progress. Far better to stop at one of the stalls that are set up along the walk between immigration points – here you can buy drinks, Pringles, snacks and cigarettes very cheaply (100-150 baht per carton).
Recommended Poipet restaurants
Capitol Restaurant: Run by the bus/ guesthouse/ travel monopoly that is one of Cambodia’s most dominant, this restaurant hosts many package tour buses from Bangkok as they prepare for onward travel to Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. Surprisingly and pleasantly air conditioned, offering the usual Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese staples, the fried rice will set you back US$3.
Casino restaurants in Poipet
Of the eight casinos along the strip, Holiday Palace and Crown Casino have the best food, both offering a variety of all night eating options. Of course, all have bars that open 24hrs meaning you’ll never go thirsty. Away from the casinos, there are no bars that are recommended.
Holiday Palace Casino: Multiple dining options, including a reasonable breakfast and a faux-Starbucks that has coffee and bakery snacks. The main restaurant is Thai and will not win any Michelin awards, the Japanese and Chinese restaurants are slightly better.
Crown Resort Casino: Crown Resort is one of the better restaurants in the Casino zone, offering Thai-Western fusion fare. Well presented and clean with refreshingly friendly, welcoming staff.
More on where to eat in Poipet
The stall next to immigration, which serves lengthy and sweaty queues, sells warm, overpriced soft drinks and beers for frustrated lines of travellers. Outside of the casinos, wandering the streets at night or drinking in the town is not recommended.
If travelling by yourself, Sisophon (48km east), sits at the crossroads for travel to Battambang or Siem Reap and offers a wider and generally better range of restaurants, all conveniently located on the main road or near the central market, which also has a decent range of fresh fruit and baguettes in the morning. Many bus tours stop here, ostensibly as an excuse to delay your arrival in Siem Reap but also because the food is simply better.