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“Best place for Mexican food and a view”
Review of Cantina - CLOSED

Cantina
Price range: $5 - $10
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view
Dining options: Late Night
Description: Cambodia's oldest Mexican restaurant. Tortillas and salsa made fresh daily.
Reviewed April 9, 2013

Cantina Bar and its owner, Hurley, are a bit of a Phnom Penh institution. It was one of the first places in town to serve Mexican food and is still one of the best choices. I especially love his soft tacos. He also has Pacifico Beer and a good selection of tequilas. I especially enjoy sitting out front and watching the river and the people. The service used to be pretty bad but may have improved. I have only been once since returning to Phnom Penh after a one year absence, so it is too soon to tell. Opens at about 3:30PM, although he has experimented with lunch in the past.

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Thank WalterM377
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (79)
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43 - 47 of 79 reviews

Reviewed April 7, 2013

I love the energy of a good Mexican restaurant, the family atmosphere, the everyone is welcome atmosphere. This one's a bit different.

I used to go here for the margaritas because they used good tequila and the most basic, authentic simple formula- 100% totally satisfying. One does the trick. Then I founf I could ask for the same thing at other restaurants along this strip and they would make it pretty much the same way- good tequila, fresh lime, cointreau, nada mas..... for about 1/2 the price. But that is not whay I left. The real reason I left is because the atmosphere was so spotty. Occasionally with the owner gone, the girls would be more natural, more lively and the place seemed normal. Then it would transform itself into an expat bar where regulars gather around an owner's table with the same regulars and the girls seemed under pressure to cater to this group - nervous and not easy to engage. This "quien es mas expat" atmosphere I found overbearing.It's is located where all the tourists go. If you want an expat hideway - hide it somewhere. That would be most authentic. Then I could understand this approach.

But to be fair - it probably is a good place to get drunk with other English speaking people especially late at night.

The food seems decent for the price and there is a focus on good quality ingredients. The quesadilllas and other hot dishes are served up on steaming cast iron plates and generally good, although the sauces and jalapenos are dished out sparingly, in fact way too sparingly. If you ask for more, you may be charged extra! This restaurant is just a few years old so don't feel like you are treading on sacred ground just yet. As far as the Mexican food, it will probably suffice for somewhat of a Mexican food fix, although the price will be higher, the better ingredients (for Cambodia) are probably worth it - the menu does not have all the choices of a normal Mexican restaurant but seems to succeed with many dishes- it's just this 'cool expat' attitude here that is tiresome and the last thing I look for in Cambodia.

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Thank TominCambodia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

A place you could walk passed and miss yet would regret that you did if you went inside.. aswell as great mexican food, amazing tequila's and a warm welcome, this place reaps history..with original photos by Al Rockoff (wikipedia him) of the Khmer Rouger entering Phnom Phen in 75, front line war shots, scenes from the City of Ghosts and the clock and sign at the end of the bar made from original M16's and AK47's - barrels bent and de-commissioned of course..!! - more than worth a cold beer, taco and browse. - ps the old guy in the bell boy uniform who hangs around outside is the guy who plays the bell boy in the City of Ghosts... still living the dream...respect..!!

Thank Jem P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2013

It is so nice to get Mexican food in PP. I look forward to my meals here when in town. Reasonable, yummy and always pleasant. Good margaritas too.

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Thank Portland_OregonKelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2013

Was recommended to visit by some other people we met, all the food was home made even the tortillas; we thought it was really good and tasty and would recommend to others, drinks reasonable too

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Thank Macs-on-the-move
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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