Dining in Siem Reap is not a pricey affair. The major hotels all have fine upscale eateries, and there are also several good free-standing spots. The area around the Old Market is a cluster of storefronts, most of little distinction from one another, but all are affordable and laid-back.
Dining at the Temples
Across the busy parking lot closest to Angkor Wat, you're sure to spot the snazzy Angkor Café (tel. 063/380-300). This little gallery and souvenir shop serves, for a mint by Khmer standards, good coffee, tea, and sandwiches, all of which is provided by the folks at Blue Pumpkin. It's the best thing going on the Angkor compound, and, apart from the good food, the building is air-conditioned, great for a break at midday. Don't miss their attached boutique, with high-end silver and stone reproductions of the temples as well as silk and other souvenirs. Open daily from 8am to 5:30pm. No credit cards.
Among all the major temples, you'll see lots of small, thatch-roofed eateries, and all will implore you to enter. The competition means that you have more leverage when haggling: "Are you sure this Coke is $2? Someone over there said it was . . ." You get the picture. You'll be swarmed by vendors when you approach these restaurants. Just pick one quickly and the rest will split. Prices are slightly inflated, but it's a tourist sight and people need to make a living (and probably have to pay some heavy kickbacks). A few bucks will get you fried rice, noodles, or vegetables. Most of these places have shaded hammock areas out back (mostly for drivers, but a good place to rest) and basic toilets. Carrying your own antiseptic hand sanitizer is a good idea.