Menu

"Short stories and travel reports from my life adventures around the globe".

The Little Red Fox Espresso Cafe, Siem Reap.

Little Red Fox Espresso Siem Reap.

The Little Red Fox Espresso Cafe.

May 2020.

Ask me to reveal my favourite Siem Reap restaurant and I might give you a different answer on any given day. But pin me down on the subject of the city’s best coffee and there’ll be no beating around the bush. For the real deal… the bomb… the dog’s bollocks and any other term you might want to apply, look no further than The Little Red Fox. In fact, dig around online and you’ll find several articles claiming this discreetly located cafe is one of the finest coffee spots in all of South East Asia!

Adam Rodwell and David Stirling Little Red Fox Espresso in Siem Reap

Adam Rodwell (left) and David Stirling.

Behind the brilliance of Little Red Fox stands the dashing duo of Adam Rodwell and David Stirling. Both hailing from Australia, they met a decade ago, formed a solid friendship and eventually became travel buddies. Together, they fell in love with Asia, making tracks around Thailand and Singapore.

Adam Rodwell Little Red Fox Espresso Siem Reap

Adam Rodwell, The Little Red Fox Espresso. Cafe

Adam describes his young self as “just your standard hospitality triple threat wannabe”. Spend a little time in his company though, and you’ll realise this is just a dose of Adam’s signature self deprecation. Because, of course, it’s clear that he was actually a gifted barista, bartender and cafe host in the making.

The Little Red Fox Espresso Cafe, Siem Reap.

David Stirling Little Red Fox Siem Reap.

David Stirling, The Little Red Fox Espresso Cafe.

David meanwhile is a highly talented hairdresser who has achieved great renown in his field. He completed a hair colouring degree through the German hair care giants Wella and managed two high end salons called Rokstar, based out of Brisbane.

Adam Rodwell David Stirling Little Red Fox Espresso.

Adam Rodwell and David Stirling.

“A 10 minute special came up for $19.00 tickets to some place called Siem Reap!”

In late 2013 Adam and David were about to return to Thailand for another spell of exploring. However, when David saw an amazing deal for flights to Cambodia, he impulsively snapped up two tickets. “Ha, initially I was not happy with this sudden change of plans”, admits Adam. “But what can I say… the way everything worked out… David has proven me very, very wrong”.

A creamy flat white at Little Red Fox Espresso

The Little Red Fox Espresso Cafe, Siem Reap.

Just like Sladja and I, Adam and David fell for the charms of Siem Reap and soon began wondering how they could stay and earn a living. Get a job in a hotel? Go down the old English teacher route? Finally, it was a comment from an Australian acquaintance that set their minds buzzing: “Dude, you can make coffee!” 

A busy afternoon at Little Red Fox Espresso in Siem Reap

A busy afternoon at Little Red Fox.

After a spell back in Australia, they returned to Cambodia in March 2014 for an extended period of research, planning, sourcing, design and a million other tasks. Then, at long last, Little Red Fox opened its doors in October that year.

The Little Red Fox Espresso, Siem Reap.

A Khmer barista at work Little Red Fox Espresso in Siem Reap

The Little Red Fox Espresso Cafe, Siem Reap.

It didn’t take long for Adam and David to start making waves. Having incorporated a hair salon into the premises, the duo offer a pleasing mix of “addiction downstairs, vanity upstairs”. It was also the first place in Siem Reap to serve cold drip coffee. And the special coffeemaker they use is literally a work of art in its own right.

David Stirling hairdresser Siem Reap.

Photo courtesy of Nicky Sullivan.

Over the years, they have built up a formidable coffee menu that features five different styles of brewing techniques and three types of coffee beans and blends. The focus, insists David, is very much on the highest quality South East Asian beans.

Mystic Mountain, baby!

Mystic Mountain Typica Coffee Beans.

Their most popular blend used to Mystic Mountain Single Origin from the Laos Bolaven Plateau. I’m talking hints of apricots, citrus and toffee. From time to time, David admits, they even had trouble keeping up with stock demand! Unfortunately, this delicious blend that we enjoyed on several other occasions is now unavailable. Their favourite grower in Laos had to hang up his hat in late 2022. This was partly due to the rising costs of exporting it, along with numerous other pressures put upon small farmers in these increasingly tough economic times.

Ginger and Lemongrass Latte Little Red Fox Siem Reap.

The Little Red Fox Espresso Cafe, Siem Reap.

My choice Red Fox coffee was a giant mug of Ginger and Lemongrass Latte. It’s just exceptional, the kind of morning medicine that shakes off the cobwebs and gives you an encouraging boot up the ass for the doings of the day. Furthermore, the guys are famed for their colourful, risqué lattes. Fancy trying Pink BeetrootBlue Butterfly Flower? Yellow Turmeric & Pepper? 

The Little Red Fox Espresso Cafe, Siem Reap.

Coconut Cinnamon Mocha and energy ball Little Red Fox Siem Reap.

Moreover, Sladja has fond memories of their Coconut Cinnamon Mocha. Dense and rich, this thing is like a whole meal in itself! So bring an empty stomach, and perhaps an appetite for reading.

The Breakfast Bagel Little Red Fox Siem Reap

Bow down before the almighty Breakfast Bagel!

Similarly pleasing is Red Fox’s compact but quality-driven food menu. For me, their standout dish is the giant Breakfast Bagel, a towering beast packed with bacon, cream cheese, free-range eggs (fried or scrambled), sliced green olives and cheddar cheese. Should you be so inclined (and I am), one can add extra bacon and spinach!

Little Red Fox Siem Reap.

The Little Red Fox Espresso Cafe, Siem Reap.

Elsewhere, there are omelettes, salads, muesli and smoothie bowls, as well as various cakes. I’d also recommend their toast, which comes with a variety of toppings, such as pesto and crushed avocado. Simple, tasty and healthy.

Khmer pop art Little Red Fox Siem Reap.

The Little Red Fox Espresso Cafe, Siem Reap.

Adam and David have put as much love into the vibe of their cafe as they have with the food and drink. Service is always top-notch and the WIFI ensures it’s a solid place to work. They also play a wide range of excellent music spanning the decades. On the walls, you’ll find a fascinating collection of Khmer pop art dating back to the 50s, 60s and 70s. An atmospheric flavour of Cambodia’s Golden age of rock.

The Little Red Fox Espresso, Siem Reap.

Ros Serey Sothea Cambodian singer

Ros Serey Rothia.

Fascinatingly, Adam and David have scanned prints of lost vinyl covers discovered by a friend’s father. He had buried them for safekeeping during the dark years of The Khmer Rouge. Some of the artists featured include Ros Serey Rothia, known for her romantic ballads. And Sinn Sisamouth, “the king of Khmer rock n’ roll”. Sadly, both artists lost their lives in mysterious circumstances during the genocide years.

There is So Much Life in Here.

The Little Red Fox Espresso Cafe, Siem Reap.

There are a handful of beautiful art books here and there, which add to artsy feel. Having seemingly sculpted the perfect coffee environment, you’d be hard pushed to hear or indeed find a bad word against The Little Red Fox. Perhaps a sneering reference or two to the word “hipsters” from a Facebook troll. But you know what, if being a hipster means enjoying delicious, affordable coffee, friendly service, excellent food, great music and engaging art, just tell me where to sign up!

Little Red Fox Siem Reap.

Update November 2022: I’m delighted to report that Little Red Fox is still going strong as Siem Reap continues to fight back against the dark COVID-19 years. Hip hip, hooray!

For more on Little Red Fox, why not check out their website.

You can also get in touch through their Facebook page.

Leighton Travels travel reports short stories.

For more on Siem Reap’s excellent cafe, restaurant and bar scene, check out my detailed guide on Where to Eat and Drink Siem Reap.

You can also read my exhaustive overview of What to See and Do in Siem Reap.

Looking for a roof over your head? Check out my articles on Where to Stay in Siem Reap.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

Leighton Travels logo travel reports and short stories.

56 Comments

  • Toonsarah

    Oh, this is so our kind of place! Great coffee, quirky decor, friendly vibe – and then more great coffee! I usually like mine dark and strong but could definitely be tempted by a Ginger and Lemongrass Latte!

    November 13, 2022 - 4:47 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      I think the Little Red Fox would handsomely deliver a cup of dark and strong deliciousness for you Sarah. I like mine milky as hell with a spoonful of brown sugar. All their flavoured coffees are exceptional, but the Ginger and Lemongrass wins by a nose.

      November 13, 2022 - 7:21 pm Reply
  • Memo

    Fabulous places like this are seldom part of a chain. They require that personal touch. How many trips would it take to try all the blends and styles? It took me a bit to realize that burying lost vinyl covers could mean more than just hiding them but actually burying them. Glad they saw the light of day. And continue to do so. BTW I’m gaining weight from your food pictures.

    November 13, 2022 - 5:30 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Memo, thanks for dropping by The Little Red Fox. What a treasure chest digging up those old vinyl covers. The story behind those singers is a very dark and heartbreaking one, but great to see their legacies honoured in this special cafe.

      November 13, 2022 - 7:48 pm Reply
  • kagould17

    I’m with you Leighton. Life is too short to drink bad coffee and these two had that figured out. I have never been to two countries that understood good coffee better than Australia and New Zealand. It changed my whole coffee world. The combination of coffee and hairstyle is a bit unusual, but, hey, if it works… That Breakfast Bagel has my name on it. Looks like a great way to get the energy to meet the day. Thanks for another glowing review Leighton. Allan

    November 13, 2022 - 5:35 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Allan, have to concur with all of your sentiments. Thanks for keeping up with the series and reading the story of The Little Red Fox. Ah man that bagel…

      November 13, 2022 - 7:51 pm Reply
  • ThingsHelenLoves

    I love finding a good coffee place. I’m not a foodie- too many can’t-eats and won’t-eats- but coffee is always a friend. Love the look of this place and am glad it still going and growing. Just looked on the website and love the line, ‘ quirky bunch of socially responsible mortal beings here, running a groovy little cafe’. Brilliant!

    November 13, 2022 - 6:24 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Aw, thanks Helen. They are “good people” as my favourite rogue detective in The Wire was fond of saying. Thanks for visiting the Little Red Fox Espresso.

      November 13, 2022 - 7:53 pm Reply
  • Mike and Kellye Hefner

    Wow! The Little Red Fox sounds like an “experience” rather than a coffee house! How could you not go there and spend all day lolling over those fantastic breakfast bagels and coffees? I could spend some serious time doing just that while lazily perusing the art books. Leighton, your posts about Cambodia make me want to hop on a plane. Maybe someday…

    November 13, 2022 - 6:48 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Soooomeday! 🙂 Hope you do Kellye, it is such an underrated part of Asia when it comes to food and drink. People know about the temples of course, but rarely stay long enough to uncover these culinary gems. Thanks for checking out The Little Red Fox.

      November 13, 2022 - 7:57 pm Reply
  • Little Miss Traveller

    Ginger and lemongrass latte sounds divine. I love anything containing ginger!

    November 13, 2022 - 8:19 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      It was amazing Marion, thanks for your comment.

      November 13, 2022 - 8:41 pm Reply
  • Travels Through My Lens

    Oh wow, this place has it all! Great coffee, haircuts, lots of fun funk, great coffee, oh I said that already. Well, I’m a Seattleite at heart, we love our coffee. It’s so encouraging to hear that they survived the pandemic and are going strong. Great post Leighton.

    November 13, 2022 - 8:28 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Tricia, I would LOVE to spend some time unearthing the coffee joints of Seattle. And just see Seattle in general, come to think of it. Maybe make a pilgrimage out to Aberdeen and see the Nirvana sites. Glad you enjoyed the vibe of the Little Red Fox, thanks for reading.

      November 14, 2022 - 11:23 am Reply
      • Travels Through My Lens

        Seattle is a great city, and that’s a completely unbiased opinion. 😉 Aberdeen is an easy drive down I-5, and a halfway point between Seattle and Portland. There’s great coffee in both cities. Just thinking about it makes me homesick!

        November 14, 2022 - 11:46 am
  • wetanddustyroads

    I love a (good) coffee shop… and that’s saying a lot because I don’t even really like coffee that much – I normally go there for the vibe and the smell of great coffee 😊. But I have to admit, just looking at the names of the different coffees, I might put my cup of tea aside! ‘Blue Butterfly Flower’… get me one … and a mega bagel as well please! I’m thrilled to read that the Little Red Fox is still in business – Hip hip, hooray indeed!

    November 13, 2022 - 8:45 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      I’m sure you’d love The Little Red Fox, Corna. I’d clink a Blue Butterfly with you and Berto.

      November 13, 2022 - 9:10 pm Reply
  • thehungrytravellers.blog

    Well, I could DEFINITELY drink their coffee, I could ABSOLUTELY devour the giant bagel, I would lose myself completely in the artwork and music history, I would LOVE to engage in the kind of conversations you had. In fact, the only place I wouldn’t make a great Little Red Fox client is in the upstairs salon!!

    November 13, 2022 - 9:36 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Ha ha, you gave me a giggle there, Phil. Didn’t mention this in the article, but I did have a quick trim one morning after breakfast. David was a wizard with the scissors and didn’t mess around. In fact, I think I went back downstairs for another Ginger and Lemongrass Latte afterwards.

      November 13, 2022 - 9:39 pm Reply
  • Lyssy In The City

    I always love finding a great coffee shop, it’s the perfect way to start the day! Love the saying “addiction downstairs, vanity upstairs” very cute! Glad to hear they’re still open.

    November 14, 2022 - 1:01 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers Lyssy, it is a good tagline isn’t it? I feel they could have done a bit more than that in their marketing, ha.

      November 14, 2022 - 11:27 am Reply
  • Nieves Sanz

    I think I shall make this place my first coffee stop in Siem Reap. Especially as you vouch for those bagels.

    November 14, 2022 - 1:09 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Ah, excellent! Say hi to David from me as I think he is the guy who’s largely at the helm these days. Thanks for reading, as ever, Nieves.

      November 14, 2022 - 11:28 am Reply
  • qprgary

    That breakfast bagel would do me all day but flavoured coffee not sure. Get them to put that bagel in the Blue & White should boost ticket sales 😂😂

    November 14, 2022 - 2:15 am Reply
    • Leighton

      The Hoopsah Bagel, I see potential… 😉 Thanks for swinging by, Gary.

      November 14, 2022 - 11:29 am Reply
  • Rebecca

    I’m not a frequent coffee drinker, but I can’t pass up a hip and quality café that makes drinks from the heart. Little Red Fox is no exception. I do love a good latte from time to time, and the Yellow Turmeric and Pepper latte is calling my name! Glad the place is still standing. 🙂

    November 14, 2022 - 2:39 am Reply
    • Leighton

      A Yellow Tumeric and Pepper Latte coming right up! Thanks for reading Rebecca.

      November 14, 2022 - 11:30 am Reply
  • Anna

    Oh man I wish I knew about this place when in SR… i love a good coffee and these guys seem to know their stuff!

    November 14, 2022 - 3:07 am Reply
    • Leighton

      They are total pros for sure. Appreciate you keeping up with the series, Anna!

      November 14, 2022 - 11:30 am Reply
  • salsaworldtraveler

    This is a very stylish place in more ways than one. Just about everyone from the owners to the employees to the customers have great hair. Looks like a great place to hang out.

    November 14, 2022 - 9:25 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Yes, I do remember a feeling of hair inadequacy washing over me at points. I mean I have the hair, but haven’t sculpted it in any way since I was about 18 😉 Thanks for tapping into the series again, John.

      November 14, 2022 - 11:32 am Reply
  • HEALTH COACH

    Yet another fine cafe/restaurant report for your series. bummer about the mystic mountain blend, I feel more should be done to protect these small farmers from going out of business. its a cruel world sometimes.

    November 14, 2022 - 1:03 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers Health Coach, couldn’t agree more. It’s sad to think about what that farmer had to do after giving up his coffee plantation. As we travel around the world, we always try to keep ourselves stocked up with fair trade blends for our French Press. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      November 14, 2022 - 6:12 pm Reply
  • Amélie

    Another brilliant cafe and story, Leighton. Australians really know their coffee. Plus this place looks like a perfect breakfast/brunch spot. I love the pop art prints on their walls, and it’s great that they managed to rescue from oblivion and honour at least two Khmer artists.

    November 14, 2022 - 6:39 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Amelie, I’m delighted that you chose to swing by the Little Red Fox today. Had it not been for them, I would never even have heard of Ros Serey Sothea or Sinn Sisamouth.

      November 14, 2022 - 8:22 pm Reply
  • HEALTH COACH

    Oh forgot to mention that I have shared your menu page for this series. keep up the good work!

    November 14, 2022 - 6:54 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers, Health Coach!

      November 14, 2022 - 8:27 pm Reply
  • grandmisadventures

    I love that they combined talents to make such a great place. Good coffee, check- cool artwork, check- stylish haircut, check- and the most hunger inducing breakfast bagel ever, double check. I’m really glad that they are still going strong 🙂

    November 14, 2022 - 7:35 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for taking a look at The Little Red Fox, Meg. Yup, it’s all ‘checks’ with these guys, they really know what they’re doing. Hope all is well with you and the family in Tennessee. It’s getting cold here in Georgia, but it’s all good, we feel ready for a cosy winter.

      November 14, 2022 - 8:25 pm Reply
      • grandmisadventures

        I love this time of year when it’s cold outside but you snuggle up with a hot drink and movie inside. I hope all is well with you too 🙂

        November 14, 2022 - 11:05 pm
  • Monkey's Tale

    I always want to know where the best coffee is in a city. This one sounds like a great place to hang out too. Maggie

    November 14, 2022 - 9:05 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers, Maggie.

      November 14, 2022 - 9:07 pm Reply
  • Laura

    This place looks divine and I am in love with their slogan: “Addiction downstairs, vanity upstairs” LOL. The coconut cinnamon mocha would be right up my alley- yum! 💕☕

    November 15, 2022 - 2:44 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks, Laura, for dropping by The Little Red Fox!

      November 15, 2022 - 8:48 am Reply
  • ourcrossings

    I don’t drink coffee but I love looking out for coffee shops with unique and interesting interiors. There was a used book cafe in Ghent where the walls were lined with thousands of used books, which could be bought for 2€ or swapped for 1€ or even for free if you leave your name and a message in the book. Aiva xx

    November 15, 2022 - 2:47 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Aiva, I feel that a beautifully crafted cafe space is good for the soul. They tend to do these things very well in Belgium, as I recall visiting a place in Leuven that sounds similar to the cafe you describe in Ghent. Thanks for dropping by and reading about The Little Red Fox!

      November 15, 2022 - 3:00 pm Reply
  • WanderingCanadians

    I can almost smell the fresh scent of coffee from looking through your pictures. The coconut cinnamon mocha sounds heavenly. The Little Red Fox sounds like it has such a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. Glad to hear it’s still up and running post-pandemic.

    November 15, 2022 - 5:11 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers guys, the CCM was one of the most dense drinks I’ve ever had. Like chocolate, cinnamon and coconut tar! Thanks for stopping by.

      November 15, 2022 - 5:30 pm Reply
  • NortheastAllie

    This place looks amazing and the Mystic Mountain blend sounds incredible!

    November 15, 2022 - 11:37 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Yeah, it was a fantastic blend Allie, such a pity that the farmer couldn’t continue to export it. Thanks for catching up with the series!

      November 16, 2022 - 12:02 am Reply
  • Lookoom

    You really go the extra mile, drinking a coffee turns into a multi-generational journey, great job!

    November 16, 2022 - 7:52 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for checking out the Little Red Fox!

      November 16, 2022 - 10:29 am Reply
  • Sienna Vega

    Great cafe, amazing coffee. I went there almost every day while in SR. The food is delicious. So cool to learn more about the owners and their business ethic. It’s good to know that your coffee is made and served by good people. Thanks for sharing. **Sienna**

    November 16, 2022 - 10:00 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Sienna, thanks for reading. So glad you also got to enjoy the many joys of Little Red Fox.

      November 16, 2022 - 10:45 am Reply
  • Echukwudike

    Very good 👍

    November 17, 2022 - 2:29 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for your comment!

      November 26, 2022 - 10:51 pm Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: