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Could a portion of South Philly become ‘Cambodia Town’?

With an increase in Cambodian immigrants in Philadelphia, could a portion of South Philly be renamed as “Cambodia Town”?


Pictured here is a new Cambodian restaurant that opened earlier this year on 7th Street.

Some believe that a portion of the neighborhood, some specifically stating the boundaries of 6th Street and 7th Street between Morris and Oregon, should be renamed as such based on the increase of Cambodian immigrants and culture.

More from The Inquirer:

On sunny weekend afternoons, in the shadow of an ornate, golden Buddhist temple, Mifflin Square in South Philadelphia is dotted with charcoal grills, chile-lacquered chicken wings, and thin-sliced fatty beef heavily seasoned with lemongrass sputtering over the coals. Women pound chilies, garlic, and dried shrimp to a paste to season the snappy unripe papaya for the lime-drenched salads they sell to passersby.

This is what some people call Cambodia Town, where these authentic street foods sell for $1, and where there’s an effort afoot to make the title official. Though there are other places throughout the city that are rich in Cambodian culture – similar vendors sell snacks in Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, and there’s a new temple under construction in Southwest Philadelphia – the area around Mifflin Square is the heart of this community. Business owners, city officials, and Cambodian Americans think it’s time to raise the profile of their culture – especially its bold, bright, and balanced cuisine.

Councilman Squilla agrees that a Cambodia Town would be beneficial to the community and has been helping to connect Cambodian business owners to resources in the city. To make this possible, there would need to be a formal business association and eventually a Business Improvement District for the area.

What do you think of having Cambodia Town in South Philly?


6 Responses to Could a portion of South Philly become ‘Cambodia Town’?

  1. bobby May 20, 2015 at 12:50 pm #


  2. tumham May 20, 2015 at 10:20 pm #


  3. Devin May 22, 2015 at 9:06 am #

    Awesome idea, this would be a great way to boost the community and visitors to the neighborhood.

  4. Joe May 22, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    No thanks.

  5. kevin May 23, 2015 at 12:01 am #

    “Cambodia Town is the official name for a roughly one mile long business corridor in Long Beach, California.The area has numerous Cambodian restaurants, clothing stores, and jewelry stores, as well as churches, temples, and service centers for Cambodian-Americans . There are many other businesses in the area, such as auto repair shops, that are Cambodian-owned.
    Known as the “Cambodian capital of the United States”, Long Beach has 19,998 residents of Cambodian descent (4% of the city’s population). It is believed to be home to the second largest population of Cambodian immigrants outside Southeast Asia, after the city of Paris, France.”

  6. philly earthly May 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    where these authentic street foods sell for $1

    Um, isn’t that illegal? Pretty sure vendor carts and food trucks have to be licensed and this kind of street food aside from dodging license fees and taxes could be prepared without adequate hygiene and make people sick. The rules, laws, and taxes of Philly should apply equally to everybody who lives here.

    Before peeps who’ve never been flock to this area for the culture it is fair to warn them it is an extremely blighted and scary neighborhood where most doors and windows are covered roll down gates and based on the number of satellite dishes and electrical meters most buildings have been subdivided into as many units as possible. It is ugly smelly and dirty, too.

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