Here we go — covering 20 cities, this is our biggest guide yet to cheesemongers across the United States. Informed by the cheese experts at The Kitchn, tips from commenters, and a little bit of super-fun research, here are our favorite sources for all types of artisan cheeses.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Zingerman's: This Michigan store has its own creamery run by cheesemaker John Loomis. Cheeses are handcrafted in small batches, made with local milk, and can be ordered online. (They also stock several international cheeses if you're looking for an import.)
- Grafton Cheese Village: Vermont has many great creameries, but one of the best is Grafton, an award-winning source for aged artisan cheddar crafted in small batches. They offer online ordering, and — of course — they sell maple syrup, too.
- Formaggio Kitchen: They have locations in New York and Boston, but the Cambridge store claims the original fromagerie. The selection is huge and the staff knows their stuff. You can also shop online for baskets, samplers, knives, and other gift ideas.
Brooklyn, New York
- Bedford Cheese Shop: Bedford is a self-described "old-fashioned cheese shop" in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood. They won New York Magazine's best cheese shop award shortly after opening, and they offer a monthly subscription for cheese nuts.
- Feast: Husband and wife team Kate Collier and Eric Gertner founded Feast with manager Suzannah Kerr in 2002. The New York Times calls it "an artisanal cheese shop, charcuterie and gourmet market that could easily be found in Paris."
- Marion Street Cheese Market: Owned and operated by Eric Larson, this Oak Park cafe and shop has two large cheese counter cases featuring local and imported selections. Knowledgeable cheesemongers staff the store, which also sells plenty of wine for pairing.
- Scardello Cheese: This shop stocks 150 artisan cheeses, including several Texas varities. Founder Rich Rogers was named Best Cheesemonger 2010 by the Dallas Observer and the shop earned high praise for its tasting classes from D Magazine.
- The Truffle Cheese Shop: Denver is home to the American Cheese Society, so it shouldn't be a surprise that the city has some good fromageries. The Truffle Cheese Shop sells handmade small batch cheeses and supplies a long list of local restaurants.
Kansas City, Missouri
- The Better Cheddar: Ron Shalinsky founded the store in 1983, and it has since expanded into two locations and an e-commerce site. The shop carries a wide variety of cheeses and specialty foods, and markets itself as "the largest selection of cheese in at least the four-state area."
Los Angeles, California
- The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills: Founded in 1967, this fromagerie is a famous supplier of high-end LA restaurants including Spago and the Water Grill. There's also a Cheese Store of Silver Lake, which features a similar selection of artisinal cheeses and hard-to-find ingredients.
- Fromagination: If you ever have the chance to tour the Great Wisconsin Cheese Trail, start in Madison and check out this local shop, which was created specifically to "celebrate Wisconsin Artisanal Cheesemakers." Their website has online ordering and more information about featured artisans.
Manhattan, New York
- Murray's Cheese Shop: Self-described as "New York's oldest and best cheese shop," Murray's is a Manhattan institution. The shop is currently owned and operated by Rob Kaufelt and his second-in-command, Liz Thorpe, both experts who have written cheesemaking guides.
- Surdyk's : They market themselves as "the Midwest's largest liquor store since 1934," but they also have a cheese shop that's earned great reviews on ChowHound. The shop is staffed by trained cheesemongers who offer regular classes and tastings.
New Orleans, Louisiana
- St. James Cheese Company: Danielle and Richard Sutton opened this cafe and artisinal cheese shop in 2006, and they stock imports as well as southern cheeses. Food & Wine recommends the "triple-cream goat’s- and cow’s-milk cheeses from Louisiana’s Bittersweet Plantation Dairy."
- Di Bruno Brothers: This shop first opened in Philadelphia's Italian Market in 1939, and they opened their famous "House of Cheese" in 1965. In 2005, they opened a Rittenhouse Square location with a "Cheese Cave," where they feature their signature mozzarellas and Italian cheeses.
- Foster and Dobbs: Husband and wife team Luan Schooler and Tim Wilson have a clear mission to "seek out foods made by people with a passion for quality, integrity, and flavor." Their shop specializes in small batch artisan cheeses and they maintain a cheese blog with recipes and tips.
San Francisco, California
- Cheese Plus: This Russian Hill neighborhood store is owned and operated by Ray Bair, the former director of cheese, wine, and specialty foods for Whole Foods. They stock over 300 varieties, including domestic and international artisinal cheeses.
- Beecher's Handmade Cheese: Located in Seattle's world-famous Pike Place Market, this shop features handcrafted cheeses by Brad Sinko, who — with his apprentices — practices the art of open vat cheesemaking. Curious shoppers can watch the process through a picture window.
St. Louis, Missouri
- The Wine and Cheese Place: This shop has four locations throughout St. Louis, and they specialize in craft beers, artisan cheeses, wines, and spirits. The in-store cheese selection is extensive, but their online catalog is limited to wines only.
- Cowgirl Creamery: This creamery has locations in San Francisco and Washington, DC, where their shop stocks artisinal cheeses, breads, and wines. They carry their own brand (made with organic milk) as well as other small batch domestic and imported cheeses.
• All Cheese & Dairy Stores on Marketplace
• All "Cheesemonger" Columns on the Kitchn
• Best Cheesemongers: Coast to Coast 2009
• The Great American Cheese Plate | Food & Wine
• New and Noteworthy Cheese Shops | Food & Wine
• 5 Best American Cheese Shops | Slashfood
• Do we have an address or listing wrong? Send us an email and let us know!
• Have we missed your favorite fromagerie? Ask us to add it to the guide!
Photo: Formaggio Kitchen, Boston