For cheese enthusiasts, there’s nothing quite like the experience of exploring an artisan cheese shop. These shops offer a curated selection of the finest cheeses, often produced by local dairies using traditional methods. Visiting these stores allows you to discover new flavors, learn from knowledgeable cheesemongers, and support small-scale producers. In this guide, we’ll take you on a tour of some of the best artisan cheese shops across the United States.

1. Murray’s Cheese – New York, NY

About Murray’s Cheese: Established in 1940, Murray’s Cheese is a staple in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Renowned for its vast selection and expert staff, Murray’s has become synonymous with quality cheese.

Unique Offerings: Murray’s Cheese offers over 300 types of cheese, including rare and exclusive varieties. Their cave-aged cheeses are a must-try, aged to perfection in their very own cheese caves beneath the shop.

Cheesemonger Insights: Murray’s is known for its knowledgeable staff, who can guide you through their extensive selection and help you find the perfect cheese for any occasion.

2. Cowgirl Creamery – Point Reyes Station, CA

About Cowgirl Creamery: Nestled in the heart of Marin County, Cowgirl Creamery is a pioneer in the American artisan cheese movement. Founded in 1997, it has gained national acclaim for its organic, hand-crafted cheeses.

Unique Offerings: Signature cheeses like Mt. Tam and Red Hawk have garnered numerous awards and are favorites among cheese lovers. The shop also offers a variety of other locally produced cheeses and dairy products.

Cheesemonger Insights: Visiting Cowgirl Creamery offers the unique opportunity to see the cheese-making process up close. Their friendly staff is always eager to share stories and insights about their cheeses.

3. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese – Seattle, WA & New York, NY

About Beecher’s Handmade Cheese: With locations in Seattle’s Pike Place Market and New York City’s Flatiron District, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is famous for its commitment to pure, all-natural ingredients.

Unique Offerings: Flagship cheese, a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese, is a must-try. Beecher’s also offers a variety of artisanal cheeses, including fresh curds and aged specialties.

Cheesemonger Insights: Beecher’s prides itself on transparency and quality. Visitors can watch the cheese-making process through the shop’s large windows and sample a wide range of delicious cheeses.

4. Di Bruno Bros. – Philadelphia, PA

About Di Bruno Bros.: Since 1939, Di Bruno Bros. has been a cornerstone of Philadelphia’s Italian Market. This family-owned business has grown into a culinary destination, renowned for its extensive cheese selection.

Unique Offerings: Di Bruno Bros. features a curated selection of domestic and imported cheeses, along with house-made specialties like truffle honey and marinated olives.

Cheesemonger Insights: The staff at Di Bruno Bros. are passionate about cheese and eager to share their knowledge. Their guided tastings and cheese pairing suggestions are not to be missed.

5. Cheese Board Collective – Berkeley, CA

About Cheese Board Collective: A beloved institution in Berkeley, Cheese Board Collective is a worker-owned cooperative that has been serving the community since 1971. Known for its welcoming atmosphere and exceptional cheese selection, it’s a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Unique Offerings: Cheese Board Collective offers a rotating selection of around 400 cheeses, with a focus on small-batch, artisan varieties. Their selection includes everything from fresh chèvre to aged goudas.

Cheesemonger Insights: The collective’s knowledgeable staff is always ready to provide recommendations and share their passion for cheese. Don’t miss their famous cheese-filled bread and pastries, which perfectly complement any cheese purchase.

6. Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine – Chicago, IL

About Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine: Located in the heart of Chicago, Pastoral is a haven for cheese lovers. Since 2004, they have been offering a carefully curated selection of cheeses, charcuterie, and wines.

Unique Offerings: Pastoral’s selection includes award-winning cheeses from both local and international producers. They also offer artisanal breads and a variety of gourmet products to complement their cheeses.

Cheesemonger Insights: The staff at Pastoral are true experts, offering personalized recommendations and hosting educational events and tastings. Their passion for cheese and commitment to quality shines through in every interaction.

7. Formaggio Kitchen – Cambridge, MA

About Formaggio Kitchen: Established in 1978, Formaggio Kitchen is a culinary landmark in Cambridge. Known for its dedication to quality and traditional methods, this shop offers an impressive array of artisanal cheeses.

Unique Offerings: Formaggio Kitchen specializes in hard-to-find European cheeses, many of which are aged in their cheese caves. Their selection includes everything from raw milk cheeses to expertly aged cheddars.

Cheesemonger Insights: The staff at Formaggio Kitchen are highly knowledgeable and passionate about cheese. They offer guided tastings and are always ready to help you find the perfect cheese for any occasion.

8. Cheese Grotto – Online

About Cheese Grotto: While not a traditional cheese shop, Cheese Grotto offers a unique online experience for cheese lovers. Specializing in cheese storage solutions, subscriptions, and curated cheese selections, they bring the world of artisan cheese right to your door.

Unique Offerings: Cheese Grotto’s subscription service provides a rotating selection of American artisan cheeses, ensuring that you always have access to the best and freshest options. Their cheese storage solutions are designed to keep your cheeses in peak condition.

Cheesemonger Insights: The team at Cheese Grotto is dedicated to helping you discover new cheeses and learn about the art of cheese storage. Their expertise and passion for cheese make them a valuable resource for any cheese enthusiast.

Conclusion

Exploring artisan cheese shops is a delightful adventure for any cheese lover. These shops offer not only a wide variety of high-quality cheeses but also a wealth of knowledge and a connection to the people and traditions behind each cheese. Whether you’re visiting a local shop or exploring online options like Cheese Grotto, you’re sure to find delicious discoveries and deepen your appreciation for the art of cheese-making. So, next time you’re in the mood for something special, consider visiting one of these top artisan cheese shops in the USA.