While nothing can compare to the joys of sampling pungent and flavorful cheeses at an open-air market in France, you don’t have to book a plane ticket to indulge in French cheeses. At shops across the country, cheesemongers offer a curated selection of French cheeses, from fresh and creamy Chèvre to divinely stinky Epoisses. At many of these cheese shops, you’ll also find other French-inspired products like preserves, charcuterie, chocolate, and everything you need to create the perfect Parisian-inspired picnic. Some also double as wine shops and cafes, where you can sit and linger over delicious French food or take home a bottle of wine to accompany your meal. Here, we’ve discovered the best cheese shops across the country, where French-made products reign supreme.
Seattle’s Pike Place Market is a paradise for cheese lovers. Shoppers can sample Beecher’s famous cheddar or stop by DeLaurentis for imported European cheeses. But for the best French cheeses, head to Paris-Madrid Grocery, a shop that specializes in gourmet products from “both sides of the Pyrenees.” The shop offers dozens of French cheeses that you probably won’t find in your local grocery store, including Mimolette, Tomme de Savoie, or Brebirousse d’Argental. You can purchase cheeses individually or opt for a pre-selected platter like their “Epic French Cheese Plate” that includes Basque Ardi Gasni sheep’s cheese, cavern-aged Gruyere, and triple-cream Délice de Bourgogne, along with honey, dates, raisins, chestnut spread, and crackers. Alongside French cheeses, the shop also carries everything you might need for a French-inspired dinner party at home, including French pantry items like mustard, tinned fish, and olive oil, along with olives, pate, and–of course–wine.
Along with a selection of inventive wines from around the world, Blackbird Wineshop sells French cheese and charcuterie at their Atomic Cheese Shop. Here, you’ll find authentic French cheeses to pair with your wine, like Raclette, P’tit Basque, and more. You can purchase cheese and wine combo packs (like an Alsatian Edelzicker wine with a cheese fondue kit) or order a pre-selected cheese board with French cheese, saucisson, olives, nuts, and dried fruit. You can also purchase cheese and wine to eat at the cafe tables in the shop. www.blackbirdwine.com
San Francisco, California
With three locations in San Francisco, La Fromagerie is the go-to shop for traditional French cheeses. La Fromagerie has a huge selection of French cheeses, from soft and creamy D’Affinois to aged Mimolette. For a unique dinner party idea, opt for the Raclette package, an assortment of Raclette and Morbier cheese along with charcuterie, cornichons, and a bottle of Vin de Savoie Apremont–everything you need to create a delicious, melted cheese extravaganza at home. If you don’t live in San Francisco, you can order one of their gift boxes online that includes cheese, crackers, charcuterie, preserves, and nuts. www.lafromageriesf.com
Andrew’s Cheese Shop
For over a decade, Andrew’s Cheese Shop has been a one-stop shop for French cheese lovers in Santa Monica. Offering a wide selection of French pantry items and products in addition to cheese, it’s the ultimate gourmet grocery store for foodies. Choose from the individual French cheeses like Brillat Savarin, Roquefort, or Sofia, or choose from one of the pre-selected cheese and charcuterie platters. Not sure where to begin? You can sign up for a “Cheese 101” class that takes you through the history and origin of cheese while you sample some of the shop’s most popular selections.
Dedalus Wine Shop
Part bottle shop and part gourmet grocery store, Dedalus is a place for wine and cheese lovers. Choose from the dozens of cheese varieties to find unique French cheeses like Bleu des Causses or Pyrenees Brebis, and shop for accompanying pantry items like pasta, crackers, tinned fish, olive oil, preserves, and honey. You can also opt for a French-themed charcuterie board that includes a selection of cheese along with charcuterie, nuts, fruit, and crackers.
Augusta Food & Wine
In the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Square, Augusta’s gourmet selection draws French cheese and wine lovers. Shop for French cheese, charcuterie, and accompaniments like olives, or if you’re not sure what to choose, you can purchase one of the curated French gift baskets, filled with curated cheeses like Goat Brie, Mimolette, and P’tit Basque along with wine, cornichons, mustard, pate, preserves, and a fresh-baked baguette. Locals can also join the wine club, which includes two curated wines per month as a chance to learn about regions and varietals you might not be familiar with.
Despite the Italian name, Antonelli’s is a haven for French cheese lovers, highlighting a selection of unique French cheeses like Ossau-Iraty, Roquefort, Brie Nangis, and Comte. In addition to cheeses, the shop offers gourmet grocery items and cheese pairings like charcuterie, preserves and tapenades, dried fruit, chocolate, honey, tinned fish, and more. You can also choose from one of the curated charcuterie platters and individual tasting boxes or attend one of the cheese and wine pairing events.
With over 200 cheeses available, Formaggio Kitchen offers a wide selection of European cheeses. Choose from dozens of French cheeses including Comte, Pomerol, Fourme d’Ambert, Valencay, and more. The shop also offers housemade charcuterie and French-inspired saucisson sec, pate, tinned fish, and other pantry staples. www.formaggiokitchen.com
The French Cheese Board
New York City, New York
With cheese-tasting classes, cooking lessons, specialized events, and wine-and-cheese pairings, The French Cheese Board is the New York authority on French Cheeses. Shop for a rotating selection of French favorites alongside new and unique flavors at this Soho store that offers an education in French cheese. In addition to cheeses like Comte, Mimolette, Saint Nectaire, and more, the shop also offers cookware, accessories, and French products like preserves and olive oil. www.frenchcheeseboard.com
A bakery, market, and cafe, Star Provisions is one of the best places in the South to sample French cheese and a must-visit destination in Atlanta for foodies. The cheeses behind the counter include authentic made-in-France products, as well as locally made cheeses inspired by French recipes. There’s also a selection of curated delicacies like charcuterie, olives, and preserves. At the bakery counter, you can pick up an authentic French-style baguette or pain d’epi or satisfy your sweet tooth with homemade French pastries like croissants, kouign amann, meringues, and more. Don’t forget to visit Star Provisions’ sister restaurant Bacchanalia, a wine and seafood bar specializing in high-end French cuisine like steak tartare, foie gras, and roast duck. www.starprovisions.com