Where to Find the Best Cheese in Philly

No longer content wit’ Whiz, Philadelphia has become a cheese-lover’s paradise. Here, eight of the best cheese shops and counters in Philly and what to buy there, as chosen by their staffs.

Photo by Jason Varney.

Wedge + Fig

Old City | 160 N. 3rd Street
Misto O’Bleu. A raw-goat’s-milk blue cheese from Misty Creek Dairy in Lancaster. Laying hands on it isn’t easy, though. It’s a favorite around Wedge + Fig, which is both a gourmet shop and an acclaimed restaurant.

Di Bruno Bros.

Multiple locations | www.DiBruno.com
Maxx Extra. An extra-aged Swiss cow’s-milk cheese with cream added to the milk, making it a crazy sharp and sweet double crème that’s perfect for awesomely grown-up grilled cheese sandwiches. Owner Emilio Mignucci swears by it and uses it to make the “Scharfe Maxx S’More”: Maxx cheese, chocolate and torrone, an Italian nougat.

Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop

Chestnut Hill | 8509 Germantown Avenue
Twin Oaks Canadian Cheddar. A six-year-old extra-sharp cheddar that’s also ideal for grilled cheese sandwiches, fancy mac-and-cheese or, according to Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop manager Jacqueline Weiss, pairing with beer (which is true of almost everything Canadian).

Downtown Cheese Shop

Reading Terminal Market | 45 N. 12t Street
Bleu des Causses. A cow’s-
milk cheese from the Midi-Pyrénées, this saltier, aggressive French blue cheese is cured in the natural limestone caves of the Causses and is sold at the small, neon-lit Downtown Cheese Shop at Reading Terminal Market— long a favorite of cheese nerds and rookies alike, owing to the friendly staff and a liberal hand with the samples.

Claudio Specialty Foods

Italian Market | 925 Carpenter Street
Black Truffle Pecorino. A six-month-aged sheep’s-milk cheese from Tuscany. While only moderately sharp on its own, it’s laced with sliced black summer truffles and featured at Claudio Specialty Foods, which has been holding down its spot in the Italian Market for 60 years. As a matter of fact, Claudio has been around long enough (and is so well-known) that it was featured in a 1983 issue of National Geographic.

Talula’s Table

Kennett Square | 102 W. State Street
House-Made Ricotta. Made from local Bailys Dairy milk with touches of vinegar,
lemon and fresh herbs. The ricotta appeared on Talula’s Table‘s tasting menu over the summer with marinated watermelon, olives and ciabatta. For fall, manager Anna Pennington says, “You could do a great date and hazelnut cracker in October” and then pair the duo with a nice sparkling rosé.

Valley Shepherd Creamery

Reading Terminal Market | 51 N. 12th Street
Oldwick Shepherd. A five-month-aged Basque-style sheep’s-milk cheese that’s firm and full-bodied and a bit salty, with just a touch of sharpness. The Oldwick Shepherd stands as one of the most popular cheeses at Valley Shepherd Creamery, located in the Reading Terminal Market.

Salumeria

Reading Terminal Market | 45 N. 12th Street
Piave Vecchio. An Italian cow’s-milk cheese, aged for a year, that’s reminiscent of a classic parmigiano-reggiano—only, you know, way better. Salumeria is a tiny gourmet cheese shop with a killer center spot at the market and a remarkable spread of cheeses showcased within such limited space.

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  • Natalie B

    And this is my downfall — really, just torture.

  • AnnieS

    Sam’s Italian Market near Willow Grove

  • Cheeselover

    Narberth Cheese Co.: http://thecheeseco.com/

  • joeg

    wedge and fig is a nice place for cheese and food. nice owners, nice staff.

  • Jack

    Twin Oaks is awesome! I always go to the Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop for it!