13 Great Cheese Shops in Philadelphia
Whether you're building a gorgeous cheese board or looking for a wedge to grate over pasta, these grocers, co-ops, and gourmet specialists have you covered.
You should be eating more cheese. Not whatever industrial product is melted over your cheesesteak or pizza, but the good stuff — wheels made from good-quality milk using time-honored methods to create flavors and textures that will wow your palate. Whether you’re looking to impress guests at your next party or treat yourself to a delicious no-cook dinner with a few hunks, some accompaniments, and a bottle or two, a cheese shop or independent grocer with great selection is your first stop. Here are some of the best places to buy artisan cheeses in Philly.
Di Bruno Bros., Rittenhouse, Italian Market, Center City, Washington Square West, Ardmore
When it comes to cheese shops in Philly, Di Bruno Bros. is like Coke and Pepsi rolled into one — ubiquitous, beloved, and without competition in terms of selection, quality, or expertise. It’s also a great place to get a cheese education, so don’t be afraid to belly up to the cheese counter and let a helpful monger guide you to the wedges you didn’t even know you were looking for.
Primal Supply Meats, East Passyunk
Heather Thomason’s South Philly butcher shop has become the place to go for local cheeses now that the Fair Food Farmstand — which sold dozens of Pennsylvania and New Jersey-made wheels from its all-local case — is out of business. Shop their case for your happy hour cheese board or grab a hunk of Conebella Farm’s excellent raw milk sharp cheddar to melt over your grassfed burger.
Valley Shepherd Creamery, Market East
This Reading Terminal Market stand’s cheese offerings are sometimes overshadowed by the gourmet grilled cheeses it sells under the Meltkraft name. But its case carries excellent cheeses from domestic artisan icons like the Cellars at Jasper Hill in addition to wheels from sister business Valley Shepherd Creamery in North Jersey — plus accompaniments like olives and crackers to round out the plate.
Riverwards Produce, Fishtown
Grocery guru Vince Finazzo has cracked the new neighborhood grocery code with his Norris Street shop, which stocks a tight yet impressive array of local and domestic cheeses as well and international icons. Even better, the shop’s extensive bulk, bread, snack, and produce selections means it’s easy to score all the perfect pairings for your cheese plate.
Claudio Specialty Foods, Italian Market
A 9th Street staple since the ’50s, Claudio’s carries all the European hits, with a particular focus on Italian cheeses, natch. But they’re best known for their fresh mozzarella and whole milk ricotta, made in house.
Mariposa Co-op, Cedar Park
This West Philly co-op, open since the ’70s has really amped up their cheese offerings over the past few years, installing a separate case for artisan wedges and adding more local options. It’s a great place to source a cheese plate on a budget, with prices for local varieties from artisan makers like Valley Milkhouse as reasonable as for standards like Gruyère.
Downtown Cheese, Market East
Order up just about any big-name cheese you can think of at Reading Terminal’s destination for dairy deliciousness. They also sell a handful of Pennsylvania-made wheels and other gourmet goodies like fancy vinegars and oils, cured meats, and anchovies.
The Cheese Company, Narberth
This petite cheese shop on Haverford Avenue stays stocked with international and domestic heavy hitters in addition to Mercer Road, a Caerphilly-style Welsh cheddar from nearby Merion Park Cheese — the closest local cheesemaker to Philadelphia city limits.
This West Avenue bistro is also an artisan market and bottle shop that keeps a handful of great cheeses on hand to go with that bottle you’re bringing home. Think local favorites like Noblette, a mini Brie-style wheel from Calkins Creamery in Northeast Pennsylvania, classics like Manchego, and an organic variety of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop, Chestnut Hill
This iconic Germantown Avenue shop has been selling cheese for more than half a century. Head there for ultra-aged Beemster XO, pungent Roquefort, or lush, ash-ripened Humboldt Fog.
Weaver’s Way Co-op, Mt. Airy
Northwest Philly’s longtime co-op grocery store stocks not only local milk but a great selection of local, domestic, and international cheeses. Best of all, they’ve got just about everything you could need to go with your wheels on a beautiful cheese plate, from bread and nuts to pickles, preserves, and honey.
Lucio Mancuso & Sons, East Passyunk
This ultra-old-school spot on the Avenue still makes mozzarella and ricotta by hand and brings in Italian classics like parm, scamorza, and massive 80-pound logs of provolone.
Valente’s Italian Specialties, Haddonfield
The new Italian prepared foods spot makes its own whole-milk ricotta and fior di latti (the actual name for what we think of as “fresh mozzarella”) in house and keeps domestic artisan varieties like Ben Nevis, a raw sheep’s milk wedge from Bonnieview Farm in Vermont, and Redbud, a mixed-milk cheese from North Carolina’s Boxcarr.