The Foobooz Guide to Buying Cheese in Philadelphia

A beginner's guide to all things cheese-related in Philadelphia, from award-winning dairy farms to area retailers with loads and loads of expertise.

Cheese plate with From Marjorie cheese | Photo provided

Two essential elements come together in Pennsylvania to create an exceptional culture of cheesemaking: agriculture (meaning there’s space for wide open farms to graze animals and produce excellent milk) and plenty of interested chefs (since high-end cheesemakers tend to do a lot of business selling directly to restaurants). To help the hungry dairy lover seek out the best that the state has to offer, here are five regional cheesemakers whose names you should look out for (or specifically seek out) and a list of the city’s best cheese purveyors.

Cheese Makers


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Birchrun Hills Farm, Chester County
To deal with the lost business from restaurants during the pandemic, co-owner and operator of Birchrun Hills began offering virtual cheese tastings, walking participants through five of their farm’s cheeses, chatting about all things dairy, and helping newcomers learn more about the industry. Miller is a delightful host in addition to being one of the finest cheesemakers in the state. Tickets available here. Find Birchrun Hills cheese online, or at the Bryn Mawr, Headhouse, Kennett Square, and Phoenixville Farmer’s Markets.


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Yellow Springs Creamery, Chester County 
Goat cheese is the name of the game at Yellow Springs, made from the milk of Nubian goats, which are known for producing milk with high butterfat for a particularly luscious mouth feel. Chèvre lovers should seek out Cloud Nine, a snowball-like ball of creamy, lightly-aged goat cheese perfect for slicing into a baguette.  Find them at local Whole Foods, the Phoenixville Farmer’s Market, and in person at the dairy.


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The Farm at Doe Run, Chester County 
Doe Run is not just a cheesemaker — they operate a full organic farm in addition to the cows and sheep they raise for milk. The farm allows them to practice rotational grazing, in which the animals are moved regularly to different areas of the farm, resulting in healthier soil and more nutritious grass, all of which makes the milk that much more delicious. If that all seems like a lot of hippy baloney, consider that two of their signature cheeses, Seven Sisters and St. Malachi, have won World Cheese Awards. Order one of their tasting boxes from Artifaqt, or follow them on Instagram for their availability.


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Linden Dale FarmLancaster County 
In the 100+ years that the Mellinger family has been operating Linden Dale Farm, they’ve obviously figured out a thing or two. In 2019, Hootenanny, one of signature cheeses, was named best in show at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Find them at the Headhouse Farmer’s Market, online, or at Riverwards Produce.

Alpine Heritage Creamery, Lancaster County 
When it comes to aged, sharper cheeses like cheddar, Pennsylvania’s best is Alpine Heritage Creamery. They take their name from the traditions of the Alps, where some of the best cheeses in the world are produced. In other words: yum. Find their cheeses on their website.

Cheese Retailers

Di Bruno Bros., multiple locations
The most famous cheese shop in Philadelphia really needs no explanation: They’ve got the best variety, the most knowledgeable cheesemongers, and the most historic spaces. Let them take care of your cheese needs. Open daily, delivery and curbside pick-up available through their website.


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Herman’s Coffee Bar, Pennsport
Herman’s has truly become the multi-hyphenate king of the pandemic — since it started they’ve added a food cart, an excellent food market, and a good local cheese collection to their already thriving coffee roasting operation. Go for coffee, leave with a bag full of local cheeses, meats, jams and more. Open daily for in-person shopping and takeout.

South Philly Food Co-op, South Philly 
Newly opened in the extremely grocery-starved neighborhood of South Philly, SPFC is a small but intentionally stocked neighborhood market with a particular focus on local products, including quite a few local cheeses. No membership necessary to visit. Delivery available through Bloc on Wednesdays and Fridays.


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Riverwards Produce, Fishtown 
Riverwards Produce is known for their, um, produce, but they apply the same care in sourcing all their other groceries, including cheeses. They often get small batch local cheeses from less well known producers. Open daily for in-person shopping. 

Third Wheel Cheese Co., anywhere 
Third Wheel works with cheesemakers across the Pennsylvania and the Northeast to sell their cheeses directly to consumers via online shopping, and connecting farmers with restaurants, grocery stores, and other small retail businesses that want to carry a selection of artisan cheeses but don’t know quite where to begin. Many of their online selection are award-winning cheeses that might be hard to find in other places. Order online.


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From Marjorie, anywhere in Philadelphia 
All of the sourcing and pairing is done for you when you order from From Marjorie (a play on the word fromagerie), a local company that will deliver beautiful cheese boards and charcuterie boards to your door. They specifically partner with smaller cheesemakers that aren’t available at spots like Di Bruno, so you can have a lovely meal and discover a new cheese.

And, a bonus…

There’s no separating Philadelphia cheese culture from Tenaya Darlington a.k.a. Madame Fromage. She’s a creative writing professor, cheese blogger and partner with local cheese shops like Di Bruno Bros. and Tria, creating boards and pairings. Her Instagram is chock-full of cheese education via stories and IGTV. Learn more about her in our profile of her here.