Considering NYC is quite the culinary fondue pot, it’ll come as no surprise that it is chock-full of cheese and specialty shops that are sure to make any discerning fromagophile swoon. With beautiful green spaces ripe for picnicking, grabbing a wedge of cheese, a fresh baguette, and a bottle of wine is the perfect way to enjoy the city.
The best places to buy cheese in NYC
Murray’s Cheese (Greenwich)
Murray’s Cheese is arguably one of the crown jewels of Greenwich Village. The cheese counter, staffed with expert cheesemongers, will gladly serve up tastes of cheese and pairing recommendations. This legendary cheese shop even has its own cheese cave. Be sure to check out their website for an array of classes on everything from Mozzarella Making to Vivé la France – French Wine & Cheese.
Riverdel is taking a vegan spin on the traditional cheese shop experience offering up artisanal cashew and oat milk cheeses. Guests can order Riverdel and other vegan cheeses, cut-to-order, by the pound. Wendy’s Cheese’s Spicy Cheddar, is a perfect introduction into all things vegan cheese. Expect to find other exciting plant-based goodies here in their Essex Market stall that will delight both vegans and omnivores alike.
Insider’s Tip: Looking for other special ingredients? Then make sure to check out our guide to the best specialty stores in NYC!
Zabar’s (Upper West Side)
If you’re searching for an old school New York City cheese shop experience, look no further than Zabar’s. Louis and Lillian Zabar, founded this Upper West Side institution back in 1934. Get a taste of old world NYC at this no frills grocery store. The people watching is almost as good as the cheese selection. Go for the cheese, but don’t forget to try their babka.
Bedford Cheese Shop (Gramercy Park)
The Bedford Cheese Shop, nestled in the beautiful Gramercy Park neighborhood is a shop where customers can find culinary treasures – cheese, charcuterie, and specialty foods abound and learn the unique stories behind each of their thoughtfully selected cheeses from their skilled mongers. Be sure to take a peek into the neighboring Gramercy Park, one of New York’s only private parks.
Astoria Bier & Cheese (Queens)
Located in Western Queens, Astoria Bier & Cheese, prides itself as “Queen’s OG Beer Shop.” We love saddling up to the long bar and sipping on a craft beer while enjoying a meat and cheese plate or tearing into their Pretzel with craveable Bier Cheese. Their playful sandwich menu is most certainly cheese-centric. Try their Mr. Crispy with city ham, cave aged gruyere, honey mustard on pecan raisin bread coated in crispy cheese. That’s right – coated in cheese.
BKLYN Larder (Brooklyn)
BKLYN Larder is a neighborhood go-to where Brooklynites can find delicious seasonal, small-batch and ethical foods. Chat with any one of their knowledgeable mongers or proprietor and Brooklyn local, Mandy Wynn, to learn the unique stories behind each product. Can’t decide? We love the Monger’s choice box ($25) filled with cheese and accompaniments for two people. Only a short walk from Prospect Park, we highly recommend taking this “Larder Starter” to go for a picnic in the park.
Fromaggio Essex (Lower East Side)
Formaggio Essex is tucked in Essex Market, a Lower East Side food hall and market with over 100 years of history. With dozens of stalls, this recently revamped market is well worth a visit. The Fromaggio team prides themselves in sourcing the best of the best. From hand-picked cheeses from small producers, to artisanal olives, and their stunning selection of cured meats, pâtés, and mousses, this cheese shop will surely delight your inner gourmand.
Insider’s Tip: Essex Market is one of our top 15 food markets in New York!
Located in Chelsea Market, Saxelby Cheesemongers is a perfect culinary hideaway from the bustling tourists of the market. The mongers at Saxelby will remind you cheese is seasonal not unlike fresh produce. Not sure where to begin? Grab one of their best-selling Mini Kunik wheels. This dreamy goats’ milk cheese from Nettle Meadow Farm pairs beautifully with wildflower honey or your favorite jam.
Malt & Mold-Grammercy (Gramercy Park)
True to its name, Malt & Mold is focused on two things – Beer and Cheese. In addition to its well-stocked cheese case, guests can order local craft beer on tap by the glass, bottle, crowler or can. In warmer weather, enjoy your provisions and a cold one in their outdoor seating. Oh, and trust us. You’ll want the double portion of beer cheese.
What are some New York state cheese producers?
You can of course find cheese from all over the world, but in-state cheese is also worth seeking out. While New York may be best known for its cheddars, it has an outstanding variety of artisanal cheeses particularly from upstate. While visiting the city’s best cheese shops be sure to seek out local producers including Four Fat Fowl, Nettle Meadow Farm & Cheese Company, and Old Chatham Sheepherding Co.
Barbara Booras is a Boston native and freelance food & drink writer. She’s spent the last 7+ years in NYC eating her way through the five boroughs. Over the last decade she’s worked in a boutique wine shop, for a Mediterranean specialty food company, and even slung bottles of hot sauces at a New York City holiday market. In addition to being a lover of all things gastronomy, Barbara is an avid runner and recently completed her third marathon. Follow her adventures on Instagram at @favoritenoodle.