Cheese, it’s a hell of a drug. It’s the gooey glue that holds dinner parties, family events, and pizzas together. It’s one of the only things that lactose-intolerant folk will stock up on extra-strength Lacteeze for. And, in recent years, it’s ventured further into the vegan diet with advancements in the science of non-dairy cheese. So we’ve decided to collate some of the very best cheese shops in Australia for you to drool over.
Walking into a healthy cheese shop is like stepping into some kind of fromage-heavy Willy Wonka‘s factory; your eyes widen, your pupils dilate, your saliva glands go into overdrive, and your wallet immediately whimpers.
Put your stretchiest pants on and get ready for the cheese-mares (very real), here are some of our favourite spots to get your curd on.
Milk The Cow, VIC
Boasting a five-metre long cheese cabinet filled chocka-block with 180-odd cheeses, Milk The Cow has two Melbourne outposts – one in St Kilda and another on the north side of the Yarra in Carlton. You can book a table to sit in and munch away on a cheese and wine flight or grab some cheese to go, or even order a whole tower of cheese for those special occasions.
Ashgrove Farm, TAS
Over in Elizabeth Town in Tasmania is Ashgrove Farm and its dedicated cheese deli. The team will also cut the cheese for you (not like that, you grot), so if you want a very specific amount of soft blue, you can get it.
If you find yourself in Manly, immediately get yourself to this little hole-in-the-wall spot right near the ferry wharves. You can put together your own little cheese platter box to take on your way as well but be warned: you can and probably will spend all your money here.
They also have a Cheese Club (!!!) which is essentially a subscription-based cheese delivery. It’s genius and I wish to be the #1 ticketholder, please.
Kenilworth Dairies, QLD
Originally built in 1950 by Kraft to make bulk-loads of cheese, Kenilworth Dairies in Queensland has been producing some of the most delightful cheese in the sunshine state for over 60 years now, with cheesemaking recipes dating back to the 1920s.
You can go and visit the farm for tastings every day, and what better reason to take home a few cheeses straight from the farm as well as saying a big g’day to the local moos?
Maker & Monger, VIC
Now a permanent fixture in Prahran Market, Maker & Monger doles out cheesy toasties that have a bit of a cult following, as well as the finest fromage in the market. Go worship at the altar.
Going hard since 2003, Bruny Island Cheese Co just outside of Hobart in Tasmania is chockas full of good cheesy times, and that’s just the beginning. All of the cheeses have somewhat interesting names like ‘Nanna‘ and ‘Tom‘, but still follow the traditional cheesemaking processes and traditions.
Bruny Island Cheese Co. also has its own Cheese Club, where you can sign up to get their best picks of the most recent produce (including beers and preserves) sent to your door. Apparently, each drop also contains a cheese made especially for Cheese Club, too. Cheesus christ.
Penny’s Cheese Shop, NSW
It might be a little hole-in-the-wall spot in Potts Point, but Penny’s Cheese Shop has a cult following for their cheese toasties alone. A while back, a friend of mine gushed to me about how incredible Penny and her cheesies are, and how it’s easily one of the country’s best cheese shops, and I responded by moving to Melbourne before I even got to try some of it, like a total idiot.
Penny also runs a bunch of ‘Cheese 101’ classes, for those that want to learn about the stuff so you can sound more bougie at your next dinner party. Please, go and live out my cheese dreams on my behalf.
Boatshed Market, WA
Even though Perth‘s first dedicated cheese spot closed permanently earlier this year (RIP Fromage Artisans), the cheese offering over at the Boatshed Markets in Cottesloe is carrying the torch for the west coast.
With over 250 individual fromages in their fridges, the market’s deli has a massive range of both local and international offerings, so there’s plenty to poke a crisp cracker at, and makes it one of the best cheese shops in the general Perth area.
Harper & Blohm, VIC
Of course, there’s going to be a good cheese shop in Melbourne‘s inner north, and Harper & Blohm is definitely right up there. With specialty cheeses in the fridges to peruse (seriously what is a “Rouzaire Fougerus“?) as just the beginning, you can also pick up lots of cheese knives, graters, and tools like a GOD DAMN BBQ RACLETTE THINGO. Right up there on the list of best cheese shops in Melbourne, here.
And fear not about missing out on Penny’s toasties, Melburnians, Harper & Blohm are noted as some of the best cheese toastie makers in the southern state’s capital. Oh, and they also do up both subscription-based and dedicated cheese boxes, which is perfect for things like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, and watching the Tour de France at 3am.
Nestled in Kingston is Canberra‘s specialty deli and food spot, The Essential Ingredient. Though it’s a fancy-ass deli first and foremost, they also stock a healthy range of specialty cheeses, and even a cheesemaker’s kit for those who want to try their hand at some at-home culture.
Basically, a whole world of the funkiest cheeses housed under one roof, The Smelly Cheese Shop in Adelaide also has its own, massive cheese maturing room, where they age wheels of cheese up to 100kg (holy shit) and putting itself as one of the best cheese shops in South Aus. With an outpost at Adelaide Market, you can drop by and try out some of their cured curd while you’re doing your weekly market shop.
Cupitt’s Fromagerie, NSW
Perhaps I’m incredibly biased as someone who was born and bred in the glorious South Coast of NSW, but Cupitt’s Winery in Ulladulla is stunning, and knowing they have a fromagerie now is even better.
You can tour the fromagerie (as well as the brewery and the rest of the winery) daily, and maybe even get a sneaky taste of some of the boutique cheeses the team have been maturing. Like I said, I’m biased as all fuck but this is probably one of the best cheese shops in an actual winery out there.
It’s a literal underground cheese cave right near the heart of Melbourne city. I don’t need to say any more. High contender for Best Cheese Shop here.