Oh, cheese. You ooey, gooey, sometimes hard and flaky, pungent, mild, creamy, beautiful thing. There are few foods that inspire such passion. Cheese is so complex that it has whole shops dedicated to offering it in all its glorious forms.
We love cheese (if you couldn't tell). That's why we've rounded up the best cheese shops in Chicago. Check them out, and then stop in and get your fromage fix.
Every list of the best cheese shops in Chicago includes Pastoral, and for good reason. They are knowledgeable and passionate and offer such a wide variety that you're bound to find something you love. You can have them give you just the amount you need for each type, or you can get an artisan cheese tray.
If you like surprises they've got monthly clubs, including cheese and charcuterie. Pastoral has three locations, including one in the Chicago French Market that's perfect for commuters. Website
If you do one thing at this Italian superstore, visit their Salumi & Fromaggi market. They know their cheeses so well they can practically look at you and pick out your new favorite. Tell them what kind of cheeses and charcuterie you like and they'll find something in your wheelhouse.
They also have no problem giving you small portions if you're staying downtown and want a little something for the room. Before you go make sure to pick some of their in-house freshly made burrata. Swoon. Website
Publican Quality Meats
This market has the corner on cheese in the West Loop. Part butcher shop, part cafe, part bakery and gourmet market, Chef Paul Kahan's spot is known for its carefully curated selections. The cheeses they offer are from smaller producers. You can pair them with some fresh baked bread, and since their specialty is meats, you can expect some amazing charcuterie. Website
This west suburban market has a location in Westmont as well as one in Naperville. You can have breakfast, lunch, or dinner in the on-site restaurant or stop by their counter and choose from 200 to 300 selections of artisan cheese.
They've even got their own cave aging program, with temperature- and humidity-controlled rooms in both locations. Their cheesemongers are also incredibly helpful, and can offer suggestions for beer, wine, tea, and coffee pairings. If you can't wait until you get home, have a seat at The CUBE, their Wine, Beer, and Cheese bar. Website
Did we miss your favorite shop? Let us know in the comments!
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