We’ve pulled together a list of our team’s favourite cheese shops, delis, wine bars and fromageries around Melbourne that we visit on the regular.
All the cheese is made with love onsite at That’s Amore Cheese [66 Latitude Boulevard, Thomastown]. Starting out in a tiny rented room with nothing but a cheese-making book, a small pan and bucket in 2007, Georgio Linguanti is now supplying his multi-award winning cheeses to Melbourne restaurants such as Tipico, Coda and Tonka and happily greeting customers daily with his welcoming grin. Combining traditional Sicilian recipes from his home with local Victorian produce, the cheese in this unassuming factory in an industrial estate in Thomastown is truly unique. They’re also handmade every day so if you arrive early you could be treated to ricotta that’s still warm, straight from the factory. Alternatively, come in for lunch to enjoy the cheese degustation menu and get to know the different cheese varieties and flavours. Don’t stop at the savouries though, the cannoli is something special. We guarantee you’ll amore it.
Hero image source: supplied by Miss Gourmet & Co
Start your night out on the town by stopping in at one of these much-loved cheese bars in Carlton and St Kilda. The cheese boards at Milk the Cow [157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda & 323 Lygon Street, Carlton] are ever-changing, with 180 different varieties of cheese on offer. Try the cheese and wine flight, featuring four kinds of cheese matched to wines. A member of the Milk the Cow team will also be there to explain what you’ll taste, feel and experience during your flight, so you’ll walk out feeling like a true connoisseur. If wine’s not your thing, there’s also a beer and whisky flight to try. And if you prefer to pass on the alcohol, we recommend going straight for the baked camembert — it might change your life.
Set in one of Richmond’s beautiful Victorian buildings dating back to 1860, Richmond Hill Café & Larder [48-50 Bridge Road, Richmond] embraces its heritage setting while offering modern and tasty meals. It has a dedicated cheese room where you can create a stellar custom cheese board to have on its own or to enjoy with a charcuterie plate. If you really want to get to know the tastes, book into one of its cheese and wine workshops and hear from cheesemongers who’ll step you through how to perfectly pair your cheese to wine.
Image source: facebook.com/RichmondHillCafeAndLarder
Creating the perfect cheese platter can be tricky, especially if you’re unsure about what pairs well with different varieties. Let the team at Harper and Blohm [365 Sydney Road, Brunswick] help you out — it’s the place to go for artisanal fromage from both local and international cheesemakers, as well as some top-notch advice. Harper and Blohm is headed up by cheese connoisseur Olivia Sutton, a regular judge at the National Dairy Australia Awards with cheese running through her (blue) veins. She’s been scouring the cheese scene to stock the best quality products in her fromagerie since it opened 2014, inviting Melburnians and visitors to experience the products she loves.
Image source: facebook.com/harperandblohm
Tucked among the many traders of the Prahran Market, The Cheese Shop Deli [Stall 703, 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra] has been serving specialty Australian and French cheeses since 2004. If you want help pairing your purchase with anything from wines to fruits, don’t hesitate to ask owners Angelo and Di; they are passionate about all things fromage and have a wealth of knowledge to share. After picking up your cheesy delights, meander around the market for goodies to add to your feast.
Image source: supplied by Cheese Shop & Deli
If you’re looking for a place with a massive range of great vegan cheeses in Melbourne, The Cruelty Free Shop [124 Johnston Street, Fitzroy] is our team’s first port of call. This shop stocks an entire fridge of cheeses, showcasing both Australian and international brands, with varieties made with everything from cashews, almonds, soy and yeast. You can pick up marinated almond feta for your next homemade brunch, mozzarella shreds for pizza nights and classic tasty cheese for a toasty. All the products sold here are vegan, so you’ll also be able to pair your cheese with dips and plant-based meats to create a whole antipasto experience.
Altona Fresh Fine Foods [62-76 Second Avenue, Altona North] is a slice of Europe in Melbourne’s west. With more than 250 kinds of cheese available from cow’s milk to goat’s cheese, brie to blue, you’ll be spoiled for choice. If you are feeling overwhelmed John, Altona Fresh’s cheese extraordinaire, will be there to help you decide — who knows, you might just find a new favourite! While you’re there, make sure you check out the range of locally-made bread, deli goods, fruit and veggies. Everything in the store has been carefully selected by the knowledgeable and friendly staff who are always happy to help.
Image source: facebook.com/AltonaFreshFineFoods
Charcuterie is the name of the game at La Parisienne Pates [253 Lygon Street, Carlton & 15-17 Toorak Road, South Yarra]. These guys specialise in all things French, including duck confit, escargot (snails), pesto and, of course, an enviable range of fromage. Enjoy a glass of wine while grazing your way through the cheese platter featuring the mild D’Affinois brie and a stronger St Agur blue and imagine yourself sitting in a café along the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris. Whether you’re craving a foodie trip to France or just wanting to bring a little je ne sais pas to your afternoon, La Parisienne Pates has got you covered. If you’re in a rush, everything here can be taken away, too.
Finding tasty dairy-free alternatives to cheese can be tricky, but Grey Cells Green [50 Chapel Street, Windsor] has the answer. Everything in the store is vegan, opening up cheese nights to those who prefer a plant-based diet. The menu is full of cheesy goodness — mac ‘n’ cheese made with velvety cashew cheese sauce and a mozzarella kimchi toasty are featured — but of course, the shining star is the share platter featuring locally made vegan cheeses, dips and antipasto. There is also a huge range of vegan wines, craft beers and cocktails to enjoy with your meal. The owners focus on stocking their kitchen with locally-made, fair-trade and sustainable products so know you’re snacking on the best.
Image source: facebook.com/greycellsgreen
Whether you want to grab something to go, or you’re preparing for a dinner party, Lygon Street institution DOC Delicatessen [330 Lygon Street, Carlton] will satisfy all your cheesy needs. Head in and peruse its fridges of cheese, shelves of oils and variety of cured meats to create a masterpiece of hors d'oeuvres. Or, head upstairs and pull up a pew by the fireplace to enjoy plates of Denominazione di Origine Protetta or DOP cheeses. Scratching your head? It means the origin of the cheese is certified, so you know it’s legit. Add a glass of wine to the mix and you’re set.
Miss Gourmet & Co [726 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn] makes everything from beautiful cheesecakes to delicious cheese plates. The wide range features cheeses from Californian makers Cypress Grove, to those a little closer to home like Yarra Valley Dairy and Sutton Grange Organic Farm. Make sure you keep an eye out for the quarterly cheese tasting nights; with a glass of sparkling on arrival, 20 different kinds of cheeses plus meats, dips and chutneys, you really can’t go wrong.
Image source: supplied by Miss Gourmet & Co
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