Best Cheese Shops in Chicago
Deep-dish pizza comes to mind when people think of Chicago and cheese. However, Chicago is much more than just cheesy pizza. Here is a list of 6 locations that focus on cheese, including stores, businesses, dining establishments, and more.
1. All Together Now
The name of this establishment, All Together Now, which is situated in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village, says it all: it combines cheese, wine, beer, and charcuterie. The restaurant’s namesake, “to reflect the joy of gathering over food and drink, a philosophy that influences all we do,” was chosen by owners Erin Carlman Weber, Chris Radtke, and Derek Herbster.
Their assortment of cheeses includes traditional Old World cheeses like Comte and Stilton as well as locally produced and farmstead cheeses and enjoyable sharing cheeses like Harbison from Jasper Hill Farm.
2. Beautiful Rind
According to Beautiful Rind, cheese is for everyone. With a cheese shop, restaurant, and classroom, it takes a three-pronged approach. To fill a void for cheese on the Northwest side of the city, Randall Felts selected the Logan Square area.
3. Stamper Cheese
Stamper Cheese has been selling the majority of its own cheeses to customers directly for 15 years. With maturing caves in Green Bay, Chicago, and Quincy, Illinois, they produce a wide range of cheeses, including cheese curds, layered bries, beer- and wine-soaked cheeses, as well as an amazing bleu cheese cheddar.
They purchase their milk from Wisconsin dairy farms. According to owner Bret Stamper, since freshness is essential for cheese curds, they transport the cheese to Chicago and spend the entire night packing the 2000 lbs. for the week. each week! Prior to COVID-19, they mostly sold through farmer’s markets in the spring and summer and via email list, where they would let subscribers know about cheese drops in the off-season.
They now have a website, however, the cheese will only be offered outside of Farmers Market season. On Tuesdays at the Museum of Contemporary Art Plaza, on Saturdays at Division and State Street, and on Sundays at the Logan Square Farmers Market, check out Stamper Cheese.
4. Way Too Gouda
Way Too Gouda, which has a fantastic name, provides personalized cheese plate services that are excellent for event planning. WTG was founded in 2019 by Julia Collins as a means to connect with the city she cherished. Gouda on the Go, The Galway, and the Killarney, the last two named after the areas she stayed in Ireland, are some of the pre-made cheese boards she sells. For larger parties, she will also create custom cheese boards.
5. Great American Cheese Collection
According to the owner and creator Giles Schnierle, the Best American Cheese Collection has spent the last 35 years or more promoting the great cheeses of the US. The business collaborates with 60 cheesemakers in the US, some of whom produce unusual cheeses like the Rumi Royal Monterrey Jack, which combines Peppadew Monterey Jack with saffron. Prior to COVID-19, the company sold to hotels, brewpubs, restaurants, and other establishments.
However, after the shutdowns in Chicago, they started an internet retail operation. Many of the cheese plates served across the Chicago area probably come from the Great American Cheese Collection because they continue to collaborate with neighbourhood brewers and wineries to help them combine cheeses with their beverages.
6. Hops & Curds
The Lincoln Park restaurant Hops & Curds opened in 2019, it provides comfort cuisine with a heavy cheese component along with beer. Consider foods that include cheese, such as poutine, macaroni and cheese, and grilled cheese. Every month there is a different mac ‘n cheese recipe that incorporates different ingredients.
The majority of the cheese used in the restaurant comes from the Midwest, such as Wisconsin’s one-year-aged Widmer cheddar or Indiana’s Capriole goat cheese. However, the restaurant will occasionally travel outside the region to find cheeses that are more unusual for their cheese boards, such as Old World French Triple Cream or Red Wax Gouda.
7. Black Dog Gelato
Although every flavour at Black Dog Gelato is exceptional, their goat cheese cashew caramel is out of this world. Black Dog, which was founded in the Ukrainian Village in 2010 by Jessica Oloroso, a former pastry chef at Stephanie Izard’s Scylla, is well renowned for its goat cheese flavour. Additionally, Black Dog has locations in Logan Square and West Loop, where you may occasionally see their bright pink bus.
8. Potash Markets
This three-store franchise carries both American artisan kinds of cheese in a variety of types and imported cheeses from Europe. Whole wheels are disassembled into manageable portions, or you may experience the complete cheese store atmosphere at the counter.
The manager of the cheese section, David Phillips, has also sharpened his attention on Spanish and cheddar cheeses. The seasonal cheeses in its fridges are not to be missed.
9. Gene’s Sausage Shop & Delicatessen
This family-run grocery shop stocks a lot of European-made goods, so it stands to reason that its selection of cheese would be as well. Only roughly half of the more than 250 distinct varieties of cheese that the Lincoln Square store carries—from traditional European to American artisanal to local—are available for purchase at any given moment. Co-owner Yolanda Luszcz asserted that she thought it was crucial that cheese be reasonably priced.
10. City Fresh Market
In addition to cheeses from France, Italy, Spain, and England, you may also discover cheeses from Bulgaria, Lithuania, Bosnia, and Serbia. The store’s manager, Dmitra Kovacevic, said that due to the area’s significant Eastern European population, you can buy the cheeses required for regional cuisines like Serbian pita, or burek, such as saganaki, feta, and smoked Gouda. Additionally newly introduced to City Fresh Market are graze boards and meza, a Balkan take on a charcuterie board.
These are ten different cheese shops that we’d advise seeking out even though the one nearest to where you’re staying may be the greatest for you personally, if you happen to visit any of the places we’ve mentioned do let us know of your experience there.