A delicious cheese is one of life’s little pleasures. So whether you like them creamy, stinky or aged like crazy, you’ll need someone close at hand to guide you through all the countries, varieties, methods and styles.
I’ve rounded up the best cheese shops and bars in Australian cities to help guide you – and you’ll be happy to know that most of them deliver. Take the time to visit your local store to ask questions, do a little tasting and learn something new about everyone’s favourite Friday night dinner replacement. Happy nibbling!
Emile & Solange, Brisbane
This small speciality fromagerie in Brisbane’s Albion features a selection of artisanal cheeses and charcuterie from local Australian producers, with a heavy emphasis on French imports. They deliver all over the country, but it’s definitely worth checking out their shop in person, which sits inside the French café/antiques store, Vielle Branche.
Photography via Emile & Solange
Milk the Cow, Melbourne
This licensed fromagerie (magic words if ever I heard them) sells over 150 artisan cheeses, paired with boutique wines from around the world. Watch out for their live music nights or wine matching masterclasses. Take away a selection in their gorgeous cheeseboxes, complete with its own disposable cheeseboard – perfect for picnics.
Formaggi Ocello, Sydney
Like almost everything in Sydney, this formaggi stocks more cheese than most. With a huge selection of Italian, French and Australian varieties, their rustic barn in Surry Hills makes any trip worthwhile. You can have any of the cheese cut to take home or enjoy them on premises with a glass of wine (I recommend both).
Smelly Cheese Shop, Adelaide
This amazing store has been open for over 20 years, and started selling online 10 years ago, making it basically the Grandmother of Cheese Shops. Sign up to the Smelly Cheese Club to be introduced to new styles and limited production runs throughout the year. And while you’re at it, sign up for a masterclass too, so you can see firsthand the beautiful maturing room where the hard cheeses are aged.
Bruny Island Cheese Co, Hobart
One of the most famous cheesemakers in Australia has an inner-city shop front, where you can snip and taste to your heart’s content. As well as their own cheeses and beers (which you can enjoy on site), the shop stocks a range of artisan Tasmanian produce to gather up for your road trip.
Photography by What Katie Ate
Fromage Artisans, Perth
This brand new bar in Perth comes with a dress code and a swanky AF menu. The retail store is perfect to swing by on the way home and the masterclasses will tempt anyone interested in learning more about a particular method of cheese making (such as Japanese – who’d have thought?). Cheese-loving mamas-to-be will appreciate the cheese flight tailored to them, with hard cheese options and non-alcoholic drinks.
Photography via Fromage Artisans
Salt Meats Cheese, Sydney and Gold Coast
This family-owned business now runs six stores around the country, after an incredibly successful inception in 2012. They run regular events and classes at each location in addition to their charcuterie platters and famous cheese wheel cakes seen at trendy weddings all over the city.
And of course, you’ll need something to quaff as you nibble. Start with our fun palate profile quiz here and we’ll recommend three bottles for your personal tastes – delivered to your front door just in time for happy hour.