Wheel of Fortune: Here Are the Best Places to Buy Cheese in Boston

By Molly McDonough
Boston's Best Cheese Shops
The Cheese Shop of Concord

Massachusetts might not be a famous cheese hotspot, but there’s enough highbrow affluence, Old World influence, and dairy-rich diet tradition here to foster a love for the world’s best wedges and wheels. Whether you’re searching for that perfect bloomy rind from France, a hefty hunk of an Alpine, or a rustic wedge from rural New England, you’ll find it—and most likely, discover something new—at any of our favorite cheese shops.

Formaggio Kitchen

Formaggio Kitchen - Boston's Best Cheese Shops
Formaggio / Credit: Brian Samuels Photography

There’s a reason you’ll catch wind of conversations in unfamiliar tongues as you wander the aisles at Formaggio Kitchen: This is where Boston’s European expats come to find the best cheeses from their homelands. Formaggio runs a thriving school and trains some of the city’s best mongers—but what really shines is their singular selection. In order to stock cheeses you can’t find anywhere else, owners Ihsan and Valerie Gurdal travel to tiny villages in search of family farms to partner with (talk about a dream job). Many of the artisan cheeses they introduce are in America for the very first time. Of course, they also stock some of the best domestic and local cheeses, too. Just don’t expect to leave here with only dairy in tow; the wine and grocery selections at each location (West Cambridge, Kendall, and the South End) are equally tempting.

Curds & Co.

Curds & Co. Boston's Best Cheese Shops

When stepping into Curds & Co., a Brookline Village cheese shop, check your preconceptions at the door. This is no dusty ode to Old World fromageries. Instead, founders Jenn and Matt Mason set out to create a 21st century cheese shop, the kind they would have dreamed up if a cheese shop had never existed. The result is a stunning mix of tech, education, and really good cheese. Subscribe to their monthly Curdbox, a delivery of three curated cheeses, three accompaniments, a video, a podcast, and a Spotify playlist to pair with the cheese. You can also sign up for classes or blindfolded tasting events; or consult with mongers who are trained to make shopping a breeze for even the most intimidated newbies.

Wasik’s Cheese Shop

Wasik’s Cheese Shop

Opened by the late Stephen Wasik in 1979, Wellesley’s beloved Wasik’s Cheese Shop is now run by Stephen’s wife, Carol, alongside their sons Brad and Brian. And there never was a friendlier family business: Smiling staff and abundant samples take any intimidation out of picking cheese. That’s essential, given that the cheese case can stock up to 300 selections at any given time. To ensure quality as well as quantity, the Wasiks curate a 3,000-cubic-foot cheese cave beneath the shop, where wheels patiently wait until they’re at peak maturation, ready to shine on your board. Although the case is the shop’s centerpiece, you’ll also find plenty of pairings here, from cured meats to groceries to wine and beer.

The Cheese Shop of Concord

The Cheese Shop of Concord

If it’s the undisputed OG cheese purveyor you seek, look no further than The Cheese Shop of Concord, which opened in 1967. That’s right—it’s been around for over 50 years—and Peter Lovis, the shop’s third owner, ensures that it stays on the map. This is the kind of spot everyone wishes they had in their neighborhood: an institution with an exceptional cheese selection, plus solid sandwiches and specialty groceries. If a “cheese parade” sounds like your scene, mark Crucolo Day in your calendar. Each year in early December, the shop sets out a red carpet and rolls a 400-pound wheel of Crucolo cheese, imported direct from the Dolomites in Italy, down the city streets to much fanfare.

American Provisions Boston
Credit: Brian Samuels Photography

Smaller in square footage than some of the other cheese shops on this list, American Provisions‘ original Southie location packs no less of a pungent punch: When you have a smaller cooler, you have to fill it with the absolute best. That’s how proprietors Matthew Thayer and Andy Fadous do it, anyway. Dozens of domestic and imported cheeses fill the case—as well as the larger one at AP’s second shop at Ashmont—each one carrying with a handwritten sign offering details of its origin or notes about the best natural wine in stock to pair it with (often, both). Besides a stellar selection of cheese and other artisan products, American Provisions stacks up sandwiches that improve our weeks, and croissants that make our mornings.

Eataly Boston cheese shops
Credit: Eataly (Photo Provided)

Eataly is as close as we can get to an Italian mercato without leaving the Green Line. When we’re seeking the sharpest pecorino, crumbliest Parmigiano Reggiano DOP, or tangiest taleggio, we can count on finding them all and more in the formaggi section of this imported food-wonderland. But Eataly’s cheese selection isn’t just limited to Old World varieties: The Boston shop carries top-tier New England and other American styles among its 300-strong lineup of cheeses. We know, it can be overwhelming. The helpful mongers of the world-famous emporium take the guesswork out of selecting cheese, by offering tiny tastes and cutting each piece to order.

Updated by Jacqueline Cain

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