Simon Johnson
The three Simon Johnson stores in Toorak, Chadstone and Fitzroy all have a cheese room. The Toorak and Chadstone shops have custom-built cheese rooms held at 12 degrees, each with a humidifier, while the whole Fitzroy store is more of a cold-room at a moderated temperature, rather than a separate room with a cheese counter. Still, it has worked successfully for the specialist food stores who are more than welcoming when it comes to service and knowledge for what cheese is good to eat when. Saturdays see a wooden board put out with various cheeses to taste and as they specialise in good Australian and European cheeses the choice is vast, ever-changing and treated respectfully.

Chadstone Shopping Centre
(03) 9644 3644

Mon-Wed 9am-5.30pm
Thu-Fri 9am-9pm
Sat 9am-5pm
Sun 10am-5pm

12-13 St David Street, Fitzroy
(03) 9644 3630

Mon-Fri 10am-6pm
Sat 9am-5pm

471 Toorak Road, Toorak
(03) 9644 3633

Get our pick of the best news, features and events delivered twice a week

Mon-Fri 10am-6.30pm
Sat 9am-5pm
Sun 10am-4pm

Richmond Hill Larder
From 1997, Richmond Hill Larder’s cheese room opened our eyes, palates and noses to the potential of the quality cheese room with a strong European feel. Aproned staff constantly offering tastes of sliced slivers of ripe cheeses, a chalkboard with the cheeses that are ripe for the picking in the cafe and shelves and shelves of cheese wheels maturing. The staff know their cheese and the shop outside is full of great accompaniments - pastes, relishes, bread - and join their Cheese Club. You can’t help but feel you’ve done a tour of Europe (and Australia) after taking in all that’s available, washed rind, sheep or goat, blue, white mould, semi-hard.

48-50 Bridge Road, Richmond
(03) 9421 2808

Sun-Thu 8.30am-5pm
Fri-Sat 8.30am-6pm

La Latteria
That’s Amore cheese had our attention quickly with the opening of their first retail outlet, La Latteria on Carlton’s Elgin Street. Giorgio Linguanti made cheese under the That’s Amore name for three years (he still does) before opening the mozzarella shop with business partner chef, Kirsty Laird. They specialise in buffalo mozzarella and fior di latte (cow’s milk mozzarella) as well as scamorza (an Italian cow’s milk cheese). Kirsty stretches the mozzarella daily in the back room of the shop and now makes quark and fromage blanc while Giorgio makes the other cheeses at the factory in Donnybrook. They have just started making butter from pure cream (salted and unsalted) and you can buy un-homogenised milk and yoghurt that’s made on the premises’s hard to go past the burrata - a skin of mozzarella filled with cream and cheesy mozzarella pieces that oozes out of its casing and tastes decadently good.

104 Elgin Street, Carlton
(03) 9347 9009

Mon-Fri 9am-7pm
Sat 9am-2pm

Milawa Cheese Shop
Family-owned and operated, the Milawa cheese shop on Nicholson Street has been doing great business for the last 13 years. Owned by David and Anne Brown, their entire range is Australian cheese only with the complete Milawa range as well as some King Island cheeses as well as their own terrines, cured meats and pastes. A very comfortable and homey feeling in the room gives way to an extensive range of cheeses. Taste before you buy and have them make up a platter to enjoy at one of the few tables or to take home.

665 Nicholson Street, Carlton North
(03) 9381 1777

Tues-Fri 10am-6pm
Sat 9am-4pm
Sun noon-4pm

Farmgate Cheese
Farmgate owner Travis Sanders was operations director for the group, Jones the Grocer, in Singapore and the Middle East before setting up Farmgate cheeses online 12 months ago. He opened the Hawthorn retail outlet just a month ago and specialises in Australian farmhouse cheeses like Tarago River and Holy Goat cheeses and Affineur cheeses from Europe. Affineur refers to a specialist who ages and matures cheese and through his previous job, Sanders has established contacts in Europe to have cheeses that are matured there, flown here in a matter of days. The selection changes regularly, at the moment he has aged cheeses from Herve Mons and Henri Hutin (both Affineurs) and will be bringing in some treats from Spain in the next couple of months. There’s a tasting room where one can sit down and try before you buy and a cafe with cakes and baguettes.

32 Queens Avenue, Hawthorn
1300 267 673

Tue-Sat 8am-4pm