From a cheesemonger selling one of the best toasties in the country (even Liam Neeson thinks so) to a cheese rubbed with espresso beans, and a family-run deli institution with a 100-strong cheese selection, Australia has no shortage of excellent cheese-fuelled excursions waiting to be explored.
We rounded up five of the best specialty cheese shops in Australia – and what to buy while you’re there.
Maker & Monger, Melbourne
Anthony Femia’s self-described “chapel of cheese” first launched at Prahran Market in 2015 as a humble food cart. It’s since expanded into a permanent stall, with a seven-metre-long cheese cabinet stocked with boutique cheeses from around the world. There’s creamy gorgonzola scooped to order, huge wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano and a delightfully stinky selection of blues. Our top picks include a Montgomery’s clothbound cheddar from Neal’s Yard Dairy in the UK, and a soft and crumbly Langres, a cow’s milk cheese from the French region of Champagne-Ardenne. Open weekends, and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
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Shop 98, Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Road, Prahran, Victoria
Penny’s Cheese Shop, Sydney
Opposite the El Alamein fountain on Macleay Street in Potts Point you’ll find Penny’s Cheese Shop, a one-stop outlet for some of the world’s best handmade and farmhouse cheeses, plus accoutrements. It’s also the home of arguably Sydney’s best cheese toastie – an oozy medley of hand-grated cheeses between fresh sourdough that even Hollywood action star Liam Neeson swears by. You can dine in here, or pick up options like a Victorian cheddar, Swiss gruyere, or WA raclette to take home. If you’re feeling daredevilish, try an Oaxaca from Marrickville’s Vannella or a smoked scamorza. (“They are the stretchy ones, we don’t sell them generally,” owner Penny Lawson tells Broadsheet.) Open Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 6pm, and Saturday from 8.30am to 4pm.
Shop 6, 127-139 Macleay Street, Potts Point, NSW
Say Cheese, Adelaide
Say Cheese is consistently one of the most popular stalls at the Adelaide Central Market for good reason. It stocks everything from local cheeses to exotic imports, including Sartori Bellavitano Espresso, an Italian-style cheese rubbed with ground espresso beans, and Beaufort d’Alpage, made with milk from cows that live in the French Alps 1500 metres above sea level. If you’re after something closer to home, we suggest anything from Woodside Cheese Wrights, an award-winning cheese producer from the Adelaide Hills. Chat to the staff if the thought of choosing from 120 varieties sends you into a spin – they really know their stuff. Open Tuesday to Saturday, from 7am.
Stall 46, Adelaide Central Market, Adelaide, SA
Powells Fromagerie, Perth
What’s better than a fromagerie? A licensed fromagerie. The owners of Leederville’s Powells Fromagerie & Wine Bar, Jasmine and Marisa Powell, have built a venue that hinges on a classy array of cheese, snack and wine pairings. Our pick is the cheesemonger’s choice plate, which serves up to five selected cheeses alongside special accompaniments like freshly sliced San Daniele prosciutto, salumi or mortadella. The bruschetta with La Delizia Latticini stracciatella is also excellent. Open Wednesday to Thursday from 4pm to 9pm (ish), and Friday to Saturday from 2pm until late.
12 Electric Lane, Leederville, WA
Rosalie Gourmet Market, Brisbane
Rosalie Gourmet Market on Baroona Rd in Paddington is an institution. Established in 1977, this family-run deli is the city’s go-to for a huge range of international items including cheese, truffle products (like oil and honey) and French cooking products (like goose fat and imported sardines). The cheese selection is particularly impressive, with more than 100 offerings including French and Greek varieties, and a whole lot of Australian ones. We like the creamy cheeses by Fromager d’Affinois, crafted in Rhône-Alpes, France; the award-winning Woombye Cheese from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast; and Berrys Creek Oak Blue, which recently picked up a gold medal at the World Cheese Awards in Spain. Open seven days a week, from 7am to 6pm.
164 Baroona Road, Paddington, Queensland
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