The Best Cheese Shops in Toronto
The Best Cheese Shops in Toronto typically look like some sort of coagulated wonderland. There are cheeses of all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours, stacked on shelves, resting in buckets, or hanging gingerly from the ceiling. Mouth watering yet? Well the staff at some of these shops can help you find exactly what you're looking for, even if you give them little beyond the vague description of, "that kind of piece-y crumbly mild kind."
Yes, if you're in the right place (and look desperate enough) you'll get it--trust me. Many of these shops also offer olive oils, crackers, deli meats and other prepared foods, and they'll help you put together the perfect combination to best experience that fine truffle brie. So whether you're looking for goat, sheep, or regular cow's milk cheese, here are some of the best cheese shops in Toronto.
Note: A previous version of this list was published on July 30, 2008. Comments below made up until June 6, 2011 are in reference to the old list. We've purposely kept the archived comments here because we believe they (mostly) add value to this topic. If you don't want to have to wade through all of them, simply hit the "sort by newest first" link at the top of the thread.
Global Cheese in Kensington Market simply has one of the best selections around for very reasonable prices. The key is to get one of its friendly staff members to help you carefully craft a cheese platter, after which you can impress your friends with your impeccable, uh, borrowed cheese knowledge. More »
Cheese Boutique has hefty rounds of every cheese imaginable, as well as lots of prepared foods to make a perfect pairing. The people here are so into cheese that they'll actually make you a multi-tiered cheese wedding cake, designed on Ripley Avenue amid hanging prosciutto and trays of olives. Check out their cheese cave. More »
International Cheese stocks restaurants, deli counters, and grocery stores around the city, and as anyone who has tasted its cheese can confirm, it's for very good reason. But ground zero for International Cheese is its factory store near Keele and St. Clair, where a tub of its fresh, warm ricotta is a practical must. More »
The real serious cheese-lover is devoted to the recently renovated Olympic Cheese for its collection of 400 cheeses from around the world, which includes a healthy variety of goat and sheep cheeses. In the St. Lawrence Market, Olympic Cheese Mart also offers farm fresh eggs and butter, as well as homemade dips and organic olive oils. More »
Grande Cheese Factory Outlet on Orfus Road offers more than just cheese, but of course, its cheese is its specialty. Balls of fette, provolone, friulano and more hang from racks scattered throughout the store, interrupted by buckets of bocconcini and $100 bricks of parmesan. Factory outlet, indeed. More »
Look for the blue cow. There you'll find Alex Farm, on Queen East in the Beaches, St. Lawrence Market, the Danforth, Bayview plus other locations. Alex Farm boasts over 500 varieties of cheeses including sheep, goat, and cow cheeses. The staff is quite knowledge about the merits of, say, a four-year-old gouda, and will help you to pick out perfect pairings. More »
It's common knowledge that anything with the word "emporium" must be good. The Cheese Emporium is, of course, no exception, with two locations in Toronto; one on Eglinton East, and one on Avenue Road. Stocked with cheeses from all different regions, the fresh olive bar adds another hard-to-resist element. More »
My favourite thing about the Leslieville Cheese Market is that its second location on Queen West is still called the "Leslieville Cheese Market." Well, that and its famous grilled sandwiches. Besides picking up some fresh cheeses to work with for supper, you can also take beer and cheese classes at any of its (now three) locations. More »
This one could definitely be considered "well-aged." Pasquale Bros has been around since 1917, originally created to give Italian immigrants a little taste of home. Now on Goodrich Avenue in Etobicoke, Pasquale offers French, Dutch, Spanish, Danish cheeses and more--but you can certainly still get your provolone piccante and ricotta salate here too. The biggest drag? The shop is closed on weekends. More »