Great news for turophiles: collectively, London’s dairies, restaurants, cheesemongers, cafes, cellars and market stalls work with hundreds of varieties of cheese from domestic and foreign producers, serving up dishes and combinations for all tastes and occasions. Cheese in the capital is sliced, diced, grated and melted into just about everything: matched with charcuterie; eaten as a main, snack, or dessert; and paired with beverages of all sorts — from ciders and champagnes to tea and coffee. Here are fifteen places where the modern-day food of the gods takes centre stage. Not for the lactose intolerant.Read More
Where to Eat Cheese in London
Delectable cheese boards, food coma-inducing fondues, rich raclettes — and more
1. Froth & Rind
London E17 9NL, UK
This bright blue storefront opened in Walthamstow Village in 2015, after stints at local markets and pop-ups. As the name suggests, Froth and Rind teams British artisan cheeses and some European guests with craft beer — kegged, canned, bottled and casked, courtesy of Beavertown and other local breweries. Working with a variety of producers, from established names to smaller, independent dairies, the shop loves to showcase distinctive British cheeses, including Baron Bigod — the U.K.’s only raw unpasteurised brie. Aside from locally-sourced cakes, pastries and coffee, the cafe serves cheese and charcuterie boards, snacks and cheese toasties — sandwich specials like ‘The Scorchio’ with raclette, peri peri olives, habañeros and lime jam, are not to be missed.
Ben and Hugo met working at Borough Wines, eventually branching out on their own to open this wine bar, deli, and cheese palace in Holloway. Provisions stocks around 130 wines sourced directly from mostly natural French and Italian winemakers, 100 cheeses, craft beer, baked goods from the acclaimed Dusty Knuckle bakery, and various chutneys, jams and other deli items. The shop opens most evenings for cheese, wine and deli platters of the highest quality, offers wine refills at £6 per bottle, and delivers wine-cheese-bread combos starting at £10 that are Islington’s definition of a happy meal. It’s one of the best places to stop by for a drink before hitting Islington’s best restaurants, or gleefully watching hungry queuers at next door’s laksa hypebeast Sambal Shiok.
3. The Cheese Bar
London NW1 8AP, UK
Trudging through the tourist crowds surrounding Camden Stables market, one might eventually come across a bright yellow “Cheese” sign. The Cheese Bar — permanent sibling of The Cheese Truck — features a compact restaurant counter and stately fridge with thirty-odd varieties of cheese on display. Cheese is — unsurprisingly — ever-present on the menu, with the standard staples of raclette, fondue, toasties, and cheese boards complemented by a rotating selection of comfort food classics. Poutine, mac and cheese, and cheeseburgers play best of British dishes like smoked hay Tunworth, haggis and Ogleshield scotch egg. The portions aren’t huge, so opt for a tapas-style ordering strategy: the supersized mozzarella sticks are a good place to start, with a thick, crunchy crust, super stretchy cheese, and chilli jam on the side.
4. Pistachio and Pickle
London N1 8ED, UK
Islington was once London’s dairy district, counting around 170 dairy retailers in the 19th century that supplied the city with milk and its derivatives. Though little remains of the former glory days, neighbourhood darlings Pistachio and Pickle are flying Islington’s dairy flag today. It started out as an underground supper club, catching the attention of the Evening Standard and eventually setting up shop permanently — in a coffee bar and deli on Liverpool Road and a cheesemonger in Camden Passage. The former serves Monmouth coffee and a pleasing menu of cakes, pastries, salads, soups and sandwiches, of which the grilled cheese is, naturally, the most formidable. the latter stocks 70-odd predominantly British varieties of cheese, with accoutrements including as fresh bread, relishes and crackers, wines, sherries and ports. Grilled cheese sandwiches are served throughout the day, and on weekends the first floor parlour opens to wine and cheese lovers, of which there are plenty in the neighbourhood.
London E2 7DP, UK
Some might characterise this bistrot fondue bar as quaint and cosy; others may call it a hoarder’s paradise. The interior seems to house the entire contents of an attic, with musical instruments, helmets, crockery, tennis rackets, and a motorbike dotted around. In the evenings, candlelight makes for a more intimate and Bohemian ambiance — this is Bethnal Green, after all. The menu will please cheese lovers with raclettes, fondue, cheese and charcuterie, and appease turophobes with antipasti and rich French beef bourguignon and cassoulet. In the summer, kick back with a spritz and a cheese board; in the winter, order the fondue Savoyarde — a variety from the Savoie region of the French alps, favoured by skiers visiting the numerous local resorts. Walluc’s version is kinder to the wallet.
6. Androuet Cheese & Wine Bar
Androuet’s original fromagerie was founded in Paris in 1909 and has grown into a century-old cheese powerhouse. Maison Androuet now has a dozen cheese shops around Europe, a trusted supplier to British cheese royalty Paxton and Whitfield. Said nickname is literal, since it literally supplies the Queen, though not from its physical location in Spitalfields Market in Shoreditch. The cheese shop leads into a small restaurant and wine bar, whose substantial menu features cheese and charcuterie boards alongside the expected raclette, tartiflette and fondue heavy-hitters — évidemment! It also branches out into toasted sandwiches (on half a baguette, bien sûr), burgers, pasta and desserts. Though takeaways are available, the best way to eat at here is slowly and al fresco, people-watching from the small terrace facing the market. For those with adventurous palates, blue cheese fondue and cheese ice cream that tastes far better than it sounds are essential orders.
7. La Fromagerie
La Fromagerie is the brainchild of Patricia Michaelson, London’s grande dame of cheese who fell in love with Beaufort — a type of cheese, not a Frenchman — on an Alpine skiing holiday and started selling it from her garden shed in Highgate. In 1992, the operation grew into La Fromagerie’s first location in Highbury Park, with a second branch eventually opening in Marylebone and a third — in Bloomsbury, opposite Noble Rot, a wholesale customer along with the River Cafe, Gordon Ramsay and Angela Hartnett. The Marylebone location boasts the most extensive food selection, serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and takeaways — from cheese-led classics like fondue Savoyarde and Ploughman’s to regionally-inspired fare, galettes, and farmhouse breakfasts. The cheese and charcuterie boards are a rite of passage and come with a detailed flavour breakdown and a wine pairing, leaving patrons satiated, tipsy and — hopefully — better-versed in gastronomic nuances.
8. Vivat Bacchus
Vivat Bacchus features a European, mostly cheese-free menu with wildcards like kangaroo steak with a biltong crust. Things get interesting around dessert — both branches (Smithfield Market and London Bridge) have walk-in cheese rooms. Experts guide both nerds and newbies through the selection to pick out cheeses and garnishes for a custom cheese board. With over 40 varieties of cheese on display, the range is constantly expanded and updated. Look out for curious varieties like Long Clawson Dairy’s Red Windsor — a marbled concoction laced with Bordeaux wine that is Bagpuss cheese incarnate. The wine list is extensive and focuses on South African wines, with frequent appearances from European and New World producers. Off-list wines can be picked out from the walk-in cellars, which stock bottles that go up to Melchior (18 litres) size. Live jazz on weekends makes it a great place for dates — just order the Stinking Bishop at your own peril.
9. Buchanans Cheesemonger
Rhuaridh Buchanan once faced a difficult choice — work with US superstar Thomas Keller at thrice Michelin-starred Per Se, or master the art of affinage at iconic British cheesemonger Paxton and Whitfield. He chose the latter, eventually rising to the post of general manager, then started a wholesale cheese business that now supplies the likes of Ledbury, The Square and The Ritz, and opened a retail shop. Buchanan’s — winner of Cheese Counter of the Year at the World Cheese Awards— stocks around 150 artisanal cheeses from the UK and Europe. The counter selection changes daily based on what’s ripe and ready in the on-site maturing rooms. The goods can be sampled at the quaint tasting room, together with small plates, charcuterie, and wine. Cheese boards are customised to patrons’ personal preferences, wine pairing recommendations are made — even the walls, decked with blue cheese patterned wallpaper, make for a memorably cheesy (in the good way) experience.
“The world’s first mozzarella bar” was founded in Rome in 2004, subsequently growing to over twenty locations in Italy, US, Japan, and four in London. The chain is on familiar terms with celebrity chefs — Nancy Silverton credited Obicà with inspiring her LA-based restaurant Osteria Mozza on Netflix series Chef’s Table, and Alessandro Borghese —“Jamie Oliver of Italy” — currently serves as the venture’s creative chef. Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP and its cousins are the pillars of the menu, served both on their own in classic, smoked, burrata, stracciatella, bocconcini and nodini form, and integrated within other dishes. The ‘nduja burrata pizza deserves a special mention, as does the “Mozzarella bar experience” — a sharing option with mozzarella, cured meats, caponata, pesto, tomatoes fresh and dried, and a focaccina for wiping the plate clean.
11. St Moritz Restaurant
Fondue isn’t hard to come by in London but St Moritz (the restaurant, not the Swiss resort) gets a special mention in this category. The capital’s oldest Swiss restaurant has been dishing out fondues since 1974 — owner Armin Loetscher claims to sell at least 100 a day. The Soho institution features eight different types on its menu — prime beef and stock for the carnivores and lactose-challenged, fruits and chocolate for those with a sweet tooth, and cheese for everyone else. Pick the Valaisanne au Tomates for something unusual, with tomatoes added to the cheese blend, or Moitie-Moitie and Neuchateloise for a reliable classic — the former, a classic Gruyere and Emmental, the latter, equal parts Gruyere and Vacherin. Combine with a glass of Swiss wine and the “best rosti outside of Switzerland” and it’s a food coma waiting to happen.
12. Cheese at Leadenhall
Cheese at Leadenhall — founded by Sue Cloke, a Paxton & Whitfield alum who formerly ran the cheese department at Harvey Nichols — self-identifies as a cheesemonger, bar and restaurant. French staples, British regional classics (from Cropwell Bishop Stilton to Lancashire Bombs) and a staggering selection of truffle cheeses can be found amongst the 100 or so British and European varieties stocked by the shop. The restaurant has a concise, seasonal gastropub menu that complements small plates and plats du jour with cheese-based hits — croques monsieur and madame, baked Camemberts and cheese platters. The wine list is solid, and features a notable range of vintage port, perfect on sipping on the terrace overlooking Leadenhall market. If sitting around sipping digestifs isn’t, for some odd reason, the order of the day, Cloke also hosts regular cheese walks around the city.
13. Champagne and Fromage
With a name that leaves little to the imagination, Champagne and Fromage celebrates the cheese-fizz love affair at its three bistros — in Covent Garden, Brixton Village and Greenwich. The deli-slash-restaurant stocks 20 growers’ champagnes, which can be bought by the bottle, tried in a taster flight or guzzled down during happy hour, along with 50 or so cheeses and a menu that’s not afraid to do a little better than its peers. Outstanding melted cheese dishes include baked Cancoillotte, Cremeux de Jura fondue, and baked Camembert with a dozen combinations of mouth-watering toppings — Corsican ham and sweet pepper jam, shallot confit and raspberries, truffle and port, to name a few. For platters, cheeses are grouped by family and meats by region, before being served on irregularly shaped wooden boards with decorative drizzles of jam, nibbles, and tapenades in dinky glass jars. Finally, there’s the afternoon tea — champagne, cheese, macarons in four flavours, salted caramel canelés, pink Reims biscuits and, of course, tea for dipping.
14. Kappacasein Dairy
To chemists, kappa casein is a milk protein. To cheese enthusiasts, it’s a certain London-based mini cheese empire run by Bill Oglethorpe. The dairy, located in the producer haven that is Spa Terminus, is famed for Ogleshield cheese that Bill, formerly master affineur at Neal’s Yard Dairy, makes with unpasteurised full-fat milk. His Borough Market stall has been in operation since 2000 and is known for two £6 superdishes — firstly, cheese toasties that the editor of Gourmet Magazine once labelled “the platonic ideal of grilled cheese,” made with grilled Poilâne sourdough, four types of onions, and a blend of raclette, Montgomery cheddar, Ogleshield and Comte cheeses. Secondly, oozing raclette, liberally scraped onto Charlotte potatoes and topped with cornichons and pickled onions. To the chagrin of cheese traditionalists, this might be the only raclette dish in London not made with actual raclette cheese — it’s Ogleshield, of course.
15. La Cave a Fromage
La Cave — ironically or intentionally located around the corner from the French embassy — has graced London’s cheese scene for over a decade and is a sibling to wholesale suppliers Premier Cheese. Humbly self-described as “the world’s third most amazing cheese shop,” the South Kensington fromagerie follows a cheese-wine-charcuterie formula, hosting a well-stocked produce counter and a no-frills eat-in area. The wine list is predominantly French, the menu succinct, with nibbles, platters, and specials. The last category includes three types of raclette — baked, smoked, and blue — and three baked whole cheeses - the perennial Camembert, a Tunworth drizzled with truffle honey and a mouthwatering rendition of Vacherin Mont d’Or. All are baked with white wine and garlic, oozing out of a spruce box, with crusty French bread on the side for scooping.