Much like developing late-onset lactose intolerance, no one gets to choose the moment they fall in love with cheese. Maybe you caught the bug after biting into a greasy, piping-hot pizza as a kid at Chuck E. Cheese, amidst all of the questionably sanitized ball pits and horrifying life-like animatronics. Perhaps you imprinted on Wallace and Gromit at an early age and became increasingly obsessed every time they uttered the beloved C-word? Or, maybe, you just like cheese because, you know, it’s cheese...
Whatever your reason for brie-lieving is (we promise that’s our last dairy pun), if you’re looking for some of the best cheeses in the city, plus some excellent cured meats to go along with it, here are ten great spots for cheese and charcuterie across LA.
Oh! And we even found you a little ten-hour cheese playlist to listen to. We may have spent too much time procrastinating on Youtube before writing this guide. Sorry.
Over in Santa Monica, stop by Andrew’s Cheese Shop for a wide variety of artisan cheeses, olive oil, wine, and fancy grab-and-go sandwiches. This much-beloved specialty store has been around since 2008 and quickly became a staple of the neighborhood, much like the term “farm-to-table” or the flocks of Bird scooters you’ll see speeding around at any given time. There’s always a decently sized line here, their crunchy baguettes are second to none, and you can always count on the people behind the counter to show you something fun and unique.
It’s the cheese store to end all cheese stores. A proper Hollywood legend, rivaling the likes of John Wayne, Audrey Hepburn, and the 12-foot-tall Kermit the Frog statue at Jim Henson on La Brea we can’t seem to get enough of. Open since 1967, this Beverly Hills institution is stocked with 300-500 different types of cheese (depending on the time of year), plus tons of wines, charcuterie, caviar, and truffles - many of which are sourced from local California purveyors. Have we accidentally spent $50 on a single piece of brie here, much to the shock and horror of both the shop owner and our boyfriend of the time? We’ll never tell… (absolutely yes, and we’d do it again). The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills is open for takeout-only right now. Head to their website to place an order.
With a super-friendly staff and a well-stocked counter filled with goat cheese from Spain, spicy “Four Alarm” cheddars, and fresh ricotta made locally in California, no trip to the Grand Central Market is complete without a stop at DTLA Cheese. Any one of their cheesemongers will be happy to help you navigate their large selection, grab you a couple tins of boquerones and smoked oysters, or curate the cheeseboard of your dreams.
As the undisputed king of the Westside, it should come as a surprise to no one that Gjusta has a top-notch selection of meat and cheese. Big, marbled hunks of prosciutto are sliced to order. Come any day of the week, and you’ll find cases filled with citrus-flavored goat cheese, rich rounds of the Bay Area’s Cowgirl Creamery, and pâté de Campagne – a delicious country ham studded with nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. The Venice cafe/bakery has luckily ditched their chaotic order-at-the-counter-only system during the pandemic, now opting for an easier, breezier mix of takeout, delivery, and patio dining. Although, our favorite move is still to grab a few cheeses, a pound (or two) of cured meats, plus one of their crusty baguettes to bring to a pier to sit at and deeply contemplate the meaning of life on – but that’s just us.
Owned and operated by the team behind the ultra-fancy Maude, this giant Hollywood restaurant does all of their meat curing in-house (if you’re into that sort of thing), and has everything you need for a wine night at home, or an upscale picnic in your car. Their menu includes cheese and charcuterie gift boxes, wines for as far as the eye can see, and something called “The Gwen” - a specially curated picnic basket for two, filled with their house-cured charcuterie, chicken liver parfait, Muscatel grapes, pickles, plus a selection cheeses, crackers, and bread. Gwen is available for delivery and curbside pickup, head to their website to place an order.
Oh, Larchmont Village Wine and Cheese. Even in a city super-stuffed to the absolute max with excellent sandwich options, we always find ourselves returning to this low-key, family-owned deli again and again. In addition to a shop full of artisan-made cheeses, meats from around the world, imported cooking oils, chocolates, candies, and a whole lot of wine, they also make a variety of simple but fantastic sandwiches. Our favorite is the #5, made with fresh mozzarella, arugula, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, and a heap of prosciutto, but if the off-menu El Conquistador special makes an appearance, make sure to add that to your cart as well – featuring a spectacular array of manchego cheese, chorizo, pickled peppers, and that aforementioned prosciutto, this sandwich will completely change what you fantasize on your lunch hour from here on out. Available for takeout, call (323) 856-8699 to place an order.
Stocked with hundreds of award-winning cheeses from around the world, plus cases full of salumi, porchetta, pesto, and pasta, walking into this tiny Eagle Rock storefront is like entering a new, better world – one where the possibilities are endless and everyone suddenly knows the exact melting point of raclette. Overwhelmed by the amount of choices? Don’t know the difference between a semi-soft and soft-ripened cheese, or whether or not you like unpasteurized dairy? Worry not, their expert staff of cheesemongers is there to patiently help you make sense of their expansive selection. Make sure to grab a sandwich or two before heading out.
Although their charcuterie selection might be small (they usually have a rotating list of four to five items at all times), Republique is secretly serving one of the best cheese and meat boards in the city. In a surprise plot twist, this dish is actually served at the end of the meal, rather than the beginning, which is a perfect way to close the night out on a rich, savory note. Expect everything from extremely pungent blues to soft and mild cheeses made from raw cow’s milk, all of which is served with their excellent house-made bread. Republique is open for takeout, delivery, and limited outdoor seating – head to their website for more information.
Whether you’re headed to a socially distant picnic or just want to feel like a spoiled little prince whose only known luxury and pleasure his entire life, this decades-old Silver Lake spot has all of the dairy, charcuterie, and freshly baked bread your heart could ever desire. There are vintage goudas sold by the half-pound, Parmigiano Reggiano that’s been aged for two years, as well as tins of Portuguese smoked sardines, anchovy-stuffed pickles, and custom gift baskets personally curated by owner Glenn Harrell.
The newest spot on this list by far, Tilda was one of our favorite bars coming into 2020. Since the pandemic, the pint-sized wine bar in Echo Park has transitioned to a takeaway window, equipped with an intercom for ordering and a Midsommar-esque wine window, where you’ll be able to get your fill of skin contact wines, Bub & Grandma’s baguettes, tinned fish, Tuscan-style salumi studded with fennel seeds, and miniature wheels of Camembert.