If you ever want to see a truly wistful gaze in someone’s eyes, try saying “Paris” to a food lover. The City of Light has rightly secured its place as a global capital of wine, bread, and cheese.
While we’d heartily recommend pursuing all of the above while on a Paris trip, French cheese is especially worth seeking out in Paris. Many French cheeses don’t make their way to the U.S., and others require a slightly different production method for the American market. That makes French cheese particularly worth your time and budget while on the road.
Specialty cheese shops, called fromageries, abound in Paris. Many fromageries practice affinage, or the aging and caretaking of cheese that ensures it’s sold to you at its perfect ripeness. While the best fromagerie for you may be the one closest to where you’re staying, for sake of ease and access, here are five others that we’d suggest going out of your way to find.
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37 Rue de Verneuil, 75007 Paris, France
Believe it or not, the concept of a cheese shop has only existed since 1909 and was created by a Frenchman named Henri Androuet. Now, there are more than 10 shops bearing his name throughout the city, all offering a large, beautifully curated selection of cheese. Make sure to try the Roquefort!
47 Ter Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75005 Paris, France
Laurent Dubois is a Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF), the country’s highest designation for a cheesemonger and affineur. He has several shops throughout Paris, the largest of which is Maubert-Multualite. Known for an excellent selection of Comte and sheep milk cheeses from the Pyrenees, the shops also have delightful house-made creations, such as fresh chèvre topped with yuzu or Camembert stuffed with mascarpone and Calvados-soaked dried apples.
Taka & Vermo
61bis Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010 Paris, France
A relative newcomer in trendy Saint-Denis. Owned by Laure Taka and Matthieu Vermo, a couple who had careers in other fields but gave it all up for cheese after taking a four-month road trip through Italy and France. Laure worked at Laurent Dubois for a time and makes similar cheese creations, but with a Japanese twist to honor her Japanese heritage.
51 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris, France
Many passionate cheese lovers, including Charlotte Gainsbourg and Catherine Deneuve, hail Nicole Barthelemy as the best of the best, but others grumble about slightly higher prices and occasionally brusque service. This may not be the spot to hang out in all day but, if you’re well-mannered and open-minded, the Barthelemy experience is iconic.
54 Rue Damrémont, 75018 Paris, France
A tiny treasure near Sacre Coeur, this third-generation affineur focuses on seasonality and exclusively sells raw milk cheeses. In early spring, fresh goat’s milk cheeses are cheerfully adorned with fresh herbs and flowers. Its website notes, “Please remember when you enter into her cheese shop, if Virginie happens not to be there, she may be is in the mountains or in a barn in the Alps or just in the cellar!” Quirky, elegant, and masterful.