Won’t you brie mine?
Cheese fans of Paris, unite! As the capital of a country with over a thousand cheeses to choose from, Paris is ripe for turophiles, with a host of different ways to discover the wealth of dairy that is the Parisian cheesescape. From cheese shops peddling aged delicacies from across the country (and the globe!) to restaurants continuing to serve up a wow-worthy cheese cart in all its gilded glory, from cheese tastings with bona fide experts to temples of melted cheese specialties, here are the essential stops for any visitor to Paris with cheese on the brain. And when it’s time to head back to the land of pasteurized cheese products, don’t forget to purchase some raw milk specialties sous-vide (a.k.a. vacuum-sealed) to take home with you!
Whether it’s a creamy brie or delightfully smelly camembert, if you’re headed to the City of Light, this is where to find the best cheese shops in Paris.
Related: The Best Things to Do in Paris
In a city where once-ubiquitous gilded cheese carts appear to be, well, disappearing, Le Clarence perseveres, continuing to cater a phenomenal iteration of this bona fide Parisian classic. Organic cheeses are the kings and queens of the bountiful selection, hand-selected and aged by Bernard and Jeanine Antony, who met while working for none other than Pierre Androuët, one of the first cheesemongers to, in 1909, bring Parisians cheeses from all over France. Today, the Antonys are proud to supply 19 three-Michelin-starred establishments with their fromages, including this luxurious spot on the Champs-Elysées.
Of Paris’ dozens of cheese shops, Androuët stands out: Rich in over 100 years of tradition, this shop is the brainchild of Henri Androüet, whose dream was to bring France’s regional cheeses to Paris. Known, among other things, for introducing Burgundy’s triple-cream Excelsior to Paris (and rebaptizing it Brillat-Savarin), today, Androüet is known not only for its iterations of the creamy delicacy filled with spicy Espelette pepper or rich pear and praline, but also for its nutty Comté and creamy Brie de Meaux.
Cheese Explosion from Paris by Mouth
If cheese discovery is what you seek, look no further than Paris by Mouth’s Cheese Explosion. Led by long-time cheese lover Jennifer Greco, who is on a personal mission to taste all of France’s hundreds of cheeses, this experience begins with a wander through one of the capital’s top cheese shops, followed by a guided tasting of about ten cheeses in a vaulted cellar–accompanied, bien sûr, by bread and French wine. You’ll need to be rolled home–but you’ll be smiling!
Laurent Dubois Cheese Shop
Laurent Dubois was one of the first cheesemongers to receive the coveted Meilleur Ouvrier de France recognition for the arts of cheese selling and aging, so it’s no surprise that his cheese shops feature at the top of any cheese lover’s list. Dubois sources cheeses from all over France, so there’s something here for everyone, but some of his standouts include a super-aged fourme d’Ambert, which surpasses the usually mild flavor of the Auvergnat bleu to take on a rich, tangy sweetness. His pastry-inspired concoctions, meanwhile, see Camembert layered with slices of local Norman apples or goat cheese topped with fresh, citrusy yuzu.
If buying cheese at Laurent Dubois’ beautiful fromagerie isn’t enough, dig into one of his cooked creations at his eponymous restaurant at the top of the Printemps department store. While the restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes from French onion soup to goat cheese salad, from cheeseburgers to pizza, the stars of the menu are undoubtedly the croques-monsieur. Here, the sandwiches are made with artisanal sandwich bread that may contain layers of truffled Saint-Nectaire, cheddar, and pastrami, or an ever-changing vegetarian medley. The classic ham-and-cheese iteration is made with 20-month-aged Comté and Paris ham made by the last producer of the delicacy in the capital; dig in while you enjoy unrivaled views over Paris.
A restaurant within a cheese shop, Monbleu serves up such regional specialties as Savoyard potato-and-bacon tartiflette topped with stinky Reblochon or Burgundian gougères–Comté cheese puffs gilded here with a creamy Brillat-Savarin filling. In addition to cheesy mains, you can also opt for a cheese plate with a selection from the shop: The menu helpfully indicates not just the provenance of each cheese, but also its stink-factor on a scale from one to four. Pair with one of a rich selection of French wines or beers, or sip on a house cocktail.
Pain Vin Fromages
Pain Vin Fromages has transformed its quiet little corner of the Marais into Savoyard chalet, serving a panoply of après-ski specialties. Fondues range from the traditional to the international (Indian-spiced cheese, anyone?), and raclettes are served with the charcuterie of your choosing. Other mains include tartiflette or Munstiflette–the latter made with washed-rind Alsatian Munster for even more pungency and power. When in season, a baked Mont d’Or is the ideal meal for two. Lighter offerings include open-faced sandwiches on country bread or meal salads (most of which, it must be said, are also topped with cheese).
Marie Quatrehomme earned her Meilleur Ouvrier de France title in 2000, the very first year the designation was open to cheesemongers. Her daughter Nathalie is now at the helm of this 60-year-old cheese shop, which boasts five outposts in the French capital. In addition to the wide range of excellent classics, Quatrehommeoffers specialties like truffled Mont d’Or, smoked goat cheese, and Saint-Marcellin drizzled with honey, almonds, and preserved lemon. Snag an artisanal fig-walnut pâte de fruit made by jam specialist Francis Miot to accompany your more assertive choices.
Astier’s cheese course was once unrivaled: A frankly gargantuan basket of cheeses would be dropped on your bistro table, to be enjoyed with somewhat reckless abandon. While Covid has changed the format of this service somewhat, Astier still offers a beautiful display of aged delicacies, which now are served on a plate of either five or seven. The server decides what you try here, so go with an open mind, and you won’t be disappointed.
Don’t let the name of this sandwich shop fool you: You won’t be sampling frogs’ legs, here, but rather a modern take on a Savoyard classic. The star of the menu is the Sandwich Raclette: a baguette stuffed with ham, butter, pickles, and loads of melty raclette cheese. Non-cheese-lovers in your party (do they even exist?) can also snag a sandwich made with chicken, pâté, or ham and butter, and quiches and savory crêpes are on offer too. Take your options to go, and enjoy in one of the many parks in the picturesque surroundings of the village-like Montmartre neighborhood.
Laiterie de Paris
There’s no strong tradition of making cheese in Paris–understandable, as we’ve got a bit of a dearth of ruminants in the capital! But one cheesemaker opted to change all that with the Laiterie de Paris, a cheese shop and producer in the 18th arrondissement. Founder Pierre Coulon started as a goat breeder and spent time traveling throughout the country gleaning techniques before opening his shop in Paris, where he notably sells house-made yogurt and a Camembert he makes in Normandy.
Taka & Verm
Laure Takahashi and Mathieu Vermorel are united by their love both for one another and for artisanal cheese made by small producers. Their shop, launched in 2015, has a flair for modernity, with Laure’s Japanese roots inspiring such novel offerings as a sansho pepper-infused Saint Nectaire or yuzu-scented goat cheese. These join other creative choices like Saint-Marcellin wrapped in spring garlic and a rare goat milk gorgonzola coated in berries and rose petals.
Since 2008, Terroirs d’Avenir has sought to bring only the best in local, sustainable products to Paris, and that’s exactly what’s on the menu at their rue du Nil cheese shop. Behind its beautiful pink storefront, Terroirs d’Avenir seeks to highlight quality rather than quantity. Many of the big names you know may be absent from the shelves to pave the way, instead, for new discoveries like provola stuffed with lemon or a barrel-shaped fresh cheese that resembles a mild chèvre, only to reveal itself in all its sheepy glory.
With so many French cheeses to choose from, it comes as a surprise that there’s a demand for international cheese in Paris–and that’s exactly what COW (Cheese of the World) supplies. Inspired by London’s Neal’s Yard Dairy, Alexandre Renault and Antoine Farge age and sell over 80 cheeses from all over the world, ranging from Italian pecorino to Mexican cotija to a Nepalese Dri cheese–a cheddar made with yak’s milk.
La Ferme du Faubourg
If you want to take your love of cheese even further, consider taking a course at the Cheese School of Paris, which doubles as a lovely shop. In the 17th-century cellar or chalet-inspired tasting room, La Ferme du Faubourg offers guided workshops to help folks master the art of tasting, pairing, and even making their own cheese. The more industrious may wish to sign up for a professional workshop; over the course of a week, this experience teaches students all about sourcing, aging, and artistic cheese board assembly.