Cheese makes everything better. Think about it. A simple slice of Muenster turns humble toast into a buttery, gooey grilled cheese sandwich. An oven-warmed round of Brie elevates a boring box of crackers into the ultimate dinner party centerpiece. Then there’s Parmesan. The multipurpose ingredient adds a finishing touch to warm bowls of soup and makes plates of al dente spaghetti even more perfect.
Yet not all cheese is created equal. On the contrary, a chunk of cheddar is only as good as its origins. If the dairy isn’t up to par or if too many additives enter the mix, then even fan favorite mozzarellas can turn into rubbery, tasteless rounds. To avoid a case of lackluster dairy, head to one of the Hudson Valley’s cheese shops instead. With expert cheese mongers and local products galore, they have only the best fromage at their fingertips.
Located in the DelSo district in Albany, The Cheese Traveler is the place for much more than cheese. Yes, it is stocked to the brim with one-of-a-kind treats like Blue Jay cheese, infused with crushed juniper berries, and organic green onion cheddar from nearby Vermont. Yet the true reason to visit is to source the staff for their expert knowledge and recommendations. After a chat with them, we can almost guarantee you’ll walk away with one or two goodies you never knew you needed. In summertime, swing by for the Friday night cookout series. It runs May to September and features a grilled menu prepared by talented local chefs.
540 Delaware Ave, Albany, 518.443.0440
Although it has no brick and mortar location, Worldling’s Pleasure has a strong presence at the many fairs, festivals, and markets throughout the Hudson Valley. The niche brand specializes in creamy, spreadable Asiago or Cheddar-based cheeses made with local New York ingredients. Try the Asiago Artichoke with Spinach, which pairs well with pasta and pizza, or the Cranzy Appleyago, which is delightful on its own or with crackers.
When it comes to cheese, Talbott & Arding stocks only the gouda stuff (sorry, not sorry). The upstate storefront stocks a curated inventory of farmstead and artisan products from cheese makers both in the United States and across the globe. Because the store works as closely with the producers as possible, you can expect only the best here. Cheese is cut to order, which means customers receive the perfect amount every time.
323 Warren St, Hudson, 518.828.3558
For more than 10 years, Olde Hudson has charmed locals and visitors alike with its well-stocked storefront and artisanal treats. A glimpse through the inventory leads you through pasteurized and raw cheeses made from cow, sheep, goat, and even buffalo milk. Scoop up a ball of burrata, mozzarella’s softer, more luscious cousin, for pizza at home, or treat yourself to a delightfully marbled hunk of Stilton. Good luck limiting yourself here.
449 Warren St, Hudson, 518.828.6923
Whether you’re a cheese connoisseur or are ready for an upgrade from supermarket Parmesan, you’ll fall in love with the dairy department at Bimi’s. The charming storefront stocks community favorites, like Brabander Goat Gouda and creamy, nutty Challerhocker, in addition to eye-catching temptations like Shropshire Blue, a bright orange blue from England that resembles a Stilton. If you’re not sure how to best consume your new treats, don’t hesitate to ask the knowledgeable staff for recommendations.
21 Main St, Chatham, 518.392.8811
Since 1993, Old Chatham Sheepherding Company has distinguished itself from local cheese mongers by producing cheeses that rely on sheep, not cow, milk. The Galton family farm uses its flock of 2,100 dairy sheep to produce its signature creamy cheeses. Try Nancy’s Hudson Valley Camembert, a buttery blend of sheep’s milk, cow’s milk, and cow’s cream, on your next cheese plate. For a more unique option, taste the Ewe’s Blue, a 100 percent sheep’s milk cheese that tastes uncannily similar to Roquefort.
155 Shaker Museum Rd, Old Chatham, 888.743.3760
If you’ve never had a sample of Sprout Creek Farm’s award-winning cheeses, do yourself a favor and take a trip over to its onsite market as soon as possible. The farm uses antibiotic and hormone free milk from its herd of cows and goats. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on it, pick up a block (or a wheel) of Margie, the bloomy rind cheese that is somehow light and buttery at the same time. Hoping for a hard cheese instead? The Toussaint, a raw cows’ milk cheese with a pleasant kick, is enjoyable on its own or with crackers.
34 Lauer Road, Poughkeepsie, 845.485.8438
Adams does a lot of things well, and cheese is definitely one of them. Every location boasts an extensive assortment of cheeses, many of which were born right here in the Hudson Valley. Coach Farm in Pine Plains, Sprout Creek in Poughkeepsie, and Old Chatham Sheepherding Company in Old Chatham all sell their products there. To complement the local and international assortment, Adams also produces its own mozzarella each and every day.
765 Dutchess Tpke, Poughkeepsie, 845.454.4330 (Dutchess)
160 Old Post Rd, Wappinger, 845.632.9955 (Dutchess)
1560 Ulster Ave, Lake Katrine, 845.336.6300 (Ulster)
1240 Rte 300, Newburgh, 845.569.0303 (Ulster)
Last Chance was made for cheese lovers. The eatery side features menu items – think goat cheese salads and French onion soups – that ooze the good stuff from every nook and cranny. After a meal here, hit up the gourmet shop to take home a hunk of cheddar (or anything else). The store also sells chocolate and honey, both of which will bring you that much closer to the over-the-top cheese platter of your dreams.
6009 Main St, Tannersville, 518.589.6424
Don’t let the name deceive you. While Marbled may excel on the carnivorous front, it manages to hold its own on the dairy end of things as well. Stop into the Cold Spring shop on any given day to browse the selection of American farmstead cheeses, many of which come from small batch producers in the northeast. The selection changes every week, which means you have every excuse to plan a return trip.
3091 Rte 9, Cold Spring, 845.265.2830
As the newest member of the Hudson Valley cheese monger club (it opened in July 2018), Cold Spring Cheese Shop is ready to wow visitors with its locally focused collection of dairy delights. Look for area classics from Chaseholm Farm, Coach Farm, Churchtown Dairy, Hawthorne Valley Farm Creamery, Nettle Meadow, Old Chatham Sheepherding Company, and Sprout Creek Farm. The family-owned business is happy to help with any cheesy conundrums you may have.
104 Main St, Cold Spring, 845.666.7373
Located inside Water Street Market in New Paltz, The Cheese Plate is a go-to spot before a weekend picnic or dinner party. The curated shop stocks more than 60 cheeses that are priced per pound and cut to order. Taste test locally coveted varieties like creamy St. Stephen from Four Fat Fowl in Stephentown, tangy Walton Umber from Vulto Creamery in Walton, and funky Harpersfield with Lapsang Souchong tea from Brovetto Dairy in Catskill.
10 Main St, Ste 302, New Paltz, 845.255.2444
If you’d rather not go through the hassle of putting together your own cheese plate, swing by Cheese Louise for a show-stopping shortcut. The well-stocked Kingston locale impresses with colorful, curated platters and gift baskets that are sure to delight even the pickiest of guests. Need an additional reason to consider a visit? The daily cheese samples are more than enough of an excuse to hop in the car a.s.a.p.
940 Rte 28, Kingston, 845.853.8207
You know a shop has the right idea when it declares itself as the place to explore “the divinity of cheese.” The Rosendale space, which also operates as a deli and café, stocks a commendable collection of flavored cheeses like bruschetta Monterey jack, spicy Peppadew pepper, and creamy maple. Many products are locally sourced as well.
402 Main St, Rosendale, 845.658.7175