We’re sorry to all the lactose-intolerant readers out there – this one isn’t for you. This list is for the person who always says yes to cheese on their burger, who takes their time telling the waiter “that’s enough” grated parmesan, and who knows charcuterie is absolutely a well-balanced snack. Here’s the ultimate list of the eight restaurants every cheese lover has to visit.
1. Casellula (NYC, New York)
Casellula describes itself as a “cheese-focused” wine bar that has a mission to “share our passion for hand-made cheeses with as many people as possible.” Located in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York, Casellula offers a rustic setting that is always bustling with a happy crowd.
The cheese selection here changes daily, ranging from classics to unique cheeses you may have never tried before! Come here for a few glasses of wine, a shared cheese board, and a couple of small appetizers. Fair warning – you can quickly lose track of time as you nibble and drink away in this beautiful New York setting.
2. Rich Table (San Francisco, California)
In 2018, San Francisco’s Rich Table earned its first Michelin star for its fantastic and creative food. Co-owners and chefs Evan Rich and Sarah Rich state that they believe food should be fun and speak for itself. And, let’s just say, the Rich chefs like to use cheese to do a lot of the talking!
Rich Table’s signature dish will impress any cheese lover. The dish is savory porcini doughnuts served with whipped raclette. This dish is wonderfully cheesy, balanced, and nothing like you’ve ever tasted before! And don’t worry – Rich Table may update its menu frequently, but they never remove the porcini doughnuts.
Other cheesy dishes currently on the menu worth mentioning include the duck confit mozzarella sticks, the caramelized onion tart with goat cheese, and the sea urchin Cacio e Pepe. You’ll love this cheese-forward Michelin-star dining experience.
3. Odd Duck (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Of course, the state known for its cheese is going to have a spot on this list. Wisconsin’s Odd Duck is a small-plates restaurant focused on serving a seasonal menu based on local ingredients. But, we’re here to talk about Odd Duck’s charcuterie boards.
You can come here and build your own charcuterie board a la carte. Just pick the cheeses you want, any meats, fresh bread, and charcuterie accompaniments. Not sure which cheeses to pick? You can tell the staff what flavors you typically prefer and they’ll create your perfect charcuterie board. We absolutely love the Schroeder Käse Triple Crème Brie and the Roth Smoked Moody Blue (both made in Wisconsin).
If you’re craving a good cheese fix, Odd Duck is your answer.
4. Melt Bar and Grilled (Canton, Ohio)
We’ve talked about Melt before in our blog on The Top 10 Best Grilled Cheeses in the US, so it’s no surprise it’s getting a mention here too. This popular restaurant chain now has 12 locations, all delivering on the concept of elevated grilled cheese.
Melt offers a variety of gourmet grilled cheeses. You have to try the TMNT Cowabunga, which has deep-fried pizza rolls, basil marinara, basil pesto, herb cream cheese, provolone, and romano. It’s like a pizza turned into a grilled cheese! Another strong contender here is the Mighty Macaroni which includes battered and deep-fried mac and cheese inside the grilled cheese. The good news is you don’t have to decide between the two. Melt offers half portions of all its grilled cheeses, so you can just order both!
5. Elbows Mac n Cheese (Gilbert, Arizona)
Elbows Mac n Cheese may not be fancy, but it delivers mac and cheese in a way you’ve never had before. This casual spot serves up over 20 kinds of mac and cheese dishes, all “crafted with love.”
We have two favorite mac and cheese dishes here: the Ragin’ Cajun and the Fun Guy. The Ragin’ Cajun comes with ghost pepper habañero jack cheese, andouille sausage, peppers, onions, topped with green onions and sriracha. While the Fun Guy comes with gouda, provolone, mushrooms, garlic, and white truffle oil. And if you’re feeling particularly indulgent, get your mac and cheese on a bed of fries or tater tots.
6. Pequod’s Pizza (Chicago, Illinois)
You can’t have a list for cheese lovers and not talk about deep dish pizza! And, of course, the best place to get authentic deep dish pizza is at Chicago’s Pequod’s Pizza. This casual spot has been serving fantastic pizza since 1970. Since then, this establishment has become Chicago’s most awarded and recognized pizza, featured in the Food Network, Man vs. Food, Bon Appetit, and more.
Come here and challenge yourself to make a dent in a deep dish pie. Choose whatever toppings you want – we promise all the pizzas at Pequod’s don’t disappoint. The cheese to sauce ratio is perfect and will leave your cheese cravings totally substantiated.
7. Lou’s Full-Serv (Jackson, Mississippi)
Lou’s Full-Serv diner creates Southern dishes that are delicious, large, and comforting. The menu has plenty of dishes that feature cheese, but the one that catches our attention is the crawfish fondue. You get hot, melted cheese mixed with crawfish and a side of crispy fries for dipping. It’s a combination most wouldn’t have thought of, but trust us, it works, and it’s incredible. This single dish earns Lou’s a spot on this cheese loving list.
8. Amano (Las Vegas, Nevada)
From the exterior, Amano might look like just another casual restaurant you would walk by without noticing. But, this Italian establishment has created a cheesy invention that has impressed both locals and tourists. Known as the “fat baby’s,” these dishes are hollowed out baguettes filled with cheesy, saucy pastas, and topped with more cheese. We recommend getting the lasagna or the Sicilian baked ziti.
The fat baby makes for a great Instagram picture and might result in a stomachache later on, but it’s worth it!
So, which of these restaurants spoke to you the most? We won’t judge you if it becomes a year-long mission to visit every single one!