Paris is famous for many things: iconic architecture, romantic vistas, world renowned museums, chic locals and, of course, mouthwatering cuisine. And there is no foodstuff more synonymous with Paris than cheese, in all its rich, decadent glory.
If you’ve enjoyed a cheeseboard somewhere in the world then the chances are you’ve tasted a French cheese – but did you know that there are around 350-450 distinct types of French cheeses available, with each region having a whole host of its own fabulous fromages?
A culinary journey through Paris
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the choice (and sometimes smell) of French cheese, so join us on a journey of discovery, where we will unearth the capital city’s most prized cheesemongers: from traditional family-run fromageries to crowdfunded urban cheese projects in the heart of Paris.
Paris’ Finest Fromageries
“Cheese-making is a part of French heritage, with age-old traditions and unmatched know-how,” says Monsieur Alléosse, purveyor of quality cheese at his eponymous Parisian fromagerie. Located close to the Arc de Triomphe – and just 10 minutes’ walk from the Radisson Blu Champs-Elysées – Alléosse is an authentic cheesemonger focused on preserving age-old traditions. Monsieur Alléosse works hard to support local producers, and also has cave facilities where he matures his cheese using traditional methods, resulting in the finest artisan fromage. His bestsellers are Comté, Camembert and Reblochon, but you must try his famous ‘Le Mystére d’Ambert’, a classic Fourme D’Ambert enriched with nuts, raisins and a top secret ingredient.
13 Rue Poncelet, 75017
Virginie Boularouah, a third generation cheesemonger, is at the helm of this spectacular cheese shop in Montmartre, having taken over the business from her father in 1995. Her passion for the product is clear: she travels across the country meeting producers and farmers (some of whom she’s known her whole life) to source the best and most interesting cheeses in France for her customers. The shop also sits atop state-of-the-art curing cellars, allowing Virginie to ensure the product she sells remains perfect. Interestingly, the store only sells raw milk cheeses, but this has no impact on the delicious offerings available to buy.
54 Rue Damrémont, 75018
La Ferme Saint Hubert
With an on-street display case set up outside, La Ferme Saint Hubert entices passers-by to wander in and peruse their wares. Indoors, alongside an incredible choice of cheese displayed behind a glass cabinet, this store also sells a wide selection of cured meats, chutneys, canned goods and bread – making it the perfect place to visit if you’re planning a picnic or a trip to a friend’s for ‘apéros’.
36 Rue Rochechouart, 75009
This tiny, traditional cheese shop is said to sell cheese to members of the French State, and is a favorite of French actresses Charlotte Gainsbourg and Catherine Deneuve. With clientele like that you know it’s going to be good, and expensive. The owner, Madame Barthelémy, is quite a character, but her knowledge of cheese is astounding. Try the house specialty, a fluffy Fontainebleau, or ask about her seasonal specials.
51 Rue de Grenelle, 75007
This sleek and stylish chain of fromageries is named after owner Laurent Dubois, who was awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (a prestigious title awarded to exemplary craftsmen by the French Government) in 2000. His reputation, along with his inventive creations, means that at the weekend you will regularly find queues out the door. Try one of Laurent’s extra old Comtés, or a delicious stuffed Camembert.
47 Ter Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75005
97-99 Rue Saint Antoine, 75004
2 Rue de Lourmel, 75015
La Laiterie de Paris
Young cheesemaker Pierre Coulon has a dream: to produce a delicious French cheese in the middle of metropolitan Paris. The ambitious cheesemonger once worked at one of Paris’ top cheese shops, and – after traveling the world on a cheese and milk tour – decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign to create Paris’ first cheese workshop. So far, he’s raised the initial €40000 required to buy the equipment for his premises in the 18th arrondissement, and hopes his venture will become a place much-loved by locals. Watch this space!