At The Urban List we’ve made an important discovery about Melburnians - and that is, a good portion of you are cheese fiends. We are also currently under the spell of some very special fromage, and we believe no afternoon catch up with pals is complete without a splitting a cheese board amongst yourselves.
From our favourite cheese specialists to bars with excellent grazing menus, here is where you get Melbourne’s best cheese-focussed antipasto boards. Merry Cheesemas!
Milk The Cow
St Kilda, Carlton
Melbourne’s first late-night licensed cheese shop had to be included in this auspicious list, because who can resist a well paired combination of artisan cheese and boutique booze? With over 150 different varieties of cheese to choose from, Milk The Cow's cheese board offerings are constantly rotating so you’re sure to try something new every time. The Cheesmonger’s Choice Cheeseboards come with between 3-5 cheeses carefully selected by staff, quince paste, freshly baked bread and their housemade lavosh. To pair with alcohol, try any one of their cheese and booze flights - and if you still haven’t had enough cheese, there’s always fondue…
This Fitzroy cheese bar and café has built their breakfast to dinner menu around cheese, as well as putting together some excellent platters. They have a weekly cheeseboard of five cheeses for $23 - or if you know what you like, they’ve already got some excellent combos ready to go. For a good mix, try The Hard & Soft board, with Brie Mariotte (France), Reypenaer (Holland), Onkaparinga Triple Cream (South Australia), and Jarlesberg (Holland). In even better news, Shifty Chevre have half priced cheese boards from 9pm-10pm on Thursdays and Fridays.
While the folk at Boilermarker House certainly specialise in whisky and beer pairings, their charcuterie and cheese boards are no afterthought. There are three cheeseboards on offer here: one to cover all bases (one hard, one soft, one blue), Around The World (5 cheeses), and New World Vs Old World (6 cheeses). If you want to throw some pate and cured meat into the mix, their Ploughman’s Platters are brilliant - and we will be dreaming of that 1000 day gouda for quite some time.
Theatre goers, wine lovers, and cheese connoisseurs rejoice! We have found the perfect spot for a post-performance de-brief over a glass of red and a board of cheese. There are artisanal specials on their board to choose from, and they’re more than happy to make a recommendation if you can’t make up your mind. From old favourites to new varietals, whatever you select will be expertly paired with a lovely drop. Marvelous.
A cheese board with fresh fruit and condiments is sometimes the perfect way to cap off an evening of feasting. If you have any room after dining on the Argentinian delights at San Telmo, then consider the Vigilante an elegant night cap. Share up to three cheeses with your fellow diners, but not too close to bed time - we can’t have you experiencing weird cheese dreams.
DOC Pizza & Mozzarella Bar
Yes, the pizzas are sensational at DOC, and one of the key ingredients behind their genius is the cheese they use. For the cheese fanatics out there, try the Degustation of 3 Mozzarelle; a tasting plate that includes Australian Fior Di Latte, D.O.P. Italian Buffalo Mozzarella, and Australian Scamoza (lightly smoked Fior Di Latte). As you can imagine, this is a dish that needs to be shared - so grab some fellow cheese fans and have at it.
Two Tall Chefs
We’re drawn to cheese shops like a moth to the flame, and Two Tall Chefs is a beacon of light we keep coming back to. Of course you can take home as much cheese as your arms can carry, but we highly recommend sitting in their back courtyard area and splitting a cheese plate. You can either have two or four cheeses per plate, which come with poached figlettes, paste and sourdough. Just try and find a more delightful way to spend an afternoon, we dare you.
A late night cheese run is always a great idea, and splitting a cheese board with a perfectly matched wine is our idea of a good time. Neighbourhood Wine usually have about six different varieties on the go, where you can chose the portion size (25g-50g). It comes with house made bread and butter, pickles, muscatels, walnuts, seeded lavosh, and oatcake. We’re currently enjoying the Colston-Bassett Stilton (England), a tangy blue with a velvety texture that is both rich and complex. Stick around for a game of pool on their massive table, or sit at the bar and listen to vinyl spin.
Richmond Hill Café and Larder
Step one foot into the Cheese Room at RHCL and you won’t be able to resist staying for a platter of their finest offerings. Have a chat to the Cheesemongers in their Fromagerie and choose from over 100 varieties. Accompaniments include organic baguette, fruit and nut loaf, fig and quince preserve, and fresh fruit. Live your best cheese-eating life here, and don’t forget to take some home with you.
Bellotta Wine Bar
The legends behind Prince Wine Store didn’t think it was enough just to sling beautiful bottles of wine - they wanted to make it an experience. The cheese here is supplied by Cheese Culture, a company based in Adelaide that carefully selects and ages cheese of the highest quality. The cheese selection changes weekly, but we’re really getting into the Defendi (France) Buffaletto, a washed rind sheep’s milk. Whatever cheese you order comes with fresh fruit, muscatel raisins and baguette. The also have a cabinet full of salumi, which next to wine, is a cheeses best friend. Delish.
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Image credit: 2eat2drink.com