Although little actual cheesemaking occurs in the French capital, it's a powerhouse when it comes to the art of selecting and aging fine dairy products. From creamy Brie de Meaux and St-Félicien to delightfully sharp Mimolette and earthy, rich Rocamadour goat's cheese, specialty shops overflow with traditional bounty. Visitors with a desire to taste and learn more about the French fromages that have delighted gourmet palates for centuries will find no shortage of opportunities during their stay. The only potential problem you may encounter along the way? Figuring out which shops and vendors to prioritize on your trip. We've selected eight of the best cheese shops (fromageries) in Paris so you don't have to do the guesswork yourself.
Those that made our list don't simply sell excellent cheeses — they also age them onsite in dedicated cellars, using cherished traditional techniques that have earned them stripes as genuine artisans. The presentation and service at these shops are also reputed as superb, so you can expect a full cultural and gastronomic experience when you visit. If you have specific tastes or dietary restrictions, just let vendors know, and they'll guide you in your selection.
Just one last tip before you take the delicious plunge: remember that 100 to 200 grams of a single variety of cheese will likely be enough for a couple or small family to taste and enjoy, perhaps during a Parisian-style picnic and accompanied by a crusty baguette. Buy more in one visit, and you'll likely have too much on your hands, which may lead to waste if you don't have access to a refrigerator.
01 of 08
Located on the well-heeled Rue de Sèvres at the edge of the historic Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, this prestigious fromagerie was opened by Marie Quatrehomme, who was the first woman to win the title of Best Artisan for cheesemaking in 2000. Although she's passed the reins to her two children, Nathalie and Maxime, her award-winning "refining" techniques and beautiful presentations endure at her eponymous shop.
Quatrehomme hand-matures and sells up to 250 varieties of cheese, plus sells house specialties that combine off-site cheeses with whiskey, fruit, and other gourmet ingredients. Cheeses we particularly recommend you try here include a decadently creamy and sharp gorgonzola; Mont d'or laced with truffle; a wonderful goat's cheese called Selles-sur-Cher that can be aged up to 100 days, and a divinely sharp Mimolette, perfect for anyone who loves a well-aged cheddar-type cheese.
02 of 08
Fromagerie de Paris Lefebvre
Routinely cited as one of the finest spots in the French capital for superb cheeses aged to perfection, the Fromagerie de Paris Lefebvre is owned and operated by a couple, Eric and Patricia Lefebvre. Opened in 1989, it's a venerable institution as cheese shops go, even though it's somewhat remotely located off the usual tourist track. Making a pilgrimage to this prized shop in a quiet part of southern Paris is well worth the effort if you're hoping to try some truly excellent cheeses.
At the cheerful shop, between 120 and 140 cheeses are beautifully presented in a true feast for the eyes. The couple works closely with some of the best producers from select regions, including Normandy, Auvergne, and the mountainous regions of Savoie, Jura and the Pyrenees. These long-standing relationships guarantee that the cheeses on offer here are of a generally exceptional quality.
There are too many delicious varieties here to count, but we especially recommend tasting the shop's superb selection of nutty Comté cheeses; their Brie de Melun, and their creamy, sharp Roquefort, made with sheep's milk. They also sell a rare variety of organic goat's cheese prized by gourmets: the Pavé de la Ginestarié, that's reputedly delicious.
03 of 08
The advantage of reserving some time for this warm, friendly cheese shop in the hip northwest end of the city? In addition to selling a remarkable selection of cheeses aged onsite in 17th-century cellars that once served as gunpowder storage vaults, Paroles de Fromagers offers cheese and wine-tasting workshops, cheesemaking courses, and a variety of other activities designed to initiate beginners to the sometimes-intimidating world of the French fromagerie. You can even visit (upon request) the cellar to get a firsthand glimpse at the shop's painstaking techniques for aging and refining their cheeses.
There's also a cheese-tasting bar and rustic onsite restaurant where you can sit, enjoy a selection of cheese platters expertly paired with wines, and enjoy an atmosphere that's both refined and relaxed. The friendly co-owners Caroline, Romain and Pierre say they're more than happy to guide even shy customers in making the right selection, and English is spoken at this up-and-coming address in Belleville. The cheese and wine tasting is an accessible, ideal way to get to know some emblematic varieties and learn about how wines are paired with them.
Cheeses to try in priority include the triple-cream Brillat Savarin, whose creaminess is purely addictive (don't say we haven't warned you); the deliciously simple Brie de Meaux which is produced in the Parisian region; and the delicate Tomme de Savoie, a typical mountain cheese. The shop also ages and sells a delicious selection of goat's cheeses, all of which are worth trying if you enjoy these varieties.
04 of 08
Martine Dubois opened her eponymous shop in the northwestern 17th arrondissement of Paris in 1999, on the same street where she was born. Since then, she's become something of a local emblem for old-world style savoir-faire.
Dubois' beautifully presented selection of cheeses, sourced from producers around France that she has carefully elected to work with, await visitors with an eye for detail and a desire for new flavors. If you want to purchase a gorgeous platter for a picnic or special dinner at your self-catered apartment, this is one of the best places in the capital to buy one.
Varieties to try at this quiet but prized gourmet destination include a flavorful Pecorino with truffles, a wonderfully creamy Brillat-Savarin (shown here decorated with bright fresh flowers, fruit and nuts), a simple but delectable Normandy Camembert, and a complex, rich Sainte-Maure goat's cheese. Martine Dubois also produces a number of house specialities that are well worth trying, including a savory millefeuille pastry laced with creamy Fourme d'Ambert cheese. The shop is also well-known for its international selection, so if you're after a good Italian, Spanish, British or Swiss variety, you may well find it hereContinue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
This esteemed fromagerie is located in the leafy 16th arrondissement, near the Bois de Boulogne green belt. It was founded by Michel Fouchereau, who won accolades in 2004 as Meilleur Ouvrier de France for his cheese-refining and maturing techniques. Having first opened a boutique in the eastern suburb of Lilas with his wife, Corinne, Fouchereau inaugurated a new main shop in the far west in 2016, alongside another in the grand suburb of Versailles.
Fouchereau, who is the grandson of a dairy farmer, has a tried-and-true approach to selecting and maturing the more than 100 cheeses sold in his shops. One of the ways he distinguishes himself is by offering exclusive cheeses to his customers, including an Alpine Swiss cheese called Etivaz, aged for 28 months in his own cellars.
Other specialities to try at this coveted spot include a delicious goat's cheese from Gramaz and Dutch gouda aged in the cellars at the Fromagerie d'Auteuil.
06 of 08
Offering a dizzying selection of delicious cow, goat and sheeps cheeses from top-quality French producers that are then matured in the company's cellars nearby, Beaufils also peddles house speciality cheeses, fresh butter and yogurt, wines and gourmet groceries at its four Paris locations. This fromagerie is especially well known for its selection of fine English cheeses such as Stilton.
The main store, located near Metro Jourdain in northeast Paris far from the main tourist sites, requires a metro ride on line 11 or a steep and semi-athletic climb up Rue de Belleville. But the rewards are worthwhile.
Make sure to get at least a taste of Ossau Iraty, a sheep's cheese from French Basque country. We also recommend you try their Sainte-Maure goat's cheese log, Montgomery's cheddar from Somerset, England and an ultra-creamy and delicious Saint-Marcellin.
07 of 08
A gourmet reference since 1909, this "maitre fromager" (master cheesemaker) boasts several shops in the French capital, to the delight of anyone with a taste for fine traditional products. While this is a powerful local name in cheese, the current head Stéphane Blohorn remains dedicated to fostering relationships with small, high-quality producers. As a result, you'll find nothing short of superb French and international cheeses at Androuet, as well as a selection of specialty dairy products made in-house.
Cheeses of note to try at Androuet include a delicious, rich Brillat-Savarin laced with truffles, fine English stilton and Salers, a semi-hard cheese similar to Cantal made from raw cow's milk and featuring fruity, slightly spicy notes.
Incidentally, if you want to learn more about the art and history of cheesemaking, browse these pages at their website: a veritable encyclopedia initiating curious readers to the secrets and history of the trade.
08 of 08
Nestled inside the esteemed Marché Beauvau covered market near Bastille, this cheesemonger is coveted by foodies for its head-spinning array of gourmet cheeses and other dairy products.
Owner Cyrille Hardouin and his wife Nathalie work with producers across France and Europe to assemble a collection of some 350 different cheeses, from soft and creamy to hard and crumbly. Most are made with raw milk, although some are pasteurized. Make sure to ask the friendly vendors for advice on what to try based on your personal preferences and dietary restrictions: the choices can feel overwhelming here.
We recommend that you visit this remarkable shop as part of a tour of the Aligre Market and its surrounding district. There's very good reason why this part of town is so prized by gourmets: excellent products are on offer here, but prices are often quite reasonable for the level of quality.
Particularly beloved for their wide selection of goat's cheeses, the Fromagerie Hardouin-Langlet also selects and matures hundreds of other delectable varieties. Try one of their Comté cheeses: this is a subtle yet intensely flavorful hard cheese that will please even the pickiest palates-- even those who don't generally like "stinky" French cheeses. The truffle-laced cheeses adorned with colorful petals and other decorative items are so pretty, you may feel guilty eating them at all. You shouldn't, though. As the French like to say, La vie est faite pour être vécue (Life is meant to be lived).