Do you want to stock up on some quality cheese? We’ve featured 9 top cheese shops in Illinois below.
If cheese is the name of the game, Marché is the game’s first professional player. They’ve established a reputation in Glen Ellyn for bringing top-notch cheeses, meats, and their accouterments – and for a good reason. Marché is open from 11-8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, from 12-5 p.m. on Sunday, and is closed on Mondays.
Marché has developed an incredibly refined selection. They bring a combination of old-school cheeses and modern, local award winners into one easy-to-find place. The cheeses and cured meats are certainly the primary offerings at Marché, but Marché also offers picnic boxes, cocktail kits, a wide selection of truly excellent wine, and more.
Swing by Marché’s contact page to learn more.
2. Beautiful Rind
Beautiful Rind is another genuinely incredible cheese shop that focuses on bringing traditional cheeses and new-fangled local loves together. They offer boards with a broad assortment of various toppings, accompaniments, and sides and serve everything in a genuinely laid-back Chicago cheese shop. Beautiful Rind is open from 11-9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday and is closed on Monday.
Whether you want to nibble on a single small bit of excellent cheese, or you want a sampler board loaded with nuts, olives, jams, and cured meats, Beautiful Rind has something for everyone. They offer a broad selection of cheeses, from sharp, hard alpine dairy to soft, gooey goat cheese. Ultimately, Beautiful rind serves excellent cheese in a genuinely relaxing environment.
Head to Beautiful Rind’s contact page to get in touch.
3. Megz Country Cheese Inc.
Davis is the home of Megs Country Cheese Inc, a quaint cheese and ice cream shop nestled right on the edge of the Wisconsin/Illinois border. They’re a simple joint, serving dozens of ice cream flavors, a broad assortment of various kinds of cheese, and a few sandwiches – that’s it. But goodness, do they craft some of the tastiest dairy in the area. Megz is open from 10-7 p.m. seven days a week.
Megz keeps things stocked, carrying well over 50 styles of local cheese. And if you’re not just a “cheese-only” type of diner, you can grab a sandwich with delicious dairy, toasty bread, and a hefty helping of meaty goodness. If you’re in the market for genuinely local cheese that’s served in a relaxed country setting, Megz Country Cheese is an excellent choice.
Head to Megz Country Cheese Inc.’s contact page to learn more.
4. Torkelson Cheese Co.
If you’ve been in the Lena area for even a brief period, you know the name Torkelson. They’re a longstanding group that’s crafted top-notch cheese for nearly two decades, going so far as to win several (twelve, to be specific) World Champion Cheese Awards for their Muenster, Brick, and Quesadilla cheeses. Torkelson Cheese Co. is open from 8-3 p.m. Monday-Friday, from 8-1 p.m. on Saturdays, and is closed on Sunday.
While Torkelson carries a truly massive selection of locally-crafted cheeses, there are a few standouts. Their Lena Delight and Lena Deluxe cheese boxes include multiple award winners. They also offer an extensive range of specialty cheeses, such as horseradish cheddar and blue cheeses and (of course) top-notch cheese curds in a broad range of flavors.
Swing by Torkelson Cheese Co.’s contact page to get in touch.
5. Ropp Jersey Cheese
Ropp Jersey Cheese is a genuinely generational Normal establishment in its seventh generation of family ownership. Ray Ropp, the current owner, has created a cheese Mecca that’s stood the test of time for over two decades in its current form – all while ensuring the cattle are treated as humanely as possible. Ropp Jersey Cheese is open from 9-5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and is closed on Sunday.
The Ropp Jersey Cheese list is pervasive. Cheddar is the primary focus here, ranging from bacon garlic horseradish cheddar to cajun, buffalo wing, or mango habanero cheddar. They also offer a few select other kinds of cheese, such as baby Swiss, Colby Jack, Colby, Gouda, and a handful of lightly aged hard cheeses.
Head to Ropp Jersey Cheese’s contact page to learn more.
6. Cheese & Crackers
Whereas most cheese shops are generally happy to just serve cheese, Cheese & Crackers in Champaign is different. They bring a combination of excellent cheese, luxurious cured meats, delicious sandwiches, and shockingly fresh fish. Cheese & Crackers is open from 11-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and closed Monday-Tuesday.
Buried in a small strip mall, Cheese & Crackers is a hidden gem that shouldn’t be skipped. They offer incredibly fresh fish that’s flown in thrice per week, along with a massive selection of local cheese. And they don’t just stick to cheese – they use it to craft delicious creations. Lasagna, sausages, sandwiches, and burgers; all take advantage of Cheese & Crackers’ excellent cheese selection.
Go to Cheese & Crackers’ Facebook page to get in touch.
7. Mancuso Cheese
Mancuso Cheese is something quite unique – they’ve been in business for well over 100 years, starting with Santo Mancuso in the small Italian hamlet of Carlopoli. As Mancuso (and his family) came to Joliet, the tradition continued in true Italian fashion. Mancuso Cheese is open from 9-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9-12 p.m. on Saturdays, and closed on Sunday.
As for the actual offerings, Mancuso Cheese is sure to please. They craft truly authentic ricotta and mozzarella and are actually one of the largest ricotta manufacturers in the Midwest. While they’re known for soft Italian cheeses that are made daily, Mancuso Cheese also offers traditional Italian recipes to use their cheese in its best possible means.
Head to Mancuso Cheese’s contact page to learn more.
8. Alp & Dell Cheese Store
Alp & Deli cheese store is a small town cheese shop with European roots. While they may be located in little ol’ Monroe, the owners are first-generation Swiss immigrants. They’ve established a name for bringing the best European cheese into a small-town, super-friendly cheese shop. Alp & Dell is open from 9-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10-4 p.m. on Sundays.
Alp & Dell has a broad selection. While the owners’ Swiss roots are unmistakable with their offerings of hard-to-find alpine cheese, they also offer a wide assortment of softer Italian and French cheese. Overall, you’ll find a combination of local and imported cheese and sausage, ensuring that the diary lovers reading will be in their own little heaven upon entry.
Swing by Alp & Dell Cheese Store’s contact page to reach out.
9. Great American Cheese Collection
Chicago’s Great American Cheese Collection is aptly named. They bring together over 45 family-owned, co-op-produced local cheese makers and have become America’s sole largest source for artisanal American cheese. The Great American Cheese Collection is open from 5-1 p.m. Monday-Friday and is closed on weekends.
Let’s be honest – with a collection this large, you’re sure to find something tasty. Whether you’re a sharp alpine cheese person or more of a soft, gooey cheese lover – they’ve got you covered. The best cheeses in the country (and arguably, the world) are all in one place – just for you. So swing by the Great American Cheese Collection to find the tastiest dairy in the States.
Head to the Great American Cheese Collection’s contact page to get in touch.