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Stepping into a fromagerie in Paris is an experience unto itself. Really you are stepping into the entire country as cheeses from all regions of France make an appearance. Hard cheeses. Liquidy cheeses. Goat. Sheep. Cow. Aged. New. Unpasteurized. It’s rather exciting for the cheese lover and a culinary highlight of a trip to Paris.
Paris has hundreds of cheese shops. Linger a little and see what catches your eye. Or what strong, sharp scent do you just need to savour?
There’s a good chance that the fromagerie you are in has a cave below where the cheese is stored. I will never enter a fromagerie in Paris again without wondering what lies below. I will henceforth be looking for the trap door in the floor leading to the cave. Of course, modern-day cheese caves provide the perfect conditions for cheese in temperature and humidity.
I also found out in my investigating, that the shelves upon which all those magnificent cheeses sit are refrigerated. Did you know?
And what about that word “affineur” that keeps showing up in the cheese world? An affineur/affineuse is someone that ages cheese. An affineur or cheese-ageing expert knows how to store the cheese in ideal conditions until it is mature and perfect for eating. Cheesemakers will sometimes hand the role of ageing cheese over to the affineur at the cheese shop.
Be sure to pop into a fromagerie in Paris. Many kinds of cheese are also available in the supermarket. What I didn’t know when I moved here was that many small French cheese producers are going out of business because of the industrialization of the cheese industry. I now always buy my cheese at a fromagerie.
Paris is full of outstanding fromageries -the ones listed here are Paris cheese shops that I have personally been to. It is by no means an exhaustive list but makes a great place to start your fromagerie adventures!
1. Fromagerie Quatrehomme
Locations: 62 Rue de Sèvres (7th arrondissement); 4 Rue du Rendez-Vous (12th arrondissement); 32 Rue de l’Espérance (13th arrondissement); 26 Rue des Martyrs ((9th arrondissement)
The lineup around the corner says it all. Quatre Homme is a well-known and highly regarded fromagerie in Paris. Once inside the boutique on rue de Sèvres, standing in line gives you time to eye the marvellous selection of cheeses. Always patient and helpful, the cheesemongers make your purchase a memorable experience.
2. Fromagerie In Paris: Laurent Dubois
Locations: 47 Ter Blvd Saint-Germain (5th arrondissement); 97-99 Rue Saint-Antoine (4th arrondissement); 2 Rue de Lourmel (15th arrondissement) and the 8th floor of Printemps Haussmann
Laurent Dubois happens to have a shop right beside where I buy my favourite Paris croissant, at La Maison d’Isabelle. In fact, Place Maubert has the perfect French speciality shops to create a delicious meal or picnic. And, there is also an outdoor market with 45 stalls open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
My quest for the best Paris croissant led me to Fromagerie Laurent Dubois. Truth be told, I had read about Laurent Dubois and his reputation in the cheese world. My heart leapt when I saw the storefront with mouth-watering cheeses on display. They look like art. They could pass for patisseries. That’s enough to get any cheese lover to enter the shop.
3. Fromager Chataigner
Location: #3 rue des Martyrs (9th arrondissement)
I first entered Fromagerie Chataigner because I had read the book, The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs. Right away I struck up a conversation with Annick who has run the store with her husband Yves Chataigner for many decades. They are the perfect guides to choosing the most delicious cheese. I have been back several times and it really is one of my favourites!
4. Fromagerie Nicole Barthélémy
Location: 51 rue de Grenelle (7th arrondissement)
I lived around the corner from Nicole Barthlélémy’s Fromagerie for many months. My first visit was so expensive I swore I wouldn’t go back. But I did. The cheese was that good. It’s a tiny boutique and quite frankly they can be a little gruff. Join the lineup, know what you want before you enter and then stand agape at the varieties of cheeses stacked on high! It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
Luckily their debit machine is very slow and while it thinks, there are a few extra minutes to gaze about the store and listen to the conversations between the staff and the regular clientele. What I’ve deduced is that this fromagerie is very connected to its community.
On a quiet weekday morning, I started chatting to the young cheesemonger. I asked her if it was true there was a cave under the fromagerie. She smiled and showed me the door and the stairs leading down…Next, I got the courage up to introduce myself to Mme. Barthélemy, who proudly shared that she has been in business at this location for 50 years.
I walked out with my pricey cheese and swooned at every morsel.
5. Fromagerie In Paris: Jouannault
Location: 39 rue de Bretagne (3rd arrondissement)
Fromagerie Jouannault, situated in the northern Marais, and I were neighbours for about six months. I was still learning how to order cheese and experimenting with my preferences in French cheese. Behind the counter, with the Coronavirus restrictions in place, the vendors were always patient and eager to guide me in my choices. I was always very pleased with what I chose. My first Epoisses and Reblochon came from here!
6. Fromagerie Boursault
Location: 71 Avenue du Général Leclerc (14th arrondissement)
When I lived in the 14th arrondissement, Fromagerie Boursault was a great find. Close to the Metro station Alesia and near one of my favourite pâtisseries in Paris, the cheesemongers were always helpful, suggesting cheeses in seasons and squeezing the cheese to check its readiness for eating! If you’re exploring in the 14th arrondissement, pick up some cheese and head to nearby Parc Montsouris for a picnic!
7. Fromagerie In Paris: Androuet
Locations: 37 Rue de Verneuil (7th arrondissement); 134 Rue Mouffetard (5th arrondissement); 13 Rue Daguerre (14th arrondissement); 93 Rue de Cambronne (15th arrondissement); 1 Rue Bois le Vent (16th arrondissement); 17 Rue des Belles Feuilles (16th arrondissement); 23 Rue de la Terrasse (17th arrondissement);
Entering the little shop on rue de Verneuil, I knew I was in cheese paradise again. It’s hard not to walk out of a fromagerie in Paris with more than you planned on purchasing! Patiently the cheesemonger explained to me about the fermier Ossau Iraty and the various blue cheeses. She let out a surprised sound when I told her I would take the Roquefort and reminded me that it is delicious eaten in a salad with walnuts. Androuet has been in business since 1909. They know their cheese!
8. Fromagerie Hardouin-Langlet
Location: Le Marché Couvert Beauvau (12th arrondissement)
When I was put in charge of selecting the cheeses for my first Christmas with “my” French family, I knew exactly where to go. I had been living about a 15-minute walk to Marché d’Aligre and discovered the cheese stand with the longest line in the covered market (le Marché couvert Beauvau). And thus began my weekly visits. I swear I have never tasted Comté, which hails from the Jura Mountains, more delicious than from this terrific fromagerie in Paris. My first encounter with Brillat-Savarin with a thin layer of truffle in the middle had me practically drop to my knees. It’s that good. After some advice from the ever-helpful vendors, “my” French family was suitably impressed with my choices.
And the quest for tasting even more varieties of French cheese continues with several other Paris fromageries on my radar! Which is your favourite fromagerie in Paris? And which is your favourite French cheese?
Until next time,
More Travel Info…
Cheeses are a huge part of French culture. Here is what I’ve learned so far and savoured. Which French cheese will you try first?
There are also plenty of café suggestions for the Marais area in this post: Tips from a Local. And if you are exploring the area around Canal Saint-Martin, here are the best places to stop for a bite or to find the fixings for a picnic.
Looking for that village feel in Paris? These areas might interest you:
Montmartre, much like Ile Saint- Louis, feels like a small village. This post on Montmartre leads you to the most popular sites as well as some lesser-known places on the hill.
La Butte aux Cailles, tucked away in the 13th arrondissement, is another place in Paris that has retained its village-like charm. My article on La Butte aux Cailles will lead you to discover some the area and its visually enticing street art.
Canal Saint-Martin is another place full of small restaurants, boutiques and plenty of character. Stroll the bridges of the canal under the chestnut trees and feel like a true Parisian. All the details on this “bobo” district are in this article on Canal Saint-Martin.
Le Marais is one of the oldest areas of Paris. Once marshland, it is hopping with boutiques, cafés, gorgeous old mansions and museums. Read my full guide to le Marais and also insider Marais tips from a local.
Travelling to Paris alone? This article on navigating Paris alone is full of tips and tricks for the solo traveller.
This page has all my articles on Paris that will help you plan out your trip, including day trips from Paris. I hope you subscribed to my newsletter to get my free download – An Amazing 2-day Itinerary in Paris.
If you are going further afield in France, make sure to check out my page on France.