Cheese. Its origins predate historical record, the number of varieties exceeds a hundred, and it is often the most popular guest at a dinner party. If the mere mention of the word has you salivating and dreaming of a wine and cheese night, read on to discover five of the city’s cheesiest spots.
Spring Street Grocer Cheese Cellar
Spring Street Grocer developed Australia’s first underground cheese maturation cellars, and they’re mighty impressive. The Art Deco subway-style space sits below Spring Street Grocer and fulfils any imagined notions of cheese heaven. (Follow the neon sign leading you down the stairs.) Farmhouse and artisan cheeses from local and international producers sit in towering piles and their selection changes with the seasons.
The sign alone – which proudly proclaims ‘mozzarella laboratory, milk and yoghurt’ – would cause the lactose intolerant to break out in hives. But for dairy-lovers, La Latteria is a place of wonder. There’s action aplenty at Melbourne’s original cheese producing cheesemonger. Vats of curds and whey sit ready to be hand-stretched and shaped into mozzarella, while huge quantities of milk fresh from the farm are sold in glass bottles like the good ol’ days. There are cheese boxes ready for your next picnic, yoghurt pots primed for breakfast and treats and bites for every kind of dairy-lover. The milky aroma that lingers in the air lets you know this is as fresh as it gets.
Milk the Cow, Carlton
Cheese and wine. There is arguably no better combination. Carlton’s Milk the Cow is one of Melbourne’s more recent licensed fromageries to open. Head in for a nibble after a movie at Nova or embark on a ‘cheese and booze flight’ – with your choice of wine, beer, cider, whisky or sake to accompany your cheese. You’ll even find artisan cheese gelati and three variations of fondue in this popular cheese-obsessed hangout.
DOC Pizza & Mozzarella Bar and DOC Delicatessen
Sometimes cheese works better as the support act rather than the headliner. At DOC Pizza & Mozarella Bar, cheese is an important sidekick to the thin and crispy based pizzas DOC has become famous for. But of course, this is a mozzarella bar too, so you can make cheese your star if you really want to. The mozzarella ‘digustazione’ should make any cheese-lover happy. If you still need more, DOC Delicatessen nearby on Lygon Street will keep your home larder well stocked.
The sister venue to Malthouse Lane’s speakeasy Eau de Vie, Boilermaker House is a newcomer to the city’s hospitality scene, but is proving popular already. Primarily a whiskey bar, Boilermaker House’s owners have devised a snack menu centred on cheese and charcuterie boards, for sharing with your whisky-drinking pals. And it’s no afterthought – choose from more than 20 specialty cheeses; three different sized cheese boards; beer, whisky, charcuterie and cheese flights; and even the option of an entire baked wheel of le conquerant camembert for $35.