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The best fromagerie in Paris?

Perhaps I should change this to "the most consumer friendly cheese shop in Paris?" I know there are many amazing cheese shops in Paris everywhere you turn, but I am interested in visiting a cheese shop where I can sit and have a little degustation of my purchases. I believe Androuet offered this in the past. Has anyone been recently that has any suggestions?

Just for kicks, what are some of your favorite French cheeses?

I love fromage d'Affinois myself and milder, creamy blues like Montbriac.

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  1. Among the best ones, but no degustation 'sur place': Marie-Anne Cantin, 7th arr.

    Also in the 7th:
    Barthélémy, 51, Rue de Grenelle and Crèmerie Quatrehomme , 62, Rue de Sèvres.

    Get a couple of small portions (in general, you can have 50 gr, not quite 2 oz), half or a whole baguette and a bottle of wine. And you're set.
    'Du vin, du pain et du Boursin', that was a famous saying by Boursin decades ago.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dodo

      Aleoisse Shop in the 17th on rue Poncelet.

      1. re: Dodo

        I will whole heartedly second Dodo's recommendations of Marie-Anne Cantin and Barthelemy.

      2. I had good luck at a little cheese shop on Boulevard St. Germain, near Place Maubert and the Maubert-Mutualite metro stop. I think they had absolutely every French cheese available, and were happy to help me sort through which ones were mild vs. strong, goat vs. cow, etc.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Loren3

          Fromagerie des Carmes at Place Maubert was bought by Laurent Dubois, a Meilleur des Fromage ,late 2006. Place was and is still great, but now at much higher prices. Dubois's primary location is 25 meters from Dupleix metro stop on Rue Lourmel; Sells a comtè about 7 years old there, that is as good as it gets

        2. La Fromagerie 31, 64 r de Seine, has tasting plates for around 10E.

          3 Replies
          1. re: PBSF

            I'll second this recommendation. They have cheese tasting plates where you can select the cheeses you want to try from their selection in the case. There is a very tiny sitting area inside, but during the day, they put a couple tables out on the sidewalk.

            I'll also "third" Alleosse in the 17th on rue Poncelet. I go there all the time for my cheese. They are always very friendly, put up with my foreigner French accent, and are more than willing to give me advice or even let you try a piece of cheese before you buy it to help you choose. Plus, they are one of the few fromageries in Paris who has its own caves here in the city (http://www.fromage-alleosse.com/page-...).

            My favourite cheeses are roquefort carles and chevre saint maure.

            1. re: ColinJT

              We forgot La Ferme Saint Hubert, next to Madeleine. And there is also a great cheese chop in the rue des Martyrs, facing Delmontel and the rue Navarin.

            2. re: PBSF

              Sadly, Fromagerie 31 is closed. The rents in that district seem to be prohibitively high for any practical stores. Soon the vegetable shop, and then the butcher. Next nothing but high priced chocolate.

            3. I don't know about "sitting" but the Fromagerie Vacroux Et Fils located at 5, rue Daguerre in the 14th is wonderful. There are many, many lovely food shops nearby.

              1. La Ferme St. Hubert, on rue Vignon, right around the corner from Fauchon. There is a tiny restaurant attached to the cheese shop.

                If you go there, be sure to visit the honey store across the street - - all different kinds of honey from around France, along with honey candy, honey toiletries, etc.

                7 Replies
                1. re: purplescout

                  Ferme St. Hubert is no longer in business, I believe.

                  1. re: VivreManger

                    We visit Ferme St. Hubert at its current rue Rochechouart location. Lovely people, fine cheeses. We have frequently found 4 year old comté. Always pick up a green eppoise to bring home.


                    1. re: mangeur

                      Daniel Rose steered me to Ferme St Hubert, not even for the cheeses but for the beurre Bordier aux Algues. (I have since found the latter closer to home, on rue des Martyrs at Papilles Gourmandes.)
                      As good as Ferme St Hubert is, am still faithful to my Cheese Guy at the Friday afternoon market at Place d'Anvers. MCG is very easy to find. He is on a wheelchair. His stand is the northernmost stand in the market. There is always a long queue, but he still loves to yak. People come from the "burbs to buy his chavignol. He'd ask each patron: "firm? Less firm? 2 weeks? 3 weeks?"
                      My husband even wrote about MCG:

                      1. re: mangeur

                        Do you know how I can contact someone at Ferme St. Hubert? I can't seem to locate any information online.

                        I went to college in San Diego with Christoph Voy. His family owned the shop on rue Vignon and I was fortunate enough to attend a few private after hour parties there back in 1989-1990. I've lost touch with him over the years, and would like to reconnect. Do you know if the rue Rochechouart location is owned by the Voys?

                        I have some great memories of that place and would love to bring my family back for a visit.

                        1. re: ocfoodguy

                          How about locating the information online from mangeur's post above?

                          1. re: dietndesire

                            What a thrill, indeed! Thank you very much for the information!

                          2. re: ocfoodguy

                            "Do you know if the rue Rochechouart location is owned by the Voys?"

                            Yes. Call the shop at +33(0)1 45 53 15 77. What a thrill.

                    2. We're also interested in finding some place where we can go just for cheese/charcuterie on its own as a light lunch, instead of somewhere that sells cheese or just has a cheese plate at the end of a meal. any recommendations?

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: missholmes

                        You really have the whole list of the major fromageries in town: Cantin, Alleosse, Quatrehomme, Ferme St Hubert. There is also a cheese restaurant that is a fromager as well in the rue Mouffetard, right by the place de la contrescarpe.

                        1. re: souphie

                          I'm just back from Champagne. I have to admit I went for the birds, not the food. It was the end of the great crane migration.

                          Anyway, instead of being at my apt in the Marais, which is rented out right now, I'm staying near the Gare Montparnesse. My friend and host suggested I try the nearby Quatrehomme, which I had never visited before. I like the place very much.

                          For one thing, it had my Cabri Ariègois, and a machine to pack sous vide as well. They did not have the brébis I usually get at Alléosse, the Abbaye de Belloc, but recommended a very reasonably priced Napoléan which is delicious. Add a reblochon au lait cru, and I`m ready to fly back to Seattle tomorrow.

                          1. re: RandyB

                            your Reblochon alone is making me salivate!

                        2. re: missholmes

                          Da Rosa would be a nice place for just some cheese, a small salad, some ham, etc.
                          62, Rue de Seine, 6th arr.

                          1. re: missholmes

                            Lavinia has terrific cheese / charcuterie platters for lunch. And you can drink the wine by the bottle at retail from the store or get a bunch by the glass. It's a wonderful way to kill an afternoon

                            1. re: orangewasabi

                              Oh that's good to know about Lavinia. Merci.
                              However, I prefer to 'kill' an off afternoon at a movie theater. ;o)

                            2. re: missholmes

                              There's a wine bar on Ave de la Republique (11e) called Les Babines. They have an exceptional cheese plate, they pour great wine, and the portions are generous. Their cheeses are so good that they finally caved to customers' requests and you can buy your own cheese from their supplier, through them.

                            3. Paris On Your Plate has a full cheese tasting, along with wine, other goodies, and explanations--more info is at www.ParisOnYourPlate.com

                              1. Now this is a bit off-topic, but the best fromagerie period, wherever in the World, is in the small village of Vieux-Ferrette in Alsace, it is Bernard Antony's. I only ever tasted his cheeses before at the best restaurants (l'Arpège, Lucas Carton) and already then I thought "those cheeses we buy in Paris are good but this is another dimension". So on my way (or almost) from Munich I stopped in Vieux Ferrette, and the cheeses I got there were truly amazing, I dare say they were spiritual. I think I'm officially spoiled for cheese now. Bernard Antony's shop is as much of a destination as any three-stars restaurant in France. There. I said it.

                                Antony calls himself "eleveur de fromages" and his genius lies in the selection and "affinage" of cheeses. Among his most famous achievements are the four year old Comtés that are only served at Ducasse and l'Arpège (and lately it seems in Manresa as well) to my knowledge. If you're really nice and respectful, maybe he will sell you some for an ultimate cheese experience.

                                10 Replies
                                1. re: souphie

                                  Souphie, WHERE is Vieux Ferrette? and would you put Renée Richard's Saint Marcellin in the same category? or where?

                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                    You'll have to use your GPS or ViaMichelin. Vieux Ferrette is in Alsace (dept 68), 20 min southwest of Bâle/Basel. Renée Richard's Saint Marcellin is no doubt the top existing Saint Marcellin, but Antony has different sorts of cheese that are all exceptional. On the whole, he is even better than she is, in my opinion. As I said, I consider Antony to be worth a journey, though it would probably make sense to spend some time at l'Auberge de l'Ill while in the Southern Alsace area.

                                    1. re: souphie

                                      sounds like a plan to me!

                                      Milles mercis!

                                  2. re: souphie

                                    Um Souphie, can you go into further detail on Antony's cheese - get graphic if you must. Please.

                                    1. re: Ljubitca

                                      The old comté is an incredibly intense experience. It is four year old and has some white crystals inside. But its texture is melty, almost creamy. Then the flavour explodes in your mouth, like very good comté, only ten times that. All the flavours of the grass and flowers of the fall 2003 are there, plus that characteristic nut taste. It only looks like a very old comté, it skin is almost stone-like. But the colour inside, in the heart, is a shiny yellow.

                                      Yellow too is the incredible vacherin/mont d'or. It is also absolutely creamy and has none of the slightly unpleasant taste that usual vacherin develop. With this cheese, it is incomprehensible why anyone would put its wooden bow in a oven. You take the top skin off, in the wooden box, and serve geenrous portions of the cheese witha spoon. The marked thing is that it feels at the same light and decadent.

                                      There also was in an incredible Munster. As you know, it is one of the stickiest cheeses on earth, along with Epoisses. They're also among the few ones that can compete for the title of best fromages in the World. Antony says that the skin of a cheese are like the clothes of a woman, it needs to be taken off for full enjoyment (he also says that cheeses based on pasteurised cheeses are like castrated men -- in general I believe that people using sexual metaphors to describe food is a good sign). And indeed this munster has a difficult smell and nasty taste in its skin, but the inside is all cream and flavour. With Antony, cheeses are as subtle as great wines, and they keep almost as well. In his cellar, that is.

                                      I would have taken pictures but this time, I was too busy eating, and there wasn't anything special to see -- it ws all about tasting. That said, Antony has a "website" with some pictures/ http://pagesperso-orange.fr/fromageri... . You can also see pictures from the old comté in the many blog reports from l'Arpège such as the ones you'll find on Chuck's blog (www.chuckeats.com).

                                      1. re: souphie

                                        I'm smacking my lips!

                                        Une Bonne Annee!

                                        1. re: souphie

                                          I teared up a bit reading this - thank you. I always look forward to your posts as well as Chef June's. I look forward to this sensual pursuit of perfect cheese.

                                          1. re: souphie

                                            Hey Souphie, from Manhattan now, thought town for Monsieur Antony was Ferraton, there last in 03 and yes his Comte is otherwordly. In addition, at his store his wine selection from Alsace is also dynamite. Last time 6 vintages of Clos St Hune alone. in Paris L. Dubois is very close for Comte at 2 Rue Lourmel

                                            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                              Thanks. Town now definitely is Vieux Ferrette. I will try Dubois soon.

                                        2. re: souphie

                                          I'd previously thought that Pierre Androuet was the "maitre incontestable des fromages" based on his books, shops and a memorable 7-plateau cheese dinner at the original shop/restuarant on the rue de Rome up from the Gare St. Lazare many years ago. But from your description it would appear there's an even higher place in the cheeseosphere! I'd love to hear some more in detail if you're feeling descriptive. Merci a l'avance. petitrobert36

                                        3. I was at Maitre Bernaard Antony in Vieux-Ferrette last week. Amazing experience. You have to do the Cermony de fromage. You get to go through a degustation of 23 cheeses and can hand slecet your wine from an amazing list. In addition , you can also buy cheese, jam etc . Its worth every penny and I cannot wait to head back. Maitre Antony and his son Jean Francois are legends and it shows in every detail of this amazing experience.

                                          I wish the FDA would let this Gem into the United States...

                                          1. Sopuhie,

                                            I agree. I was there last week and cannot wait to go back. We drove from Basel and its the best Cheese experience. The Alsation wines are also a delight. I also got eat some of Maitre Anthony's offerings at L'Arnsbourg with 3 Star Michelin Chef Jean Georges Klein. Out of this world...

                                            1. I'd go back to the top: eg Marie-Anne Cantin and Alleosse; I think Barthélémy has fallen off and Quatrehomme is my take home nabe place, good for what it is.

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: John Talbott

                                                I would always argue each shop has strengths and weaknesses i.e Barthelemy for me is great for Roquefort and Chevre. So to truly get the best cheese in Paris you probably need to visit 3 or 4 places, so the question needs the qualification: For what type of cheese?

                                                1. re: PhilD

                                                  Their clacbitou is the standard. Twice as big as others and perfect to cut.

                                                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                    Alléosse seems to have the best line on getting Cabri Ariègois, that chêvre that looks like a Mont d'Or but has much more flavor. It's my most popular "bring home to Seattle" cheese because it's so unusual and unknown. Alléosse finally got a vacuum packing machine this year. I never had a problem at US Customs with cheese no matter how packed, but somehow I still feel safer with it vacuum packed.

                                                2. re: John Talbott

                                                  I agree about Barthelemy. My last few visits have not been stellar. The cheese was not perfectly aged. I like Dubois for 4 year old comte -- which I think is superior to what Marie-Anne Cantin has to offer. In any case, it's the best I have had, and I sadly miss eating this in NYC.

                                                  1. re: Nancy S.

                                                    "I like Dubois for 4 year old comte" - which is of course their speciality.

                                                    1. re: PhilD

                                                      my favorite cheese anywhere! ;)

                                                3. Bartholmey in the sixth is fantastic

                                                  1. While I have to admit in my opinion, Laurent Dubois is the ultimate affineur here and his shop in the 15th truly a pilgrimage to make if not on a daily basis, certainly a weekly one, if you are far out in the 14th, Boursault at next to the Alèsia metro station is a good alternative and Margot, the manageress is a delight!

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: domainesterroirs

                                                      Welcome to the board. Especially as you agree on Dubois being top notch.

                                                    2. Theres a great little cheese shop across the street from Kaiser, right near the D'Orsay. a very nice selection and the veacuum packed everything for us to take home! Im sorry to say i have no idea of the name or the street. Id imagine that it would be eaiser to figure out where Kaiser is, then just cross the way.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: alyssabrooke

                                                        That would be rue de Verneuil, at the corner of Bac, no? And the cheese shop, if I'm not mistaken, is an Androuet branch -- they're pretty good indeed.