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Mar 19, 2012 10:26 AM

Cheese stores from Bay area south to Big Sur, north to Menocino (but ex-San francisco)

We'll be back after, too many years away, for a few weeks in a few months. Where are the good cheese stores now? We'll be mainly along the coast & will have a car so can drive anywhere within a reasonable distance. Please note that we're flying into San Jose & plan to avoid the city of San Francisco. Thanks.

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  1. I can't help with stores per se, but be sure to stop at Harley Farms in Pescadero for goat cheese:

    If you're coming soon, there should be plenty of kids.

    The Bohemian recently ran an excellent article on North Bay cheeses:

    The link to the details on the cheesemakers in the story is broken; use this one:

      1. re: PolarBear

        Many thanks, PolarBear. I'd come across Harley Farms while poking around online but I'd missed the store in Carmel & that great online article.

        Hi Ho Curds, Awheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey!

        1. re: FishTales

          While you're in Carmel, you can also check out Salumeria Luca which carries 30 kinds of Italian cheeses in addition to their salume.

          1. re: seamunky

            This one had slipped under the radar too... thanks.


      2. Cow Girl Creamery in Point Reyes is a great stop. Sure they carry their cheeses, but they also carry other local cheeses, as well as a really nice selection from other parts of the US as well as some from Europe. The service deli has a small but nice selection of prepared food, the wine selections are really good (and mostly local as well), and the produce section run by the nicest lady makes for a nice way to complete a picnic meal.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bulavinaka

          Ah, Cowgirl Creamery... their cheese is widely distributed & we've been enjoying it in many places for many many years. Thanks for mentioning it. If we hadn't known it would have been a shame to miss it.


          1. re: dafish

            We had planned to entirely avoid the cities around the Bay... we'd never heard of The Cheese Board... we looked at the website... ***We'll Be There***! Man'o'man does that place look good, & it's only a very few minutes off the freeway to get up to Pt Reyes Station, right en-route with our plans. Many thanks.



            Star Market in Salinas has a small--10 ft of case?-- but nice cheese section. Respectable variety. Good local wines too. It would be near your route coming down from SF through Gilroy on Highway 101 , (if you don't turn toward the coast at Prunedale; Highway 156) take exit 326B in Salinas to Sanborne Rd west, and follow Blanco Rd to the corner at Main street, turn right and right again into the parking lot. Get back on Main street and head west out to Monterey on Highway 68. Also, check the regular dairy cold case on the rear wall for some interesting kefir cheese, quark, and local organic dairy products.

            Whole Foods in Monterey should also have a good selection of cheeses. The larger Mexican groceries have a good selection of soft fresh Mexican cheeses in their service deli cases. Mi Pueblo and La Pricessa are two chains locally. Great on toast or in sandwiches, tacos, etc.

            1 Reply
            1. re: toodie jane

              We'll be passing through Salinas en-route back to the airport so your Star Market suggestion is appreciated, thanks.

              As much as we dislike Whole Foods' prices we live in a vast zone of no cheese so have their website bookmarked & had already added the Monterey store to the itinerary. We like to stock up & bring cheese back home with us. This is shaping into a tasty trip.