America's Best Cities for Cheese Lovers

Woman holding cheese plate with honey, grissini and grapes on grey background, closeup

Liudmila Chernetska/istockphoto

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Cheeses selection
Having breakfast
various types of cheese

No. 9: Milwaukee

Overall Score: 29.22

This beer-famous Wisconsin city made the list, of course. Located in "America's Dairyland," Milwaukee holds fourth place for quality of cheese, after New York, Buffalo, and Chicago.

Related: The Funkiest Cheeses in the World

Cheese board and red wine

No. 8: Santa Rosa, California

Overall Score: 30.22

This city in the Golden State came in fifth place for quality of cheese, which counts the total points for the past three U.S. Championship Cheese Contest Awards earned by county producers.

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French cheese

No. 7: Seattle

Overall Score: 31.67

When you think Seattle, you may think coffee — but cheese is also a big deal. The city takes third place for cheese and wine meetups, and fourth for cheese-loaded farmers markets.

Related: Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Mac and Cheese

Coworkers Eating Fondue

No. 6: Washington, D.C.

Overall Score: 34.37

The nation's capital comes in second place for cheese access, which includes cheese shops, farmers markets with cheese vendors, fondue restaurants, and number of Cheesecake Factory locations.

Wine and cheese platter

No. 5: Los Angeles

Overall Score: 36.86

People in L.A. love their cheese, as long as it's an excuse to gather. The city has the second-most cheese and wine meetups.

Grocery Store owner serving customer orders

No. 4: San Francisco

Overall Score: 42.38

San Francisco ranks first place for having the most cheese shops per square mile, which sounds a bit like heaven.

Red waxed yellow cheddar cheese close up

No. 3: Chicago

Overall Score: 42.65

The Windy City is the birthplace of Kraft cheese, so is it any wonder it's a top cheese locale? Chicago comes in third place for most farmers markets offering cheese and dairy products, as well.

Industrial production of hard cheeses

No. 2: Madison, Wisconsin

Overall Score: 43.74

Wisconsin is synonymous with cheese, so it's no shocker that one of its cities came in second place. Madison ranked for the strongest cheese community and is second only to Modesto, California, in number of cheese factories and plants. 

NYC Pizzaria Pizza Pie

No. 1: New York

Overall Score: 55.27

The Big Apple ranks first as the "cheesiest" city. The city's score is high for quality, plus NYC hosts the Cheesemonger Invitational, one of the biggest cheese events in the country.