Best Cheese Shop

Best: Cheesetique
2411 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, (703) 706-5300
2nd Best: Bowers Fancy Dairy Products, Eastern Market
225 7th St. SE, (202) 544-7877
Jill Erber’s passionate approach to all things cheesy continues to set Cheesetique apart from both the old guard that came before it and the newcomers that have followed. A wall of cheese accompaniments, accessories, and even wine makes it a one-stop shop for casual entertaining. Bowers Fancy Dairy Products may not have quite the same aesthetic appeal as Cheesetique, but this Eastern Market staple has been serving “Cheese From All Over the World” for 45 years now. Its marble countertop displays a selection of favorites, usually including Parrano and a cheddar or two. Don’t worry about asking for a sample—you practically have to beg them not to offer you a taste of something. Inside the purveyor’s refrigerated cases you’ll find a surprisingly broad range, from the popular to the obscure. With fresh, local butter and cream products available as well, Bowers remains a faithful standby as a full-service dairy destination.