Best of Boston

2003 Best Cheese Shop

Whole Foods Market, River Street Location

We thought the “freedom fries” movement was absurd, and we can’t imagine a diplomatic conflict grave enough to make us swear off truffles. But somewhere a line must be drawn: In this age of geopolitical anxiety and economic uncertainty, no self-respecting American foodie should drop 10 bucks on a teensy chunk of French goat cheese at the neighborhood fromagerie—not when the exact same item costs less at Whole Foods Market. This outpost of the supermarket juggernaut stocks everything from shredded organic mozzarella to imported moldy raw-milk rounds from Europe displayed in a special climate-controlled case. Like the produce section, the cheese shop highlights the work of local farmers and takes care to remove overripe products. Monthly specials entice aspiring cheese snobs to try new varieties, and pairing a bottle of red with your purchase couldn’t be easier: The store’s expansive wine section is just across the aisle.

340 River St., Cambridge, 617-876-6990,