Best of Boston

2004 Best Cheese Shop

Whole Food Market

When it’s world-class cheese you crave, head straight to the River Street branch of this ubiquitous natural-foods chain for the most consistently ripe, reasonably priced fromage around. The store stocks several hundred different kinds of cheese—from imported and esoteric cave-aged Brillat-Savarin and aged asiago to the common but elegant cheddar. What’s more, the staff is happy to special-order anything, dole out samples and serving advice, or wax poetic about the unsung glories of raw (versus heated) milk cheeses.

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