A Cheese Lover’s Guide To San DiegoEat + Drink I dream of cheese...
Cheese. In a word, it’s fantastic. In a sentence, it’s the reason I get out of bed each day. Between cheese plates, mac and cheese, grilled cheese, Caprese, fondue, and cheesecake, the possibilities are endless – as they should be.
No matter what cheese dish you’re dreaming of, you’ll find something that satisfies you at one of these San Diego restaurants.
It’s no secret the French are the Fromage masters and the cheese plate at Cafe Chloe does not disappoint. Three chef-selected artisanal cheeses served with honeycomb, seasonal compote, fresh fruit & Marcona almonds will have you saying Merci in no time.
While less famous than their friends across the Channel, British cheese is not to be missed out on. Jayne’s Gastropub serves a strong cheese plate featuring the best British cheeses, which pair perfectly with their rosemary nuts, honeycomb, and baguette.
Indulge in the always-perfect pairing of wine and cheese at The Rose Wine Bar. With a soft goat, cream blue, and a Gouda covered in flowers, you can’t go wrong here. If you feel like taking it up a notch, they also have a selection of charcuterie to add to your plate.
For any of your cheese cravings, look no further than Venissimo Cheese. From cheese plates to cheese classes to all the cheese knowledge you could ever want, the staff at Venissimo have been making cheese dreams come true since 2004.
Okay, BiCE isn’t technically a cheese shop but their cheese bar certainly rivals one. Feast your eyes and stomach upon wheel and wheels of your Italian classics such as Gorgonzola, Taleggio, and Parmigiano-Reggiano along with some rarer varieties you don’t want to miss.
Plato said it best when he said, “Life is nada without Burrata.” Okay, Plato didn’t say that, but they are still words to live by. Burrata is the star at Enoteca Adriano, where you’ll find an entire section and nightly special dedicated to its creamy goodness.
Of course, the classic Burrata dish, Caprese, will always reign supreme.
There are two dishes not to miss at this farm-to-table restaurant. The first is the classic caprese, which is topped with pesto. The next is an Burrata featuring prosciutto di parma, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, fig jam, balsamic, and white wine. Order both – you deserve it.
What started as a food truck and has now expanded to three locations, this shop is dedicated to the king of comfort food. Choose between one of the nine chef’s creations or be bold and build your own grilled cheese. Just be sure to add the balsamic caramelized onions. You can thank me later.
While their cheese plate and mac and cheese are not to be missed, the star player at the Tipsy Crow is their grilled cheese selection. That’s right – multiple. Stick with the classic, spice it up with some anaheim peppers, make it goat cheese, or put an Italian spin on it with the Caprese. Can’t narrow it down? They even offer a grilled cheese board of two sandwiches of your choice.
Come for the beer, stay for the Black Garlic Cheese Fondue. Stop by any location of this San Diego brewery for their beer-inspired take on fondue. Featuring a melted wedge of Cambozola cheese, black garlic cloves, roasted peppers, caramelized onion and their Red Trolley Ale cream sauce, you’ll be licking this dish up with your fingers.
Mac and Cheese
While this dish is listed as a side, don’t be fooled, it is worthy of your entrée choice. Urban Solace’s Duckaroni takes the beloved classic and adds duck confit, blue cheese, and roasted garlic. It may sound a little out there for the mac and cheese purists, but one bite and you will be a lifelong convert.
With Gruyére, Béchemel, Rosemary, breadcrumbs, and bacon, there’s no way this dish could go wrong. Bayside Landing serves up their skillet of mac and cheese in small and large portions, but why have less cheese when you could have more? Don’t stop at the skillet, you can also get your mac and cheese on a pizza. Dreams do come true.
Why mess with perfection? Starlite’s mac and cheese stays true to the classic, while aligning with the restaurant’s mission of using local ingredients. With Petaluma Creamery white cheddar, Shelburne Farms two-year aged extra-sharp cheddar, nutmeg, cayenne, and toasted breadcrumbs, this dish will fill you up but still have you craving a second serving.
If you couldn’t tell by their name, cheesecake is the main event at the Incredible Cheesecake Company. For 34 years, this bakery has been making small batch cheesecakes. With over 50 flavors from black & white to Margarita, you can take your cheesecake experience to a whole new level.
A Bit of Everything
Extraordinary Desserts might be the name, but cheese is the game at this restaurant. Start with the roasted pimento cheddar cheese dip, buffalo mozzarella bruschetta, and a cheese plate, order a few grilled cheeses for your main course, and top it off with a slice of cheesecake. Talk about cheese paradise.