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June 04, 2015

5 great Philly-area cheesemongers to try now

Cheese Food
Cheese File Art /for PhillyVoice

cheese tasting

We all know that Di Bruno Brothers is wonderful. Even the most casual purveyor of local cheese should be familiar with their multiple locations and delicious products.

However, they're not the only ones serving up mouthwatering cheeses in the Philly area. Several local shops have great and varied selections of everything from Adelost to Zambrano, plus so much more. Here's five local cheesemongers you need to try now.

Claudio's Specialty Foods

924 S. 9th St., Bella Vista

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(Grated Parmesan Cheese from Claudio's. Claudio's Specialty Foods/claudiofood.com)

No authentic stroll through the Italian Market is complete without a stop at Claudio's. You can sample any of the shop's selections, but the fresh mozzarella and aged gouda are recommended. This is a great stop not only for cheese but also if you're looking to prepare a full meal, as the oils, meats and imported pastas all are high-quality.

1902 E. Passyunk Ave., South Philadelphia

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(Provolone cheese hanging at Lucio Mancuso & Son. Lucio Mancuso & Son/MancusoCheese.com)

History and great taste come together at this South Philly shop. If you're looking to treat friends or family to something that gives them a real slice of the city, send them a gift basket with any combination of Mancuso & Son's delicious cheeses, Italian specialties and imported candy. Fair warning: It's nearly impossible not to grab a pound of provolone hanging from the ceiling upon entering the store. 

Marota Brothers

1838 S. 17th St., South Philadelphia

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Don't be fooled by the unassuming Marota Brothers sign on this small corner store. Stuffed inside this hole-in-the-wall are not only really great, and really cheap, selections of meats and cheeses, but also plenty of character. The guys who prepare your deli cravings are famous with locals for peppering in jokes and stories while slicing up your food, which is good enough to draw regular patrons from Delaware and New Jersey.

Village Cheese Shop

516 Station Ave., Haddon Heights, New Jersey

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(Cheese plates ready to eat at The Village Cheese Shop in South Jersey. The Village Cheese Shop/Facebook)

Another spot whose friendly staff is as good as the wonderful cheese, Village Cheese Shop is a great reason to cross the Ben Franklin Bridge. This cafe-style shop is the perfect place to bring a bottle of wine with friends and order a plate of cheese. The shop also serves breakfast and lunch, and the turkey and brie sandwich with mango chutney is a must. 

Wedge + Fig

160 N. 3rd St., Old City

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(Cheese and nuts ready to eat at Wedge + Fig in Old City. Wedge + Fig/Facebook)

Brunch and cheese: Does the Old City resident require anything else? This place bills itself as having the "best of the world's cheeses." That selection isn't limited to retail purchases, as a variety of cheeses are used in most of the dishes, including the bacon and mac and cheese pie, which features a chef-picked selection of cheeses, and custom-made sandwiches from the grilled cheese bar, made with your pick of cheese, bread and greens.

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