There is nothing quite as fun as sampling new cheeses, especially paired with a great glass of wine. The following five artisan cheese shops all offer an exotic collection of cheeses for you to sample, and the employees and cheesemongers at these spots will be happy to help you chose the perfect cheese for your next party, wine tasting, or just for your Friday night!
Righteous Cheese 
1309 5th St. N.E.
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 716-3320
www.righteouscheese.com

Union Market is one of the most popular spots in DC to spend an afternoon. After strolling through the aisles and visiting the different local vendors, head over to Righteous Cheese, a charming cheese shop near the entrance. They have a great selection of cheeses to take home, and you can also purchase a cheese plate to enjoy at their wine and cheese bar. See their website for information on their popular wine and cheese classes.

Cheesetique
4056 Campbell Ave.
Arlington, VA 22206
(703) 933-8787
cheesetique.com

Cheesetique is one of DC’s most popular cheese shops. They have an astronomical number of cheeses available for purchase, as well as wine, books on cheese, cheese knives and other utensils for cheese lovers. After perusing the cheese selection, grab a seat in their restaurant, where you can sample dishes from their cheese-centric menu. Try one of their famous grilled cheese sandwiches, mac ‘n cheese, or a cheese plate.

Photo Credit: Priya Konings


Sona Creamery 
660 Pennsylvania Ave. S.E.
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 758-3556
www.sonacreamery.com

This place may be relatively new, but it already has quite the following in DC. Sona Creamery has an over one hundred different kinds of cheese in their impressive cheese case, with cheese all the way from Vermont and New York to Italy and Spain. They also have a great menu of cheese infused dishes if you feel like staying for dinner. Sona also offers cheese classes and even cheese tasting trips to countries like Ireland!

Related: Best Places For Grilled Cheese In Washington, D.C.

Bower’s Fancy Dairy Products 
206 7th St. Southeast
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 544-7877
www.bowerscheese.com

Known as the longest running cheese shop in DC, Bower’s is quite the DC institution. It is located in the south hall of Eastern Market, and has been a part of the DC community for fifty years. The artisan shop offers a variety of options, with a focus on local purveyors. Be sure to swing by next time you are visiting Eastern Market.

La Fromagerie
1222 King St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 879-2467
www.lafromagerieonline.com

La Fromagerie is a wonderful artisan cheese shop in Alexandria that focuses on American artisan cheeses. They sell cheeses from Virginia, Wisconsin, New York, and other U.S. locations. If you have time, stay to sample some of their cheeses with a recommended wine pairing. Otherwise, you can create your own cheese board to go for yourself or to give as a gift.

Related: Best Grilled Cheese In Washington, D.C.

Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.