It's possible to live without cheese. Plenty of people do it every day, in fact. They enjoy their Vegemite sandwiches free from the sharp crumbliness of aged cheddar and they wolf down slices of pizza sans molten strands of mozzarella. They also dip fondue forks into pots of olive oil, looking perplexed and feeling rather short changed. Because it's pretty much impossible for a cheese-free fondue to be any good.
To be honest, while it's all well and good to survive without cheese, this list is not for cheese dodgers. This is for people who love cheese, who seek it out in all its glory and who start planning the cheese platter while they're ordering their entrée. So read on, all ye who seek Brisbane's best cheese spots — and as you visit these fromage-loving spots, be sure to revel in the fragrance and aromas of a perfectly ripe gorgonzola or the heady waft of a ripe, truffled brie, knowing that you are on a noble path indeed.
Ever heard of cheese wheel pasta? It's a thing at Il Verde on Fortitude Valley's King Street. And it's a thing that you probably want to find out more about. Make an advance booking on Tuesday or Thursdays and you and your beloved (or fellow pasta fiend) can have your pasta or gnocchi stirred up in a big melty wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano ($45) and dished up onto your plate. Yep. Dinner includes a glass of wine and a dessert too, so wear your stretchy pants. Non-cheese wheel lovers can also find quite the array of dairy-filled Italian food — from cheese-laden antipasto platters to four-cheese gnocchi to shaved parmesan on pizza.
A licensed cheese shop? We're already there. This Milton must-do is located just near the Eiffel Tower replica on Park Road, lending a decidedly French feel to what is already a very French-inspired spot. Fromage [the Cow] do it all from breakfast through to dinner, and with a pretty stellar coffee offering and a deli counter full of cheeses to choose from, you may well find it hard to leave. Of course, you can't go past the fondue neuchatel ($29). A cob loaf is filled with gruyere, provolone and parmesan, plus a white wine sauce, and you get breads and crudités to dip into the molten goodness. Share it with a mate to halve the cheese guilt.
Cheese toasties are never unwelcome. Whether you're hungry, hungover, tired or just can't be bothered to stretch your culinary powers, the humble toastie is there for you. And when Melt Brothers opened their grilled cheese kiosk on Gresham Lane as an homage to the snacks of New York laneways, Brisbanites opened their arms to them. Top on our list is the OG cheese toastie, the Mouse Trap, which is made with triple cheese (havarti, American cheese and aged cheddar) and smeared with a lick of dijon mustard for bite. If that ain't enough for you, check out their menu for more cheese toastie inspo.
This Albion cheese store is run by cheese connoisseur Sarah Thuillet. Originally from Normandy in France, she brings her exceptional fromage knowledge to the good people of Brisbane — and pays homage to the fromage roots of her grandparents, Emile & Solange, the store's namesakes. The must do at the Fox Street, Albion store? The signature cheese platter (from $70). It comes with four cheeses ranging in taste, texture, and milk (each around 60 grams); seasonal fruits or muscatels; nuts; quince paste; and crisp wafers. Plus, Emile & Solange stocks a phenomenal range of semi-soft to hard cheeses, washed rind cheeses, white mould cheeses and assorted milk cheeses. It's not far short of paradise.
Next time you're hitting the markets for some fresh fruit and veg, make sure to make room in your carry bags for a few choice morsels from Le Fromage Yard. This market stalwart can be found from Queen Street to Mount Tamborine and even out at Cleveland — depending on their schedule — or you can order with them online at their Cheese Room. It doesn't matter what direction your cheese pendulum swings in, you'll find something that pleases you here. From raclette to washed rind and blue to truffled brie, the folks at Le Fromage Yard know a thing or two about cheese, specialising in high quality French and European varieties. Our pick? Mosey up to the counter and ask them for their recommendation. Or, get indulgent and order a custom-made cheese tower (yes, that's a real thing).
There's only one place in Brisbane that serves Mac Daddy burgers filled with mac 'n' cheese. Well, three if you count Miss Kay's different stores in the CBD, Mitchelton and Woolloongabba. Whether the Kris Kross joke came first, or the idea for a macaroni and dairy-filled burg, we don't care — when you're going to put cheesy pasta between two slices of bread, no one does. The pop culture-themed, American-style diner's concoction also features a beef patty, American cheese, lettuce, sweet barbecue sauce, mayo and fries; however jump jumping for its other ingredient is understandable. Cheese lovers can also enjoy a poutine burg with haloumi, or a good ol' fashioned cheeseburger of the single or double variety.
A long-held love of all things fromage led mother and son team Sharyn and Sebastiaan to open The Cheese Pleaser in 2014. They've since established themselves as a cafe and deli, opening their first permanent digs on Adelaide Street in mid-2017. And, they're well worth visiting — the cheese hamper from The Cheese Pleaser would make for a superb and well-received gift for any discerning person, or perhaps you just want to treat yourself (fair play). With hard cheese, soft cheese and everything in between, this is one cheese spot you can't miss. And if you're wondering about the accoutrements to accompany your cheese platter, never fear, as they also have a big range of crackers and delights to go with your fromage.
Got a free morning off and stuck for something to do? Why not spend it educating yourself about the wonderful world of haloumi, ricotta and feta on a visit to the Olympus Cheese factory in Coorparoo. This award-winning family-owned cheese manufacturer is responsible for some of the tastiest cow and buffalo cheeses you're likely to find this side of Cyprus. Every cheese is made to a traditional Cypriot recipe, and quality control is strict throughout the process to make sure every wedge of cheese comes off the production line in superb condition. Learn all about the excellence of Olympus Cheese from Monday to Thursday between 7am and 3pm, and Friday from 7pm til midday.
If you're the kind of person who spends more money on haloumi than you should, then be sure to get down to Pandelyssi in Holland Park for cheap salty cheeses. The Kekkou family, originally from Cyprus, have been making their handmade haloumi for years — and with cheese this good, it's doubtful they're going to stop any time soon. They use traditional recipes and manufacture (and sell) cheese from their Holland Park factory. Do yourself a favour and stop in for a chat and some of the freshest cheese you've ever tasted. They also make and sell ricotta and feta. Yes please.
If you need any further convincing love of cheese knows no bounds, Moga has the answer. Combining one of Japanese cuisine's most beloved dishes with the dairy delight everyone loves, their deep-fried camembert katsu is a cheesy dish to behold. The Rosalie restaurant takes gooey cheese, coats it in Japanese bread crumbs, fries it with zucchini and offers up barbecue dipping sauce to go with it. It mightn't be what you're expecting when you stop by Baroona Road for some sushi, sashimi or something off the robata grill, but it's worth the trip alone. Also on the menu: duck haloumi takai and cocoa cheesecake ice cream with red bean.