The 15 Best Cities for Cheese Lovers

Free samples of cheese
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Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on LawnStarter.

Americans have a fondue-ness for cheese — whether layered on pizza, smothered over nachos, or laid temptingly on a charcuterie board.

But cheese love isn’t spread evenly across this vast country, so what are 2022’s Best Cities for Cheese Lovers?

LawnStarter compared over 180 of the biggest U.S. cities based on cheese access, quality, and affordability, as well as local events.

Find out which cities took the cheddar in our ranking next.

1. Chicago, IL

Chicago, Illinois
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 50.91

Access rank: 5

Quality rank: 2

Affordability rank: 93

Community rank: 36

2. Modesto, CA

Modesto, California
Matt Gush / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 42.62

Access rank: 24

Quality rank: 1

Affordability rank: 34

Community rank: 51

3. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, California
IM_photo / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 41.54

Access rank: 2

Quality rank: 25

Affordability rank: 167

Community rank: 3

4. Jersey City, NJ

Jersey City, New Jersey
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Overall score: 40.63

Access rank: 3

Quality rank: 25

Affordability rank: 86

Community rank: 2

5. New York, NY

New York City
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Overall score: 40.31

Access rank: 9

Quality rank: 24

Affordability rank: 156

Community rank: 1

6. Boston, MA

Boston, Massachusetts
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Overall score: 40.2

Access rank: 1

Quality rank: 25

Affordability rank: 157

Community rank: 22

7. Madison, WI

Madison, Wisconsin, over Lake Monona
Jay Yuan / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 35.98

Access rank: 8

Quality rank: 12

Affordability rank: 74

Community rank: 11

8. Los Angeles, CA

Songquan Deng / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 35.82

Access rank: 6

Quality rank: 12

Affordability rank: 127

Community rank: 15

9. Washington, D.C.

U.S. Capitol
Orhan Cam / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 33.82

Access rank: 4

Quality rank: 25

Affordability rank: 112

Community rank: 20

10. Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 31.99

Access rank: 21

Quality rank: 6

Affordability rank: 43

Community rank: 41

11. Santa Rosa, CA

Santa Rosa, California
Anzhelika Polyak / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 31.73

Access rank: 10

Quality rank: 7

Affordability rank: 176

Community rank: 39

12. Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, Georgia, Piedmont Park skyline autumn
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 30.68

Access rank: 11

Quality rank: 9

Affordability rank: 68

Community rank: 31

13. Glendale, CA

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Overall score: 29.97

Access rank: 17

Quality rank: 12

Affordability rank: 151

Community rank: 10

14. Buffalo, NY

Buffalo, New York
Atomazul / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 29.8

Access rank: 64

Quality rank: 3

Affordability rank: 85

Community rank: 70

15. Long Beach, CA

Long Beach, California
Idealphotographer / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 28.33

Access rank: 15

Quality rank: 12

Affordability rank: 105

Community rank: 23

Methodology

Data entry on a laptop
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We ranked 181 of the biggest U.S. cities from best (No. 1) to worst (No. 181) based on their overall scores (out of 100 possible points), averaged across all the weighted metrics listed below.

  • Cheese Shops per Square Mile
  • Fondue Restaurants per Square Mile
  • Establishments Serving Mac and Cheese per Square Mile
  • Number of Farmers Markets Offering Cheese and Dairy Products
  • Number of Cheese Factories and Plants
  • Total Points for Latest U.S. Championship Cheese Contest Awards Earned by County Producers
  • Average Per-Pound Price of Local Cheese
  • Number of Cheese-Related Events and Festivals
  • Number of Cheese and Wine Meetup Groups
  • Number of Cheese Tasting Classes

Sources: Cheese Market News, Dairy Foods, Everfest, Meetup, Numbeo, TripAdvisor, U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Yelp.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.