For 10 years, I was a vegetarian. I gave up meat from ages 20-30 because it made me feel sluggish, which, I thought, was the antithesis of eating. But during that period, like many of you, I didn’t have a lot of time to cook for myself. So, how did I survive? I went out to a lot of restaurants and I ate a lot of cheese. It was easy! As a result, you might say I’m something of an Emerald City cheese expert. So much so, in fact, that I’ve taken it upon myself to list the 12 places to get cheese in Seattle. You’re welcome, my hungry friends!
Cheese Wheel Spaghetti: Foodz Catering
This dish is surprisingly hard to find in Seattle. It’s all the rage in other cities and here’s hoping we’ll see it more here. Perfectly cooked spaghetti tossed INSIDE of a partially hollowed out wheel of cheese with butter and black pepper. I’ve only seen it once: the night the SoDo-based Foodz catered an event at the Columbia Tower. But it exists!
Baked Caciocavallo: La Medusa
Biting into this is like biting into gold. La Medusa is a hidden gem in Columbia City. Even their spaghetti and meatballs taste divine. But the dish made to perfection here? The crispy, oozy, substantive baked caciocavallo appetizer.
DeLaurenti Food & Wine
At this Pike Place Market shop, store cheese vendor Calder recommends the Alsatian Munster for a stinky cheese option. It’s buttery, mild, but with a “funk to it.” For a non-stinky option, Calder suggests Ossau Iraty made near Basque Country in France. It has a rich, nutty flavor, but is “easygoing.”
Big John’s PFI
Assistant Manager Jessica recommends the Gres de Vosges for a stinky version at this shop in the International District. The beloved cheese, which has a pungent rind with a supple inside, is only available a few times a year. For a non-stinky cheese, Jessica offers the Red Witch. It’s creamy, a little fruity, and comes with a paprika-coated rind for show. “It’s a really good melter.”
Burrata: King’s Mozzarella
This local Kent-based cheese making family sells their wares at farmers markets around Seattle and their homemade burrata is assuredly worth the crown. It’s firm on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside, and made with that honest, familial joy.
Cheese Pizza Slice: Dino’s Tomato Pie
The crust is chewy and caramelized, the sauce tangy and a touch sweet, and the cheese stretchy and toothsome. But make sure you order the square slice. Because it’s the literal best at this Capitol Hill pizzeria.
Cheese on Top of Soup: Gainsbourg
This noir movie-themed Greenwood eatery serves snails. But that’s not why we’re here. We’re here for that thick layer of stretchy cheese baked over a perfect, traditional, beef broth cup of French onion soup. Mixed with croutons? Yup!
Mac ‘n’ Cheese: Beecher’s
The Pike Place Market shop known for cheese curds also serves an amazing cup of mac ‘n’ cheese. Made with their flagship cheddar, it’s the kind that will stick to your ribs and your memory.
Grilled Cheese: Cheese Wizards
This Seattle food truck is devoted to the art of the grilled cheese and they’ve honed their craft incredibly. If you’re anywhere near them, you can smell their delicious grilled cheese aroma like a finger waving you in. The bread is crunchy, the cheese stringy. It’s stupendous!
Cheesy Pasta: Harry’s Bar
I almost want to keep this north Capitol Hill spot secret, but Harry’s Bar, which is connected to Olympia Pizza and Pasta, serves heaping plates of delicious pasta — from tortellini in garlic cream sauce to baked lasagna — that come with garlic bread and a salad.
Nachos: The Matador
In Ballard, if you don’t know about The Matador’s $5 happy hour nachos, then I’m sorry. But now you do. They’re giant plates piled high with all the right nacho fixings, including copious amounts of melted cheddar — and, did I mention, they’re only $5?
Poutine: The Angry Beaver
There are a handful of places to get amazing poutine in the city, but the tiebreaker here is The Angry Beaver’s Canadian theme and adoration of hockey. With Seattle about to announce a new NHL team, it’s time you savored the plates of poutine in this Greenwood bar, available with beef, mushroom, turkey or curry gravy. And, of course, topped with cheese!