Astoria Bier & Cheese
For Astoria Bier & Cheese, it’s all about craft. Since its first location opened in 2012, ABC has been a reliable source of local brews, artisanal cheeses, and cheese-forward sandwiches. While their cheese and charcuterie offerings are fairly global in scope, owner Rick White and his team have a strong history of supporting what he calls ‘micro producers.’ “Whether it’s Cooperstown Cheese Company in upstate New York, or small producers out of Switzerland through Caroline Hostettler’s ‘Adopt an Alp’ program,” says White, “we try to work with really tiny micro producers whenever we can.” When it comes to pairing, White highly recommends Barrier Brewing Company’s Morticia, an imperial stout, with Käserei Champignon’s velvety, mild Cambozola Black Label. Next time you’re in the neighborhood, stop by for a Mr. Crispy (“one of the best grilled cheeses in the city,” according to White) on the patio, or a perfectly paired beer and cheese flight at the bar.
1A. ABC Ditmars
35-11 Ditmars Blvd.
Astoria, NY 11105
Mon.-Thurs. 12 p.m.-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-12 a.m.,Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
1B. ABC Broadway
Astoria, NY 11106
Mon.-Thurs. 12 p.m.-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 12 p.m.-12 a.m.,Sun. 12 p.m.-10 a.m
Cheese of the World
Forest Hills, NY
“I didn’t have any culinary training,” says Nellie Chiu, owner of Cheese of the World. “I worked as a prosecutor, but when this shop came up for sale, I decided to switch gears.” While the shop has been a Forest Hills mainstay for almost six decades, Chiu and her team took over in 2018, expanding the quality and variety of international and domestic cheeses, charcuterie, and accompaniments, and setting up an online system for ordering and delivery. But little else has changed at 7148 Austin Street. “A lot of people have asked why I haven’t renovated the store,” Chiu explains,“[but] I love the mom-and-pop feel… We did a bit of a facelift, but most, if not all, of the cases and counters are older than the staff.” Aside from staying current with award-winning cheeses, the shop works hard to represent the diversity of the neighborhood. “I absolutely love it when a customer sees something on the shelf that they haven’t seen since they were a child or the last time they were ‘home,’” Chiu says.
7148 Austin St.
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Stand Alone Cheese
Jackson Heights, NY
Soon to celebrate its first year in business, Stand Alone Cheese’s name belies the true nature of their neighborhood. “There is a strong sense of community in Jackson Heights,” says owner Steffen Kenney. “We wanted to open the store in a part of Queens that was underserved in terms of cheese.” Owned and operated by Kenney and his wife, Jenny Armstrong, Stand Alone Cheese offers a befitting eclectic mix of European and domestic cheeses for the residents of one of the world’s most diverse neighborhoods. “Our goal is to make cheese fun and accessible to everyone,” explains Kenney. “We offer a personal touch by having an owner behind the counter at all times to guide [our] guests’ experience.” And the shop’s compact space is not wanting for mouthwatering accompaniments. Looking for an inventive cracker-cheese pairing? The husband and wife team recommends ash-ripened chèvre with charcoal squares, or a double or triple crème with fruit crisps.
79-07 37th Ave.
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon. Closed