Cheese on display at the Cheese Gourmet in Linden

Five Great Jozi Cheese Shops

I love cheese. I just ate a toasted cheese sandwich like 30 seconds ago. And while Joburg is no Paris, there are a few really good spots to buy cheese in this town and I thought I should profile them as part of my Jozi Top Fives series.

Maurine slicing cheese at Patisserie de Paris
Maurine, the brilliant cheese lady at Patisserie de Paris.

I’ve written about most of these places before, but as with all my Jozi Top Fives posts I think it’s nice to sum them up neatly together in a group.

There are a lot of shops selling cheese around town, although not many with a specific focus on cheese. While the first few choices were easy I had a hard time rounding out the last couple of places on the list. In the end I went for geographic diversity, accessibility, and a range of different cheese nationalities.

1) Cheese Gourmet, Linden

I’ve blogged about the Cheese Gourmet more than once (see here and here) and it is undoubtedly the best place in Joburg to shop for a dinner party, book club meeting, or any other kind of event that could benefit from a selection of cheese.

Cheese counter at Cheese Gourmet
The endless counter at Cheese Gourmet.

There are many dozens of cheeses to choose from, all made in South Africa, as well as a selection of bread, meat, jams and sauces, and an incredible olive bar. Cheese Gourmet also has a delightful adjoining café serving cheesy dishes like grilled baby camembert and the ploughman’s platter.

Cheese Gourmet is at 71 7th Street, Linden.

2) Patisserie de Paris, Blairgowrie

Patisserie de Paris, which was part of my #Gauteng52 series, is an authentic French café with a full-on bakery and restaurant. The Patisserie also has an entire room devoted to imported French (and a few Spanish) cheeses.

Cheese counter at Patisserie de Paris
Cheese counter at Patisserie de Paris.
Kwanza at the cheese counter in Patisserie de Paris
Kwenza, the manager at Patisserie de Paris, below the board listing all the cheese in stock.

I’ve been to the Patisserie many times and I never get tired of chatting with the staff and tasting the different cheeses. There is something about French cheese…I don’t necessarily want to say it’s better than all other cheese in the world, but it’s definitely special.

Roquefort cheese at Patisserie de Paris
Maurine shows me a strong Roquefort cheese.
Beautiful cheese from Patisserie de Paris
I don’t remember what this one is called but it’s very photogenic and tastes great.

Patisserie de Paris is at 9 Mackay Ave., Blairgowrie. 

3) Cremalat, Elandsfontein

I wrote about Cremalat, an Italian deli and café in the East Rand, recently. Cremalat started many years ago as a small Italian cheese stall at the Bryanston Organic Market and eventually expanded into a deli with a restaurant attached.

Cremalat deli
The Cremalat deli. In addition to cheese, Cremalat sells Italian meat, bread, olive oil, and a variety of other Italian products.
Cheese counter at Cremalat
The counter.

Cremalat sells tons of cheese, some of which is imported from Italy and much of which is made in the on-site factory, visible through a glass door next to the deli. I have a confession: I’ve eaten lunch at Cremalat twice, and while there was cheese on my pasta both times I did not actually buy any at the deli. But I know for a fact, due to many second-hand accounts, that Cremalat cheese is delicious.

Cremalat is in the Greenhills Industrial Estate, Sam Green Road, Elandsfontein.

4) Pilaros, Ferndale

Pilaros, in the Carriera Centre in Ferndale, specializes in Mediterranean soft cheeses like halloumi, ricotta, and feta. Pilaros also sells local milk, cream, cream cheese, and other dairy products.

Outside Pilaros cheese shop
My visit to Pilaros was worth it for the cow alone.
Feta for sale at Pilaros
Feta cheese, which I bought and enjoyed immensely.
Cream cheese at Pilaros
Cream cheese, which is difficult to find in Joburg. This cream cheese is different from the dense, creamy cream cheese I’m used to — it’s much lighter and fluffier. I enjoyed eating it on toast.

I wanted to buy milk and halloumi — a South African staple cheese — from Pilaros but I showed up on a Monday morning and they were still waiting for their deliveries. I did have a nice chat with Mzukhanye, a long-time Pilaros staff member who was waiting for the milk to be delivered from the Pilaros factory in North Riding.

Milk tanks at Pilaros
Mzukhanye waiting for the Pilaros milk.

Incidentally, the Carreira Centre is a great place to shop for all food. There’s a bakery, a pet supply shop, a fruit and veg wholesaler, a spice shop, and a butchery, all selling their stock at incredibly low prices.

Pilaros is at 250 Pine Avenue, Ferndale.

5) Super Sconto, Orange Grove

I had a hard time choosing my fifth shop. I really wanted it to be a place that specializes in cheese but I also wanted it to be a real retail shop and not a factory/wholesaler or market stall.

Super Sconto, on Louis Botha Avenue in Orange Grove, is a huge Italian grocery store and cheese is only a small part of its offerings. But these Italian cheeses are legit and virtually everyone I encountered in Super Sconto was actually speaking Italian. So I think it deserves a spot.

Super Sconto in Orange Grove
Super Sconto.

Almost everything in Super Sconto is imported from Italy. The cheese arrives in humungous rounds about three times the size of my head and is then cut up and packaged for sale.

Super Sconto also has an eat-in café.

Super Sconto cheese counter.
Cheese fridge.

I took a mini tour with Super Sconto manager Roberto, who himself speaks with a heavy Italian accent, and he showed me all the different cheeses. I bought myself a chunk of creamy fontal, which is great on sandwiches but so strong my whole refrigerator smells of it. Totally worth it though.

Super Sconto is at 171 Louis Botha Avenue, Orange Grove.

Go forth and eat cheese.

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8 Comments

  • Reply dizzylexa April 23, 2019 at 7:59 am

    It’s so early in the morning but I’m already salivating over what I can have with cheese. My favourite has to be Cremalat.

    • Reply 2summers April 23, 2019 at 8:03 am

      Cheese is so freaking delicious.

  • Reply eremophila April 23, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    Yes, I have a soft cheese in my fridge, and a semi hard goats cheese. Cheese is wonderful! Just not Kraft plastic stuff they wrongly call cheese😀

    • Reply 2summers April 23, 2019 at 12:54 pm

      I also hate processed cheese slices. Although I confess I have a strange addiction to those little Laughing Cow cheese wedges.

  • Reply Peggy Laws April 24, 2019 at 7:18 am

    There is an excellent Cheese Stall at Sylvia’s Market but I don’t know any of his details – except he does a wonderful mild blue cheese. I must ask him who he is and where he comes from.

    • Reply 2summers April 24, 2019 at 8:26 am

      I think I remember him from the one time I went there!

  • Reply Fiver April 27, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    What about the Schwaben butcher? Lots of great cheese there!

    • Reply 2summers April 27, 2019 at 3:24 pm

      Yes. As I said there are a lot of shops like that, where they sell lots of cheese but it’s not really the central offering. In the end I chose Super Sconto mainly because I’d never written about it before.

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