Best Cheese: 20 Best Cheeses from Our Taste Tests

The best cheese is a true lifesaver. Sometimes all you need is a fistful of cold shredded cheese from the fridge to tide you over until dinner, get you ready for bed, or even just put you in touch with the pure delicious cheesiness of this here earth. So, without further ableu, here’s all the best cheese we’ve tried during our taste tests, from the best shredded cheese to the best cheese for sandwiches to the best queso for dipping. Hopefully, there is at least one cheese on this list that sounds gouda to you. (Beware: many more cheesy jokes ahead.)


Best Shredded Mozzarella

Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Mozzarella Cheese

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it until the Oregon-based cows come home: Tillamook makes superior dairy products. They just do. And this Farmstyle Thick Cut Mozzerella cheese is one of the best cheeses you can buy. The best part about it? This cheese comes as “thick, coarsely cut mozzarella ribbons” and not, as contributor Danny Palumbo pointed out, “tiny-ass feeble strands that get stuck together in the bag.” The shreds are so thick you can eat them by the fistful straight out of the bag and feel like you’re having a substantial snack. Speaking of joy, this cheese melts like an absolute dream (Danny called it X-rated). In other words, its mozzar-hella good. —Jessica Block

Credit: Paula Kunatee / Tillamook

Read the full ranking of the best shredded mozzarella cheese

Rating:

9/10

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Best Swiss

Sargento Sliced Swiss

I love Sargento’s take on sliced Swiss. Its earthy, funky, creamy, salty and just an all-around complex and beautiful specimen for your sandwich. Managing editor Gwynedd Stuart especially loved the texture, saying, “It has a great dry, chewy texture that sort of squeaks between your teeth as you chew […] Plus, it’s sliced to a pretty much ideal thickness.” Don’t get it Swiss-ted, this Swiss cheese will take your sandwich game to the next level. Plus, because it’s Swiss cheese it has holes in it, and that’s always a good time. Who doesn’t love hole-y cheeses? —Jessica Block

Credit: Merc / Walmart

Read the full ranking of the best Swiss cheese

Rating:

10/10

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Best Cheddar

Old Croc Sharp Cheddar Cheese

No, this cheese is not a foam rubber clog that’s past its prime. But it is absolutely delicious: rich, creamy, and salty with delicious little crystals (that are made up of amino acids, interestingly enough). Truly a chedderuption of flavor. It’s so good, and elevated, and fancy tasting, in fact, that Gwynedd called it “special-occasion sharp cheddar. Sharp cheddar for when you’re hosting company you actually like.” —Jessica Block

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Read the full ranking of the best cheddar cheese

Rating:

10/10

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Kraft Finely Shredded Sharp Cheddar

Best Shredded Cheddar

Kraft Finely Shredded Sharp Cheddar

If you love good shredded cheddar but don’t have the will to bust out the cheese grater and shred it from the block, Kraft comes in clutch with its Finely Shredded Sharp Cheddar. This is the bag of cheese you want in the fridge for gringo tacos and piping hot crocks of chili. It doesn’t clump and packs a lot of cheddar flavor into delicate little shreds.

Read the full ranking of the best shredded cheddar cheese

Rating:

10/10

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Best Provolone

Boar’s Head Deli Picante Provolone

This provolone may be a bit more expensive than your average provolone, but you could argue that it simply knows its own worth and will charge you accordingly. Danny called this deli-counter provolone “deliciously funky and sharp—the bite you get on the back end smacks you in the mouth in the most wonderful way.” Not only does this cheese taste good as is, it also melts like a dream, making your next muffuletta, grilled cheese, or meatball sub a one-way ticket to cheese heaven. —Jessica Block

Credit: Merc / Pavilions

Read the full ranking of the best provolone cheese

Rating:

9/10

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Best String Cheese

Sprouts Market Corner Low-Moisture Part-Skim String Cheese

There are few snacks better than string cheese. It’s got the string, it’s got the cheese, it’s got the juice (wait, that’s corn), but most of all, it’s got staying power. This. Snack. Holds. Up. And especially this version from Sprouts, which is the perfect mix of “waxy and pliable,” according to Sporked staff writer Jordan Myrick. Also, this string cheese may be part-skim but the flavor is full-fat, baybee! Talk about a string of victor-cheese! —Jessica Block

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Read the full ranking of the best string cheese

Rating:

10/10

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Best Cottage Cheese

Good Culture Organic Cottage Cheese 4% Milkfat

This is the best cottage cheese ever. There. I said it. Its small curds, creaminess, saltiness, and tanginess make it aggressively good and almost addicting to eat in the best possible way. Danny even noted that this cottage cheese tastes “fresh.” And it really does. It’s kind of like someone on a farm made this cottage cheese from scratch just for you. So get out of your cottage and eat a lottage of this cottage cheese (sorry). —Jessica Block

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Read the full ranking of the best cottage cheese

Rating:

9.5/10

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Best Trader Joe’s Cheese

Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah

Trader Joe’s really went full bourgeoise on this one. She’s salty, she’s tangy, she’s sweet, she’s complex, she doesn’t need any help from roasted garlic or a jam because she is already jam-packed with flavor. She is good on her own and she knows it. Jordan called this cheese “one of the most delicious cheeses I’ve ever tasted in my life,” and even pointed out that it has those “crunchy flavor crystals” just like parm, adding a textural layer to this cheese’s utter domination. —Jessica Block

Credit: Ryan Martin

Read the full ranking of the best cheese at Trader Joe’s

Rating:

10/10

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Best Cream Cheese

Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese

I am of the opinion that it should be socially acceptable to take a bite of a brick of cream cheese as if it were an ice cream sandwich. And Philadelphia cream cheese, specifically? It’s kind of the king of cream cheeses. Jordan described it as “sensationally creamy,” adding that it “maintains the perfect balance of rich and tangy.” They also pointed out that this cream cheese is excellent with fixins, but can totally hold its own as the only thing on a bagel. One could call this the cream cheese of the crop. —Jessica Block

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Read the full ranking of the best cream cheese

Rating:

10/10

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Best Vegan

Best Vegan Cream Cheese

Trader Joe’s Vegan Cream Cheese Alternative

This. Stuff. Is. So. Good. I’m not vegan, but one time in college, my roommates and I finished a whole tub of the stuff in about a half hour. Need more convincing? Jordan called it “totally spreadable, not too hard, and super creamy,” adding that it has “no weird coconut or chemical aftertaste.” One could even call this the vegan cream cheese of the crop! —Jessica Block

Credit: Ryan Martin / Trader Joe’s

Read the full ranking of the best vegan cream cheese

Rating:

10/10

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best vegan cheese

Best Vegan Cheese

Follow Your Heart Smoked Gouda

Speaking of delicious vegan cheeses, the Sporked team thought this one was really gouda. That feels like an understatement. This “cheese” is a revelation. It tastes exactly like smoked gouda, because, as Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling pointed out in her review, the extremely strong smoky flavor of this Follow Your Heart cheese “covers up any obviously non-cheese flavors and is the star of the show—which is exactly how it is in real smoked gouda.” So If you are a vegan looking to share some “charcuterie” with a friend, whip out this cheese and see what they think! They’ll never know the difference…probably. —Jessica Block

Credit: Ryan Martin / Albertsons

Read the full ranking of the best vegan cheese

Rating:

10/10

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Best Queso

On the Border Salsa Con Queso

Just in queso you thought we forgot, of course there’s a good ol’ queso on this list. And not just any queso, it’s our best of the best queso. Why is this one the best of the best? Because it is “so creamy and smooth,” and because the “fruitiness from the jalapeno really shines,” according to Jordan. Not only that, but this queso is so good and flavorful that it can be eaten hot or cold. No, seriously. This queso can be eaten cold and it’s still delicious. That’s some borderline magic right there. —Jessica Block

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Read the full ranking of the best queso

Rating:

10/10

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Vermont Creamery Goat Cheese

Best Goat Cheese

Best Goat Cheese: Vermont Creamery Goat Cheese

You’re no longer a coward. You’ve bravely entered the world of goat cheese. Bravo, I’m proud of you! Goat cheese is earthy and funky and creamy, and Vermont Creamery’s goat cheese is the best you can buy. Justine loved it not only for its “textbook goat cheese flavors” but also for its utility. You could eat this stuff on salads, spread it onto toast, or even slather it on apple slices. It’s the GOAT of the goats. —Kota Lee

Credit: Liv Averett / Albertsons

Read the full ranking of the best goat cheese

Rating:

10/10

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best flavored goat cheese

Best Flavored Goat Cheese

Laura Chenel Four Peppercorn Goat Cheese

If you need some goat cheese training wheels, flavored goat cheese is a revelation. It’s earthy. It’s super creamy. But in this particular goat cheese, the flavor of peppercorn tempers some of that barnyard-y goat milk funk. It’s versatile, too. “Not only is the flavor impeccable but it is also the most useful of all the goat cheese I tried,” Justine wrote. “It would be incredible on toast with some avocado or smoked salmon for a lovely fancy brunch at home.” It’s the flavored GOAT of the goats (okay, I’ll stop now). —Kota Lee

Credit: Merc / Kroger

Read the full ranking of the best flavored goat cheese

Rating:

10/10

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best american cheese

Best American Cheese

Kraft Deli Deluxe American

Say what you will about it, but American cheese is a great neutral cheese. It’s great on a burger, but the good stuff is tasty enough to stand alone on a grilled cheese. It can even be eaten cold as part of the right sandwich. It’s a classic, but if you’ve been settling for Kraft Singles, you’ve been doing it wrong. It’s time to upgrade to Kraft Deli Deluxe American, the best American cheese according to Gwynedd. It’s creamy and melts like a dream, but it doesn’t have that plasticky texture a lot of American cheese has. Plus, the slices don’t come individually wrapped like Singles! Less plastic waste! Good for the environment and your belly (unless you’re lactose intolerant). —Kota Lee

Credit: Merc / Target

Read the full ranking of the best American cheese

Rating:

10/10

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best feta cheese

Best Feta

Mt Vikos Traditional Feta

Feta is the great cheese equalizer. The Cheesequalizer, even. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Savory meals, sweet salads, desserts, pizza, snacks, etc. It’s versatile, it’s mild but salty enough to make an impression—it’s a cheese for any occasion. Mt. Vikos Traditional Feta is the feta ideal. “There’s an actual cheesy quality that so many other feta cheeses lack,” Justine wrote. If you’re looking to add some Feta to your life, look no further than Mt. Vikos. —Kota Lee

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Read the full ranking of the best feta cheese

Rating:

10/10

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best mexican shredded cheese

Best Mexican Blend

Kraft Mexican Style Four Cheese Blend

Whether you’re making a quesadilla or a platter of oven nachos, a good shredded Mexican blend (usually queso quesadilla, jack, asadero, and cheddar) is essential. You can’t do better than Kraft’s Mexican Style Four Cheese Blend for your crunchy tacos. As Gwynedd put it, “This mix of Monterey Jack, cheddar, asadero, and queso quesadilla cheeses comes in incredibly fine shreds that melt beautifully.” It’s mild, but also has a nice salty tang that hits the sides of your tongue. If you need a melty shredded cheese to get gooey for Taco Tuesday, this is the cheese for you. —Kota Lee

Credit: Merc / Walmart

Read the full ranking of the best shredded Mexican blend cheese

Rating:

10/10

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best nacho cheese

Best Nacho

El Mexicano Nacho Cheese Sauce

The nacho cheese / “not your cheese” pun barely works in text format, but let me just say that this nacho cheese is actually yo cheese. El Mexicano nacho cheese sauce pairs with everything from tortilla chips (duh) to broccoli to french fries to chili dogs. Jordan called this nacho cheese “perfect,” saying, “It’s creamy. It’s buttery. It’s spicy. There are absolutely no notes. I would use this to make nachos or pour it over a chimichanga or just dip my fingers into it and consume alone.” Good thing it comes in a gigantic can. —Kota Lee

Credit: Liv Averett / Walmart

Read the full ranking of the best nacho cheese

Rating:

10/10

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best brie

Best Brie

Trader Joe’s Triple Creme Brie

You ever have cheese so good you can’t brie-lieve it’s real? If it overwhelms you, stop, take a deep brie-th, and then exhale. Everything is going to brie okay. (I’m done now.) All puns aside, Trader Joe’s Triple Creme Brie is the gold standard. Have you ever wanted to eat chunks of butter? Sure, we all have. Well, this brie will fulfill that desire. Sometimes you just have to say, “C’est la brie.” —Kota Lee

Credit: Liv Averett

Read the full ranking of the best brie

Rating:

10/10

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best ricotta cheese

Best Ricotta

Organic Valley Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese

If you’re making a recipe that calls for ricotta, chances are you just go ahead and grab whatever you see and move on. Ricotta’s ricotta, right? So wrong! Some ricotta is weirdly sweet and super dense—i.e. not ideal for that tray of lasagna you’re slaving over. Organic Valley Whole Milk Ricotta is a different story. This stuff tastes so savory and fresh, like actual farm-fresh dairy. It’s nice and loose without being cottage cheesy. It’s perfection. Your stuffed shells deserve this stuff, trust us. —Gwynedd Stuart

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best aldi cheese

Best Aldi Cheese

Emporium Selection Not Your Average Cheddar Cheddar & Parmesan

The Aldi cheese section is a wonderland of cheap, tasty cheeses, but this cheddar-parm blend is the best of them all. It’s nutty and salty with plenty of parmesan funk. This is basically Aldi’s take on Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar. But if you don’t feel like braving the parking lot at your local TJ’s, head to Aldi and buy this instead. —Gwynedd Stuart

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Read the full ranking of the best Aldi cheese

Rating:

9/10

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About the Author

Sporked Staff

The Sporked Staff tastes everything and anything. They are obsessive about groceries and finding the best of any type of food or drink, from frozen fried shrimp to Dijon mustard to gummy candy. And they're always on a hunt for the best new products. When they aren't eating professionally, they're eating recreationally. And often they're browsing grocery store aisles, just for fun.

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  • Best Parmesan cheese? (im guessing kirkland wedge)

    Reply
  • This is out of control. Temp Tee is a way better cream cheese than Philadelphia. I assume this was was publishing error and I expect a correction ASAP

    Reply
  • What a basic selection of cheeses.. Very few cheeses here are not staples, where’s stuff like Gruyere?

    Reply
  • Tillamook! Tillamook! Tillamook! Best shredded cheese hands down. No matter the flavor. That being said, I wish they had more options. They also have a cheddar cheese cream cheese which is so good but hard to find.

    Reply
  • I tried that cheddar after y’all initially recommended it. SO good. You can taste the salt crystals.

    Reply
  • Cabot: best North American extra sharp cheddar. Whatsammatta with you?

    Reply