The Best Parmesan Cheese at the Grocery Store

The best parmesan cheese is more than a topping for pasta and caesar salads. During the very earliest days of the pandemic, when no one was sure what was going on or if going to the supermarket was safe, I experimented with picking up groceries from a local Italian restaurant here in L.A. that started operating as a market. I require snacking cheese in my diet, and the only cheese they had? Parm. I went with it. When snack time rolls around, all cheese is valid. And, truly, parmesan cheese is a great snacking cheese—it’s salty and nutty and fills your mouth with flavor, whether you’re slicing thin little pieces off a wedge of parm or eating little pinches of shredded parm with your fingers. 

Now, I know the best parmesan cheese is at your local cheesemonger, but I wanted to find the best parmesan cheese you can easily find at the grocery store, be it a wedge or the best shredded parmesan cheese. I also earnestly wanted to find the beat grated parmesan (like, the shelf-stable kind that you find in the same aisle as the pasta and sauce), but they pretty much all taste the same (aka bad). If that’s the kind of parm you’re into, just grab the cheapest. You’ll be fine. But if you want something with more flavor, something that’s really going to make an impression whether you’re snacking on parm or covering your pasta with a dusting of it, give one of these a shot.

best shredded parmesan cheese

Best Finely Shredded

BelGioioso Freshly Shredded Parmesan

BelGioioso makes the best shredded parmesan cheese if you really like a thin, dainty shred—something that’s going to melt the second it hits a hot bowl of sauced rigatoni. It has a little bit of basement-y funk I liked, too. It tastes aged; salty and brisk. The other thing I like a lot about this parm is the packaging. BelGioioso makes dainty shreds and they package them in a dainty plastic container Lightweight and less waste, which is nice.

Credit: Merc / Safeway




best parmesan cheese wedge

Best Mild

Private Selection Parmesan Cheese Wedge

Private Selection parm—which you’ll find at Kroger-owned grocery stores—is the best parmesan cheese to slice up for a cheese board. It has an almost cheddar-y sharpness on the finish that’s very nice, but in a hard parm. This isn’t as salty as other parms (although it’s still plenty salty), which I think makes it a good pick to eat with crackers and something salty like a nice hard salami. It has a good chew, too, which works well with crispy charcuterie crackers

Credit: Merc / Kroger




best funky

Best Funky

Primo Taglio Parmesan Cheese (Aged 12 Months)

If you like a funkier parm, this is the best parmesan cheese to buy—it has a rindy flavor on the finish that I really like. It’s a bit like a drier Swiss cheese. In fact, I would love to eat this on a hot ham and cheese sandwich—heat will bring out its best qualities. It has a deep saltiness but not too much attitude. This is aged for a year and it tastes higher quality than a lot of the very basic grocery store parms we tasted. 

Credit: Merc /




best parmesan cheese

Best of the Best

Buitoni Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese

I know, I know. I’m about to get my Italian-American card revoked for saying Buitoni (a Nestlé company) makes the best parmesan cheese we tried in our taste test, but I’m telling you, I could eat this cheese all day. It has so much salty, savory flavor. It seems almost impossible that little shreds could be so packed with flavor. These are a little bit on the waxier side, but if you eat parm off the block like I do, you’ll like this tub of cheese. These shreds are going to add so much savory flavor to pretty much anything, but they’re especially perfect for a nice caesar salad—a perfect complement to the pungent, nutty flavor of anchovy paste. Buitoni parm is highly accessible and I swear it’s better than most parm from other grocery store brands. It’s the best shredded parmesan cheese we tried and the best parm, period.




Other products we tried: Frigo Shredded Parmesan Cheese, Kraft Finely Shredded Parmesan, Good & Gather Fine Cut Parmesan, Sargento Off the Block Parmesan, Emporium Selection Parmesan Cheese, Lucerne Shaved Parmesan Cheese, Market Pantry Grated Parmesan Cheese, Reggano Grated Parmesan Cheese, Great Value Grated Parmesan 

About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

Thoughts? Questions? Complete disagreement? Leave a comment!

Your thoughts.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Your photo for the BelGioioso is for grated cheese and not shredded. I always buy their grated cheese that comes in a 5-ounce plastic cup and is the best-grated parmesan.