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Artisanal Cheese Center
This excellent Manhattan cheese shop is the brainchild of Chef/Restaurateur Terrance Brennan (of NY restaurants Picholine and Artisanal). Orders ship overnight in insulated boxes with ice packs, and the shipping fees are surprisingly low. Some of my can't-go-wrong, not-too-strong-not-too-mild favorites include Montgomery's Cheddar, Humboldt Fog and Abbaye de Belloc. Their Vermont Cheese Collection with Maplewood cheese board also makes a great gift ($100).
Shipping: USA (no PO Boxes) & International

Murray's Cheese
This venerated Greenwich Village shop is where top New York restaurants including Alain Ducasse, Daniel and Jean Georges get their cheeses. Forbes even named Murrays' the world's top cheese shop for 2005.
Shipping: USA only (no APO/FPO or PO Boxes)

igourmet.com
This gourmet internet superstore stocks over 700 cheeses, including many of the same products as Artisanal and Murray's, but iGourmet's prices are often much lower. If you're looking for an assortment or gift sampler, iGourmet's are very well-priced and respectable, but they don't contain as many of the "top-shelf" cheeses found in the gift assortments offered at Artisanal and Murray's.

Zingerman's
For those who don't know what to do with the vast and overwhelming cheese lists at Murray's or Artisanal's, Zingerman's Ari Weinzweig has done the footwork for you. Ari stocks his famous Ann Arbor, Michigan gourmet emporium with just a few dozen stand-out options.





Ideal Cheese Shop - Near United Nations Bldg. in NYC. Named World's Best Cheese Shop by Forbes Magazine in 2003, but website lacks good pics & descriptions.

Bedford Cheese Shop - New York Magazine named this Brooklyn cheese shop the best in NYC for 2004. Their online selection focuses exclusively on gift baskets.

Formaggio Kitchen - Boston's finest gourmet shop has an impressive selection of artisanal cheese.

Zabar's - This New York gourmet food emporium almost covers an entire city block and stocks over 600 cheeses. The fact that they sell over 7 tons of cheese a week gives them unique buying power, which allows them to price their cheeses more competitively than many of their boutique counterparts.