Southern California

4 Locations | 125 Miles

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Hidden in an industrial building in a forgettable area of Los Angeles, don't be afraid to knock on the door of Gioia where someone behind the desk will sell you smaller and bulk amounts of fresh mozzarella and burrata. They were the first to bring burrata to the United States. It's surprising no one knows about this place and there aren't lines around the block. Then head to Los Altos Foods to pick up Queso Fresco and other Mexican cheeses. And if you email ahead for an appointment, you can also stop by DiStefano. Yes, Lucy, there's cheese in Los Angeles! -- Oh, and if you are in San Diego, head to AleSmith, home of CheeseSmith cheese. Beer and cheese. What a combo!

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01Gioia Cheese

Gioia makes wonderful fresh Italian cheeses. Vito Girardi, owner, is a third-generation cheesemaker from the area Apulia in Italy where burrata comes from. His grandfather was one of the first makers of burrata. Burrata is a classic Italian "pasta filata" cheese that is made by enclosing a center of soft, silky curd in a small sac of mozzarella. The result is a decadent treat that fully showcases the flavor of the milk. The cheese is best eaten within a few days of production, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. The name Gioia comes from the town - Gioia del Colle - in Apulia where Girardi's family comes from.

Monday: 8:00-7:00
Tuesday: 8:00-7:00
Wednesday: 8:00-7:00
Thursday: 8:00-7:00
Friday: 8:00-7:00

02Los Altos Foods

The Andrade family first began making cheese several decades ago in Southern Mexico. They brought their recipes, from Queso Fresco to Crema, to America, and now you can find them under the Los Altos brand. Stop by their creamery to pick up cheese.

Monday: 9:00-4:00
Tuesday: 9:00-4:00
Wednesday: 9:00-4:00
Thursday: 9:00-4:00
Friday: 9:00-4:00

03Di Stefano Cheese

Cheesemaker Mimmo Bruno, raised in Puglia Italy, was the first artisan in the United States to recreate Burrata, a cream-filled fresh mozzarella. Today, he handcrafts the Italian delicacy at his family-owned plant, Di Stefano Cheese in Pomona, California.

Bruno got his start at a local factory in Italy when he was 11 years old, scrubbing the cheese vat and washing floors. Whenever he got the chance, he hovered around the veteran cheese makers, watching and listening, and soon learned the trade. At 12 years old, he made his first vat of fresh mozzarella. Soon he was earning 2,000 lire a week, equivalent to $1. The neighborhood cheese plant eventually became his after school destination, full-time summer job and “my home away from home.” After his military duty in the Italian army, Bruno set out for the United States and started making cheese in California.

Monday: 9:00-4:00
Tuesday: 9:00-4:00
Wednesday: 9:00-4:00
Thursday: 9:00-4:00
Friday: 9:00-4:00

04CheeseSmith Artisan Creamery

The owner of one of San Diego’s most iconic breweries, AleSmith Brewing Co. takes his passion for cheese to a professional level. AleSmith owner and CEO, Peter Zien, has begun regular artisan cheese production in a venture he calls CheeseSmith. A variety of small batch cheese varieties available throughout the year. Every other week a fresh batch of Midwest-Style Cheese Curds are available in a variety of flavors in addition to plain. CheeseSmith also conducts cheese and beer pairings with its’ partner brewery, AleSmith Brewing Company. Please follow CheeseSmith on the social media platforms to find out what is currently available.

Monday: 11 AM - 10 PM
Tuesday: 11 AM - 10 PM
Wednesday: 11 AM - 10 PM
Thursday: 11 AM - 10 PM
Friday: 11 AM - 11 PM
Saturday: 11 AM - 11 PM
Sunday: 11 AM - 9 PM