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The Cheese Bar on Ingersoll Avenue is home to an indulgent cast-iron mac and cheese. Wochit

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Des Moines' blossoming culinary scene has one more thing to be proud of — a local cheese shop.

In a recent article on Hoodline.com, a new San Francisco website, writer Nathan Falstreau used data from Yelp to come up with a list of the top 45 cheesemongers in the country. Falstreau took Yelp ratings, review counts, relative popularity and prevalence into consideration for fairness.

The Cheese Shop at 833 42nd Street, Suite B in Des Moines took the top spot with a five-star rating from 103 reviews. The Cheese Shop offers more than 100 judiciously-selected cheeses from creameries and dairies from around the world. 

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"We know we have the best cheese in the world, but couldn't have done it without our loyal customers," said owner and cheesemonger C.J. Bienert, who, with his wife Kari, frequently travel to meet the cheese producers who supply their inventory. 

In addition to one-of-a-kind cheeses, The Cheese Shop offers plenty of cured meats, housemade pâté, cheese accouterments, craft beer and wine to complement its cheese selection. And there's a full menu of boards, sandwiches, toasts and melts on the menu, so you can hang out and enjoy them in its small dining area.

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But last year, the Bienerts added to the Des Moines dining scene for cheese-lovers — Cheese Bar DSM at 2925 Ingersoll Avenue.

More: We’ve been to Des Moines’ hot new cheese bar, and it’s already melting hearts

More: Review: The Cheese Bar is so much more than cheese

Cheese Bar adds to The Cheese Shop's repertoire — with a full kitchen, dining room, a bar with a variety of unique craft beers on tap and widely expanded menu. That means there are plenty of cheesy delights like fondue and raclette, open-face sandwiches called smörgs, grilled cheese sandwiches, hot plates and perhaps one of the best cast-iron mac and cheese dishes in the metro.

But The Cheese Shop isn't the only Iowa cheese shop to make the list. Brix Cheese Shop & Wine Bar at 209 N. Linn Street in Iowa City came in 38th on the list of America's favorites. 

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America's favorite cheese shops

Here's the full list of America's favorite cheese shops according to Hoodline.com:

  1. The Cheese Shop (Des Moines, Iowa)
  2. Antonelli's Cheese Shop (Austin, Texas)
  3. Door County Creamery (Sister Bay, Wisconsin) 
  4. St. James Cheese Company Uptown (New Orleans, Louisiana) 
  5. Bobby Nelson’s Cheese Shop (Kenosha, Wisconsin) 
  6. Cheesetique (Alexandria, Virginia) 
  7. Oh Mamma’s On the Avenue (South Bend, Indiana) 
  8. The Cheese Shop (Carmel, California) 
  9. Mars Cheese Castle (Kenosha, Wisconsin) 
  10. Wisconsin Cheese Mart (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) 
  11. Murray’s Cheese Shop (New York City, New York) 
  12. Di Bruno Bros. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) 
  13. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese (Seattle, Washington) 
  14. Cheese Please (Tampa, Florida) 
  15. Nelson Cheese & Deli (Saint Paul, Minnesota) 
  16. Scardello (Dallas, Texas) 
  17. Grandpa’s Cheesebarn (Ashland, Ohio) 
  18. West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe (West Allis, Wisconsin) 
  19. Cabot Farmers’ Store (Waterbury Center, Vermont) 
  20. Cheese Cave (Claremont, California) 
  21. St. James Cheese Company Warehouse District (New Orleans, Louisiana) 
  22. The Cheese Traveler (Albany, New York) 
  23. Di Bruno Bros. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) 
  24. Claudio’s Specialty Foods (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) 
  25. Baumgartner’s Cheese Store & Tavern (Monroe, Wisconsin) 
  26. Star Provisions (Atlanta, Georgia) 
  27. Pastoral (Chicago, Illinois) 
  28. St. Paul Cheese Shop (Saint Paul, Minnesota) 
  29. Cowgirl Creamery (San Francisco, California) 
  30. Larchmont Village Wine Spirits & Cheese (Los Angeles, California) 
  31. Astoria Bier and Cheese (Astoria, New York) 
  32. Talula’s Table (Kennett Square, Pennsylvania) 
  33. The Milk Pail Market (Mountain View, California) 
  34. Bloomy Rind (Hingham, Massachusetts)
  35. Caputo’s Fine Foods (Brooklyn, New York) 
  36. Village Cheese Shanty (Leland, Michigan) 
  37. The Cheese Board (Berkeley, California) 
  38. Brix Cheese Shop & Wine Bar (Iowa City, Iowa) 
  39. Lamazou (New York City, New York) 
  40. Formaggio Kitchen (Cambridge, Massachusetts) 
  41. Tillamook Creamery (Tillamook, Oregon) 
  42. The Cheese Iron (Scarborough, Maine) 
  43. The Cheese Lady (Grand Rapids, Michigan) 
  44. Wasik’s Cheese Shop (Wellesley, Massachusetts) 
  45. Court Street Grocers (Brooklyn, New York) 

 

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