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Cheesiest Cities in America

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Lucca Delicatessen opened in San Francisco’s North Beach in 1929, later moving to its current Chestnut Street location in the Marina District. Lucca Delicatessen opened in San Francisco’s North Beach in 1929, later moving to its current Chestnut Street location in the Marina District.

TASTE News Service, February 2, 2021 – Editor’s note:   Sometimes you just need a break.

Like when you’ve been reviewing videos of scientists discussing the effects of smoke taint in wine and possible steps toward mitigation. It’s an important topic, but it only puts a smile on the face of the Ph.Ds who’ve made it their cause. The following press release arrived this morning, we liked the contrast.


What are the Cheesiest Cities in America? Hint: If you think they're all in Dairy States, you don't know jack (cheese, that is).

And why would anyone rank 2021's Best Cities for Cheese Lovers? Well, our fondue-ness for cheese has only grown greater during the pandemic. In recent months, cheese has been flying off the shelves,  as Americans try to ease their pandemic pain.

With that in mind, LawnStarter ranked the 200 biggest U.S. cities based on 10 cheesy factors — from the availability of fondue restaurants and Cheesecake Factory locations to average cost to the number of cheese-related events.

So let's cut to the cheese: Here are the cities that took the cheddar in our ranking, followed by some creamy takeaways.

Say Cheese! It Doesn't Get Any Cheddar Than Here

Rank    City

1          San Francisco, CA

2          Madison, WI

3          Pasadena, CA

4          Chicago, IL

5          Atlanta, GA

6          Arlington, VA

7          Torrance, CA

8          Dayton, OH

9          Philadelphia, PA

10        Pomona, CA


Cheese It! You're Cheddar Off Elsewhere Than Here

Rank    City

191      Sunrise Manor, NV

192      Grand Prairie, TX

193      Moreno Valley, CA

194      Pasadena, TX

195      Thornton, CO

196      Salinas, CA

197      Olathe, KS

198      Laredo, TX

199      Enterprise, NV

200      Port St. Lucie, FL

Highlights and Lowlights:

  • California Dreamin' of Cheese: San Francisco reigns as the cheesiest city in America finishing No. 1 in total cheese shops per 100,000 residents and community supported agriculture centers offering cheese or dairy products. The Bay Area also ranks in the top 10 on total cheese tasting classes, farmers markets offering cheese or dairy products, and Cheesecake Factory locations. The Golden State landed eight cities in the top 10, which makes sense as California is the second highest cheese-producing state.
  • Gouda News for Wisconsin: Madison finishes runner-up on our list, as it is tops for total cheese-related events and No. 2 for total cheese classes and cheese factories. Milwaukee landed at No. 13, and Green Bay didn't make our cut, but if you're a true Cheesehead, you know the city and state are packed with fans of the dairy products. Wisconsin is by far the largest manufacturer of cheese, producing more than a quarter of all America's cheese. This beats out even much larger states like California or Texas.
  • No Cheesesteak in Philly: Philadelphia comes in a shocking second place on total cheesesteak restaurants per 100,000 residents. Who beat out The City of Brotherly Love on their own hometown dish? The smaller city of Fort Lauderdale, maybe because so many in Florida are from somewhere else. A quick Google search will show you the numerous options for a delicious Fort Lauderdale cheesesteak. While Philly is known for cheesesteaks and cream cheese, it's not really the home of either. The lesson here is that in the U.S., you'll find cheese lovers wherever you look.

Our full ranking and analysis can be found here:

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