Murray's Cheese Bar

Cheese is the shining star at this West Village gem

By Hannah Howard

“Dessert without cheese is like a beauty with only one eye,” mused the granddaddy of food writing, Brillat-Savarin. At Murray’s Cheese Bar, dessert is but the beginning. From summer salads to pulled pork–pimento mac and cheese, cheese gets the spotlight. And what a compelling, delicious star it is.

Already a beloved NYC institution—75 years and counting—in 2012 Murray’s Cheese Shop opened up the Cheese Bar a few doors down on Bleecker Street. The newest addition is bright during the day and cozy at night, with shiny white tiles on the walls and red chairs.

The cheese list—30-something cheeses long—is a thing of beauty. Ask the resident cheesehead to put together a spread in accordance with your preferences, and they’ll pair gems from next door with funky, thoughtful condiments: sour cherries, butterscotch, kimchi.

Cheese plays more of a supporting—yet crucial—role in bright summer salads, like the zucchini carpaccio strewn with pea leaves from Starling Yards farms in the Hudson Valley, topped with a flavor bomb of chanterelles and Pecorino. Cheese Bar’s Caprese could be lunch every day this season—whole roasted tomatoes on the vine, already glorious with basil oil and sea salt, served beside milky, grassy, luscious buffalo mozz. This is why we’re obsessed with fromage.

There’s also a no-joke Cheddar rarebit sauce–smothered burger if you must; a bowl of fondue for those who can’t resist playing with their food; and plenty of lovely wines and craft beers—serious cheese demands great drinks, after all. Vive le fromage.


Dinner: Sun–Tue 5 PM–10 PM; Wed–Sat 5 PM–midnight
Lunch: Tue–Fri noon–3 PM
Intermezzo: Fri–Sun 3 PM–5 PM
Brunch: Sat–Sun 11AM–3:30 PM

price range

$8 (roasted heirloom garlic) to $26 (hanger steak)