Murray's Cheese Shop is one of the city's great specialty food markets. And when I am in the area (West Village) I tend to be drawn in, even if just to marvel at the cheese. It is where I discovered my favorite- Pleasant Ridge Reserve. A hard cheese from Wisconsin, it's similar to a Swiss or Gruyere, and has a wonderful crystally crunch to it. It's great as a snack.
But Murray's has much more. In fact, it has so much to offer that it often seems overwhelming. When a friend gave me a gift card to Murray's, I was able to head there with a sense of free reign and excitement to try some of the store's other wares beyond the cheese. I carefully selected a variety things including the rich, heat-and-eat mac & cheese and a bottle of fine Spanish olive oil.
More recently, Murray's added a build-your-own pressed cheese sandwich option. You can choose from a selection of cheeses and ingredients such as quince paste or jamon serrano for additions. Serious Eats has some enticing suggestions. And when you're done with that, you can pick up a milkshake made with Van Leeuwen ice cream, though you are limited to chocolate or vanilla.
For the more adventurous, you can travel with Murray's. In June, they did a trip to Switzerland to visit cheese caves and meet cheesemakers. In August, you can travel through the night by bus up to Vermont for the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival. There are lots of classes you can take locally at the shop and Murray's has its own cheese cave as well, which you can sign up to tour.
If you're looking for some cheese or just want a fun food place to explore, consider Murray's.
Murray’s Cheese Shop
254 Bleecker Street, New York NY 10014