San Francisco Market: Cowgirl Creamery

Inside the food lover's paradise known as the Ferry Building sits every cheese lover's fantasy: Cowgirl Creamery, one of our favorite cheese shops in San Francisco.

Staffed with friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable people who are happy to pass out samples, Cowgirl Creamery's retail store in San Francisco is quite lovely to visit. They have grab bags for the quick shopper that are under $25 and contain two or three types of cheese, some olives, and a portable spreader. For the serious cheese connoisseur, there are overwhelming varieties to choose from. Whether it's burrata , Wensleydale Red, or reblochon that you desire, something hard or soft, mild or stinky, you're sure to find it at Cowgirl, along with fresh milk in glass bottles with cream on top, crème fraîche, cheese knives, and other gourmet goodies.

Shopping at Cowgirl is a mouth-watering experience that leaves our pocketbook lighter than it was when we walked in. Whenever we visit, we like to buy new cheeses that we haven't tried before.

• See also our review of Cowgirl Creamery's Washington D.C. location

(Image: Kathryn Hill)