... photo by CC user infowidget on Flickr

Anyone who has ever watched a Green Bay Packers football game knows the fans are “cheese heads.” These people have cheese on the mind permanently. The diverse selection of cheeses available in Wisconsin reaffirms this lactose-tolerant notion. A shining example of this cheesy craze is Madison, Wisconsin, capital of the largest cheese-producing state in America.

1. Fromagination

For those not looking to waste any time on their search for the best cheese in Madison, visit Fromagination. This high-quality artisan cheese shop specializes in rare and exotic cheese, making it one of the prime locations for acquiring flavors that otherwise evade the palate. The cheese comes in large blocks and wheels, which help to preserve the hearty flavors. The staff is expert at pairing the cheeses together to help boost flavor and maximize taste.

2. Dane County Farmers’ Market

This extravagant farmers’ market around the Capitol Square runs from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. rain or shine, on Saturdays, and on Wednesdays in summer. A departure from the artisan cheese shops and delicatessen shops, this farmers’ market boasts fresh cheeses brought directly from the farm and sold to patrons by farmers. This is the largest farmers’ market in the United States.

3. The Old Fashioned

This Wisconsin legend offers the best in original Wisconsin cuisine. In keeping with the traditions of classic Wisconsin, the Old Fashioned offers a plethora of cheeses for tasting and even incorporates many of them into their delicious entrees and appetizers.  Their Wisconsin Cheese Curds are a local favorite, but their entire menu of items, whether cheesy or not, enjoy a reputation for being delectable.

4. Graze and L’Etoile

This esteemed Capitol Square restaurant is a treasure for its head chef, the legendary Troy Miller. Miller adds a bit of diversity to Madison’s restaurant repertoire by offering fresh, local cuisine with a neo-culinary influence that satisfies the palette in surprising ways. You won’t believe what this man can do with cheese, and experiencing the real thing is so much more satisfying than any description. Graze and L’Etoile is truly a standout restaurant. To top it all off, the menu is constantly changing throughout the year, offering new flavors and innovations throughout the year.

5. Johnny Delmonico’s

Madison’s top steakhouse might not specialize in cheese but it surely has some of the best food to accompany any cheese aficionado’s favorite cut. Only the highest quality meats are permitted at Delmonico’s. They’ll be happy to melt a piece of cheese over anything they serve at a request, and the quality of cheese matches the quality of the meat superbly. It’s voted Madison’s best steakhouse for a reason, don’t miss out.

Supremely Cheesy Excellence

Regardless of where your cheesy travels take you, Madison offers countless options for accruing the best in dairy. This list provides insight into some of the best places out there, but high quality cheese shops and restaurants are all around. If anyone asks you to say “cheese” in Madison, a “picture-perfect” slice is what you’ll find.

Aside from great cheese, Madison also offers affordable accommodation for travelers. Check out this list of affordable Madison hotels on your next visit.