The cheeses are served on a long wooden block, with various accompaniments ladled tableside, including a pear, apple, and black pepper compote, white truffle-scented honey, and sour cherry preserves. While elegant, Uva is decidedly unpretentious and surprisingly affordable: $10 gets you generous portions of three cheeses, $16 gets you five, and for $22 you can taste seven, which is almost half the menu.
568 Haight, SF. (415) 829-2024, uvaenoteca.com
What's better than hitting the farmer's market, grabbing some cheese, fruit, and a baguette, and doing a cheese plate yourself? Nothing, we say. Nothing's better. The Cowgirl Creamery cheese shop at the Ferry Building is well known for its dizzying selection of cheeses from around the world, as well as for its own locally made, highly addictive varieties like Mt. Tam (a glorious, creamy cow's milk) and St. Pat (a sharp, delicious goat's milk with an herbed rind.) The cheesemongers at Cowgirl are unstumpable, and will let you try samples to your heart's content.
1 Ferry Building #17, SF. (415) 362-9354, cowgirlcreamery.com