The Cheese Shop has a long history with La Jolla restaurants. Established in 1972 by John and Dorothy Schutz, the shop used to be a specialty cheese store. It has since expanded into a specialty sandwich shop, popular with the tourists and dependable for locals.
The shop is quaint. Ivy frames its vintage signage and its glass face is freckled with stickers. It has a whimsical look, almost as if you’ve discovered a secret garden amongst a forest of pricey burgers and swimsuits. The Cheese Shop is located near the Shores on 2165 Avenida de la Playa.
Here is a guide of “Five Things” you don’t want to miss on your next visit to The Cheese Shop:
1. The favorite sandwich.
When I asked for a recommendation, I was quickly told that the turkey, jack, avocado was the favorite. From a choice ofI ordered it on rosemary bread. The sandwich was impressively thick with turkey and jack cheese. The heaps of avocado oozed out of the sides as I tried to fit my mouth around the stacked sandwich. Half of the sandwich was able to sustain me for lunch and I finished the other half for dinner. It kept well in the refrigerator as well as in my good opinion. Take my recommendation and order this gem.
2. Flourless/butterless cookies.
These are truly delicious! If I had to guess the recipe for these gooey treats, I would say that the oatmeal oats are held together by brown sugar and a thick marmalade or honey mixture. A sign on the cookie cabinet reads “we ship nationwide.” I was curious as to how often cookies actually were shipped across the nation. Often, I was told, at least once a week with so many people from out of town staying by the shores and developing an addiction for these tasty cookies. I admit to dropping by the shop twice since my first visit to pick up a cookie or two and I have already contemplated dropping by today… You have been warned.
3. Old-school and European treats.
It is a blast-from-the-past to see a store with such a large selection of candy. My childhood rushed back to me at the sights and smells of Tootsie pops, Neccos, candy necklaces, Abba-Zabas and more. Domestic and imported candy that you no longer see in the grocery store line can be found here like Kinder and an array selection of Cadbury. The shop also has large refrigerators full of glass-bottled sodas. From Jones, to Coca-cola and less known brands, the drink selection is as vast and as tasty as it is retro and old-school.
4. Say cheese!
Another aspect of the Cheese Shop is its international vibe. Pictures line the wall from all over the world. These pictures of loyal customers smiling from atop the Great Wall of China or waving at the bottom of a ski slope in Colorado all have one thing in common. Each picture showcases a person accompanied by a keepsake “Cheese Shop Frisbee.” The shop sells customized Frisbees as token items and encourages customers to travel far and wide with their Frisbee friends. If a customer returns to the Cheese Shop with a picture taken next to the Frisbee from anywhere around the world, he/she receives a 10% discount on a food entree and his/her picture on the wall. This fun challenge promotes a sense of community and diversity as large as its sandwich menu. More Cheese Shop please!
5. Location, location, location.
Call the shop for a quick to-go pick-up if you are on your way to work, or drop by on your way to the Shores for a perfect picnic. The Cheese Shop is very accessible now that the summertime crowds have thinned. It is also located across the street from kayak rentals and other aquatic activity stores, for a convenient lunch stop. Unfortunately, the downtown location has closed recently and so La Jolla is the only place to go for Cheese Shop specialties.
Overall, my meal of one specialty sandwich, two famous cookies and one Aranciata Sanpellegrino came out to $13. If you know a restaurant that needs to be featured on “5 Things” leave comments and suggestions or email me at email@example.com.