Crispy, crunchy, and cheesy, cheese straws come in an irresistible array of shapes, textures, and flavors. And that’s just fine by us—there’s always room on our holiday plate for more of these rich and buttery cheese crackers. Perfect for gifting, entertaining, and snacking, these savory treats are essential to any Southern holiday gathering. Whether you enjoy cheese straws with a little heat, flecked with herbs, or just classic Cheddar, you can’t go wrong with this delicious list.
GABRIEL’S RESTAURANT & BAKERY
Owner Johnnie Gabriel began baking as a way to earn a little extra income, but soon discovered it was her true calling. She left her day job and started Gabriel’s, using the baking techniques she learned from watching her mother. While the bakery is well known for its luscious desserts, their cheese straws have quite a following. With sharp Cheddar cheese and a dash of cayenne pepper, these straws are specially baked by Gabriel’s dedicated cheese straw baker. Their traditional Cheddar cheese straws are a customer favorite, but their new Pepper Jack straws are gathering quite a following of their own.
800 Whitlock Ave.
CALLIE’S CHARLESTON BISCUITS
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
Owner Carrie Morey built her company on her mother’s famous biscuit recipe and quickly became an expert on all things party food in Charleston and beyond. Callie’s Cheese Crisps are Carrie’s spin on traditional cheese straws; the hand-rolled coins are the perfect size for snacking, made with extra-sharp Vermont Cheddar and a generous helping of cracked black pepper, and cayenne pepper for a fiery kick.
HEATH’S SPICY CHEESE STRAWS, RITCHIE HILL BAKERY
CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA
In the Ritchie family, their grandmother’s cheese straw recipe has been passed down with each generation. Family and friends always requested them for holidays—so much they couldn’t keep up with the demand. With their secret family recipe in hand, brother and sister team Heath Ritchie and Beth Alm founded Ritchie Hill Bakery in 2010. Though sold on a larger scale these days, the straws are still prepared with the original recipe and in small batches.Try their Spicy Cheese Straws, which pack a little more punch.
363 Church St. N., Ste. 195
THREE SISTERS CHEESE STRAWS
Sisters Isabel Bates, Peggy Crowley, and Alice Frankovitch had been baking up their Grandmother Louise’s secret cheese straw recipe for decades, sharing them at parties and giving them as gifts. But when they brought the straws to a Richmond farmers’ market and sold out immediately, it prompted them to take production to the next level. Though they’ve moved up from the antique cookie press their grandmother employed, the sisters still make all their straws the old-fashioned way and do everything by hand, from baking to packaging. Buttery and crunchy, their original flavor is our favorite—it’s hard to say no to a classic.
901 S Gaskins Rd.
CHEESE STRAWS! BY DONNA
Donna Hill’s fresh cakes have quickly become a Southern dessert tradition, but her cheese straws are bringing in their own share of acclaim. The recipe was passed down to Donna from her Aunt Nancy and has been in her family for more than a century. Flat and crisp with furrows filled with rich flavor from aged Cheddar, these cheese straws are like your grandmother used to make, but even better. You can find her cheese straws at Western Supermarkets in Birmingham, Langenstein’s in New Orleans, and other specialty markets across the South, or give Donna a call; she’s happy to take your order over the phone.
MEMAW’S CHEESE STRAWS
YAZOO CITY, MISSISSIPPI
These crispy, tasty straws gained fame through the many showers, weddings, and parties that Velma Hearst, lovingly known to family and friends as “MeMaw,” brought them to. Word spread, and MeMaw’s Cheese Straws took off. These days, her recipe is still prepared in small batches, just the way MeMaw made them. With their sharp and zesty flavor, these straws show up everywhere, from tailgates to holiday parties.
900 Edgar Rd.
LIZZIE’S CHEESE STRAWS
Owner and baker Elizabeth Bacher always dreamed of having a small bakery featuring her family recipes from her time growing up in Mississippi. Holding true to her Southern roots, she focused on her cheese straw recipe and made it the star of the show. Her light, buttery cheese straws come in a variety of flavors, including fancy twists like Parmesan Cheddar with Oregano, Sun Dried Tomato, and our favorite, White Cheddar and Rosemary.
Nestled in the heart of downtown Auburn, Alabama, Chef David Bancroft’s restaurant literally brings the farm to the table. Surrounded by an actual acre of urban farmland filled with fruit trees, vegetables, and herbs, Acre serves dishes that are dictated by the changing seasons. Fortunately, one of our favorites is always in season: the Dixie Picnic Platter. While we love the deviled eggs, peanut brittle, and housemade pickles, the spicy cheese straws are always the first thing we reach for.
210 E. Glenn Ave.
TABLE & MAIN
This restaurant’s comfortable Southern hospitality is partly due to its location in a quaint historic home, but customers certainly get a double dose when they are welcomed to the table with a Mason jar full of their crunchy cheese straws. The long, spindly crisps are the perfect way to get your palate ready for all the delicious offerings Chef Ted Lahey shares on his menu. You’ll have to act quickly—these cheese straws are known to disappear at an alarming rate.
1028 Canton St.
MISSISSIPPI CHEESE STRAW FACTORY
YAZOO CITY, MISSISSIPPI
Sturdy, crunchy, and golden, these cheese straws stand up well to dips, in addition to the straight-snacking you’re bound to do. Started in Yazoo City, family-owned Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory continues to bake and ship their straws from their hometown. While they have other offerings, including sweet cookie straws, we can’t stop snacking their traditional Cheddar. As an added bonus, their bright red tins make for festive packaging for the holiday season.
741 E. 8th St.
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