Easy-to-eat Cheese for a Game Night with Friends

Cheese and wine
Credit: Unsplash / Camille Brodard

I don’t think anyone can argue that cheese is not one of the most versatile foods in the world. It can be paired with almost anything and comes in so many different styles and flavors. Cheese makes a great appetizer, a great dessert and great party food.

Cheese is usually featured as an hors d’oeuvre at cocktail parties, a dip at tailgates or Super Bowl parties or as a dessert when paired with fruit and wine at fancy dinners. Each of these instances highlights cheese in different ways and focuses on certain types of cheese.

Game nights are a great way to spend time with friends and family, and cheese is a great food to feature on these occasions. Like with all events, there are considerations that need to be made when planning a menu that reflect the tone and activities of the event itself.

In this article, we’re going to talk about how game nights have grown in popularity and then look at some of the best cheese options for when you’re hosting one. We’ll address some of the main cheesy factors to consider when choosing your cheeses too.

The rise of game night

Game nights have become increasingly popular in the last 20 years. Of course, playing video games with friends has been a thing since the early days of consoles and LAN parties, and this has only increased with tech improvements. Now, however, board games and card games have a huge following too.

Playing video games with a group can be as competitive or as relaxed as you’d like. Setting up a few consoles and TVs is one option. If that’d take up more space than you have, consider getting everyone to play the same mobile games.

This is an excellent alternative if you want to have a casino-style game night without the cards. You could even set up each phone or laptop with a different game so people can move around the room playing different slot or table games.

Some cheese-themed slots are available to play: More Cheese, Please! is one of the cutest cheese-themed slots around. It features some adorable mice trying to win cheese and avoid the mousetraps and hungry cats.

Even better, the designers didn’t go the easy route with just Swiss cheese. On the Wheel of Cheese, you can see Swiss cheese, edam, blue, brie and parmesan - it’s evident that at least one of the game developers is a bit of a cheese fiend!

If you’re more interested in board games and card games for your party, then there are a ton of great options there too. In recent years, the rise in popularity of board games has allowed new creators to find an audience for their games, leading to a huge selection of high-quality games.

Of course, not everything has to be cheese-themed (I admit begrudgingly), but if you’re going to go all out, a look through the games listed at Board Games Geek shows that cheese is a popular subject for games. 2020’s Cheese Thief and Cheese Rescue both look particularly engaging.

Cheese considerations

So, you’ve settled on the game or games you want to play and invited your guests. Now you just need to decide what cheeses you’re going to serve. While all cheese is good cheese, some cheeses are more fit for party foods than others. Here are some things to consider:

Crumbliness: While a crumbly amaretto and apricot Wensleydale might be a beautiful winter cheese, it’s a bad choice for a game night. The crumblier a cheese is, the more likely bits of it will end up on your cards, controllers or game board.

Oiliness: All cheeses have oils due to the fat content, and as they melt, those oils are released. Fondue and raclette might be ideal party cheeses for other scenarios, but for a game night, an oily melted cheese is likely to stain your playing cards.

Need for accompaniments: Just like how crumbly cheeses should be avoided, you should consider what cheeses go well with the least messy accompaniments. Small crackers, grapes and dried fruit are all safe choices, while olives can be too oily and breadsticks or large crackers too crumby.

Best cheese options for a game night


One of the best things about cheddar is that there are so many varieties. You might not want a whole platter of cheddar. Between mild and extra sharp and everything in between, there is something for most tastes. On top of that, you have smoked cheddars, spicy cheddars and even Irish Porter cheddar.

Cheddar has enough structural integrity that it can be cubed and speared with toothpicks without any risk of crumbling. It can also easily be enjoyed on its own or with simple accompaniments. Sure it might be basic, but there’s a reason it is beloved around the world.


Many people are probably most familiar with the smoked variety of gouda. Like cheddar, however, gouda can come in a range of flavours and styles. Cumin gouda might be a bit harder to find, but it is worth the effort to track down, the spice perfectly complements the nuttiness of the gouda.

Again, like cheddar, gouda can be sliced or cubed for easy serving. It’s not a messy cheese, and it holds up well against other flavours. If your games night happens to be a bit boozy, gouda goes well with a number of wines and with beer.

Brie or Camembert

These classic French cheeses are on the edge of acceptable for a game night. Since they’re semi-soft, they require a bit more delicacy when eating, and most people prefer to eat them with a cracker or other bread base.

They are the mildest of the stinky cheeses, and if you have guests who are still working on developing their cheese palettes, they still might be a bit too much. In the close quarters of a card table or around a game board, we might even agree that they aren’t the best choice despite being cheeseboard staples.


Extremely popular in the United Kingdom, this Cypriot cheese is a bit of salty heaven. With its high melting point, it is often served baked or fried (how Halloumi fries haven’t caught on yet in America is a mystery) and would make a great starter before the games get started.

It can also be served cubed with melon or another mellow fruit or vegetable to contrast with its bright tang. If you can’t find it, feta has a similar structure and flavour and would work equally well.