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Best Butchers in Vancouver (Merged)


jayhay
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Arctic Meats used to be recommended as an excellent place for restaurant quality beef. This past summer they have closed shop on Commercial & only sell to the trade. Does any one have other suggestions for the "civilian" to find well-aged, top quality product in Vancouver?

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Another vote for Windsor Meats, but this time for the West Van location at Caulfeild mall. Does anyone else in town carry organic flank steak? Marinated, grilled and thinly sliced, it's like butter under your knife. And they'll cut steaks to your specs, and (parents of small tots take note), they sell large, mildly seasoned chicken fingers cut from whole chicken breasts. And decent, quick-meal steak and onion pies. And farm-raised free-range turkeys at Christmas, yum.

Prices are comparable to Black's butcher shop in Park Royal south, but I've had some disappointingly chewy, tough strip loins from Black's.... javascript:emoticon(':angry:')

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Ling, I go to the same butcher sometimes but often find their selection limited to the basics - can't seem to get fresh duck, short ribs, or much veal. They can also be expensive with certain cuts. They do however keep me in a relatively inexpensive supply of chicken and veal bones for stock.

Heringer's Fine Foods in Steveston has some excellent quality meat but I find them quite expensive. I once paid almost $40 for two racks of lamb - compared to about $20 - $24 at Save-on Foods and in this particluar case I enjoyed the ones from Save On more. They also carry some other specialty items such as fleur-de-sel, breads from Terra, canned tomatos, cheeses, oils, spices, quality chocolate for baking/cooking, etc and they are all reasonably priced.

I have been looking for a good, reasonably priced butcher in Richmond or southern Vancouver for quite some time.

T and Redhead - Where on Main Street is Windsor Meats? Is it worth the drive from Richmond?

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I'll have to look for Heringer's. I live only about a 10 minute walk from Steveston. :) Is it by any chance the store next to that Italian restaurant Papi's?

Sometimes I see meat at the butcher shop that is labelled "previously frozen". In this case, would it just be better to buy from Save-on-Foods b/c it's cheaper? Or is the quality of the frozen meat still better at your local butcher?

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Yes. Heringer's is right next to Papi's. There is also a good produce store next door as well that has a decent selection of fresh and canned organic stuff as well as regular produce. They also sell milk and cream produced by Avalon Dairy which is really good.

I also live close within a few minutes of Steveston. This street (No. 1 Road) is actually one of my favourite areas to shop because in addition to Herringer's and the produce market there is a bakery a couple doors down and a fish monger across the street.

As far as previously frozen, I have been told it is done because of either the distance the meat travels from the supplier, which is why a lot of New Zeland lamb in the supermarkets comes frozen, or because of low product turnover, which is why even our local Fraser Valley duck is only available frozen from many butchers. I think that if the frozen stuff at the butcher's comes from a good supplier/producer it will still beat the fresh from Save On Foods for overall quality but to what extent is variable from product to product and may sometime not be worth the extra $.

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1. I too go to Windsor Meats - Main Street at King Edward Ave. They have naturally brined and smoked hams from the Fraser Valley that are excellent, fresh turkeys, free range chickens and eggs - excellent price on lamb shanks etc., full service boning and cutting.

2. Como Market and Cioffi's Meats on East Hastings - some consider Cioffi¹s the best Italian butcher in the city with outstanding sausages and veal

3. Famous Foods - -on Kingsway around Clark - free range chicken, Hertel¹s bacon and sausages (no nitrates, naturally smoked)

4. Hill’s Foods - 3650 Bonneville Place, Burnaby

Hills will sell to the public with a $100 minimum and pick up at their location. If you're in search of any type of venison, bison, alligator or pheasant etc, as well as wild mushrooms and other exotics, they're usually the suppliers. (if you can’t meet the limit, inquire through Hill’s or your favorite butcher to order in what you need)

5. Armondo’s on Granville Island - my favorite full service specialty butcher

6. Oyama Sausage - excellent hand crafted and smoked sausages, cured meats including prosciutto

-excellent source for duck rillette, foie gras, sausages for cassoulet etc

7. Choices Food Stores - for their organic produce, meats and other products and homemade chicken stock : :smile:

Ah, I forgot - jayhay - you might want to take a look at the Omaya Sausage thread, there is a meat market mentioned.

Edited by capers (log)
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I live 10 minutes (walking) from Herringers. Gotta give them an endorsement.

Try the peach pies at British Home on the corner of No. 1 and Moncton -- great.

Another meat shop that might interest people

Nikuya Meats on Broadway near Renfrew - Japanese meats including Wagyu, and really good bentos to go.

Steveston seems to be lacking the really good seafood place that it deserves.

------------------------

to taberu is to ikiru

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A couple of other suggestions would include:

1) Columbus Meat Market on Renfrew (at 1st) esp. for sausage

2) Either Jacksons location (4th/arbutus - Granville/13th) very reliable.

3) Tenderland on granville island. They usually have some air dried free range chickens

4) Produce City on Cambie at 16th - I've just begun to buy stuff there and their beef has so far been really good

5) Meinhardts - while a little pricey this is the only place I know of that attempts to air dry their meet. So far everything I had from them has been superb (but you pay a little extra!)

With regards to Windsor on Main. Sometimes the Grade A and the Grade B steaks get 'mixed up'. Just look you can see the difference. However they usually get local lamb in on Thursdays and it's really good.

That's all folks.

PS Other than Granville Island anyone know some really good fish mongers?

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I find the fish at the 1st avenue T and T to be very good. However the Coquitlam location's fish counter is disgusting. I love Cioffi's for almost all my meat needs. The veal is the best in the city and very well priced. The sausage is as good or better then Columbus' and the variety of items is staggering. They have great beef short ribs that they will custom cut to any size.

Armando's on Granville Island is nice but his prices are just outrageous. Oyama Sausage is worth the cost and effort for everything I've had there, Duck Confit, Porcini Pate, and especially the Rilliette.

Edited by Coop (log)

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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  • 8 months later...

Any tips as to the cities best butcher? Or is it a moot point in these days of mass produced factory cows that are all pretty much the same and cutting the animal up can't really change the quality of the animal anyways.

Bought New Yorks at Cioffi's on Saturday, cooked them last night. Pretty average. Had high hopes due to the claim the beef was AAA Alberta grain fed. (And as an aside, here's why Italians rule, the butcher asks "you need a couple sausage on the side with that steak?" Hell yeah I need sausage on the side. In retrospect the question may have had more to do with disguising the fact that the steaks were basicly flavourless, but at the time I took it as a gesture of Italian overindulgence/generousity.

So where should I get my meat?

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I use Certifed Angus Beef ( top 7 % of Angus cattle make it here )at the restaurant and it is great ! This is what Urban Fare is selling.

Canadian Prime - a bit more difficult to get ( Top 4 % of no particular breed ) is available only at restaurant suppliers I think.

Canadaian AAA has become a bit more generic in the last few years - IMO. Once people like Safeway started to use it, the quality has become a bit diluted. There are only so many cattle being produced and with the demand for AAA increasing, the orders need to be filled. Altough the grading system is scientific, I would imagine it is also subject to pressure from the market - ie does the difference between AA and AAA become a little blurred if you have so many orders of AAA to fill.

In the future, try calling one of your restaurant friends and see if they can get you some good beef. It would take a bit more planning but the end result would be better !! I think you know the number here Mr. Talent.

Neil

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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I'm the daughter of a butcher so I to yearn for good meat. My Dad closed up shop over 20 years ago and I have been on the hunt for a good butcher. So far the best that I have found is Windsor Meats on Main Street. The guy who owns it is fantastic and if he knows you know meat, he'll pull it from the back cooler. (That's were the blue stuff is hidden) :biggrin: There is also another one on Granville and 13th, can't remember the name, but I think it may have closed. There were issues with leases a couple of years ago. It's been in the same family for 70 years though if it is still there.

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We've had good luck with Windsor Meats (Caulfeild location) -- they carry an organic line of beef that includes a really outstanding flank steak.

Jolly the Butcher in North Van (a little challenging to find, but worth it) is the best for pork products, including dressed roasts, baby back ribs, Swedish and Danish-style cured ham, etc. Not bad on beef items -- we just tried two "Australian rib-eye" steaks from there, pretty good. Nice price, too - about $10 for two large steaks.

And a place I haven't tried yet, but WANT to

www.bluegoosecattle.com

They have warehouse location on Welch St. in North Van. Not sure if you can just drop in and buy a small amount, or if there's a minimum purchase (say, half a cow?) or you have to shop by appointment. But it sounds yummy..... Some eGulleteer should try this out and report back.

FYI, Keith. Windsor Meats sells some nice, pounded and lightly breaded chicken strips -- not the pre-cooked, chopped and formed rubbish, either. Ask for them if you go.

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www.bluegoosecattle.com

They have warehouse location on Welch St. in North Van. Not sure if you can just drop in and buy a small amount, or if there's a minimum purchase (say, half a cow?) or you have to shop by appointment. But it sounds yummy..... Some eGulleteer should try this out and report back.

I am going to be doing the Feast of Fields and I will be using the Bluegoose products for that.

I am looking forward to using it. I will be getting some in to try in the very near future and will report back on what we are using and what we are doing with it.

I have heard from a friend that it is excellent and that was what led me to them for this event.

Cheers

Neil

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Our favorites:

1. Bernie, who used to be on West 49th (near Magee High), then West 16th, then Richmond, has resurfaced to run the meat counter at Magee Grocery at 49th and West Boulevard. He has a particularly good handle on Oregon and BC lamb.

2. Jackson's on South Granville (the 4th Avenue location closed in the spring after almost a century in the same location; unfortunately Brian Jackson died shortly afterward.) But Geoff Jackson runs an immaculate shop. and it has the additional advantage of being next door to Mackinnon's Bakery and two decent Chinese grocery stores. For the summer, dial ahead and ask Geoff for well-aged "deep cut sirloins"--about 2 and a half inches thick (around two to three pounds). Start them over high heat and then move them to a cooler part of the grill. Just oil, salt and pepper. The most flavoursome steaks we've found, sliced on the bias they'll feed five or six people each. Good chickens and turkeys too.

3. Armando's, Granville Island. Where Rob Feenie buys his roasts (excellent prime rib) and short ribs.

4. Chutter Ranch organic beef from Merritt. This stuff needs lots of age and it's not for everyone. The sirloins have a chew and big beefy flavour. They're also quite lean--but we love the punch.

5. Safeway. What, you say? The sirloin steaks in the value-paks (four or five for about $25) are a delicious bargain, fried in oil and butter and finished with good salt.

Jamie

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Oh dear - I can feel the grimaces before you even read my response but deep breath -

I like the meat at Costco (I am sure at least one of you has fainted dead away). Well let me clarify that to say that we do a lot of entertaining of fairly large groups in the summer (12+ people at least once a week) and I have had great success with the tenderloin steaks, the tenderloin piece and the lamb chops from Costo.

For the steaks, I just oil them and season with S+P and cook about 3 -4 minutes a side. We have a built in DCS grill and man does it get hot! so the fillets are perfectly cooked - nice and rare in the middle with wonderful carmelization on the outside.

The tenderloin piece takes some fussing with - you need to trim it and tie it up but again, rub it with olive oil, salt and LOTS of pepper and in 15 - 20 minutes you have the most tender and delicious meat. Some nice BC merlot and you are a happy kid!

I make a lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and rosemary marinade for the lamb chops and leave them in over 1 -2 days. We served 14 on Friday night with the lamb chops and they were gone in seconds. Tender, flavourful and delicious. We paired the chops with the Red Rooster Meritage and think it was a success. Not a morsel left.

But when I don't want to feed the masses I head straight for Armando's on Granville Island and have never had a complaint. He is more than willing to do custom orders and when he has them, his veal chops are great. And the staff is very accomodating and helpful.

As for Safeway - never had any success. And everytime I used their meats I was mortified at the results.

We used to use Shaughnessy Meats on 41st but haven't for a number of years. No particular reason - just fell out of the habit but they always had great meat as well.

Cheers,

Karole

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I have an opinon on this so:

For pork, panchetta, chicken (free range and bones for stock), veal chops and ground meats, Chioffi's.

For Italian sausage and veal, Columbus Meat Market.

For Merguez and other sausages The Santa Barbara.

For beef, Save on or the Urban Fare. Make sure you buy the certified Angus from the cases, have it cut for you and do not freeze it.

For Buffalo..........Just say NO!

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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Everyone seems to be forgetting the flashing pink pig on Hastings.. Save-On-Meats,.. CHEAP!! and tasty.. I buy the sirloin steaks and get them ground, and have huge , non shrinking burgers. Their filet mignons are not that bad, the only things is that there is not a huge aging time with the meat. But still good, with some marinating etc or some lovely crumbled stilton.

I agree with Coop on Columbus, great veal and sausages, though for the best HOT Italian sausages i got to say Armandos..ooo they are great. For roasts and chicken I like the butcher beside Bosas on Victoria, family run business and will cut anything for you, also when getting a roast, they wrapped it with fat and fresh rosemary. YUM!

I hope this helps, i know it is a lot of driving around, but i think worth it

oh before i forget you can also buy half or quarter of a cow and have it butchered, we have done this, and is wonderful as we got it from a samll farm with only 20 cattle, so fully organic etc. and the price great, i thnk we paid $200 for a quarter and that lasted almost a year.

DANIELLE

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

-Virginia Woolf

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Great meat stores suggestion here. However, one bad experience with Armando's. I bought a marinated steak and it tasted off. I think they used their old cuts for this or it has been in the showcase too long.

As for Costco, too many meat/chicken/fish recall for my comfort.

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Thanks all - I've never tried Windsor Meats, so I'll head up there soon.

I agree that the meat at Costco tends to be really good. The little lamb chops are superb, eaten in hand like chicken wings with a nice glass of vino after a hard day on the golf course, satnding around the barbecue working on the main event. I have to send friends or family when I want something at Costco, I gave up on the place. Too many times I abondoned full buggies upon seeing the checkout lines. Plus I have philisophical issues with paying to shop somewhere. (Yeah, I see the irony, I am one of the ages great thinkers. Ancients spent days pondering the nature of God, I've developed a treatise on shopping club membership dues.) The madatory "we suspect you're a thief, now prove you're not" Checkpoint Charlie on the way out also made me rethink if I wanted to give those bastards my money.

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If you want a good time, okay good time may be an overstatement, at Save On/Urbane Fair, ask the butcher to cut you a two inch steak. Make him keep doing it until he/she gets it right. I swear those people have the spatial thinking ability of an Albertan motorhome driver in an Escher print. I think my record is burning through five pounds of meat before they managed to get it right. "No, twice as thick as that. Uhh uh, that's three inches. Okay, that's close, now just do one with half as much again." Alright, maybe frusterating is a better descriptor of the activity than "good time". Shouldn't this be first day stuff at butcher school? One inch, two inches etc?

I think the only qualification to work the meat department at Save On is an ability to face the skanky side down in the tray, and to ensure you have a high level of proficiency at stuffing the underside of the little foam trays with fat and grizzle.

Don't get me started on the tribulations I face when attempting to buy proscuitto at the deli counter at Save On.

Last time I was at Urban Fair, they had an alligator for sale. It led me to question how stupid your average Yaletown hipster is if anyone in the neighbourhood is willing to pay $130 for what essentially resembled roadkill. Whole skinned baby 'gator. Yum. You know some asshole trader overgrown frat boy type threw it on the BBQ in an attempt to impress his sophisticated friends. Where the hell do you even learn how to carve a reptile once cooked? I'll be willing to wager that that a bottle of Yellow Tail was cracked to drink with it.

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There is a shop called Traditional fayre and meats on hastings and macdonald area, next to shoppers drug mart two one block west of chioffi's,

All of his bacon is made in the celtic tradition and style, his beef is from Williams lake and is fantastic especially aged for 90 plus days.

Be prepared for the owner though, do not go befor ten as he isn't there and most of the meat is sliced to order, good if you have the time.

Scotch eggs and other tasty treats are also fantastic as well as the best hagis in the city( in my humble opinion.)

Worth checking out.

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