Image source: mccallsmeatandfish.com
Back in the day, butcher shops were a staple on many people’s errand to-do lists: pick up the laundry, stop by the post office, and head to the local butcher, who likely already knows your name, to pick up a quality meat selection for dinner. With the astronomical rise of supermarkets, though, many butcher shops around the country shut their doors as consumers opted for the convenience of buying their meat at the same place they get the rest of their groceries. However, such a convenience, like many in life, comes at a cost.
When it comes to supermarket meat, it can be mighty difficult to discern from where the meat is sourced, how it was treated prior to slaughter, and the health of the animal before it made its way to packaging. And all of these factors can significantly affect both the taste and the composition of the meat you’re ingesting. Not to mention, supermarket meat is almost always less sustainable than meat sourced from a butcher shop, which is something environmentally-conscious folks should keep in mind.
In addition to impacting the meals you make at home, the reduction in butcher shops also influences the meals you pay good money for at restaurants. Many chefs have opted for the convenience of buying meat from unspecialized sources as well, which means the meals you invest in at these places aren’t as high-quality, humane, or sustainable as they could be.
The good news is, the pendulum seems to be swinging back the other way, with more chefs and consumers realizing the value of the butcher shops they’ve been missing. The result? An influx of awesome neighborhood butcher shops, particularly in LA. If you’re looking to start a relationship with your very own neighborhood butcher, check out some of our favorite butcher shops below.
Image source: mccallsmeatandfish.com
The husband and wife duo behind this shop, Nathan McCall and Karen Yoo, were both chefs before entering the neighborhood butcher game. One of the aspects that makes their butcher shop so appealing is their commitment to sustainable and humane practices. All of the meat in their shop comes from farms that naturally and humanely raise their meat, using feed that’s free of hormones and chemicals. And their seafood is primarily wild-caught, and if not, it was raised in a natural environment.
Image source: standingsbutchery.com
The mission of Standings Butchery is to provide LA residents with high-quality, ethically-raised and sustainably-sourced meat. That said, all of their meat is pasture-raised by small farmers local to California, with 100% grass-fed beef and lamb, heritage breed pork, and pastured poultry. Even better, they’re super knowledgeable and committed to helping you learn, offering a variety of classes and events designed to teach you how to make the most of your meat, including instruction on how to cook any cut, how to break beef down by hand, and what to do with the lesser-known but ultra-delicious cuts in their shop.
Image source: therabbisdaughter.com
This upscale butcher shop run by husband and wife, Israel and Nomi Feuerstein, specializes in providing only the best quality kosher meat and poultry. All of their meat is free of hormones and antibiotics in addition to being grass-fed and organic. Plus, they’re well known for their extra special cuts of lamb and veal. And if you’re not in the mood to cook, they have you covered, offering a tasty menu of cold and hot sandwiches, side dishes like crispy potatoes and pasta salad, and a selection of signature lunch specials, including chicken schnitzel and Mediterranean kabobs.
Image source: electriccitybutcher.com
Electric City Butcher is well known for its commitment to sourcing some of the most sustainable and humanely-raised meat around. The shop exclusively purchases meat from family-owned farms in California, and the team makes annual visits to each farm, staying on a first-name basis with all of the farmers it works with. Additionally, each animal is hand-delivered, ensuring that the only other people to touch the meat are the farmers and the USDA-certified slaughterhouse.
Image source: butcherymeats.com
The Butchery not only serves all kinds of high-quality meat, including grass-fed beef and all-natural pork and poultry, but they also provide globally-sourced cheeses on their readymade charcuterie spreads as well as hand-selected beer and wine. Plus, the team of butchers at the shop comes with a range of eclectic skill sets, from craft beer aficionados to grill masters, so it’s a great spot to get some of your more nitty-gritty pairing, grilling, and preparation questions answered.
Image source: theheartandtrotter.com
In just a few years since its inception, Heart & Trotter has become a neighborhood staple for San Diego residents in search of high-quality meat. The shop prides itself on providing hormone- and antibiotic-free whole animal butchery, offering selections that go well beyond the basics, like Denver cuts of beef and tongue, short ribs, and carne asada. You’ll also find tasty cheese, produce, sauces, and oils to complement your cut. Plus, the shop offers a number of fun classes to learn things like how to roll sushi and how to make sausage.
Image source: oliviersbutchery.com
This old fashioned French boucherie was founded with a passion for fresh food, environmental sustainability, and humane treatment of animals. Owner, Olivier Cordier, visits the ranches the meat is sourced from each week, hand-selecting the meat himself to ensure the shop only provides the highest quality selections. And if you’re not exactly a food preparation buff, Oliver’s takes care of the hard part for you, offering house-marinated meat, prepared roasts, and house-made sausages for quick, easy, and delicious meal-making.
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