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Looking for a good butcher in Winnipeg

  • c

Help! Moved here recently and am still looking for a good place to buy meat. Have been very unhappy with all the chains and can't seem to find a good butcher. I used to live in Toronto and would buy my meat at the St. Lawrence Market (Uppercute Meats if anyone knows it).

Is there anything of similar quality in Winnipeg? You know, small place that sources their meat, especially chicken, from quality producers?

Location is not an issue, though I do live near Polo Park.

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  1. I tend to primarily go to Deluca's which is very close to Polo Park. On one occassion they actually told me to come back (knowing I live very close) later in the day for a better cut of lamb! Their spicy chicken sausage is fantastic and homemade.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MCS

      Does DeLuca's have good chicken? Really most interested in finding a good source of chicken. I figured when I moved here that it would be easy to get farm fresh chicken, afterall the city is surrounded by farms, but everyone seems to have industrial produced birds that are small, tough and tasteless.

      1. re: Caspar

        Deluca's does carry fresh local chickens. Humboldts Legacy on Westminster (also close to Polo Park) also sells loads of different organic and halal certified meats (chicken, bison, elk etc) although everything is sold frozen.

    2. Is that really all there is in Winnipeg? I'm really surprised at the lack of response to my question! Surely there is someone out there that carries farm fresh chickens other than DeLuca's or Humboldt (frozen?).

      4 Replies
      1. re: Caspar

        I'll back what MCS has said about DeLuca's - it is fantastic. The butchers are a little cranky, but they know their stuff. And it's an amazing grocery store too. If you're lucky, you'll be there as they are bringing in one of their deliveries of wild mushrooms from the local forests.

        Humboldts does carry chicken sourced from a local farmer and although it's frozen, it is some of the best chicken you'll find in town.

        You can also go to Miller's Meats at Kenaston and Grant (a ten-minute drive from Polo Park). I haven't tried their chicken, but they are supposed to be very good. Stephen & Andrews (Oak and Academy) has a good butcher too, but is a bit pricey. Piazza DeNardi (Taylor and Waverley) is another good option.

        For really good farm fresh chickens, you can also go to the St. Norbert Farmer's Market (July-October) and pick some up from one of the farmers there.

        Having said all this, my favourite local is still DeLuca's, especially in this area (I also live near Polo Park). You'd be hard-pressed to beat their quality.

        1. re: Caspar

          This post is a little late... but in my opinion if you want farm fresh chickens, you get to know some farmers! Farmers Markets are great for this, but there are other networking avenues too. Start lurking at some rural Mennonite churches!

          Seriously though, I've been buying my chickens direct from a farmer in New Bothwell for a few years now, and they're absolutely delicious.

          1. re: Caspar

            Caspar you will not find good food here. Yes, St. Norberts is fun for the ~ 12 days it's open a year. Where people think this Province has good chow is beyond me.

          2. The best place for meats that I have found is piazza di nardi. Miller meats has a lot of cuts and does anything custom. I still havent found a GREAT butcher though...I am looking for a butcher that cuts from the whole cow and air dries

            2 Replies
            1. re: johntobes

              Miller Meats has started offering local Berkshire pork - not too many places you can find that in Winnipeg. A couple of weeks ago the farmer who raises them was handing out yummy samples at the Grant and Kenaston location.

              1. re: johntobes

                Pacific Meat and Sausage - on Pacific about a block east of Keewatin. Not a fancy place but the beef is the best you'll find in Winnipeg. He buys whole sides and dry ages them for 30 - 60 days. The meat is entirely different in taste, texture and cooking time than your standard wet-aged beef. Amazing meat at about half the price of di Nardi. He also does some great house made corned beef, pastrami etc.

              2. Friggs! So I guess none of you know about this great little Butcher of only free range meats out on the north side of the perimeter on Main St, in Middlechurch ( the area is called) the place is called Friggs Meats and they have a smallish selection of great priced free range and organically raised meats and they are farmers themselves. THey are a bit gruff and not particularly helpful but their meats are fantastic!

                6 Replies
                1. re: thekors

                  An excellent source of good quality organic meat is Groening Organics Diversified (Phone # 1-204-746-8307. Mel Groening is a Maintoba producer operating out of Lowe Farm MB. who sells, amongst a variety of other meats and meat products, whole chickens. He delivers to Winnipeg himself . I have to say this is a refreshing alternative to impersonal grocery stores. As a side note: I have tried many brands, even out of province, of farmer's sausage and he has the absolute best by far..you won't find better and believe me I've looked...do yoursellf a favour, seriously. He sells a range of pork, beef products as well as eggs with the option of purchasing, if desired, halves and quarters.

                  Frigg's Natural Meats and More (3515 Main Street, 334-9430) is a great place for chicken whether its whole, parts or boneless skinless breasts. They have great european wieners without fillers and mystery meat, just cuttings and no mechanically reclaimed meat and fillers. When asked, Linda Frigg told me, "I don't make anything I wouldn't feed to my grandchildren". Hot dogs are back on my menu! They have alternative meats such as bison and elk as well, their pepperettes make fantastic pepperoni for pizza and they sell a small range of other products including John Russell Honey,- John being a Manitoba honey producer operating near Petersfield MB. (the honey is wonderful by the way)

                  Anyone who thinks Winnipeg has no food options (Pegger) isn't making the effort to look...

                  1. re: rottenrobbie7

                    We also buy meat from Mel bi-monthly, it's fantastic! Excellent quality!

                    1. re: rottenrobbie7

                      Frigs (no apostrophe and only 1 G) is a locally owned shop run by a husband and wife team. She runs the store and he runs the farm. I have shopped there since they opened seven years ago. All the meat is local and naturally raised. All their smoked, deli, fresh sausages(breakfast type) and prepared meats are wheat, soy, egg, msg, or milk and made in house. Only potato flour is used in small amounts when needed. Imagine eating a wiener that is just meat, a bit of potato flour and spices. Oh yeah, their spice blends are mixed in house so they know what is in them. Gluten free people can rejoice and eat sausages and wieners again! They also make several nitrite free products including pancetta, beef kubasa, procuitto, kulen......There chicken italian fresh sausages are to die for. There is beef, pork, chicken, bison, elk, rabbit, lamb. And they have started stocking some gluten free and organic dry goods along with cramptons jams, John Russell honeys (allkinds).
                      I really believe in this local shop. Every Wednesday is 10% of fresh and fresh frozen meats (includes fresh type sausage). Last but not least farm fresh eggs delivered every week, all from the same farm. And finally they sell lightly smoked dogbones that rover will absolutely go bananas over.

                      I am not sure why thekors think they are gruff and not helpful. This is the only place I have been that will saw a chicken or a $6 buck giant dogbone in half for you. I have also seen them wrap 5lbs of lean ground in half lb pkgs for customers.

                      Sometimes you just have to make an effort to get somewhere to buy a superior product and to eat food that is local, more environmentally friendly, and not full of crap. Support your local farmers and small business owners.

                      Happy New Year!

                      1. re: luv2nosh

                        Are the eggs free range too? I would assume so?

                        1. re: doogie88

                          A year later, but what the heck ;>) Their eggs are free run in the winter, free range in the summer I think.

                          1. re: luv2nosh

                            I've never been able to find out if their steaks are aged any time in particular. i mena i still enjoy their meats, just would be nice to know if they were aged at all

                  2. The Ellice Meat Market is the best we've found.

                    1. The specialty food store on Academy just across from the old theatre has a good butcher. Always found good meat there.

                        1. re: Zollipop

                          I love Marcello. The prices are amazing and the product even better. He's willing to do whatever it takes to make his customers happy. He sawed a turkey in half for our Christmas dinner because we live in the neighborhood and we didn't want to drive out to Frigs again this year. Everything we've bought at his store has been excellent! He's now our go-to-guy for all meat consumed in our house.

                          1. re: rockstar1978

                            Do you know if he sells cured meats, guanciale in particular? I passed by Marcello's the other day and thought I should stop in but then forgot.

                            1. re: prasantrin

                              I've never noticed but I'm in there pretty much every Saturday so I'll try to remember to check for it next time I'm there.

                                1. re: prasantrin

                                  SOOOO sorry for the delayed reply prasantrin! My husband did the meat shoping for a few weeks after my promise to you....
                                  Marcello said he could get it in if you called a day or two in advance. However, I had no idea how to pronounce it so just passed him a post it with the name and description. I think he thought I was asking for the pig jowl or cheek and not the cured meat. Either way, a call wouldn't hurt. His # is 256-6328

                                  1. re: rockstar1978

                                    Thanks so much! I might just drop by tomorrow or next week to talk to him in person. Even if I could get the jowl, I could at least cure my own (if I had somewhere to hang it. . . ).

                                    Thanks again!

                        2. lots of good markets in the north end,the European meats on burrows has really good sausage and cured meats,and there is one just down the street (west)from gimley fish market thats good as well .these are my three stops every time im in town.(4 stops ifi hit alycias to bring a gallon of borscht back to ab)

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: howlin

                            People seem to forget about another independent butcher in Winnipeg, it is Tenderloins on Main St across the street from the Winnipeg Transit Garage, I believe it is on the corner of Matheson, also there is Karputis on the corner of Bannerman and McGregor, they have their own smokehouse. Tenderloins has the best garlic sausage in Winnipeg. If I remember any other places I will let you know.

                            1. re: Jalepeno

                              Do they do cold smoking? The Cheese Shop in Saskatoon has THE BEST cold smoked steaks but I have never spotted any in Winnipeg. I'd make a special trip if someone does cold smoking.

                              1. re: rockstar1978

                                While we're talkin' about sausage, I want to throw in a plug for Wawel on Selkirk. Old school, Polish butcher - makes some fantastic sausages - try the one with black pepper (in it - not on it), some great ham flavored with allspice, some REALLY good pate - sold in whole little loaves for a ridiculously low price, loads of good stuff. Also try this terrific Polish pickled cucumber salad - big jar, cheap!

                          2. Another great place for cured meats is Portage Meat and Deli. It is a block or two west from DeLucas. Great for German cured meats (all house made / smoked) and will also do specialty cuts. Good selection of German imports as well.

                            1. Also there is the Carvers Knife on Regent. Hard to find as they are tucked into a mini mall but great Manitoba meats and great people too! http://www.carversknife.net/
                              All Natural Meats in Carman is great, have 28 day dry aged beef and they have free delivery to Winnipeg. http://www.allnaturalmeats.ca/about.cfm

                              If you want a full listing of places to buy Manitoba meat check out http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/live...

                              1. A little bit late, but I found a good one. Crampton's on Waverly. After calling almost all of the winnipeg butchers mentioned in this thread, none of them had organic, free range pork (i didn't call any of the out of town ones, although i've heard good things about Mel Groening from Lowe Farm). So, I sat down and started calling every meat market / butcher i could find. They are all about local.

                                I'm making some pancetta (mmmm pork belly), and you don't want to use industrial raised pigs for that! Apparently pigs should spend 8-10 hours per day rummaging around and getting dirty - you know, being pigs. The meat and fat has wayyyy more flavour.

                                I called and asked if they had free range organic pigs, and she said they'd have to order them in. She called me back 10 minutes later (they must have call display) and said that it will be in the store in 2 hours. Now that's service! I'll let you know how it was once i make it.

                                They have a good blog too where they post what fruit and veggies are coming in fresh every week.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: haikang

                                  Best steaks in town are at G.J.Andrews on Academy Rd., they also do some very good burgers, turkey is my fav. Forget Di Nardi's, the butcher is a joke, rudest person working there. The prices are ridiculous. Denny's on Wilton Ave. just off Grant will take good care of you, requests welcome for special cuts. I order my turkeys from them and they are always top notch.

                                  1. re: one_prairie_gal

                                    Long term thread....Marcellos's, Carver's knife, Deluca's and Piazza Denardi are my favourites. In the summer, there is a chicken stall at the St. Norbert farmer's market which sells delicious 7-8 lb roasting chickens. Vita Health, Marcellos and Cramptons all sell free range whole chickens as well. Most of the meat at Cramptons is frozen, and they close in October, but the pork is mainly heritage breeds, and all of it is local. Their bakery is excellent too for breads, quick breads, and pie. Millers Meats is not my favourite (at least not the one in St Vital).