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Jul 12, 2002 08:41 AM

Best mail-order steaks..

  • c

I saw the recent discussion about Omaha steaks, but I was wondering if any steak lovers out there can offer their advice for the best in mail-order steaks. Let's assume that one does not have access to a fine local butcher. Aside from Omaha, the ones I've heard of are Niman Ranch and Lobels of NY. Any thoughts?

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  1. I have tried quite a few. As others have said. If you don't live within a few hours drive of a good butcher then use mail order. I have never found mail order to be even near the quality of good prime that you can get in any major city from a quality butcher.

    I don't know where you live but my fav place in NYC, best bang for the buck. Is:
    Florence Meat Market
    5 Jones St (between Bleeker and W. 4th St

    1 Reply
    1. re: the rogue

      Woe be to all of you that don't live within a few hours drive of a good butcher . Move already!!! Life is too short for WalMart meat . Any moderate transportation center has a decent butcher , find him , you will be repaid in spades . Btw , do people REALLY live in places with no fresh meat markets ? I'm from Detroit , and our meat and produce rocks .

    2. Lobel's is fantastic but very expensive. I live in Los Angeles and have what I think is access to very fine butchers. I have done side by side Porterhouse's with local dry aged meat, local (un-aged) meat and with Lobel's. Lobel's is the hand down winner for flavor, tenderness and satisfaction however it is really very costly once you factor in shipping. If money were no object I would personally use Lobel's but my local dry-aged source provides 80% of the quality at 50-60% of the cost. I use Lobel's for special occasions when I really want the ne plus ultra.

      4 Replies
        1. re: Phylloxera

          I live in Los Angeles also. Who and where are your favorite butchers/meat markets in LA?

          1. re: Norm

            The best that I've found in LA is Harvey's Guss Meat. He's en extraordinarily nice guy, dry-ages everything on premises and only cuts to order. He supplies many of the top restaurants. You need to order a day, or maybe two, in advance. I've had terrific, thick-cut Porterhouse and New York steaks from him. The number is 323-937-4622.

            Other than that, for off-the-shelf I actually like the meat at Vicente Foods in the Brentwood section of West LA. They have prime everything and though it's relatively pricey (not compared to Lobel's, however) their little fat and I think the marbling is superior to what you see at other premium markets like Gelson's et al.

            If I'm in the area and know I’m up for it I'll hit Marconi's in the old Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax. It's a real Old World shop and I think their stuff is very good. Their lamb is great, too.

            Lastly, there's Owen's Market on Pico near Beverly Drive. Again, it's all dry-aged and the butchers are knowledgeable. Strangely, because it's a cut that you wouldn't ordinarily think to dry-age, the Tri Tip is one cut they do very well, though the strip steaks have never let me down either. The only problem with Owen’s is that I get a weird vibe from the butchers and cashiers that I just can't explain. They're sort of surly and officious without being outright rude. I don't know what the hell it is but I feel it every time I've picked something up over there. Odd.

            1. re: Phylloxera

              Thanks for the info. I will give Harvey's Gruss Meat a try soon.

        2. Try the Meat Shop in Austin, Texas. It'll make you throw rocks at Omaha Steaks. Check out the link:


          1. i've had good luck with Stockyards steaks. They're a much smaller operation out of Chicago, and it's still family run. They have a small mail order business.

            I usually order ribeyes (that being my cut of choice) but their filets are also good.