good butcher shops in northern suburbs/lake county?
Mundelein Meat Shop on Hawley is all frozen first and VERY expensive for what you get.
IMO: if I'm paying premium prices for meat at any butcher shop it better be fresh and not thawed from frozen, the ice crystallization in the meat messes up the flavor and I absolutely believe it makes for a tougher piece of meat when you cook it regardless of the grade.
I second the above recommendation for Dorflers: http://www.dorflersmeats.com, and from Vernon Hills I think this is the closest place to you anyway. They have solid quality meat & good service, I would say they're probably the best butcher in Lake County. The Marinated skirt steaks are especially noteworthy. Also as a nice to know, they run monthly ads in the local Coupon Cash Saver every month if you wanna a few $$s.
As NS posted, Tony's in Grayslake is also nice, I've been there only once and bought a decent brisket, but it did seem slightly expensive, so I need to make a trip back to make a final judgement, but they were nice people and seemed to know their biz.
One place to stay away from is the Antioch Packing house on Depot St, they are very rude (especially the main butcher-owner, he is a total jerk), they have fair mid quality beef & lousy pork, and even if they claim it's prime, I kind of doubt it. One thing is for sure, its all frozen first anyway.
1182 Old McHenry Rd, Lake Zurich, IL 60047
For the last five and a half years I have bought my meat almost exclusively at Orchard Meats in Lake Zurich and I don't think I've ever been disappointed. It's a small place and doesn't offer all the services of Dorfler's, but you can get that at other places. I've found that really good meat and poultry is so hard to find and the extra trip to Orchard is so well worth it. Even better, Old World Bakery is right next door.
Orchard Prime Meats Inc
62 N Old Rand Rd, Lake Zurich, IL
Here's a recommendation much closer to you.
For Thanksgiving we ate at the home of friends in Mundelein. They served us a turkey as well as a prime standing rib roast (prime rib). Both were superb, restaurant quality meats. They got them at:
Tony's Butcher Shop and Wine Market
209 Barron Blvd (Route 83)
Grayslake, Illinois 60030
It's not as far north as you are, but Zier's in Wilmette is terrific for all prime meats, and they offer dry aged meats. I've gotten their prime rib (standing rib roast) and it's as good as the best restaurants. They smoke meats on the premises. It's about a mile east of the Edens (Skokie Blvd exit southbound, Lake Ave exit northbound), just south of Lake Ave.
Zier's Prime Meats and Poultry, Inc.
813 Ridge Road
Wilmette, Il , 60091