Best butcher in York Region?
I'm moving to Newmarket, Ontario and I'm looking for a quality butcher in the area, any suggestions?
I have the same problem and I live in Markham. When I made the same request a couple of years ago on this website, I did not get very good responses. The feeling I received is that there isn't anything around. So I simply drive early on a Saturday morning all the way down to St. Lawrence Market. Are you willing to go to Barrie? I do have a friend there, and I am very happy with his work and product. He is far from my house, but once in a while he'll deliver if I do a large order and if he is in town. He also does his own smoking.
Not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for but for the last 8 or 9 years we've been buying our meat from a farmer just north of Newmarket, near Sharon. He (Howard Farms) also sells cuts of meat at the Aurora and Newmarket Farmer's Markets which is a good way to try it. We however buy by the side or half side (pork and beef). His prices are very reasonable. Meat is custom butchered at a government approved facility and packaged for the freezer. The beef is grass and grain fed and they roam in a large pasture. They are not fed antibiotics or growth hormone. He also sells eggs (free run) and chickens, (capons) turkeys, and lamb. All for a good price. Sides need to be ordered in advance and are not always available. His is not a big feedlot operation but he lets customers know when a side or a half side will be available and keeps a list of how you like your meat ,,,ie. thickness of steaks, roasts vs. chops, sausage flavour/seasonings, etc. We prefer to buy or meat in this way, both from an ethical and health standpoint. Is it as tender or well marbled as feedlot beef? Probably not. But that's the tradeoff. Capons are much larger and I think more flavourful than the 6 week old chickens from Swiss Chalet etc. But again it is all personal preference. A number of people who've eaten this meat/chicken at our house have either bought sides for the freezer or shop at the Farmer's Market for it because they could taste the difference. It's not "gourmet" like Cumbrae but we like it...and my husband works less than a block from the St. Lawrence Market and we still prefer to buy this way.
If this of interest I'll look up the phone number for you.
Try the Meat Merchant in Uxbridge, it will be reasonably close to you, they have good quality meat, lots of organic and we have had excellent veal steak from this butcher. They have Ontario Lamb, free range poultry, make their own peameal and sausage etc. They use local farmers for their meat and poultry. They do freezer orders as well. No preservatives in their deli meats.
And if you make the trek, stop by the Tin Mill for dinner but make a reservation it's the buzz of the town right now. Rave reviews! When SO and I met he lived a hop, skip and jump from both these places ( I miss it) and my view of Elgin Pond. I always wished someone would do something fabulous with the Mill and it has happened. They also have some boutique shopping on the main floor, jewellery, yarn etc.
We are planning our 8th year anniversary there since the pub where we met (blind date) is gone, but never forgotten.
Or, if you're not looking to buy a half of a cow, in Richmond Hill, you can visit Bruno's (Bayview Avenue, two lights south of Major Mac). Really good quality meats with a great selection of marinated steaks, pork, and lamb. Plus, their cuts are about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch thick, which means you get a great char on the outside, and still have something rare/medium rare in the centre.
Once or twice a summer, I'll get a nice thick rib-eye, one of their double thick pork chops, some lamb chops, and some of their sausage (made on site), and a great mixed grill.