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Jan 8, 2009 10:14 PM

Best Butcher in NYC?

I am looking for a great butcher in NYC. I currently live in the Bronx, but will travel weekly to get some great quality meats cut by a great butcher. I am sick of the supermarket crap, and the local butchers aren't really that great. I realize that in NYC a full functioning butcher shop is unlikely to be had. When I say full functioning I mean they do everything from slaughter to sale. But id like to get as close as I can. Id also like to know where my meat comes from, I don't want meat from Canada or China. I want my meat products from Local farmers who know what they are doing and I want a Butcher who is also a master at their craft. I dont want to deal with the 18 year old at the supermarket who hasn't a clue. When I say meat I mean all Beef, Pork & Poultry.

Thanks all, I appreciate it.

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  1. Try Union Square Greenmarket. They have some farmers that sell meats. Not sure if they slaughter or are master butchers. Have you tried Jeffrey's at the Essex Street Market on the LES? You might also want to check out the recent article that was in Food & Wine or Gourmet on butchers. Sounds like you might also want to find an organic food co-op (you know where your food comes from and how it's fed and slaughtered).

    1. If you want a real butcher in Manhattan theres only one place; Lobel's. Lobel s is located on Madison b 82nd- 83rd st, west side of street. Clearly being located on Madison Av, you will not find ANY discounts here, but the meat is excellent!
      Lobel s have been family owned and operated for 50+ years, and they excemplify what a butcher can and should be all about. They age and butcher their meat, they will butcher(ie. bone in filet) ANY possible cut of meat you could think of.
      As i mentioned before, Lobel s is without a doubt a great source for the retail consumer. But its NOT cheap!!! I have spent 45+ minutes in Lobel s educating myself about different cuts of meat, how ones marbling v another, one s fat content v another why some briskets are more tender than the others yada yada yada. When i go to Lobel s i always make certain i walk about with more than a piece of meat, its mandatory i steal a little knowledge.

      1 Reply
      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. There is a fantastic butcher in East Harlem that would be convenient for you. I don't know the name but they are on 110th street between Park and Lexington, a half block west of the 110th Street #6 subway stop.

          There is always a line, it smells fresh and wonderful in there and it's a bargain. I go there for their house made chorizo, fresh chickens, fresh ground beef ($2/lb) and frozen lamb for stew. Spanish is helpful but not necessary. It's the sort of place that makes me wish I knew more about meat!

          I have no idea if they slaughter, but the chickens probably yes.

          11 Replies
          1. re: gypsy

            Wow thanks for this info I am going tomorrow as I have been desperately searching for a Butcher in Manhattqan. I actually go up to Little Italy in the Bronx and while I find the meat always fresh and tender as well as the prices excellent sometimes I just dont feel like hopping on the D train and the bus.

            1. re: kayEx

              I aso forgot that at Vincent's you can call ahead and if they don't have the meat you have want in house they will get it for you. They do that for me when I need goat meat and cut it the way i need for curry goat which is not how they typically butcher the goat. In fact I have typically found them knowledgable and also able to follow instructions. I actually love holiday time up there where you literally see the whole animal coming in and then butchered exactly the way you like. I really just want an emergency backup when I cant make the trip.

              1. re: kayEx

                Did you make it to that butcher? That's pretty close to me, and I'm going to check it out as well. I also like to buy meat on Arthur Avenue.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  I did not make it on Monday, errands got in the way but headed over there around 2 pm.

                  1. re: kayEx

                    Both times I went the lines were longer than I had the time to wait for so I will have to try again.

                    1. re: kayEx

                      Thanks - that's helpful to know. I may try to check it out tomorrow on my way home from Arthur Ave., if I can find a parking spot that I capable of parking in!

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        I was think of going up to Arthur Avenue tomorrow if I tried tomorrow morning and it's too packed again. I will try to post from my blackberry how it is if I get in.

                        1. re: kayEx

                          I drove by just a little bit ago on my way home and there was a line out the door. The place is called Casablanca. I'll try to get the hours and post back.

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            I just got back from there. Arrived at about 11:20 and the line was at the door - the wait was about 45 minutes, and I was done at 12:15. For about forty dollars I got:

                            2 pig's feet (each of which they cut up to my specifications)
                            1 lb fat back
                            1.75 lb skirt steak (trimmed off silverskin per my request)
                            1.5 lbs ground pork (groud to order)
                            1.75 lbs of bacalao (cod - boneless - this was about $18)
                            .5 lb Mexican chorizo
                            1 lb chicken feet

                            Guess I better get cooking b/c I don't think I can fit this all in the fridge/freezer. The service was very helpful and though I speak some Spanish, and started off in Spanish, the person who helped me spoke English quite well. They seem to have pretty much every part of an animal that you can imagine - hearts, feet, tongues etc. - and blood if you want to make your own morcilla. The bacon looked good, and was dirt cheap, as did the short ribs. A woman on line ahead of me told me that you can call in your order and then just come in and pick it up - just inside to the left of the door, where you pay. I'll definitely be back.

                            1. re: MMRuth

                              wow nice I guess I can do the wait for those prices and service. My significant other keeps talking about dishes with blood though I have not experimented there yet maybe I can convince him to go in exchange. And there is nothing better than bacon at cheap prices. Thanks for the report back MMRuth

                  2. re: MMRuth

                    I love the calling ahead idea tip because I am usually in my car too.
                    I've learned so much on this site from you guys I'm so happy to finally return the favor!

            2. The original comment has been removed