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Jul 14, 2009 12:31 PM

ISO Fish monger & butcher (the Drive, Vancouver)

I just moved to the area and was wondering if there was a fish monger or butcher anywhere within walking distance of Commercial Drive, Vancouver? I hate to go to Safeway or Super Valu to buy fresh meat or fish, so any suggestions?


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  1. It's a bit of a walk but Columbus Meats at around Nanaimo and 1st is the most complete butcher in the close vicinity. They have or can get almost anything - sausages, whole animals, unusual meats and poultry, pre-marinated, and prepped meats, etc.

    T&T also at that corner is your best bet for fresh fish. They also have a large meat section.

    You had mentioned that you would prefer not to go to SuperValu - but I find that their butcher is quite good. They don't have an extensive selection of cuts, but they get points for proper butchering (eg they have nicely rolled pork roasts and beef roasts) and stocking organic meats. Donald's is my usual spot for most groceries - but their butcher poor.

    If you are willing to take the Hastings bus into near Burnaby - Cioffi's is a great butcher.

    The Wheelhouse on Hastings close to London Drugs has fresh fish but their prices are higher than T&T's and the fish isn't necessarily fresher.

    The most interesting place to get fish is Angel Seafoods on Grant near Clark. They are a Japanese specialty frozen seafood store. They have a huge selection of sashimi grade fish (ie flash frozen fish). They also have pre-marinated Japanese seafoods, seaweeds, sundries, fresh oyster, uni, etc (you need to ask for some of these items, as they are "in the back". They have a freshlist at the cashier. The place is a bit odd - you'll see what I mean if you decide to visit.

    4 Replies
      1. re: fmed

        I should specify that I was referring to the Supervalu on 1st and Commercial above - not all Supervalus have a decent butcher.

        1. re: fmed

          i have only been to angel once and a while back, but given its out of the way location and lack of ""storefront" it should be cheap/good value , am i right?

          1. re: vandan

            Yes - their frozen sashimi is comparatively inexpensive. The have some unusual fish and fish products as well. The prices are lower than at Fujiya just down the road.

        2. Personally, I & a lot of my friends agree that Safeway has the best meat over all the other grocery stores. I buy meat there all the time & have no problem with the quality. The one on Commercial is great for meat.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ck1234

            with regards to safeway, they for the most part don/t label the grade of beef, whereas superstore labels their red mest as aaa canadian beef or less, and i can tell you aaa is the best by far and their prices are better th\an safeway as well

            1. re: vandan

              I noticed at our local Safeway that the AAA is the meat behind the glass that the butcher cuts and charges more for than the prepackaged cuts which are AA, FWIW.

              I've always liked the beef tenderloin from our local IGA, but I am now officially off topic as I live in Kits.

          2. Thanks everyone for all of your suggestions. Really, my big 'beef' *oh soo funny* with buying meat and fish @ Safeway and SuperValu is that I'd much rather support a small independent operator and not the corporate masses. That and I have usually found smaller places offer better customer-service ie: cutting/ordering/specialty meats.

            FMED will def check out the SValu butcher and the Columbus Meats as well as Cioffi's. I'm not adverse to the bus - heck I take them daily - I just like to know if there's someone decent close by in da hood.

            3 Replies
            1. re: aussiewonder

              I forgot about a couple of other places: Rio Friendly Meats is near Hastings and Nanaimo. I haven't been there in years, but they are small and independent. And Moccia - they make their own sausage made from organic pork, etc and also sell some cuts of fresh meat. Neither are have the stock that Columbus or Cioffi's do.

              Another note about Cioffi's - it is actually comprised of two seperate store fronts - the butcher on one side and the Italian grocer on the other. There is a decent liquor store across the street as well.

              1. re: fmed

                I second Wheelhouse for fish. Excellent quality. You can also pick up meats and cheeses there too (limited selection) Rio Friendly is average - but the selection / value there is great. Plus they have eggs, cheese etc. Its handy.

                I agree that the butchering at Donalds is lousy and worth avoiding, though I've found the previously frozen salmon fillets are actually quite good.

              2. re: aussiewonder

                Hey Aussiewonder,
                Just read this post having googled "butchers on Commercial Drive". I have also recently moved to the Drive, which I love, but indeed the one thing it seems to be missing is a butcher and fish monger. I've been going to Il Mercato for my meat and, as you suggest, I'd also rather be going to a good local butcher instead.
                I see this post is nearly a year old now, so what's the verdict then on what you've found to be the best butcher and fish monger in the area?

              3. Has anyone ever tried Windsor Meats on Main & King Edward?

                2 Replies
                1. re: JEheartbreak

                  I've been numerous times. It's one of the best butchers in town. It's a good traditional butcher with a good selection of the usual cuts. They also have a good selection of dry-aged, bacon, locally sourced organic/free-range meats, cured-meats, etc. If you are looking for turducken - they sell it here too.

                  1. re: fmed

                    Popped in here. Bought something I'd never seen before. Kobe beef burgers at $6.00 a pop.

                    Nothing special but the other stuff looked good.