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Sep 30, 2009 07:04 AM

Best place to buy Wagyu?

I have a special occasion coming up and want to pick up some Wagyu steaks. What's the best place to get them? I don't mind paying a premium price for a premium product but definitely hate markups just for the sake of paying for pretentiousness and upscale clientele. So any better more reasonable options besides McEwans, Pusateris, and Cumbrae?

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  1. Probably not. Stores sell products they think their customers will buy. You're not going to find well marbled "wagyu" at a radom butcher. The most marbled wagyu I've seen from any butcher counter is at Pusateri's. Cumbrae's and McEwans doesn't compare IMO. I'm basing it simply on appearance. Taste - that's another issue :-)

    1. McEwans, Pusateris, and Cumbrae carry different kinds of Wagyu, it really depends on what you want and how much you want to spend.

      2 Replies
      1. re: skylineR33

        Alot of mid range shops carry Wagyu. I was supprosed to see that even Bruno's carries Wagyu. I would hit the phones and find price per lbs. you shoudl also find our where the Wagyu comes from. I love the Australian Oakleigh Ranch wagyu, which is highly accessible through many butcher shops.
        I am sure that some of the smaller shops with less overhead might charge less then the big boys, but i am only guessing.

        1. re: carnivore1964

          Yes, I've seen Wagyu at Bruno's, but it was $60/lb for striploin (which I believe is about standard). The thing that bothered me was that they had a bunch of steaks shrink wrapped. I'd question how long they sit there, whereas someone like Cumbrae's probably goes through a lot more volume and I would assume is therefore fresher. I could be way off though.

      2. I've tried Wagyu from all the locations listed so far and I think the best we've had is from J-Town. Sorry I don't recall the name of the butcher, but it's on your left when you enter the mall.

        10 Replies
        1. re: lyndak

          There are different kinds of wagyu beef with different pricing at J-Town. When you say it is the best, which one are you referring to ? Or do you think they all taste the same ?

          1. re: skylineR33

            Now you're quizzing me ;) Really it's my better half that has a handle on these things. I'll ask him to comment...

            1. re: skylineR33

              This is a bit late, but the Wagyu lyndak is referring to was labeled as Japanese Wagyu A5 grade.

              Very good, very rich, very expensive.

              1. re: brianl999

                The Japanese Wagyu at Famu is the same cut, same grade and from the same prefecture of Japan as the one at Pusateris. I have tried both too. So when she says the one at J-Town is better, it is basically the same thing with the same pricing.

                1. re: skylineR33

                  Same cut, same grade, same prefecture, different animal (when I say that, I mean the two were obviously not from the same cow - we don't eat this every day!). Despite the grading, etc., things are still highly variable. Add in the human factor (different cooking methods, etc.), and, despite the fact that we're talking about basically the same thing, you can still end up with a different experience.

                  Reminds me of the time we first went to McEwens. They had Australian Wagyu that looked phenomenal, but the USDA Prime looked almost as good, at less than half the price. We bought that, and for $35/lb, it was very, very good, very close to the Wagyu we've eaten. Went back and tried it again (despite it didn't look anywhere near as marbled as the first time), and while it was a very good steak, that was it - it didn't compare to Wagyu.

                  1. re: brianl999

                    Well, I am just saying it is the same cut, same grade, same perfecture and same pricing. Of course there is the human factor that one can screw up one time but cook better the other time. The wagyu from both places are basically the same piece of meat to me with my experience. I am quite satisfy with the meat I get from Pusateri.

                    1. re: skylineR33

                      Out of curiosity, what prefecture is it from?

            2. re: lyndak

              The name of the butcher is Famu. Should also try their Berkshire pork.


              1. re: Crispier Crouton

                Agreed, we've also enjoyed their Berkshire. Very nice people as well.

                thanks for posting the name

            3. Olliffe, though I don't know their pricing. Before the ownership change, they were doing many things with suppliers. Can't say what the new owners are doing, but they seem to be talking the talk at least.

              11 Replies
              1. re: Snarf

                I second J-Town butcher Famu. I have never bought Wagyu myself but the meat looked extremely marbled (if there is such a thing). For Wagyu luvers I suggest the tasting event that LCBO is having at various locations in November for Australian Oakleigh Ranch wagyu. 40$ per head not bad in my opinion compared to how much you shell out for this meat besides I am afraid of cooking it at home so rather leave it to the experts.

                1. re: elvisahmed

                  Famu carries different kind of Wagyu and the most marbled one is the same as the one at Pusateris (same price too), as shown in the picture. Not everyone like extremely fat marbled beef, many top restaurants use A3 to A4 instead of A5 nowaday.

                  1. re: skylineR33

                    Did you eat that steak? Just wondering what a steak that marbled is like. I've never bought one personally as I think it looks risky.

                    1. re: graydyn

                      Look risky, why ?

                      Yes, I ate that steak, it is the A5 Wagyu striploin from Pusateri. It is like butter, I can only eat 3 oz at one time. I prefer tenderloin for that grade of beef.

                      1. re: skylineR33

                        skylineR33, I was curious: how much was that A5 striploin per lb?

                        1. re: skylineR33

                          By risky, I meant it's a lot of money to spend on something I wasn't sure if I'd like. I suppose it's not that bad if 3oz can be considered a serving.

                        2. re: graydyn

                          Here's a much more reasonably marbled wagyu I had in Hiroshima. That A5 looks ridiculous.

                          1. re: Crispier Crouton

                            Haha, yes that's what I mean that it really depends on what one wants to eat. That piece of A5 is full-blood wagyu selling at around $130 per lb in Toronto.

                      2. re: elvisahmed

                        Do you know any other the locations this event is taking place at? Sounds interesting but I couldn't find it on the LCBO website.

                        1. re: swissmissy

                          x2 for info on the lcbo event, couldn't find it either.

                          also, kinda ot, but is it worth it? i've never had wagyu....

                          1. re: chrisfernando100

                            The one on Bayview LCBO is on Nov 10th ,the Kingsway is Nov 18th and Nov 26th for the Summershill. They are under lifestyle under the event and courses section on the LCBO site so you might want to poke around in the location near you. As for whether its worth it I guess I will tell after the event :)

                    2. Cumbrae's on Bayview is a good place for lower cost cuts of Wagyu. They raise their own small herd of Wagyu and butcher the whole animal (at Bayview, I think). The other places buy only steak cuts and rib or tenderloin roasts and age them. Their wholesale cost will be considerable, because the wholesaler has to balance costs. If anyone wants to explore non standard cuts from a well raised Wagyu, it is worth calling Cumbrae's to talk to a butcher and see what is available. There is an earlier thread about this: