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Feb 8, 2011 06:59 AM

Best markets/butchers to buy Grass Fed Beef/Lamb and Pastured Pork in the City

Hello all,
I am looking for markets and Butchers in Philly to get Grass-Fed/Grass-Finished Beef/Lamb/Goat and Pastured Pork. I am definitely not looking for boutique markets that only sell the expensive cuts (i.e. Tenderloin, Chops, Racks, etc.).

I am looking for things like:
- Lamb Shoulder, Pork Shoulder
- Oxtail, Beef Tongue, Brisket, Shank
- Trotters

It would be a big plus if they also had organ meats, but any place that sells the normal economical cuts, like pot roast, will do.

It is my understanding that RTM is an OK place for these, but not great. And, in my experience, Whole Foods is rarely a great place for these cuts (The one near the Central Library is not very good for meat, though the Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting and Princeton had fairly good meat sections. Not that I can make it out to Plymouth Meeting or Princeton, but just to mention them for some context).

Another HUGE plus would be if they had Organic or Free Range Duck (of course, Chicken and Turkey would be fine as well).

Thanks in advance.

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  1. I don't think it's possible to get inexpensive grass fed, organic meat these days. The Fair Food Stand in the RTM is a pretty good source, in addition to a lot of the local farmer's markets. I've been buying meat from MB Farview Farm, which comes to Jenkintown for a drop off, but I know they regularly go to the farmer's market at the Piazza in Northern Liberties. They are very accommodating with special orders, and I've been getting these fantastic free range guinea hens.

    You can also get a huge variety of organic meats through Winter Harvest:

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

      I wasn't so much looking for inexpensive prices, but choices of economical cuts. In my experience, many places will offer a few Grass-Fed/Pastured choices, and they will be the "royal" cuts like the Tenderloin, Chops, Steaks, etc. It is much harder to find something like Lamb Shoulder, which is a much more economical cut.

      However, the Piazza in Northern Libs will be great. Jenkintown, for me, will be inconvenient.

      Thank you.

    2. Fair Food in RTM has much of what your looking for, including some of the organ meat. It's all frozen stuff (can be a plus). They would be able to special order some of the cuts if they don't have them in stock.
      This page is updated weekly with what they have in stock:

      You could call D'Angelo Bros in the Italian Market about the other things, there is a good chance he could get ahold of it. He is a real butcher and could do exactly what you want.

      12 Replies
      1. re: barryg

        I was curious about the Fair Food Stand, I will make sure to check them out.

        Are you sure that D'Angelo does, or can, get Pastured Pork? If so, I would definitely order some trotters or heads.

        1. re: DougRisk

          No I'm not sure but he gets a lot of crazy stuff, just call up and ask him.

          1. re: barryg

            Definitely check out the Fair Food Farmstand at Reading Terminal. They often have shoulder cuts, and I believe they can also order requests from their farm providers.

            I have also gotten good pastured meats at the local farmers markets. I bought a duck at the Clark Park (West Philly) year round Saturday market around the holidays, but don't remember who the vendor was. I get grass fed beef at the Saturday Market (year round) at Rittenhouse Square. They seemed to have the more economical cuts, too.

            In fact, I'm having a harder time finding a classic (less economical cut) roast beef, (grass fed), in case anyone has seen those. Mostly what I see are pot/rump type roasts/briskets, and while I love them too, I'd like to get a classic beef to roast.

            1. re: Hansel

              "I get grass fed beef at the Saturday Market (year round) at Rittenhouse Square."

              I will need to check that out. Thank you.

              1. re: DougRisk

                Is that Livingoods? They are great, but I only see them at Passyunk and South Farmers Market in "season"

                1. re: Bigley9

                  Rineer Farm sells grass fed beef at Rittenhouse.

                  1. re: caga tio

                    Thank you. I will definitely check them out.

            2. re: barryg

              I would also venture that D'Angelos' could get it for you, but if it's a special order, you'll probably pay more than going to someplace like the Piazza or Fair Food
              (I did have the best pate de foi gras EVER from Sonny D'Angelo a few years back...I had sticker shock, but it was well worth the price)

              1. re: cgarner

                I have heard people mention this place before, but I have never been there. Do they likely have things like Grass-Fed and/or Pastured Meats? Organic Produce? etc.?

                I was under the impression that it was something like a collection of restaurants and bars.

                1. re: DougRisk

                  I assume you are asking about the Piazza. They have a farmer's market every Saturday:

                  1. re: barryg

                    Yes, I just started reading about this. I will be moving to Northern Liberties in about 2 weeks, so, I am pretty excited about this.

                    1. re: DougRisk

                      and there was still a small farmers market there this Saturday - didn't realize they were year round - and the beef and pork (and milk) guy was there with his truck!

        2. Philly CowShare sells an organ box from each of their cows that includes the oxtail, beef tongue, osso bucco style soup bone, marrow bones, liver and the heart.

          2 Replies
          1. re: MeganLocallyFresh

            mmm.... organ box....
            (oddly, I just heard someone talking about Philly CowShare yesterday; I'd never heard of it before)

            1. re: Bob Loblaw

              Yay, not the best name, but that's what it is and it is definitely tasty.

          2. I'm having a very hard time finding lamb casting and pork casting many butchers shop told me they had no idea where I could get it from does anyone know where to find it .

            3 Replies
            1. re: cfighter

              I got pork casing at a small butcher on 10th Street just north of Snyder Ave. I don't know if they have lamb. Might also check with Nick Macri at La Divisa Meats in the RTM - he makes his own sausages and cured meats and may sell you some or point you to them.

              1. re: Bigley9

                Thank you very much for the information .

                1. re: cfighter

                  I buy mine from Cannuli's House of pork in the Italian Market.

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