Vancouver’s Best Butchers for Local and Specialty Meats

This week, Michael turns the spotlight on meat—specifically where to find the best quality free-range and wild meats in Vancouver.

Steaks from the supermarket are so bloodless I suspect they’re engineered in labs. Ask these Vancouver-area specialty butchers to put some real meat on your bones

Old fashioned butcher shops need to be treasured

When it comes to food writing it’s often the specialty groups (e.g., celiacs, vegans, diabetics) who get all the air-time. So this week I thought I’d turn the spotlight on meat.

Meat shares a lot of issues with other types of produce: is it local? organic? free-range? It is rare, when you buy your meat from the supermarket, that you’ll be furnished with any of these details. But real butchers will take the time to talk to you about where your meat has come from, and which cut is best suited to you needs. They'll know where the animal was raised, what it was fed and whether it was medicated.

They'll also tend to source meat from smaller operations, which, besides reducing the danger of contaminated product reaching market, means they may have special or wild meats not commonly found at the chains.

Try these establishments for anything from chicken breast to rabbit, venison steaks to buffalo sausage:

Windsor Packing Co Ltd

Windsor’s, at Main and King Ed, offers a good selection of meats from organic, locally grown and grass-fed animals. Signage indicates which products come from local farms and the staff are happy to discuss the provenance of the meat. One of my favourites from Windsor’s are their beef sausages which are inexplicably cheap for something that tastes like ground fillet steak.

Windsor Packing Co Ltd‎

4110 Main St, Vancouver


Jackson’s Meats & Deli

A lot of Vancouverites were disappointed when the old Jackson's on Granville St closed down. However, their new home in Kitsilano restored their faith. Along with the usual cuts in the cabinet, you’ll find a variety of game in the freezer and a selection of cheeses and fresh pasta in the new Jackson’s (much-more-than-a-butchery) Meats & Deli.

Jackson's Meats & Deli

2214 West 4 Ave., Vancouver


Queens Park Meat Market

Butcher Peter Corbeil of Queens Park Meat Market selects and buys full carcass meat before hanging and aging it himself, and then custom cuts it to satisfy his loyal customers. The shop has stood the test of time, operating in a small building on the corner of 4th and 2nd in a residential neighbourhood since 1924. They also make their own delicious sausages that often sell out – try the apple pork variety.

Queens Park Meat Market

402 2nd Street, New Westminster

604 521-1622

Robson Gourmet Butcher

The Gourmet Butcher in the Robson Public Market offers locally sourced, organic and hormone-free meats. They carry a good range of fresh game, but what attracts many of their fans are the nitrate-free bacon and sausages made on premises.

Robson Gourmet Butcher‎

133-1610 Robson St, Vancouver


Columbus Meat Market Ltd.

Hidden away on the east side of Vancouver, Columbus Meat Market is an authentic Italian butchery. The shop’s a little rough around the edges, but the quality of the meat is undeniable. If you walk out of there without one of their chorizo, you’re a stronger man than I am.

Columbus Meat Market Ltd‎

1655 Renfrew St., Vancouver


The Butcher on 10th

Great supporters of local agriculture, The Butchers on 10th proudly stocks Fraser Valley free-range chicken and pork and Salt Spring lamb. They’re also happy to help you out with specialty orders, like wheat-free sausages.

Some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet are butchers

Remember when you’re there, these people are craftsmen (and women): take the time to get to know them; ask their advice.

The Butcher on 10th

4529 West 10 Ave., Vancouver


What is your go-to source for quality, specialty meats in Vancouver?

Leave a comment below.