The best butchers in Canberra

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Richard Odell with sons Mike and Tim, owners of Griffith Butchery - one of Canberra's most recommended butchers.

Richard Odell with sons Mike and Tim, owners of Griffith Butchery – one of Canberra’s most recommended butchers. Photo: George Tsotsos.

Whether you’re catering the next big family BBQ or preparing for a Sunday roast, any good home cook will know that the quality of the meat has the potential to make or break the meal. Canberra is particularly lucky when it comes to quality meats, as our local butchers take full advantage of nearby farmland and rely on ethical practices to source their produce.

If you’re looking for pork, lamb, steaks, game or poultry, or maybe something slightly less traditional, you’re far more likely to find everything you need at a butcher than a supermarket. Furthermore, Canberra’s butcher are far more likely to be able to give you information on the source and quality of their produce – perhaps even advising you on how best to prepare it when you get home.

In this article, we’ll show you the most important factors to consider when choosing a butcher.

What makes a great butcher?

Given our community’s strong emphasis on locally sourced and high-quality produce, and the wealth of options available to us, finding a good butcher in Canberra to provide you with the meat you need for your culinary needs can feel like an overwhelming process.

Try to keep the following in mind when looking for a butcher:

  • Quality guarantee. The higher the quality, the higher your satisfaction, and you’re far more likely to find high quality, well cared-for meat full of flavour and tenderness at a butcher shop than at your local supermarket.
  • Support for local farmers. Butchers that source their produce from local farmers are supporting our local economy. This then ensures the success and continued production of good quality meats. A win-win!
  • Ethical practices. From the way the meat is raised, fed and slaughtered, to it’s transportation and how the farmers themselves are compensated; there are innumerable environmental, economic and health factors involved. You want to ensure you are buying from a butcher with a commitment to ethical and transparent practices.
  • Product variety. One of the great benefits of buying from a high-quality butcher is that if you need something specific or uncommon, chances are they’ve got it.
  • Care for customers. The best butchers in Canberra will develop strong relationships with their customers, and will learn to cater to each of their customer’s specific needs.

The best butchers in Canberra

Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Griffith Butchery

Griffith Butchery

Griffith Butchery has been operating under their ethos of "Pristine Produce" since 1989, striving to give their community the best service and produce possible.

They source their meat from exclusive farmers, who share this passion for the wellbeing of both the livestock and the environment. All beef, lamb and veal are pasture feed, chickens are free range and certified organic and pork is hormone and steroid free. All the sausages, small goods and award-winning pies sold at Griffith Butchery are made from scratch methods onsite, so you can be assured that they are only of the highest quality.

Google reviewer Alice Casha wrote the following about their experience at Griffith Butchery, Such a great butcher shop You won’t find one piece of meat in there that isn’t quality and won’t taste great. These guys care about their meats and are always friendly and happy to help.”

10 Barker Street
Griffith ACT 2603

The Butcher Shop

Located in Dickson, Kaleen, Jamison and Erindale, The Butcher Shop is known for premium quality meats and excellent customer service. The Butcher Shop caters for all needs. It sells a wide-range of produce, including gluten-free sausages and ready-made meals that only take around 35 minutes to prepare at home.

Jenny Gordon Avery wrote on Riotact, “I’ve always had fantastic meats from The Butcher Shop at any of the three stores they have.”

Canberra Quality Meats

Canberra Quality Meats, Calwell Shopping Centre, sells quality products at the right prices. The butchers are knowledgeable and always willing to provide guidance. Canberra Quality Meats has a fantastic range, with specials available. Quality is guaranteed.

On Riotact, Kimberly Hughes wrote, “Canberra Quality Meats in Calwell is amazing. High-quality products and great customer service.”

Elite Meats

Elite Meats has been operating since 2015, with a commitment to quality and customer experience. Customers are guaranteed the freshest meats possible, with weekly deliveries of produce from local farmers (free range and grass-fed). Butchers prepare all meats in-house. Bulk-purchase meat packs are available.

On Google, Daniel Morton wrote, “Never again going to get meat from the supermarkets … great specials and the staff are really fun and make sure you get the best-of the best.”

ECO Meats Organic Butcher

ECO Meats Organic Butcher provides traditional meats, but also specialty products such as kangaroo, venison and goat. Gluten-free and paleo sausages are made in-store. ECO Meats also sells cheeses, sauces, small goods and coffee, and has a knife-sharpening service. A home-delivery service is available Thursday evenings.

On Google, Trisha Berry wrote, “Great service. Relaxed little shop with lots of interesting meat and animal products, including crocodile and roo. Their sausages are gluten and preservative free …”

If you’re on the hunt for Canberra’s freshest food and produce, check out our article on the best fresh food markets and best bakeries in Canberra for more recommendations.

Your experience with butchers in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you had experience with any of the butchers listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of meat do butchers sell?

Butchers sell cuts from all parts of the animal, so if you're looking for something other than a traditional steak, a butcher will certainly have what you need. Beef cheeks, bone marrow, liver, rumps, pork belly, smoked meats, and chicken necks are among the many specialty cuts that butchers can sell you. A lot of butchers also turn their off-cuts into a variety of gourmet sausages, so truly no part of the animal is wasted.

Do butchers sell better meat than supermarkets?

Butchers are very transparent when it comes to the source of their meats, whereas you might not necessarily know where supermarket meats come from. This transparency can help you decide which meat is better.

Can butchers cut meat for me?

Absolutely. Butchers can cut your meats in whichever way you need them, to save you time when you get home - whether it's cubed, stripped, or a whole chicken broken down into separate parts. And if you're still unsure, ask your butcher for advice on how best to prepare and serve the meat - no one knows it better than the butcher themselves!

Is butcher's meat Halal?

It depends on the butcher. Butchers will display clearly if any of their meat is Halal, and there are plenty of butchers around Canberra who specialise in Halal certified meat.

Do butchers sell things other than meat?

Definitely. Other than pieces of meat and sausages, you can also find things like seasonings, sauces, jerky, bones, and even pet food at any good butcher. And if you're unsure, your butcher should also be able to give you advice and recommendations on how best to prepare your meat when you get home.

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Danielle Campbell1:06 am 26 Apr 20

Unique Meats Fyshwick Markets.

Jenna Parsons4:12 pm 25 Apr 20

Home Grown Meats western is the best. Family run and they are so helpful always happy. Helped me out heaps when all the panic buying started and I couldn’t get dog mince put it away for me as im a regular customer. They are not over priced at all.

Mon B Hawaii5:20 pm 23 Apr 20

Home Grown Meats Cooleman Court. Lovely Team and the best and freshest meat in Weston Creek. They have the best sausages. Meat is from local area.

One in Yarralumla shops is too good guys

I for one am glad to see the return of the butcher’s shop as a specialty store. Supermarkets may be ‘convenient’ but they cannot beat the variety of interesting, quality, delicious Australian produce at the butcher’s.

Hi Sophia,

Found this butcher at dickson which is near the servo, Apparently they have a local farm as well.

http://www.lostriverproduce.com.au +1 Would surely recommend them.

My 2 cents.

ratsratsrats11:30 pm 22 Nov 14

Jordos for the smokehouse and offal, as well as online delivery. Spence and Melba are good neighbourhood butcher shops.

Madam Cholet6:07 pm 22 Nov 14

Alexandra Craig said :

I haven’t visited a butcher for about 6 years since I went with my mum when I lived at home. Do any of these butchers have smoked chicken? There used to be this stuff that was kind of like chicken loaf and they’d slice/shave it for you, but it was smoked and it was amazing.

I think you might find smoked chicken in the fridges at woollies – the stuff you slice yourself. Any deli, such as those at fyshwick would probably also have it.

Alexandra Craig said :

I haven’t visited a butcher for about 6 years since I went with my mum when I lived at home. Do any of these butchers have smoked chicken? There used to be this stuff that was kind of like chicken loaf and they’d slice/shave it for you, but it was smoked and it was amazing.

My local butcher at Melba shops smokes a range of meats including chicken and bacon. Bacon is sliced on the spot. Always good quality meat, and keep an eye out for his Argentinian Chorizos.

I also recommend Gino at Ecomeats at Belconnen markets for a good range of organic meats.

Rangi said :

I don’t get the hype of The butcher shop at Dickson

I have tried a few of the pre-prepared items from them and was disappointed in them all.

I can’t remember what they called it but one was a duck pastry thing, it was half filled with a dry grey mince you couldn’t really tell if it was duck or not.

The others were chicken items were sort of ok , one had long strips of dried out spring onion in it and was almost like trying to eat straw.

In their defence I never complained to them, and when I was in there the service was good so they probably would of sorted it, but instead I have voted with my $ and probably would not bother go back.

the hype is about the meat itself and their capacity to do ‘real’ butchering, not for the pre-prepared stuff. good quality meat, gets a recommend from me. as does dickson’s other butcher, lost rivers.

depends where you are. meat from any decent butcher, well prepared, is the key to your feast. hope it goes well…

Meatways at Kambah Village has smoked chicken breasts

Sophia Carlini5:00 pm 21 Nov 14

Alexandra Craig said :

I haven’t visited a butcher for about 6 years since I went with my mum when I lived at home. Do any of these butchers have smoked chicken? There used to be this stuff that was kind of like chicken loaf and they’d slice/shave it for you, but it was smoked and it was amazing.

On my travels I have not particularly seen smoked chicken however, I did notice that the Griffith Butcher shop has sliced ham in packets. It wasn’t smoked though.

Another vote for Meatways at the Kambah Village. Excellent quality and Cameron knows his pork! I’m surprised by the votes for Jordos Chop Shop. While it’s more convenient for me to shop there I don’t. Even if the look of the meat didn’t put me off the smell certainly would.

Bruce the Butcher, near woollies in the Hyperdome. Excellent Quality.

I don’t get the hype of The butcher shop at Dickson

I have tried a few of the pre-prepared items from them and was disappointed in them all.

I can’t remember what they called it but one was a duck pastry thing, it was half filled with a dry grey mince you couldn’t really tell if it was duck or not.

The others were chicken items were sort of ok , one had long strips of dried out spring onion in it and was almost like trying to eat straw.

In their defence I never complained to them, and when I was in there the service was good so they probably would of sorted it, but instead I have voted with my $ and probably would not bother go back.

Nicole71 said :

My vote goes to The Butcher Shop at Dickson and near Woollies in Gungahlin. Not only awesome meat (especially their sausages), but they are very generous in giving back to the community by supporting local junior sporting clubs.

I’ve gone to the butcher in gungahlin and felt pretty meh about it. Last time was for some rissoles that sounded/looked amazing but were incredibly bland in taste.

My vote goes to The Butcher Shop at Dickson and near Woollies in Gungahlin. Not only awesome meat (especially their sausages), but they are very generous in giving back to the community by supporting local junior sporting clubs.

Madam Cholet11:11 am 19 Nov 14

My vote would go to Griffith Butchers if I still went there. Used to go religiously despite the cost. Got to know Richard reasonably well (as a butcher, not a friend), but stopped going as it was out of the way a bit and the vibe seemed to change a bit, don’t know why. The good thing about Griffith Butchery is that he buys the bulk of his produce from one farmer only in Cootamundra. I met the farmer once. The lamb is exceptional. I also like the fact taht he didn’t always have exactly what you wanted – he was not supplying just anything to make a sale.

We now go to the organic place at Fyshwick markets. I wouldn’t recommend it over anything else – it’s just convenient, but is good quality.

I have to say that I find myself more and more frequently being put off by the amount of meat displayed in any butchers….I know it’s a butchers and meat in the window is going to be the expectation, but most butchers windows are absolutely packed. There’s probably way to much choice.

I find that buying meat from a place that is more expensive than other butchers makes you think a bit about how you spend your money and how much meat you buy. It has prompted us to have vego meals a few times a week as well as the usual fish or seafood.

pink little birdie10:43 am 19 Nov 14

Alexandra Craig said :

I haven’t visited a butcher for about 6 years since I went with my mum when I lived at home. Do any of these butchers have smoked chicken? There used to be this stuff that was kind of like chicken loaf and they’d slice/shave it for you, but it was smoked and it was amazing.

Cameron at meatways. He’s an ex-chef and smakes his own chicken, salmon, bacon, ham etc.
It’s pretty much our xmas lunch. Cameron’s ham, Samon, and some sort of seasoned polutry along with all the seafood (got from not a butcher)

Alexandra Craig10:20 am 19 Nov 14

I haven’t visited a butcher for about 6 years since I went with my mum when I lived at home. Do any of these butchers have smoked chicken? There used to be this stuff that was kind of like chicken loaf and they’d slice/shave it for you, but it was smoked and it was amazing.

I used to like Lost River in Dickson when I lived in the area.. you can also order online and get it delivered, with COD, if you need that.

When I last went there they’d just upgraded the store to include a bit of fruit too and I found the variety of the meat did decrease a little but they are always happy to do things for you if you ask.

– Cameron’s Meatways in Kambah
– Whatever that one up the back of the Dickson shops is (with the “miracle bacon”)
– I hear Lindbeck is good, but I’ve never been
– Probably others, but I’m based in the Woden/Tugg/Weston region, so don’t try much further.

I’m a big fan of Garran-teed Meats at Garran. Darryl smokes his own bacon and ham, the pork Cumberland sausages are delicious – every cut of meat I’ve purchased there keeps well and has a fantastic flavour

Most definitely Meatways at the Kambah Village. Cameron has won several awards for his snags – I think he’s been crowned the National Sausage King a couple of times. Meat is really high quality and the ham is deeeeelicious!

Raging Tempest9:10 pm 18 Nov 14

Wayne’s in Woden has great lamb.

chappo said :

I make a lot of my own sausages but have trouble finding backfat. Anyone know where I can get some?

It’s a challenge to find good hard fat these days with such lean commercial pigs.

I overcome it by buying whole saddles, making streaky bacon, ribs, braciole and using the loins for schnittys. Leaves the back fat for sausages and backbone for chinese soup and Xiao Long Bao. It’s pretty efficient financially.

Bonza Bangers at Hawker….is amazing.

chappo said :

I make a lot of my own sausages but have trouble finding backfat. Anyone know where I can get some?

I keep having visions of bogan chicks in leggings at the Tuggeranong Hyperdome food court …

Jordos Chop Shop, hands down.

pink little birdie12:49 pm 18 Nov 14

Cameron at Meatways Kambah.

Bruce the Butcher, Tuggeranong Hyperdome. Same cuts as most other butchers, but MUCH better quality. And their Christmas Hams are awesome!

+1 Jordo’s Chop Shop

Lost River in Dickson is good. Reliable source for decent skirt steak, among other things. EcoMeats at the Belco Markets for organic and free range (or Griffith butcher if southside and looking for similar). Gino at EcoMeats will do custom cuts is asked nicely (double rib pork chop taken to a single bone, butterflied poultry and lamb for flat grilling, double thickness tbone or rib eye on the bone, bunnies broken down to mince with 30% pork belly for rabbit burgers, etc).

Recent butcher shop discovery (top notch little shop, lots of care & pride, plus good service) is the butcher at the Florey shops.

If you get to the Farmers Markets at EPIC, Boxgum Grazing is top notch for pastured pork. Good beef too.

James McMahon11:39 am 18 Nov 14

Jordo’s Chop Shop online great service really nice guys

Lyneham best sausages, go pork fennel its a winner, and really good eye fillet cuts.

Basically there’s three that I like:
Griffith Butcher in Griffith
Lindbeck Butcher in Queanbeyan
Jordo’s Chop Shop in Wanniassa (or online)

The first two are very good quality but a little bit expensive and Jordo’s is great value for decent quality meat.

I make a lot of my own sausages but have trouble finding backfat. Anyone know where I can get some?

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