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 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.”
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, 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 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 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 …”
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.