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.”
Canberra Quality Meats, Callwell 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.
On Google, Jess Hall wrote, “Would rate higher if I could. They are a fantastic butcher. The people that work there are lovely and very helpful. The meat is second to none. Their weekly specials and mince are great value for money.”
ECO Meats Organic Butcher sets itself apart from other Canberra butchers by providing you with not only the traditional meats you have come to expect from your butcher, but also with products suited to a more adventurous cook, such as kangaroo, venison, and goat.
Included in ECO Meats interesting and varied range of products are their popular gluten free and paleo sausages, which are made in store, as well as an in-house deli offering cheeses, sauces, coffee, and other small goods. ECO Meats also has a knife-sharpening service, as well as specialty pet food products.
ECO Meats has started offering a home delivery service on Thursday evenings.
Local Guide Sue Chadwick shared this review of ECO Meats on Google, “Excellent meat and charcuterie. Gino & his staff are very friendly and helpful.”
‘From farm to fork’, is Lost River Meats promise, to deliver its customers fresh, high quality produce. Operating as both retailer and wholesale distributor, Lost River Meats offers a wide range of products to suit all needs.
Lost River Meats’ practices, being ethical and environmentally friendly, guarantee you with high quality and nutritious meat.
Lost River Meats sources its produce not only from local farmers but from their own farm, Glenlea, which supplies them with their beef and pork. All of their animals are free range, grass-fed, and free of hormones and antibiotics.
As Paj reviewed on RiotACT, “Lost River in Dickson is good. Reliable source for decent skirt steak, among other things.”
Located in the Fyshwick Markets, Unique Meats prides itself on providing Canberrans with premium quality meats. Whilst Unique Meats specialises in free range, organically grown classic meats, they also offer a variety of special products to suit all customers, such as Sunday roasts, gluten free options, Halal certified meats and smoked hams.
Unique Meats source their produce from local farmers and specialised growers, including shop’s own farm in Bibendale – further guaranteeing you with high-quality meats.
Unique Meats also provides extra services, such as refrigerated delivery on orders over $100 across Canberra during the week.
Facebook user Tania McIntosh had this to say about her experience with Unique Meats, “We have bought meat from Unique Meats for the last 12 years. The meat is always top quality and my butcher grandfather loves everything we buy. Highly recommend anything they sell. A+.”
Jordo’s Chop Shop is a well-known butcher, loved by all for the great range of products and friendly service.
Their wide range of products goes beyond traditional meats and includes seafood, pet food, smoked products, various seasonings and a selection of value packs.
Jordo’s Chop Shop sources its products from Bergalia Farm and the fields surrounding the Breakout River abattoirs. Jordo’s Chop Shop also guarantees that its meat is free range, grass fed, and stress free, demonstrating a commitment to ethical farming practices.
RiotACT commenter, James McMahon, had this to say, “Jordo’s Chop Shop online, great service [and] really nice guys.”
Located in Dickson, Kaleen, Jamison and Erindale, The Butcher Shop is known for premium quality meats and excellent customer service. With a wide range of products and the eye-catching slogan ‘Paddock to Plate’, The Butcher Shop can cater for all needs.
Their customer service model is as key to the business’s success. Known for their tailored preparation of your purchase and cooking advice, The Butcher Shop, goes the extra mile.
The Butcher Shop sells a wide-range of produce, including gluten free sausages and ready-made meals that only take around 35 minutes for you to prepare at home.
As Jenny Gordon Avery reviewed of their service on RiotACT, “Always had fantastic meats from The Butcher Shop at any of the three stores they have.”
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.