The best butchers in Canberra

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 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.”

Unique Meats

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+.”

Lost River Meats

‘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.”

Jordo's Chop Shop

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.”

ECO Meats Organic Butcher

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.”

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.

What's Your Opinion?

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100 Responses to The best butchers in Canberra
Nicole71 Nicole71 12:05 pm 19 Nov 14

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 Cholet Madam Cholet 11:11 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 birdie pink little birdie 10:43 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 Craig Alexandra Craig 10:20 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.

Kalliste Kalliste 9:51 am 19 Nov 14

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.

M0les M0les 10:33 pm 18 Nov 14

– 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.

MandyK MandyK 10:22 pm 18 Nov 14

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

Deborah Deborah 9:37 pm 18 Nov 14

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 Tempest Raging Tempest 9:10 pm 18 Nov 14

Wayne’s in Woden has great lamb.

rosscoact rosscoact 8:08 pm 18 Nov 14

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.

ps0104 ps0104 7:27 pm 18 Nov 14

Bonza Bangers at Hawker….is amazing.

Antagonist Antagonist 6:03 pm 18 Nov 14

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 …

Reprobate Reprobate 3:07 pm 18 Nov 14

Jordos Chop Shop, hands down.

pink little birdie pink little birdie 12:49 pm 18 Nov 14

Cameron at Meatways Kambah.

Antagonist Antagonist 12:34 pm 18 Nov 14

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

Bunston Bunston 12:06 pm 18 Nov 14

+1 Jordo’s Chop Shop

pajs pajs 11:41 am 18 Nov 14

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 McMahon James McMahon 11:39 am 18 Nov 14

Jordo’s Chop Shop online great service really nice guys

XO_VSOP XO_VSOP 11:38 am 18 Nov 14

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

chappo chappo 10:59 am 18 Nov 14

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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