The Best Butcher Shops in Toronto

Toronto Life
Olliffe Prince Charles
Olliffe Butcher Meets Prince Charles

Even though some people don't eat meat, it´s still one of the most important parts of most of our diets. However, buying quality meat is no easy task. Local supermarkets offer all kinds of meat wrapped in cellophane on small polystyrene trays, but these won´t satisfy a real gourmet. Buying meat from a supermarket might be quick and easy, but nothing beats a fresh, juicy cut from a good butcher shop. A good butcher also provides customers with a lot of useful information about the meat itself as well as different recipes. Torontonians are lucky to live in a city with an abundance of great butcher shops offering top-quality meat and great services. Here's a list of the best butchers Toronto has to offer.

The Healthy Butcher

Address:

565 Queen St. West (west of Spadina)
298 Eglinton Av. W

Opening Hours:

Monday–Saturday: 10:00 A.M.–7:00 P.M.
Sunday: 11:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M.

The Healthy Butcher
Sausages with Brandy and Bacon, delicious!

The Healthy Butcher is one of the most successful butcher shops in Toronto, offering high-quality, local, and fresh meat. The mission of The Healthy Butcher is to “ensure your food is produced the way nature intended." Both locations display all cuts of meat and educate customers through their showcases, website, and newsletter. Everything in The Healthy Butcher is locally sourced, organic, and always fresh. As the owners, Mario Fiorucci and Tara Longo, point out,

The store offers a direct connection to the food source, dealing with over 75 farmers within 100 miles of Toronto for beef, lamb, pork, chicken, bison, elk, Cornish hen, quail, goose, and other premium meats, seasonal produce, and both fresh water and ocean fish.  

The Healhty Butcher Toronto
The Healhty Butcher

Their quality and freshness is worth every penny. The customer service at The Healthy Butcher is beyond all expectations. The whole staff, including the managers, are friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. If you want some special cuts, just call and they´ll set them aside for you. If you´re looking for an exclusive piece of meat and delicious cooking advice, The Healthy Butcher is the right place for you.

Sanagan´s Meat Locker

Address:

176 Baldwin Street

Opening Hours:

Monday–Saturday: 8:00 A.M.–7:00 P.M.
Sunday: 11:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M.

Sanagan´s Meat Locker encompasses 5,000 square feet of sublime meats of all kinds. Peter Sanagan, the owner, has enhanced the former European Meats space with a butcher block located in the front window so people can watch the skilled team cutting meat. Furthermore, Sanagan makes sure that his meat is always top-quality and fresh by taking his employees to the farms where they choose the animals. Peter describes Sanagan´s Meat Locker as a “small butcher shop that specializes in quality, ethically raised meats and poultry from small Ontario farms."

Sanagans
Sanagan's Meat Locker

The staff is just waiting to impress you with useful information about the meat. Peter informed us that at Sanagan´s Meat Locker, We pride ourselves at being to answer questions about food preparation. My history is in fine dining restaurants as a chef, so this part of our service is a huge plus.”

The prices at Sanagan´s Meat Locker are very reasonable, and their selection will satisfy omnivorous gourmets from all over the world. Apart from local meat, Sanagan´s Meat Locker offers an extensive European-style delicatessen and prepared food section, as well as a hot counter serving soups, sandwiches, salads, and rotisserie chickens. Their selection is really huge. Peter explains,

We sell a lot of chicken, beef and sausages, which we make in house. We have become quite well known for our interesting and delicious sausage flavours, such as Wild Boar and Pistachio, Jerk Pork and Lamb Merguez.

The shop has a unique, pleasant atmosphere highlighted by mouth-watering meat and superlative cookbooks. It´s one of those places where you feel the team cares about their customers.

Cumbrae´s

Addresses and Opening Hours:

481 Church Street

Monday–Friday: 9:30 A.M.–7:00 P.M.
Saturday: 9:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M.
Sunday: 11:00 A.M.–5:30 P.M.

1636 Bayview Avenue

Monday–Friday: 9:30 A.M.–6:00 P.M.
Saturday: 9:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M.
Sunday: 10:30 A.M.–5:30 P.M.

26 King Street West

Monday–Friday: 9:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M.
Saturday: 9:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M.

Cumbrae´s owes its reputation to hand-selected meats from small family farms that provide their animals with the highest standard of breeding, feeding, and care. This popular butcher shop supplies some of Toronto´s best restaurants. As the owner of Cumbrae´s, Stephen Alexander, points out,

Our cows choose from a more natural diet of alfalfa, clover, corn silage and barley, so we don´t need to use antibiotics.

Be prepared to pay top dollar for meat from Cumbrae´s, but don´t worry. Their delicious, organic meat is worth it. As Stephen describes,

People are eating less meat these days, so they are often looking for better quality in smaller portions. They´ll spend $40 a pound for quality cheese, so $25 a pound for similar quality meat isn´t that great a leap.

Cumbrae´s provides a perfect combination of skilled butchery, attractive displays, and knowledgeable staff willing to give advice. If you want to enjoy a thick, juicy steak, there´s no better place in Toronto than Cumbrae's.

Olliffe

Address:

1097A Yonge Street

Opening Hours:

Monday–Thursday: 8:30 A.M.–6:30 P.M.
Friday: 8:30 A.M.–7:00 P.M.
Saturday: 8:30 A.M.–6:00 P.M.
Sunday: 10:00 A.M.–5:00 P.M.

Olliffe is a high-end butcher shop located in Summerhill with the widest selection of the best meats, lamb, poultry, and game meat in Toronto. They co-operate mostly with local farmers and professionals but always manage to bring high-quality meats that can't be found anywhere else in Toronto. One of the owners, Sam Gundy, points out that he sells locally produced food because that's what he prefers to eat. He says,

The more I educate myself about food and the production of it, the more I keep going in the direction of eating locally and regionally produced foods that are grown in a beneficially healthy way. I think that´s very important for my family and our philosophy at the shop has translated onto our dinner plate at home.

Olliffe Butcher Shop
These Gentlemen Know Good Meat!

The team that operates this upscale meat shop consists of kind and knowledgeable counter staff, award-winning chefs, and skillful butchers. Their specialties includes delicacies such as Tamshire pork, whey-fed Hampshire pork, Canadian prime beef, and Scotch mountain meats. The prices are higher than in other butcher shops, but the butchers at Olliffe will always find a delicious cut that fits your budget.

Vince Gasparro´s Meat Market

Address:

857 Bloor Street West

Opening Hours:

Monday–Friday: 9:00 A.M.–7:00 P.M.
Saturday: 9:00 A.M.–5:00 P.M.
Sunday: 12:00 A.M.–3:00 P.M.

The founder of this great butcher shop, Vince Gasparro, acquired his skills and knowledge from his father and grandfather in a family-owned store dating back to late 1800s in south-eastern Italy. Back in 1960, he opened this popular meat market, which he now operates together with his sons, Pat and Nick. These expert butchers are more than willing to share information about their delicious meats and recommend exquisite recipes.

Vince Gasparro´s Meat Market offers some of the best Ontario meats, including lamb, pork, and beef as well as free-range, hormone-free chicken. You won´t usually find any brands, names, or labels on the meat from this store saying that a product is top-quality or naturally raised. However, as Pat Gasparro points,

I´ve got good meat, and it doesn´t say anything on it because it comes from my dad´s farm.

Gasparro´s really know their meat, and their prices reflect their expertise.You´ll keep coming back for more of their delicious steaks!

Whitehouse Meats

Address:

93 Front St. East

Opening Hours:

Tuesday–Thursday: 8:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M.
Friday: 8:00 A.M.–7:00 P.M.
Saturday: 5:00 A.M.–5:00 P.M.

Whitehouse Meats was originally established in Windsor, Ontario, in 1953. In the 1970s, it moved to Toronto and became a fixture of the St. Lawrence Market. Whitehouse earned its reputation as one of the best butcher shops in Toronto mainly because of its excellent meat and down-home service. In addition to a vast selection of beef, pork, veal, lamb, and chicken, it offers one of the largest selections of game meats and specialty birds available.

Leila Whitehouse Meats Lawrence Market
Leila Batten

The owner, Leila Batten, explains why Whitehouse always comes up with new specialty selections. She suggests,

More people should try different proteins, so that they don´t get bored. A lot of people go to different restaurants all the time to eat. Do that with your food. Buy different things every time. If you don´t know how to cook it, find a cookbook, look it up on the computer, or ask us.

Batten's motto is, “If you wouldn´t sell it to your own mother, don´t sell it to my customer.” At Whitehouse Meats, you're always sure that the meat you buy is fresh and of the best quality.

Royal Beef

Address:

1968 Danforth Ave

Opening Hours:

Tuesday–Wednesday : 9:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M.
Thursday–Friday: 9:00 A.M.–7:00 P.M.
Saturday: 9:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M.
Sunday: 10:00 A.M.–4:00 P.M.

For more than 25 years, Royal Beef has served the Danforth neighbourhood and surrounding areas with excellent meats and deli products. The owner, Carmen Estrela, not only knows her stuff, but her enthusiasm and kindness also make this place the most popular butcher shop in the neighbourhood. She has lots of knowledge and experience that she´s always willing to share. As she points out,

If you´ve never cooked a pot roast in your life, it doesn´t matter. If you come in, I´ll tell you how to cook it.

Tri Tip Royal Beef
Tri Tip at Royal Beef

Furthermore, she adds that “the boys will cut you a piece of meat that will be the best darn thing you´ve eaten all year, I guarantee it.” Royal Beef is well known for their Alberta Certified Angus Beef, but their selection is much wider. They offer very tasty local lamb, Mennonite-raised chicken, and always-fresh pork as well as custom cuts and a wide selection of local and imported cheeses, deli meats, and olive oils from the whole world. At Royal Beef, you can get everything you need for a delicious dinner at reasonable prices.

One thought on “The Best Butcher Shops in Toronto

July 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm
Robert says:

Your first choice the Healthy Butcher is by far my favourite. Their grassfed beef selection is by far the best around.

Reply

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