Best Of Chicago

Best Butcher Shops

May 23, 2011 2:40 PM

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Chicago has plenty of meat markets, but since it’s “Barbeque Month” we’ll focus on the grilling kind as opposed to the River North kind. Carl Sandburg eloquently proclaimed Chicago “hog butcher to the world,” and while we may not be the stockyard powerhouse we once were, there are plenty of places to find quality cuts of meat around town. While the larger supermarkets typically carry a fine selection of everyday meats, outdoor occasions call for more specialized butcher services and a few cuts above the ordinary. Here’s a selection of some of the best places in Chicago to find the goods for the grill.

Butcher Larder


The Butcher & Larder

1026 N. Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60642

If you’ve got a stack of Food & Wine magazines filled with adventurous recipes you’ve been wanting to try, Butcher & Larder probably has the main ingredients you need. You’ll find plenty of unique items, including duck, rabbit, house-made brats and plenty of other fine grillables. Prices are Whole Foods-level, but all meats are locally-sourced and butchered on site, and you won’t have to deal with navigating your way around a Whole Foods parking lot.



Gepperth’s Market

1964 N. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60614

Well before Lincoln Park became “Lincoln Park,” Gepperth’s was there (1906, to be exact). It’s a rather small shop, but the charm is abundant, and it’s well-stocked with a variety of selections for on and off the grill.

holzkopfs Best Butcher Shops


Holzkopf’s Meat Market

6155 N. Broadway St.
Chicago, IL 60660

This Edgewater butche3r shop is popular with locals looking for a neighborhood alternative to area supermarkets. The shop is reminiscent of a classic German meat market, and offers a selection of old world goods that are hard to find elsewhere. They also stock wood, charcoal, seasonings and beer for one-stop barbecue shopping.

Joseph’s Finest Meats

7101 W. Addison St.
Chicago, IL 60634

There is an Italian flavor to the neighborhood here, and Joseph’s incorporates it well into its selection of meats and dry goods. If you’re on the northwest side, this is a good place to pick up dry aged steaks or homemade summer sausage for the grill.

Moo Oink


Moo & Oink, Inc.

7158 S. Stony Island Ave.
Chicago, IL 60649

Well-known for their great television ads, M&I is a pork-tastic south side spot for grill goodies. If you’ve seen the ads, you know what to expect: fresh meat and seafood, several selections packaged in bulk, a variety of specials, and, in summer, grilling in the parking lot.

mullermeats1 Best Butcher Shops


Muller Meats

2439 W. Peterson Ave.
Chicago, IL 60659

Residents of the far north side have a hidden gem destination for quality meats at Muller’s. It’s a butcher shop of the old fashioned variety, with good prices, a solid selection and amiable butchers. For added effect, customers are wonderfully greeted by an electronic “mooo” as they enter the shop.

Olympic Meat Packers

810 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60607
Olympic is a meatpacking district original conveniently located in the West Loop, with friendly and attentive service and good prices. Along with every cut of red meat imaginable, poultry is well represented, with uncommon finds such as Cornish game hen and quail.

Paulina Market


Paulina Market

3501 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657

While it has a small-town vibe, Paulina Market is conveniently located in busy Lakeview (and priced accordingly). The customer service and selection make it well worth skipping the butcher counter at larger nearby supermarkets. If you need something to nibble on while the steaks are grilling in the yard, pick up some of Paulina’s homemade jerky for your pre-feast smoked meat enjoyment.

Peoria Packing Butcher Shop

1300 W. Lake St.
Chicago, IL 60607

If you’ve got a large group of hungry guests on the rsvp list, Peoria packing is the place to find quality in quantity at reasonable prices. Be sure to bring a jacket (and gloves), as you’ll be shopping in a large walk-in cooler. Parking may be tricky, too, but the inconveniences are well worth the bounty.

Greg Wahl is a Chicagoan, a freelancer, a grad student, and a seeker of all things awesome & interesting throughout the city and beyond.

View Comments
  • Keith

    How about in the north west suburbs,Dorflers Meats can not be
    overlooked.Out standing meats,fish,deli,and they even cater.

  • Kevin

    I used to drive a distance to Dorflers until some people working there developed a bad attitude and the prices made it more economical to shop elsewhere. I really liked it until that happened.

  • Vicky

    Schmeisser’s on Milwaukee Avenue in Niles, and for poultry, Harrison’s on Waukegan in Glenview!

  • renee

    I have had great experiences at Dorlfers Meats in Buffalo Grove. The customer service is exceptional and the food outstanding. I highly recommend them. I buy my meat and seafood nowhere else!

  • west suburbs

    Casey’s in Western Springs
    Prime and Tender in Hinsdale


    Does anyone know where I can get bone-in sirloin steaks, about a pound apiece?

  • franklin808

    Us hicks out here in the southwest suburbs get our meat at Jewel.

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