London's best butchers
Just say 'neigh' to mystery meat. We pick out the best butchers in London, where provenance is assured, together with great service
Proper meat is worth paying for, and a good butcher is a world away from mystery meat. You'll get top-quality produce, knowledgeable service and a guarantee of provenance. These London butchers are a cut above the rest. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.
Given that the ‘barbecue steakhouse’ above it is a venture from savvy restaurateurs Jamie Oliver and US ‘barbecue king’ Adam Perry Lang, it’s no surprise that the adjoining butcher’s shop is smart, slick and serious about its meat. Cuts come handpicked from across the UK’s finest farms, before being aged on site.
- 82 Watling St, EC4M 9BX. 020 3375 5553.
- Critics choice
Newly reopened by Prince Charles (who knows a thing or two about proper sausages), this huge market is more than just a tourist attraction. Head to the Middle Market for stalls selling game, beef, fish and fowl, plus a handful of exotic meats.
- Southwark Street, SE1.
Balham butcher Chadwicks takes the concept of ‘family-run’ to the next level, with nearly every member of the team some relative or other. They’re a cheery bunch too. You’ll find them serving excellent own-made sausages and pies, cuts of organic meat, and the likes of rolled haunch of venison (with advice on how to cook it).
- 109 Balham High Rd, SW12 9AP. 020 8772 1895.
The butchers at C Lidgate have run this store for over 150 years – and have kept the cleavers in the same family’s hands for four generations. That’s right: the Lidgates truly have butchery in their blood. The meat here is organic and free-range, and a great deal of it is sourced from prestige estates, including Prince Charles’s Highgrove. But the family have also kept with the times; the window is crammed with tempting dishes like saddle of lamb with pesto, and the scotch eggs (made with quail eggs and wrapped in Lidgate’s own cumberland sausage mince) go down a treat.
- 110 Holland Park Avenue, W11 4UA. 020 7727 8243.
Now in the hands of third-generation butcher Bob Dove, this good-looking corner site has been a Northcote Road landmark since opening in 1889. Service could be friendlier, but there’s no questioning the quality of the meat, including premium cuts of steak, in this high-end (and high-priced) shop.
- 71 Northcote Rd, SW11 6PJ. 020 7223 5191.
How many times have you been in a smart London restaurant and seen the words ‘From the Ginger Pig’ on the menu? Well you can recreate the meaty magic at home, with pies, pickles and sausages straight from their maker. There are five branches across town, but we love the Hackney outpost, which brings quality cuts to east London, along with excellent sausage rolls.
- 99 Lauriston Road, E9 7HJ. 020 8986 6911.
Arguably the most popular butcher in north London, Godfreys has built a reputation on its vast and high-quality selection. Alongside the usual suspects (meat, sausages, pies), you’ll also find cheaper cuts (onglet, ox cheeks, rabbit), own-made stocks and more exotic options via advance order, such as a three-bird roast of goose, capon and pheasant.
- 7 Highbury Park, N5 1QJ. 020 7226 2425.
The chaps at Moen have come a long way from their South Norwood roots. These days, they occupy a grand Victorian-tiled space moments from Clapham Common tube, where they cure their own bacon, source premium organic and free-range meat, and can supply you with pretty much everything you’d need for a smart dinner, from sparklingly fresh herbs to in-season veg.
- 24 The Pavement, SW4 0JA. 020 7622 1624.
Much like many of the Stokey locals, the crew behind this independent Hackney butcher are bang on trend. Butchery classes and courses on matching wines to meat are the order of the day, as are a fine selection of cuts for taking home and eating – with beef hung for 20 days before carving up. Pity the butchers aren’t more welcoming, though.
- 104 Stoke Newington Church St, N16 0LA. 020 7254 0724.
Provenance is a butcher’s shop in Notting Hill eastablished in 2013 by a bunch of young enthusiasts who gave up desk jobs to train as butchers and charcutiers. Struan Robertson is the founder, an alumnus of the School of Artisan Food in Welbeck, Nottinghamshire. The rest of the team – Tom Gibson, Guy Gibson, and Erin Hurst – are all Kiwis, which partly explains the grass-fed wagyu beef burgers from New Zealand that are flying out the doors in barbecue weather. A lot of the meats are value-added, such as marinated whole chickens and lamb kebabs, to offer what Struan calls ‘meal solutions’ for local shoppers (well, he is a former advertising man). The meats are all free range, the charcuterie supplied by British makers.
- 33 Kensington Park Rd, W11 2EU. 020 7229 8814.
Having closed a spin-off branch on East Dulwich Grove, this historic butcher has now beefed up the operation at the original shop, increasing staffing levels to reduce the infamous queues. Refreshingly, they not only maintain fair prices on their fine meats, but also offer a ‘weekly special’ to provide an affordable option for all.
- 126 Lordship Lane, SE22 8HD. 020 8693 9191.
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