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 that the meat has been ethically sourced. These London butchers are a cut above the rest. Do you agree with our 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
It’s not often that carcasses are given prominence in London restaurants, but that’s exactly what happens in the refrigerated window display of this ‘master butcher & cookshop’. Butchers by day and intimate dining room by night, Hill & Szrok has given new meaning to the phrase ‘open kitchen’ and made such a success of it that they had to open a pub/restaurant to deal with the demand.
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.
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.
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. The meats are all free range, the charcuterie supplied by British makers.
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.