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.
The best butchers in London
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.
West London is awash with great meaty options. This fancy Barons Court butcher is also fairly modern, supplying to burger champions Patty & Bun, among others. Staff will advise on the best cuts for slow-cooking and supply offal and even Ibérico pata negra for the true meat fiends. Or just stop in to pick up first-rate steaks, chops and sausages. Take the time to browse the deli, too – HG’s homemade scotch quail eggs are worth the trip alone.
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.
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.
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.
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I haven’t seen somewhere look this much like an untouched ’80s wine bar since, well, the ’80s. And while I’m as partial to a trip down memory lane as the next man, the dining room at Hatchetts, a Mayfair restaurant and bar, just looks a bit shabby and dated. But what do I know? Maybe this is the start of a glorious post-Brexit return to the kind of venues we had before mass immigration took hold. Let’s hope not. Thankfully the food is less stuck in the past. My buttery, beautifully al dente celeriac risotto was a doozy, helped in no small part by excellent earthy depth from four plump snails and a drizzle of their braising jus. Lightly pickled red mullet – sharpness balanced brilliantly by punchy salt cod foam – was almost as good, as was a rich but nicely balanced dish of partridge with rainbow chard, bacon and a plum sauce. The only slight dud? My main of chicken-glazed cod, which was wonderfully cooked but then let down by aggressive seasoning. Service was excellent, and tactile to the point of flirty, which is fine by me. Unlike the £2 per person cover charge, which is of course an absolute piss-take.
Venue says: “Fresh British food with the finest, locally sourced produce. Cocktails made with house-infused spirits and an extensive, exciting wine list.”