Best Butchers In Los Angeles

May 10, 2011 6:56 PM

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If you think butchery is a forgotten craft and have resigned yourself to bland meat from your neighborhood mega-market; have hope. These vendors are dedicated to providing quality products and excellent customer service, guiding customers to the exact cuts they’re looking for to ensure satisfying meals. Whether you’re in need of a steak for a romantic dinner in, or burgers for 200, these are the butchers who can make it all taste great.
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Harvey’s Guss Meat Company

949 South Ogden Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 937-4622
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Founded in 1939 by his father Abe, Harvey Gussman has been supplying LA’s best restaurants, chefs and caterers with his high-quality beef, pork, lamb and poultry since 1955. Gussman is a true artisan, both incredibly knowledgeable about meat and preparation, and possessing a grandfatherly charm that will make you swear off pre-cut supermarket meat forever. Although primarily a wholesale business, this boutique butcher does sell to the public when given a day or two’s notice. Call or fax in your order and be ready to get up early: Harvey’s Guss is only open from 5am to 12pm, Tuesday through Friday.

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Huntington Meats & Sausage

6333 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 938-5383
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A Farmer’s Market staple since they moved into the existing butcher shop in 1986, owners Dan Vance and Jim Cascone of Huntington Meats are one of a few exclusive Los Angeles vendors selling fresh, Harris Ranch beef. While the meat is top notch and the staff educated and friendly, what really sets this meat counter apart is the wide selection of preservative-free handmade sausages. Nearly two dozen varieties are made fresh daily. Dried meat connoisseurs rave about their famous “Black Stick” beef jerky and pet owners make weekly visits for the raw dog food.

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Alexander’s Prime Meats & Catering

6580 N. San Gabriel Boulevard
San Gabriel, CA 91775
(626) 286-6767
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Alexander’s Prime Meats & Catering has been in business since 1960. Owner Michael Milazo lived around the corner and used to shop for his grandmother, before he started working at the shop as a clean-up boy. Located inside of Howie’s Market in San Gabriel, his shop only sells prime beef, which is aged a minimum of 21 days before sale. The meat comes in whole, making custom cuts a breeze. They also offer an extensive catering menu and can help with just about anything you need for your party or special event.

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McCall’s Meat & Fish Company

2117 Hillhurst Avenue
Los Feliz, CA 90027
(323) 667-0674
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Opened last January by husband and wife team Nathan McCall and Karen Yoo, these chefs turned specialty shop owners know their meat and seafood. Both trained at Pasadena’s Le Cordon Bleu and followed that up with several years in some of the very best kitchens, including Sona and New York City’s Daniel. This is a small shop dedicated to sustainable and humanely raised animals that prides itself on its personalized service, so if you’re looking for something special it’s best to call ahead so they can put it aside for you.

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Gem Meats & Produce

3125 Yorba Linda Blvd
Fullerton, CA 92831
(714) 996-3363
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Family-owned for 37 years, Gem Meats & Produce owner Brad Wick has been running the shop, located in a small Fullerton strip center, since 1993. This is a prime example of an old school butcher: the meat is brought in whole and cut onsite by a staff that really knows what they’re doing. Though they always have a wide selection, over the holidays it’s best to place your order early — this shop is a prime rib roast factory, hand trimming and tying several hundred roasts every season.

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Lindy & Grundy Meats

801 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 951-0804
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Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura are Lindy & Grundy, the butchers whose Melrose and Fairfax shop has been the talk of the town even before it opened in March. Both women trained at Fleisher’s Grass-Fed & Organic Meats in Kingston, NY before realizing that Los Angeles was in dire need of a butcher focused on sustainability. This is why you’ll only find local, pastured and organic meats behind these counters. Cooking and butchery classes are in the development phase, but don’t wait for those to make the trip: Lindy & Grundy make all of their sausages, pastrami, bacon and smoked pork chops in house.

Christianne Winthrop is an LA-based freelance food writer, caterer and culinary instructor She contributes to SeriousEats.com and BrainWorld, among others.

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