With the city sheltering in place, eaters are stockpiling the essentials, starting with chicken. Fortunately, it’s easy to skip the long line at the grocery store and duck into a neighborhood shop instead. And those who love the comforts of crispy barbecue chicken and slow smoked ribs already know that our city is home to some wonderful old-school butcher shops. From ground beef and chicken thighs to Japanese wagyu tomahawks and Frenched little riblets, here are the best butcher shops breaking it down in San Francisco.Read More
12 Essential Butcher Shops in San Francisco
Where to stock up on everything from ground beef and chicken thighs to wagyu steaks and sweet chops
“Dave the Butcher” has been slaying meat in San Francisco since 1989, and has served as a meat judge on the History Channel. He hangs up his 19th century knives at this old-school butcher shop in Marina, and he’s taking care of his longstanding customers, with seniors hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to noon.
Little City Market
This old-school butcher shop in North Beach, with a retro red sign and awning, really knows how the sausage is made. Father-and-son duo Mike and Ron Spinali twist off more than 30 types of sausages, and make guanciale and meatballs in addition to stocking a full butcher case.
Gozu, the hot new wagyu spot, opened, closed, then reopened as a pop-up butcher shop. Instead of the usual tasting menu, wagyu obsessives can now get the luxurious steaks to go. The shop offers five pounds of ground beef for $40, four ounces of Miyazaki strip for $65, or Kobe ribeye for $190, all the way up to a big wagyu box for $600. Online ordering is all set up through Tock.
Bryan’s Quality Meats, the companion to Bryan’s Grocery in Laurel Village, is a meat market with a fan following. Established in 1963, it’s still a family-run business, stocking prime, dry-aged Flannery beef.
Alexander’s is known for luxurious Japanese beef, and the upscale steakhouse has now opened a butcher shop, stacking thick wagyu cuts. A big backyard barbecue pack includes two ribeyes, two t-bones, chicken wings, and vegetable sides, while individual burger kits are primed with freshly ground wagyu and all the fixings.
This charcuterie specialist is based up in Napa, but also has a storefront in Hayes Valley. Taylor Boetticher is well known as a salume maestro, and this is where you get the good pȃtés, sausages, and terrines. The shop also stocks fresh meat and poultry for everyday dinners.
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The Butcher Shop by Niku Steakhouse
Niku didn’t have to pivot when the city was ordered to shelter in place. The modern Japanese steakhouse has always had a butcher shop next door, selling outrageously marbled Kobe and wagyu steaks.
Olivier Cordier is the French boucher and meat artist of the Dogpatch. Originally from Burgundy, he elegantly cuts the most beautiful steaks and rounds, trusses up a pork roast with prunes and apricots, and tidily trims those lamb riblets.
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Barons Quality Meats & Seafood
Barons took over from Drewes Brothers, so fortunately, Church Street still has an old-fashioned butcher shop with a full case. The big prime rib roasts chilling in the back are a sight to behold, and made our holiday gift guide, and everyday shoppers also appreciate the chicken, salmon, steaks, and chops. The shop’s original location is also still open in Alameda.
Guerra Quality Meats
West Portal locals don’t have to drive over the hill to get the goods. Guerra’s has been holding it down since 1954, and this classic butcher shop is now in the third generation of the family. In addition to steaks, chops, and grind, the shop also has a popular sandwich counter, with pulled pork and brisket on big rolls.
Angela Wilson opened her neighborhood butcher shop during the recession in 2008, when many people were coming back around to red meat. She practices whole-animal butchery, setting out prime steaks and under-appreciated cuts, as well as meaty sandwiches.
Canyon Market is a lovely neighborhood grocery store, and behind the meat counter, it managed to snag one of the star butchers in the city. Oscar Yedra slices with almost surgical precision, filling the case with local meat that’s rosy and clean.