We’re now in prime barbecue season, but if you’re not shopping at some of Calgary’s best butchers, chances are you’re not living up to your full grilling potential. Not only do you get the best of the best when it comes to locally sourced meats, most of these guys can handle any special requests you might have, and they can dole out sound advice on how to prepare what you’re buying. This is the land of beef, and it’s plentiful at these amazing local butchers.
Bon Ton Meat Meat Market
You know when you’re watching a cooking show and it asks for a cut of beef you’ve never heard of? BonTon Meats can help. When you step into their 7,000-square-foot shop filled with fresh-cut meat, ranging from beef to lamb to poultry to exotic game, deli meats and ready-to-eat items, you’ll be immediately drawn to the immense selection of beef, which is aged for 21 days, but if you don’t see the cut you crave, ask for it. They only display certain cuts, but they stock everything, including that roast Nigella recommended.
28 Crowfoot Cir. NW, bontonmeatmarket.com
This go-to for Calgary meat lovers in the know has been in business since 1976, when it started out selling hamburgers. Since then they’ve grown to offer some of the best pork, poultry, beef and seafood in the city. Master Meats has recently relocated to a big new facility with even more meat on display and more parking to serve the throngs of hungry customers. Go whole hog this summer for your barbecuing needs and order their BBQ Pack for $370 — 15 kilograms of fresh and frozen beef, including sirloin, T-bone/wing and rib steaks and cross rib and sirloin top roasts.
4127 6 St. NE, mastermeats.com
Some of the best summer grilling meat in Calgary is closer than you think. Co-op sells locally sourced beef that’s dry aged for 28 days, meaning it will be a crowd pleaser at your next backyard soirée. If you need to add a little bit of variety to the menu, pick up a few cuts of Alberta lamb, Alberta bison, Canadian free-run duck or Halal-certified veal and watch the crowd’s excitement mount. Co-op’s meat cases are full-service, so you can customize your order or get advice from the butcher about how to handle that precious cut.
Various Calgary locations, calgarycoop.com
One of the newest butchers on the block is actually not really that new after all. Just recently, the much-loved Second to None Meats has become part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts (CRMR) family of companies and renamed Urban Butcher. You’ll still find the best-of-the-best meats here, including the divine locally raised Aspen Ridge beef, but you’ll also be able to shop from the range of CRMR Kitchen products. Add a jar of dill pickles, BBQ sauce and a few salad dressings to your order and take your summer hosting skills from zero to hero.
2100 4 St. SW and Willow Park Village, urbanbutcher.ca
The Better Butcher
Butchering is an art — believe it — and The Better Butcher owner Randy Hnatuk has been perfecting his skills since 1990. Here you’ll find a full-service deli, a wide range of top-end meats, including lamb from EWE-nique Farms, local free-run, grain-fed chicken, 24 types of sausage and Alberta-sourced pork. But it’s the amazing selection of beef from Aspen Ridge, Black Apron Beef, Heritage Angus and Benchmark Beef that keeps customers coming back for more, especially during prime grilling season when you deserve nothing but the best.
377 Heritage Dr SE, thebetterbutcher.ca
By Ricky Zayshley