Gone are the days when the only places to buy meat were local meat markets from a butcher in an aged, blood-stained white apron.
Today, most people get their beef, chicken and pork products at a commercial supermarket along with everything else and the kitchen sink.
However, some people still appreciate the skill, value, and quality that a professional meat market and butcher provides. If you live in Arizona and would like to see the difference meat from a dedicated meat shop can make, there are 10 places throughout the state, highlighting Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, that I think you should visit the next time you’re in the mood for some fine cuts.
The Hobe Meats market is located at 6044 North 16th Street in Phoenix. Hobe Meats has been in business for over 50 years, now with Bret Pont acting as owner, counterman, and butcher. Their pork and chicken are all natural, and nothing has added sodium nitrate or solutions. All meat has been aged for a minimum of 30 days.
Hobe Meats specializes in prime meats (including house-aged prime steaks), premium seafood, and exotic meats, such as veal and wild boar. Pont prides himself on fulfilling special orders for customers and will order them anything from “alligator to zebra.” As a butcher, Pont will also provide special cuts of meat on order.
Hobe Meats also hosts a weekly barbecue every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stop in for pork ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, all beef hot dogs, and more.
This is my personal go-to butcher when I need a specific cut of meat I can’t find elsewhere or a prime brisket. Their cows and hogs hail from Nebraska, and their marbling is quite superior to local beef providers and the choice cuts you find in supermarkets.
While you can get prime beef at Costco, I invite you buy the same cut of beef from Hobe and one from Costco and compare the marbling side by side. All cows are not graded equal.
The Meat Shop
Located at 202 Buckeye Road in Phoenix, The Meat Shop is an old-fashioned butcher shop selling exclusively locally-purchased meats. The pork is all natural, the beef is 100% grass fed, and the chicken is free-range.
Buying meat at The Meat Shop means ordering from a skilled butcher who will provide you with all the meats you want in exactly the cuts you need. The butchers encourage customers to ask questions as they watch their meat order being processed.
Some of the specialty items one can order at The Meat Shop include buffalo, pheasant, rabbit, and half of a hog. If you need a whole lot of meat, order a whole animal, grass fed cow, or all natural pig—The Meat Shop will butcher it to your specifications.
Schreiner’s Fine Sausage
Schreiner’s Fine Sausage is located at 3601 North 7th Street on the corner of 7th and Whitton Avenue in Phoenix. Schreiner’s Fine Sausage has been in business for 61 years. Gary Schiller started working at Schreiner’s when he was 13. He went on to buy the business, and now his wife, Nancy, runs it. The store has never moved from its original location.
Schreiner’s Fine Sausage offers more than 60 varieties of sausages plus lunch meats, bacon, hams, and more. All meats are hand boned, ground, and stuffed. Sausage casings are all natural, and any smoking is done with natural hickory. Some of the harder to find sausages you can buy at Schreiner’s include andouille, linguica, bangers, chorizo, and Tasso.
Not only does Schreiner’s Fine Sausage allow you to select from its recipes for sausage, but you can also order something unique. Simply supply the shop with a recipe, and the butchers will make it for you—be it small batch or wholesale.
German Sausage Company
Since 1982, the German Sausage Company has been supplying Phoenix with authentic German sausages from its store at 4900 East Indian School Road. Owner Joerg Scherz’s family has been making sausages for over a century, and Joerg himself has done extensive world traveling and obtained a master’s degree to expand his knowledge and skill.
Some of the traditional German sausages on offer at the German Sausage Company include mettwurst, teewurst, krakauer, smoked schinkenwurst, landjaeger, touristenwurst, blood sausages, headcheese, leberknoedel, zwiebling, and much more. It also offers smoked meats like black forest ham, bacon, and lachsschinken as well as cold cuts (bierschinken, lyoner, hackbraten, and others).
If you want authenticity, look nowhere else for German sausage. The German Sausage Company website also offers some short tips on how to prepare the various meats.
Stan’s European Deli
You can find Stan’s European Deli in the Deer Valley Plaza Shopping Center at 1712 West Bell Road in Phoenix.
Stan’s European Deli specializes in Eastern European sausages, but there’s plenty more available—including a selection of ethnic Eastern European groceries. Stan’s sells delicious pierogis by the dozen. The knowledgeable staff and smoked meats, including bacon and various hams, smoked pork butts, and smoked sausages that hang from the opposite wall when you walk in will make you feel like you’re in Poland as soon as you enter the store.
The day before most major holidays, you’ll see a line of people winding outside the door of Stan’s European Deli. If you want authentic Eastern European sausages on the holidays, make sure you go early!
Von Hanson’s Meats and Spirits
Van Hanson’s Meats and Spirits has opened 20 stores in Minnesota since its first in 1984, but it finally expanded into Arizona in 2004. At 2390 North Alma School Road in Chandler, you can find the East Valley’s favorite butcher shop.
Van Hanson’s caters to the individual customer with on-site butchers that will cut to your specifications. Van Hanson’s also sells various meat packs that offer substantial savings: Cattleman’s Choice Pack, Trim & Lean Pack, Any Day Grill Bundle, Beef, Pork, and Chicken Pack, and the Variety Pack.
Over 70 varieties of sausages and brats are sold at Van Hanson’s as well, including kielbasa, polish sausage, country maple sausage, and andouille. Also on offer are some Midwestern specialties: “squeaky” cheese curds, strawberry rhubarb crisp, lefse, walleye, and more.
Van Hanson’s Meats and Spirits is the only shop in Chandler with an in-store smokehouse, where all of its smoked meats and sausages are prepared.
Meat Shops Definitely Worth Trying in the Tucson Area:
Dickman’s Meat and Deli
Dickman’s Meat and Deli, located at 7955 East Broadway and a second location on 6472 N. Oracle Rd, is one of Tucson’s favorite places to buy meats. Whether you’re hungry now or want to buy meats to cook later, Dickman’s has excellent offerings for you.
Dickman’s has a remarkable variety of cuts of beef, pork, and chicken—all at good prices. If you need a meat that’s hard to find, Dickman’s keeps a selection of more exotic meats in its freezer, ranging from quail, buffalo, and rabbit to elk and alligator. Perhaps the most popular order at Dickman’s is its famous “ugly steak.”
Call ahead and you can order jerky meat for that day or get cuts of meat dry-aged for up to three weeks.
The Sausage Shop is located at 1015 West Prince Road, Suite 141 in Tucson. You can buy all the meats you’d expect to find here: cuts of beef and pork plus sausages and smoked meats. Of course, the Sausage Shop truly pleases when it comes to its deli selection.
You can browse more than 50 sandwich selections with names like Richard, Ralph, Blue Ox, and Sven & Ole. The sandwiches are large enough to satisfy even the heftiest of appetites, and the meat for each sandwich is cut to order. Beer sticks, jalapeno sticks, Texas hot links, hot dogs wrapped in bacon, and much more are all available.
If you want to take something home to cook, the Sausage shop sells premade burger patties and bratwursts in its own unique recipes and flavors, such bleu cheese & horseradish patties and cheddar & green chili brats.
Flagstaff’s Best Meat Shops
Proper Meats + Provisions
If you want the finest farm raised meats and cured products in the Grand Canyon State, come to Proper Meats + Provisions. Located at 110 South San Francisco in Flagstaff, Proper Meats + Provisions is a unique community butcher shop and eatery.
The owners of Proper Meats + Provisions are also the minds behind Brix and Criollo Latin Kitchen in Flagstaff and Proper Eatery in Tucson.
Proper Meats + Provisions captures the artistry and craftsmanship of old fashioned butchery. The store stocks all the common cuts of meat, but it specializes in specialty cuts and carefully curated products. All meats sold at Proper come from animals raised humanely and sustainably.
The deli selection at Proper ranges from not only cold cuts but also to local cheeses, fresh baked breads, and house-made soups. It also offers craft beers and Arizona wines.
Randal’s Fine Meats
At 5200 East Cortland Boulevard in Flagstaff, you’ll find Randal’s Fine Meats. Randal’s is an artisanal local butcher shop selling prime cuts of meat. The meat at Randal’s is priced about equally with the best cuts sold at larger chain stores but is held to a far higher standard of quality. The cuts of finely marbled beef are especially high quality.
Randal’s expert and helpful staff gladly offer advice on choosing cuts of meat and share their own recipes for cooking them. If you need a special order, call ahead—Randal’s will be happy to provide.
Where’s your go-to place for primo cuts? Let me know in the comments below.