All you want to do is fire up the grill, or sear a ribeye in the cast iron pan, but the meats at Market Basket are about as desirable as attending a 500-person wedding right now. Fortunately, there are some excellent Boston-area butcher shops with tremendous products, ranging from grass-fed hanger steak to housemade sausage to whole goats. Here are the 10 best butcher shops in Boston.
The Butcher Shops
Supposedly the Rockfellers, the Kennedys, and even Julia Child herself shopped at Savenor’s. While the original Cambridge shop burned down in a 1992 fire, there are still two locations today in Beacon Hill and Union Square. You’ll find almost anything you need here, from dry-aged ribeyes to A5 wagyu and kangaroo loins. While prices can be high, the quality is fantastic, and a large proportion of their meat and seafood is sourced from the New England area. So the next time you make beef bourguignon, make sure you stop by Savenor’s.
Mayflower Poultry Co.
Mayflower Poultry, with its infamous “Live Poultry, Fresh Killed” sign, has been a Cambridge staple since 1932. While the city no longer allows roaming chickens (or their subsequent culling) in the store, Mayflower still offers affordable hormone and antibiotic-free poultry products - they’re just processed elsewhere. There are also some halal choices available. Despite the name, Mayflower sells non-winged things as well - including beef, pork, goat, and rabbit, just to name a few.
Sulmona Meat Market
Compared to some of the other butcher shops on this list, Sulmona in the North End is a pretty small place - a quail in a flock of turkeys, if you will. Yet there’s something decidedly old school and charming about it. You walk up to the butcher block, ask for your preferred cut of meat, and it’s prepared for you right on the spot. It may be the most anti-tourist thing in the North End, which is why we love it so much.
Quality Meat Market
There are a number of halal butcher shops in Boston, but Quality Meat Market in Roslindale is probably our favorite, and the customer service here is the primary reason why. The butcher - who also happens to be the owner - is an excellent resource, and he’s more than happy to talk you through your particular needs. If you’re looking for larger roasts, you can place a custom order as well. And just in case you need it, the store has a small selection of spices and pantry staples (like rice) available too.
Right down the street from Quality Meat is Tony’s Market, an Italian specialties store that doubles as a butcher shop. Tony’s is particularly well-known for their house-made pork sausages, but there’s a decent selection of red meat available too. Of course, there’s cheese, cold cuts, and chicken parm sandwiches as well, just in case you get hungry while waiting for your steak to be sliced.
M.F. Dulock in Somerville is committed to nose-to-tail butchery, so it’s a great place to go if you’re looking for a particular cut of meat. Additionally, all of their animals are sourced within 250 miles of Boston and are both hormone and antibiotic-free. One thing to note is that they don’t sell any frozen products, so their selection is significantly smaller than Savenor’s. Be sure to check their website for weekly inventory - for now, all orders must be placed online for curbside pick-up or delivery.
Walden Local Butcher Shop
Walden in the South End is pretty similar to M.F. Dulock in that they sell pasture-raised beef, chicken, pork, and lamb from New York and New England. But since their store is significantly larger, they’re still allowing in-person purchases. They’re also doing deliveries all the way from Central Jersey to Portland, Maine, if you prefer that option.
International Halal Market
You can purchase a whole goat or lamb at this Roxbury butcher shop, as well as cuts of chicken and beef. But we also enjoy the North African and Middle Eastern goods, like pomegranate sauce and dry mallow, that can be harder to find elsewhere. While you’re here, you may want to consider grabbing something from Milkweed too - it’s just down the street, and their lemon ricotta pancakes are always great.
Angel Meat Market
Angel Meat Market in Dorchester is a casual neighborhood spot that has friendly butchers and a good selection of beef, chicken, pork, and goat products. At the end of the day, that’s pretty much all we need. Unless, of course, we’re looking for pasture-raised local meats, or a spot that also happens to sell gourmet ice cream. That’s certainly not Angel, but luckily, there are other options on this list.
McKinnon's Meat Market
McKinnon’s proclaims itself as the “tenderloin of Davis Square,” but despite hours of Google searches, we’re still not sure what that means. In any case, there’s a good variety of meat and seafood to choose from here, all at a reasonable price - the porterhouse steak, for instance, is $9.99 a pound. One half of the store is also dedicated to fresh produce and prepared foods, so you can easily grab everything you need for dinner in one place. Convenience without high cost in the middle of Somerville? We’re all for it.