Meet your (sausage) maker: Vancouver butcher shops

Just like produce markets, fish counters, cheese shops and bakeries, butcher shops are back in full force as Vancouverites swap their massive weekly shop for more frequent outings for fresh, quality foods at specialty stores. These high-quality purveyors sell an array of meats free of antibiotics and hormones. Most are free-range, many organic.

Oyama Sausage Co

126-1689 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9

You’ll know the Oyama Sausage stall at Granville Island’s Public Market by the throngs of people, five-deep, vying to place their order. Known, of course, for their sausage, they also offer a selection of cured meats, pâtés and international cheeses. But their sausages are what bring them fame — Bratwurst, chorizo and Mennonite sausage, as well as more adventurous flavours like butter chicken and miso pork. Experiment to find your favourite — that long line in front of you has already found theirs.

Co Harkness

When twenty-something Patrick Harkness opened his shop, he knew being a sole proprietor was the route for him. Opting for the cheaper rent that his Fraser location afforded, his risk is paying off, despite his youth and the somewhat shady location. Locals flock for grass-fed meat and game including bison and venison, which are all non-medicated, and hormone- and steroid-free. Harkness & Co. Butchers also smokes and cures its own bacon and sausages. Judging by his regular customers, a butcher shop was exactly what the area needed.

Pete's Meat Inc

2817 Arbutus St, Vancouver, BC V6J 0E6

Pete’s Meat quickly became the go-to butcher shop and deli for both the discerning Kits locals and those from farther afield seeking free-range meats free of hormones and antibiotics. Whether over the phone or in person, friendly knowledgeable staff are happy to take your order. But why not stop in? Their sandwich counter and small tables are the perfect place to grab lunch during your weekend shopping errands and their growing selection of groceries means you’ll have one less stop to make.

Windsor Quality Meats

4110 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P7

This family-run business has been serving the South Main area since it first opened its doors in 1946. While no doubt enjoying a resurgence in popularity thanks to the recent new-old trend of purchasing meat directly from the butcher, Windsor Meats never wavered on their quality offering. Stocking beef, chicken, sausages and other pork products as well as seafood and even gourmet dog food, their commitment to organic products and top quality is evident in their longevity.

Big Lou's Butcher Shop

269 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1G3

Priding themselves on the old-world style of nose-to-tail butchery, Big Lou’s east of Gastown stocks an array of meats, poultry and game from local BC farmers. Aside from their sandwich counter and their custom picnic baskets, they also offer classes like deer butchery and sausage making 101. No time to cook dinner tonight? Check out their selection of restaurant-quality, prepared meats that just require you to turn on the oven and toss a salad.

Save On Meats

43 Hastings St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G4

Lovingly and impeccably restored to the butcher shop it once was, Save On Meats continues its tradition of offering quality meats, butchered and cut on site, at affordable prices. Their wide variety includes AAA beef, house-made sausage, New York corned beef, pepperoni and rotisserie chickens, as well as prime cuts of meats, eggs, cheese and the very special Save On Meats bacon and chocolate chip cookie. Mouth watering? Stop by their take-out window for an excellent $6 pulled-pork sandwich.

When it comes to cooking at home, it helps to have the right tools for the job. From the basics like a frying pan, wooden spoon, sharp knife and cutting board to the more obscure, like a cherry pitter, pizza peel or tortilla press, these stores have you covered. [Photo courtesy of Yellow Pages]
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