If anything ever seemed in limitless supply in Alberta, it’s protein. The province’s prairies and pastures are tailor-made for raising cattle and hogs, while our vast wilderness supports game like deer and elk. We also have a skilled roster of butchers—some with decades of experience and others who’ve recently graduated from the highly regarded butchery program at Olds College—to help get that meat from field to table.
With barbecue season upon us, look to the professionals on this list of top Alberta butcher shops. Trust their expertise and you’re sure to get some tasty tidbits for your grill.
Whether you’re looking for links for the grill or a special holiday item like bison or turducken, Ryan’s Meats has you covered. They’re also one of the biggest processors of wild game in Calgary; if you have a deer or moose that needs to be processed into steaks for the grill, this is the place to take it. Ryan’s is proud to feature locally raised beef but is also one of the few places in the country to carry Japanese A5 Wagyu beef as well.
Cold-smoked rib-eye steak. Those four words should be all it takes to make you seek out this butcher shop in Calgary’s Mission district. Smoked steaks have an added dimension of flavour that you’ll notice at the very first bite. This shop also provides Alberta-raised elk, bison and pork, plus an array of prepared dishes from local ventures like Good Honest Food and Pioneer Butchery and Charcuterie.
Locally raised livestock is used for everything from smoked pork chops and breakfast patties to sausages made by hand from “old-style German recipes”—which the owner brought when he moved to Alberta almost 20 years ago. The main retail outlet is in Caroline but they set up at the Red Deer and Innisfail farmers’ markets as well.
Every item at this Red Deer butcher is locally raised, including the rare Piedmontese beef, an Italian breed with “double muscling”, a genetic trait that yields a lean yet incredibly tender meat that’s protein-rich and low in saturated fats, cholesterol and calories. Many of Messinger’s other products, including veal, lamb and gluten-free sausages, are also available at Italian Centre Shops province-wide.
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The campus features a working retail butcher shop where students apply their training to prepare meat products that they’ve cut and made from Alberta-raised livestock. Many an Alberta butcher received their meat-processing certification at Olds College. When you buy products here, you not only support local farmers, you keep the students practicing too.
This Lacombe shop proudly supports local farmers and ranchers who implement sustainable environmental practices while ethically raising their animals on the open prairie. From grass-fed beef to cage-free chickens—plus cured meats and sausage made from bison, elk and wild boar—Rangeland carries delectable products for the grill and beyond.
The consideration of animal welfare and environmental sustainability is first and foremost in the approach to farming and butchery at TK Ranch, which rests among northern fescue grassland about 50 kilometres northeast of Hanna. For 25 years, the ranch has been selling nutrient-dense beef, lamb and pasture raised pork at their small farm store east of Chestermere—and also offers home delivery.
Second-generation butcher Corey Meyer set up Acme Meats in Edmonton’s new Ritchie Market—right across from where his parents’ own shop stood for 50 years. The space may be modern but the tradition of butchery is ingrained. It’s just one of the many reasons why some of the city’s top chefs get their meats from Acme.
BLACKMAN’S BUTCHER SHOP
For more than 20 years, this butcher has been serving Grande Prairians premium cuts of Alberta-raised beef, pork, poultry and more. Their house-smoked and custom-cured products—ranging from jerky to boneless hams to smokies—are also a cut above.
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THE BUTCHERY AT RGE RD
Adjoining Rge Rd, an Edmonton restaurant that’s consistently included in “best of” lists nationwide, The Butchery is a sleek space that’s nevertheless rooted in old-world charm. The glass-fronted dry-ageing wall allows customers to peruse cuts of elk, bison, beef, pork, and the desirable Nonay Wagyu beef raised nearby. Everything you need for a gourmet meal is here: wine, beer, deli salads, bread, and of course, premium proteins.
POPOWICH MEAT COMPANY
Mike Popowich graduated at the top of his Olds College class and opened his shop in 2018—much to the joy of southwest Edmonton residents. Pride of workmanship shows itself in the mouth-watering cuts displayed in the butcher case. Need advice on how to prepare that locally raised rack of lamb or the ready-to-go stuffed pork tenderloin? Any of the food aficionados on staff will be glad to assist.
Offering a full range of butcher-shop products and services at two locations, Premium Meats is a go-to for Fort McMurray meat lovers. Custom processing of wild game is a specialty, but the shops are also packed to the brim with premium Alberta beef, fresh produce and much more. Not enough time to cook? Call ahead for a hot-and-ready roast with baked potatoes.
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