As the weather warms up you start to smell a certain something in the air. It's the scent of thousands of BBQ's firing up around Melbourne as we can finally leave the house after the colder months.
But to make that BBQ truly special you're going to need some quality meats, and Melbourne has a plethora of choices. Below is a list of Melbourne's best butcher shops, those that take care in what they're doing, what they're sourcing, and how the meat is prepared, all in aid of giving you the best quality product to cook with in the kitchen, or out on the BBQ.
It's now more important than ever to support local businesses, and with the amount of street-facing butcher shops only shrinking, now's the time to head away from the supermarket and get meat that has as much care put into it as you will when you cook it.
Here are some of Melbourne's best butcher shops.
Hawthorn, Ivanhoe, Kew, Malvern, South Yarra, Glen Iris
Cannings don't call themselves the free-range butchers for nothing. With a premium range of seafood, and meat available in-store and for delivery, Cannings is your one stop shop for all things meat.
Find out more at canningsfreerangebutchers.com.au
St Kilda, Fitzroy
Andrew McConnell's specialty butchers, and as you'd expect from the team behind Supernormal and Supernormal Canteen, these are a cut above the rest. Well-sourced, ethical meat, handpicked from some of the best suppliers in the state, plus knowledgable butchers who can walk you through the different cuts, and help you prepare meat for any occasion. They've also got a sweet selection of deli staples and artisan goods to compliment your free-range chicken and chops.
Find out more at meatsmith.com.au
Richmond, Bentleigh, South Melbourne Market, QV Market, Prahran Market
Setting up shop at the markets around town as well as a couple of standalone shops, one thing's clear when you come across a Hagen's butcher shop—the quality.
Find out more at hagensorganics.com.au
Grass-fed and organic meats is what you'll get at Berties, along with everything you need to put a great dish together. They've also got a selection of hot food available, and if you sneak around the back you can take a seat in the courtyard at Little Berties and enjoy a great lunch.
Find out more at bertiesbutchers.com
Toorak, CBD, Moorabbin, Malvern (Opening Soon)
Not only do Peter Bouchier's stores look great, but the real winner is what's on display. All the best quality meat that can be sourced locally, and the service to match.
Find out more at petergbouchier.com.au
Donati’s Fine Meats
With experience that stretches all the way back to the 1960's, you know when you're shopping at Donati's Fine Meats that you're going to get the best available.
Find out more here.
Since 1976 Johnathan's has been serving up quality produce from their Smith Street location.
Find out more about jonathans.com.au
Skinner & Hackett
Situated at the top of Rathdowne Street, Skinner & Hackett do exactly what you'd expect—supply excellent meat.
Find out more at skinnerandhackett.com.au
Ben The Butcher
'Modern food; old-fashioned service' is what you're going to get at Ben The Butcher. Ask them where the product comes from and they'll be able to tell you everything about it.
Find out more at benthebutcher.com.au
Focussed on the ethical supply and welfare of the animals they butcher, you know exactly what you're paying for with a visit to Uppercuts.
Find out more at uppercutsmeat.com
Old Style Butcher
Yarraville & Williamstown
If you're looking for some meat west of the Maribyrnong then look no further than Old Style Butcher. They've got everything you need to cook up a great feast.
Find out more at oldstylebutcher.com.au
Over in the classy suburb of Canterbury you'll find no better butcher shop than Bennet's Butchery which is a sixth-generation family business, having existed since 1854.
Find out more about Bennet's Butchery here.
Char Char Char
Tucked away in the bayside suburb of Parkdale, Char Char Char offers up ethical and free-range goods sourced from local Victorian farmers.
Find out more at charcharcharbutchers.com.au
The Gourmet Meat Rack
With an 'environmental conscience and a passion for quality' you'd be hard-pressed to find a reason not to stroll into Northcote Plaza for a visit to The Gourmet Meat Rack.
Find out more at gourmetmeatrack.com.au
Continental Kosher Butchers
Serving up great kosher options since 1945. You'll find Continental products in their shop, but also in supermarkets in the area.
Find out more at continentalkosherbutchers.com.au
Len’s Quality Meats
Nestled into an inconspicuous spot on Tooronga Road, Len's provides a wide array of meat products and also offers local delivery.
Find out more at lensqualitymeats.com.au
Queen Victoria Market
Make your trip into the city worthwhile by visiting Broad’s Free Range, Fresh Food Markets, Hagen’s Organics, Nifra Poultry or Vic Meat Supply.
For more info head to qvm.com.au
There are plenty of butcher options on offer at Prahran Market, choose from Ian’s Quality Meats, J&L Quality Meats, Neil’s Meats, Gary’s Quality Meats or Hagen’s Organics.
Find out more at prahranmarket.com.au
South Melbourne Market
A wide array of butchers that includes Hagen’s Organics, Kirkpatricks Meats, Ralph’s Meat Company, South Melbourne Meats, T.O.M.S, Tony’s Meat Supply.
Get the full rundown at southmelbournemarket.com.au
Did we miss anyone? Let us know here.
You can bet your bottom dollar that these Melbourne dining institutions serve meat from these great butchers.
Image credit: Cannings Butchers | Griffin Simm