Fluorescent-lit butcher shops with their cling-wrapped meats adorned with a ubiquitous sprig of curly parsley have undergone a revival of late. Butchers are transforming their trade and embracing their craftsmanship, turning their shops into a celebration of produce.
No longer simply meat markets, these five butchers have created spaces that are as engaging to behold as any patisserie or delicatessen.
1. 1888 Certified, Double Bay, NSW
The families of Charlie Crichton and Tim White have been farmers and graziers for over 100 years. These days the pair run a stunning meat boutique in Sydney. United by their values and 33 years of friendship, they set about dedicating 1888 Certified butchery to traceable meat with no hormones, antibiotics or animal feed. conducting audits on all their suppliers each year, you can be sure any meat bought here is 1888 certified.
2. Peter Bouchier, Toorak, Vic
There are no windows painted with frolicking lambs and pigs as if advertising their deliciousness here (a strange phenomenon, we feel); it’s all gold lettering, flat caps, cool aprons and sleek tiles. The Peter Bouchier store is an icon of the area and well-loved for its beautiful meats. If you’re staying locally and have access to a kitchen, pick up a steak or grab a deli lunchbox and find a park.
3. Meatsmith, Fitzroy, Vic
Chef Andrew McConnell and butcher Troy Wheeler have opened a meat and wine emporium where it’s not just the beef that’s marbled but also the countertop. Grab take-home meals and ask the Meatsmith sommelier about a wine to match your choice.
4. Cannings Free Range Butchers, Kew, Vic
This wood-clad space in Melbourne’s inner-east gets big ticks for its eco values and strong ethics. Produce is 100 per cent free-range and farmed using natural methods only. Here you’ll find saltbush-grazed dorper lamb from SA and fresh seafood from the south and east coasts. Also, Cannings uses renewable power from Hydro Tasmania, Australia’s largest generator of clean energy.
5. Victor Churchill, Woollahra, NSW
Perhaps the first butcher shop to display its wares as fine art rather than mere produce, Victor Puharich and his son, Anthony, have created a veritable meat gallery in Sydney’s upmarket Woollahra. Victor Churchill is described by Anthony Bourdain as the ‘most beautiful butcher shop in the world’, it’s worth visiting to simply ogle the window display.