New Orleans is full of character and class, and its butcheries are no exception. If you’re visiting New Orleans, or even if you’re a local, you’ll want to make sure you check out the butcher shops that the city has to offer. With some of the best and most unique butcheries in the United States, New Orleans will surely impress you with the following meat shops.
1. Cochon Butcher
Cochon Butcher on Tchoupitoulas Street is a butcher shop inspired by old world meat markets. Customers at the shop can stop in for fresh meats, sandwiches and wine. The shop specializes in handpicked meats, house made terrines, and sausages. Many of its sandwiches have earned acclaim across the country from magazines and food critics. The shop does not accept reservations but customers can call ahead to order catering trays featuring delicious meats and cheeses.
There is also meat available to bring home, with several nods to New Orleans rich culinary history. Customers rave about everything from the andouille sausage to the duck confit, and there are numerous other selections for traditional old-world meats that have provided sustenance for countless generations of New Orleans eaters.
2. Cleaver & Co.
Cleaver & Co. is a full service meat shop on Baronne Street. The shop features local meats from Louisiana and Mississippi that are cut to order. As one of the few shops in the city that does custom butchery, the shop offers a unique service to customers. In addition to quality meat, each package comes with a small primer on where the meat came from, and the butchers behind the counter can answer questions about how the animals were raised and where they came from.
Cleaver & Co.’s focus on locally sourced meats puts it in a distinct class among New Orleans butcheries. The butchery has quickly made a name for itself with its regionally-minded boudin, a combination of cooked rice, pork, onions, green peppers, and New Orleans style seasonings that will please any Cajun food lover. Cleaver & Co. have also begun selling other traditonal Cajun specialties, such as stuffed chickens.
3. Rare Cuts
Another popular butchery in New Orleans is Rare Cuts on Magazine Street. The shop features hard to find meats including duck, quail, wagyu, and specialty sausages. The shop prides itself on providing customers with handpicked meat that is aged and cut according to a precise process. The meat at Rare Cuts comes from animals that were fed an entirely vegan diet with no hormones, pesticides, steroids or antibiotics. The owners or Rare Cuts have worked hard to ensure that animals used for its meat supply were raised to meet their strict specifications. In addition to high quality meats, Rare Cuts also offers a dinner to go service so customers can have dinner catered in for dinner parties.
Rare Cuts is also unique in that it operates as a high-end restaurant through their specialized in-house dinner parties. A popular option lets guests at Rare Cuts pick their own steak right out of the cooler. Parties can also waltz into the kitchen and check in during preparation, effectively having a front row seat as their food is being cooked.
Owned by Emmett Dufresne, a New Orleans native with over 23 years of butchery experience, Emmett’s Meats features beef that is wet-aged, and a few cuts that are dry aged. The shop gets most of its meat from Halpern’s, a local purveyor known for supplying many of the city’s most notable restaurants. The shop also offers homemade sausages in many creative combinations and flavors like barbecue bacon and green onion. The popular pork and crawfish etouffee version of boudin is also available at Emmett’s Meats. Jerky and meat sticks are offered at Emmett’s Meats, including a popular jerky that is flavored with brown sugar and spice and then smoked.
With all of the unique butcheries in New Orleans, there is no reason anyone should be in want of quality steak or specialty meat. You can stop in to one of the top-notch butcheries above for a taste of delicious meat and maybe even some nostalgic memories of the good old days.
Greg Mitchell is a freelance writer, currently residing in New Orleans. He loves sharing cattle and livestock advice together with his insights into regional Gulf Coast meat preparation.