Houston’s Best Butchers, Deli Counters and Meat Markets
550 Heights Blvd.
Charcuterie, heritage pork, grass-fed beef
When Revival Market opened in the Heights in 2011, it was the first grocery store in the city to sell house-cured charcuterie and salumi. A partnership between chef Ryan Pera and gentleman pig farmer Morgan Weber, the market features a chalkboard map behind the meat counter showing where its grass-fed cattle, Texas lambs, and pastured pigs were raised. In fact, all the meats are local, with the bacon and pork chops coming from heritage pigs raised in pastures on the Weber family’s farm in Yoakum.
Pete’s Fine Meats
5509 Richmond Ave.
Cajun sausage, cochon de lait, stuffed poultry, exotic meats, wild game processing
Barbecue cook-off competitors buy their Kobe briskets here, while Cajuns come for the cochon de lait (whole suckling pigs). There are turduckens for the holidays, stuffed chickens for quick and easy dinners, and turtle meat for making soup, as well as more exotic offerings in Pete’s freezer case—think alligator, bear, rattlesnake, python, elk, and moose. The meat market—started in 1932 by George Duran and passed down to his son-in-law Pete Cruz in 1962—is a popular place for hunters to get their ducks, quail, venison, or wild turkey processed. And because Houstonians are inordinately fond of dining in butcher shops, there’s a restaurant attached to the butcher counter where you can eat a good cheeseburger and some fairly decent barbecue as well.
B&W Meat Market
4801 N. Shepherd Dr.
Barbecue meats, house-made sausage, custom cuts
Don’t come to this old-fashioned neighborhood butcher, open since 1959, looking for USDA Choice or Prime—B&W sells the less expensive USDA Select, and for slow-smoked barbecue, that’s good enough. Barbecue aficionados love the variety of custom-cut beef ribs, briskets, and sausage (over 30 kinds, many of them house-made). There are all kinds of pork cuts, including chops, loins, tenderloins, and crown roasts for the oven; bacon, smoked hocks for the beans, and tasso for the jambalaya; and shoulders and ribs for smoking. The store sells barbecue marinades, sauces, and rubs, and if you make your own sausage, you can get natural hog casings here. There’s also hardwood charcoal, mesquite chunks, and the little cotton dishwashing mops used by pit masters for basting meat. Look for the giant steer on the sign out front.
Beef, pork, chicken
The larger H-E-B stores carry USDA Prime and Choice steaks and roasts, along with bison meat, lamb, and other top cuts for grilling. The in-house butchers are eager to please if you need a whole chuck roast ground into chili meat (ask them to use the half-inch die) or you’re looking for custom-cut meat. Barbecuers keep an eye out for the frequent specials on packer’s-cut briskets, pork picnics, and Boston butts. And if you don’t mind paying a little more for high-quality poultry, there’s Central Market–brand air-chilled chicken, halal chicken, and Sanderson Farms natural chicken.
3815 Westheimer Rd.
Dry-aged, Wagyu, natural and USDA Prime beef, veal, lamb, duck
When the butcher calls your number at the busiest meat counter in the city, you feel the pressure of a whole lot of people in line behind you as you eye the dizzying selection. Steaks include USDA Prime, Japanese-quality Wagyu, no-hormone natural Angus, 21-day dry-aged natural Angus, and American grass-fed beef. There’s also your choice of natural Rocky Mountain lamb or grass-fed lamb; and if you like osso buco or veal scallopini, you’ll be relieved to know that the Strauss Veal sold here is compassionately raised and 100 percent tether- and crate-free. There’s also the best selection of poultry in town, including Long Island and Muscovy duck. Trust us, the meat’s worth whatever anxiety you have to go through to get it.
Adam’s Halal Meat
12280 Westheimer Rd.
Halal goat, lamb, chicken
The butchers at Adam’s will be delighted to custom-cut your halal goat meat for you—halal lamb and chicken are also available. And don’t miss the cafe and grill attached to the market, which offers halal hamburgers and excellent chicken shawarma.
5300 N. Braeswood Blvd.
This is the place to look for lamb on the bone or fresh-slaughtered Kosher meats and poultry for your Passover celebration. Just past the meat counter, there’s an excellent selection of smoked fish.
Burt’s Meat Market
5910 Lyons Ave.
Breakfast sausage, boudin
This Fifth Ward meat market sells the best breakfast sausage in the city and arguably the best boudin (spelled boudain here, East Texas–style). There’s also a steam table with a great lunch.