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The Best Butcher Shops in San Diego

Japanese A5 Wagyu, dry-aged goodness, and Kobe beef—check out the top places to buy meats for summer grilling
San Diego butcher shop Wise Ox in North Park and La Costa featuring a variety of cuts of raw meat
Courtesy of Wise Ox

Despite June gloom, it’s finally time to drag out your grills and start prepping your kitchen for a summer full of the finest grilled meats. There’s nothing quite like three uninterrupted months dedicated solely to hot charcoal, a full gas tank, and unhealthy amounts of barbecue sauce. Sure, there are tons of grilling guides out there (not that you, a grill master, would need one), but what about a guide on where to find the types of meats that deserve to be grilled?

San Diego’s butcher shops offer something for every meat lover, from premium Wagyu to sustainable, locally sourced meats. It’s your time to impress your friends and family with your knowledge of meat cuts and to argue about the best way to smoke these premium proteins. Plus, it’s never too early to start preparing for that unspoken Fourth of July BBQ competition that you must win this year.

So, whether you’re a meat connoisseur who never misses a cook out or just a casual carnivore like me, we’ve got you covered with nine of the best butcher shops in San Diego.

Interior of San Diego butcher shop Wise Ox in North Park and La Costa
Courtesy of the Wise Ox

The Wise Ox

With two locations in North Park and La Costa, The Wise Ox offers a unique butcher experience. You can sign up for a class to practice your knife skills and learn breakdown techniques on a heritage breed pig, then treat yourself to a generous Philly cheesesteak sandwich. Chef Brad Wise (Rare Society, Fort Oak) and his team have also curated the Ox Box, a monthly meat subscription featuring around 10 pounds of premium proteins, all vacuum-sealed for easy storage. The box even includes recipes and tricks for dishes like Shawarma Whole Chicken and Mojo Pork Loin.

7750 El Camino Real Suite P, La Costa and 2855 El Cajon Blvd #1, North Park

Iowa Meat Farms Siesel’s Meat

Since 1968, Siesel’s Old Fashioned Meats and its sister shop, Iowa Meat Farms, have been San Diego’s best-kept secrets, catering to home-cooking enthusiasts and local foodies alike. Known for their friendly environment and butchers who know regulars by name, these shops offer an impressive array of more than 300 cuts of beef, Berkshire pork, free-range poultry, and even exotic meats like alligator and ostrich. Beyond meat, their vast retail spaces are stocked with top-notch produce, artisanal cheeses, gourmet condiments, and specialty items from near and far. Who knows, maybe alligator is the flare you didn’t know your grilling needed. 

6041 Mission Gorge Rd, Grantville and 4131 Ashton Street, Bay Park

San Diego butcher shop called Swagyu Chop Shop offering a large variety of Wagyu meat cuts
Courtesy of Swagyum Chop Shop

Swagyu Chop Shop

Calling all Wagyu enthusiasts who believe beef deserves nothing less than the five-star life. Swagyu Chop Shops offers Wagyu deliveries nationwide. But for the ultimate flavor fest, you can savor it in person at one of their restaurant locations scattered across San Diego. Swagyu Chop Shop prides itself on sourcing the finest Wagyu from the USA, Australia, and Japan, including the envy-inducing Japanese Hyogo Kobe Beef. You can even embark on a Wagyu world tour via one of its specialty bundles.

Sepulveda Meats & Provisions

Sepulveda Meats & Provisions is a beloved neighborhood butcher shop in Golden Hill, known for its warm customer service and tasty meats. With interesting offerings like fresh quail and a mass selection of sausages, it’s a must-visit for meat lovers. It’s no surprise that locals eagerly anticipate their daily chalkboard updates showcasing the latest sausage selections. I think it’s time to break up with the grocery store (and move to Golden Hill).

1220 28th St, Golden Hill

Interior of San Diego butcher shop, The Butchery in Del Mar
Courtesy of The Butchery Quality Meats

The Butchery

The Butchery, with its latest location in Del Mar, is a great spot for high-quality meats, artisan cheeses, craft beer, and wine. This isn’t just a typical butcher shop; it’s an all-in-one gourmet grocery store and meat-dedicated restaurant with a hand-cut meat selection ready for you to take home. Dubbed “Best Butcher Shop in San Diego” in 2019, it offers a selection ranging from dry-aged and wet-aged steaks to an extensive list of pre-marinated meats and even more obscure options.

3720 Caminito Ct #200, Del Mar

Ranch 45

Who doesn’t love their meals with a side of community spirit and a dash of dry-aged goodness? Just across from the Del Mar race track, Ranch 45 is Solana Beach’s hidden gem for those who appreciate quality eats and meats. Whether you’re stopping by for beef tallow fries, steak tasting or picking up some dry aged cuts from their small butcher shop, it’s clear they take their farm-to-table mission seriously. With all-natural meats and a commitment to no-hormone, no-antibiotics products, it’s the kind of place that feels as welcoming as it does delicious.

512 Via De La Valle #102, Solana Beach

Interior of The Meatery in Grantville  featuring a box saying "the best steak of your life"
Courtesy of The Meatery

The Meatery

If you are not a world traveler, don’t worry, your meats still can be. Founded during the pandemic, The Meatery provides restaurant-quality proteins to consumers, with special Meatery box deals and specials. They specialize in Japanese A5 Wagyu, Australian Wagyu, and American Wagyu, along with other first-rate meats. For the ultimate Wagyu experience, head to Mission Gorge, where their entire Wagyu inventory awaits, alongside prime beef, veal, fish, premium pork and lamb from New Zealand.

6160 Fairmount Avenue, Grantville

Tip Top Meats

At Tip Top Meats, it really is “all about the meats.” This butcher shop has been a carnivore’s dream since 1967, with owner John Haedrich emphasizing, “there is no substitute for quality.” Not only do they offer delectable dishes at their Eatery and a European market full of specialty items, but they’re also one of Southern California’s last hanging meat buyers, guaranteeing freshness and flavor. From their hand-cut Angus Beef steaks and praised service to custom orders and whole-roasted specialties, they’re ready to turn any office party into a delicious soiree. 

6118 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad

Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher

Craving a woodfired elk rack chop? Thought so. Cowboy Star serves up this dish in their rustic, cowboy-themed restaurant (complete with exposed beam ceilings). Open Monday to Thursday 3 p.m.-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 4 p.m.-10:30 p.m., Sunday 4 p.m.-9 p.m., they feature prime cuts like New York Strip, 21-day aged Prime Ribeye, and Hokkaido A5 Wagyu NY Strip flown in from Japan. Best of all, you can embark on a complete culinary adventure and indulge in to-go favorites like macaroni and cheese and chocolate chip bread pudding.

640 Tenth Ave, Downtown

By Isabella Dallas

Isabella Dallas is an editorial intern at San Diego Magazine and is serving as the Arts and Culture Editor at The Daily Aztec for her last year at San Diego State University. When not writing, she enjoys trying the best coffee spots in SD, reading the latest rom-coms, and indulging in anything and everything pop culture.

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