NYC butchers: Where to get the best steaks, chops, sausage, more

At one time, butchers were arguably as important as the family doctor. A shop that was trusted, knowledgeable and helpful could make or break the eating habits of families of all sizes.

But butchers are back in fashion. As consumers become more and more interested in where their meat comes from and how it was raised, butchers are increasingly on our minds – and helping feed our bellies.

New York City is flush with butcher shops of all types. Here are some of the best.

Honest Chops (Manhattan)

Best for: halal, ethically raised and antibiotic-free meats

Don't miss: filet mignon, pre-made burger patties and short rib burgers

Honest Chops was created by three friends who weren't happy with the halal choices around the city, according to their website. Russell Kahn, Bassam Tariq and Khalid Latif started the butcher shop to fill that void, using only ethically raised meat. In addition to cage-free chicken, organic beef, lamb and prepared food packages, Honest Chops also offers turkey that you can order online for pickup or delivery. Buy an additional turkey for a family in need, and you'll get 15 percent off. (319 E. Ninth St., East Village,

The Meat Hook (Brooklyn)

Best for: Humanely-raised meat devotees

Don't miss: Its homemade meat sauce and chicken herb sausages

The Meat Hook is what you picture when you think of an artisanal, locally minded Brooklyn butcher shop. The ambience is fun and party-driven, and the meat is sourced from in-state farms. The Meat Hook also specializes in "whole-animal" butchery, which means all parts of the animal are used and sold after it is broken down. Stop by and learn about a new cut and how to prepare it. (397 Graham Ave., Williamsburg,

G. Esposito & Sons Jersey Pork Store (Brooklyn)

Best for: Dried, spicy soppressata junkies

Don't miss: In addition to meat, prepared foods and ravioli, Esposito's also sells one of the best Italian sandwiches in NYC, stuffed with mortadella, sopressata, prosciutto, provolone and red peppers.

There's a giant pig in front of this butcher shop in Carroll Gardens, making sure anyone passing by knows what's inside the shop. Open since 1922, this is the place to visit when in the mood for Italian-accented fresh or dried sausages or other cuts of meat. It's also the type of place where pictures of James Gandolfini posing with the owner of the shop hang prominently beside drying sausages. (357 Court St., Carroll Gardens, 718-875-6863)


Staubitz Market (Brooklyn)

Best for: Italian specialties and artisanal cheese

Don't miss: The selection of game, including rabbit, squab and wild boar

Open since 1917, Staubitz is well known for excellent service and choice cuts. And if you're a cheese lover, you have some 50 options to choose from. The shop also carries provisions, including stocks, vinegars and breads and

(222 Court St., Cobble Hill,

Dickson's Farmstand Meats (Manhattan)

Best for: Local-food addicts

Don't miss: The house-made roast beef (available as a sandwich with horseradish crema on the full lunch menu)

Another of the whole-animal, small local farms butcher shops to open in the recent past in NYC, Dickson's prides itself on just how true to that ethos it is. Sausages, charcuterie and beef jerky are made in-house, produced with parts of the animal left over after it's been broken down into steaks and other cuts. Dog owners might want to sniff out the Farm-to-Bowl dog food. (Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave.,

Ottomanelli Bros. Butcher Shop (Queens)

Best for: Italian-sausage seekers

Don't miss: The house-made steak burgers, made with prime cuts of beef

Ottomanelli has been slinging steaks and chops since 1900. Like many good butchers that have remained in operation for so long, Ottomanelli Bros. is still family-owned and -run. In addition to meats, this butcher shop sells Italian prepared foods like ziti and antipasta. It is loosely connected to the butcher shop O. Ottomanelli & Sons in the Village; the owners are cousins. (1549 York Ave. and 190-21 Union Turnpike, Flushing,

Schaller & Weber (Manhattan)

Best for: Charcuterie and bratwurst fiends

Don't miss: Schaller's Stube Sausage Bar, right next door

Schaller & Weber, a family-run business since the 1930s, is one of the last remaining vestiges of the Upper East Side's Germantown. Jeremy Schaller, pictured, carries on his ancestor's tradition of German-style sausage and charcuterie making. The complete shop also sells German cheese, coffee and sauerkraut. (1654 Second Ave., Yorkville,

Kiszka Meat Market (Brooklyn)

Best for: Polish meats and cheeses

Don't miss: the cabbage rolls, wiejska, kabanosy and krakowska

This market specializes in several types of Polish kielbasa, smoked ham and European cheeses, and also carries imported butter, jam and chocolates from Poland. (915 Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint)

Fleishers Craft Butchery (Manhattan)

Best for: Respectful meat eaters

Don't miss: Dry-aged steaks, available in various stages of aging, from weeks to months

Fleishers started butchering animals in upstate Kingston in 2004. Today they have multiple butcher shops (including two in Connecticut), a restaurant and a butcher-training program. Fleishers is committed to selling meat from pasture-raised and hormone and antibiotic-free animals -- from small, area farms -- and adheres to the philosophy of "nose-to-tail" butchery. (192 Fifth Ave., Park Slope; 1325 Third Ave., Upper East Side;

Vincent's Meat Market (Bronx)

Best for: The Arthur Avenue voyeur

Don't miss: Italian-style dried sausages.

Vincent's started, like many businesses on Arthur Avenue, as a full-fledged Italian shop -- the specialty was baccala (salt cod). Today the tradition of in-house sausage making continues, but you can even find non-Italian items, like chorizo, on the menu. (2374 Arthur Ave., Belmont,

Florence Meat Market (Manhattan)

Best for: Nostalgia fans

Don't miss -- you couldn't even if you tried -- the sawdust-strewn floor, because it's just cool.

Another longtime Village staple, Florence is small and features vintage white porcelain scales. There's a refrigerated case holding various cuts and house-made sausages, so just scan and see what you find; it's all carved fresh daily by the in-house butchers. (5 Jones St., Greenwich Village, 212-242-6531)

Hudson & Charles (Manhattan)

Best for: High-end and modern meat freaks

Don't miss: Specials like pork rinds and roasted chicken

Focused on sourcing meat from humanely treated animals, if you live in Manhattan, your pork, poultry, lamb and grass-fed beef can be delivered to your door within a couple of hours. The shop is also known for its rotating list of sandwiches made with meat butchered in-house and growlers of beer and cider. (524 Hudson St., Greenwich Village; 555 Amsterdam Ave., Upper West Side;

Fischer Bros. and Leslie (Manhattan)

Best for: Certified Kosher meats and prepared foods

Don't miss: Jewish staples like brisket (pictured)

Fischer Bros. has been open since 1949 on the Upper West Side and is known for its wide variety of meats . If you're hosting a party, you can stock up on everything you'll need here, from cold cut platters to beef and lamb to latkes and chopped liver. (230 W. 72nd St.,

O. Ottomanelli & Sons (Manhattan)

Best for: Appreciators of old-school vibes

Don't miss: The wild game birds and animals, including ostrich, camel, squab and elk, that the shop is known for

This quaint Italian butcher shop was opened by Onofrio Ottomanelli more than 60 years ago, and it is still family run, now by the Ottomanelli brothers Frank, Jerry and Joe. (285 Bleecker St., West Village, 212-675-4217)