As recently as 2015, the term “vegan butcher shop” was an unheard of oxymoron. Today, with dozens popping up throughout the world, the phrase doesn’t raise an eyebrow. These cleaver-slinging vegan entrepreneurs have proved that you can make meat from plants, and they’re changing the definition of butcher shop for good. From Berkeley, CA to Victoria, BC, here are the best vegan butcher shops that have the meats.
1. The Herbivorous Butcher, Minneapolis, MN
Many attribute the sister-and-brother duo behind the Herbivorous Butcher for pioneering the plant-based butcher movement. Kale and Aubry Walch opened up shop in January 2016 with an extensive menu of deli meats, cheeses, steaks, sausages, and ribs. Today, they’re shipping their products nationwide and educating the mainstream audience about what vegan eating can be. The team appeared on hit Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives the same year they opened, pleasantly shocking celebrity chef host Guy Fieri with their Vegan Turkey and Dill Havarti Sandwich.
2. Very Good Butchers, Victoria, Canada, and US shipping
Not far behind The Herbivorous Butcher, this Canadian vegan butchery began at a farmers’ market stall in 2016 before opening its brick-and-mortar in 2017. The company places an emphasis on butchering beans to make their meaty products, along with mixing in natural ingredients such as jackfruit, wheat gluten, and mushrooms. We love that we’re familiar with all of the ingredients on the label. Items range from vegan steaks to burger patties, plus sausages and chorizo.
3. Yam Chops, Toronto, Canada
Those who have been vegan for a while may have forgotten how to season and prepare meat. Yam Chops takes this hassle out of your dinner prep by offering a wide variety of seasoned, ready-to-go vegan meats. Rare yet delicious finds include Chick*N Schnitzel, Hickory BBQ Ribs, Szechuan Beef, and other internationally inspired protein options.
4. The Butcher’s Son, Berkeley, CA
Like The Herbivorous Butcher, The Butcher’s Son is way more than a vegan meat shop. This college town deli serves a full menu for lunch and brunch in addition to an extensive and mouthwatering bakery menu. However, if you’re there just for the meat, they’ve got you covered with packaged smoked pastrami slices, seasoned steak slices, and more.
5. Chef Tanya’s Kitchen, Palm Springs, CA
When the founder of Native Foods—Tanya Petrovna—sold the company, she set up her own quaint cafe in a nondescript strip mall in Palm Springs, CA. Despite the remote location and lack of foot traffic, the restaurant flourished in the hot California sun. Petrovna now ships her seitan-based best-sellers nationwide. The Turkey Love Roast, pastrami slices, and BBQ ribs are all excellent choices.
6. Abbot’s Butcher, US nationwide
This Southern California vegan meat company got its start by sampling its fantastic chorizo at health food stores. The selection of vegan beef, chicken, meatballs, and burgers can now be found at west coast Whole Foods and other grocers. Nationwide shipping is also available via online retailer GTFO It’s Vegan. Fun fact: this VegNews editor once worked as an Abbot’s Butcher sample girl. I watched many skeptic omnivores light up in complete shock that vegan chorizo was “actually good.”
7. Before the Butcher (UNCUT), California
Originally a wholesale distributor for foodservice, this Orange County, CA brand expanded into retail, beginning at a single Bristol Farms location in Yorba Linda. The plant-based butcher now has a line of meaty vegan burgers, crumbles, shreds, and chunks sold under its UNCUT brand. To find these products at a grocer near you, visit the company’s store locator page.
Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and fitness enthusiast living in Orange County, CA.