Sep-Jun: Mon-Sat, 8am-6pm; Sun, closed; Jul-Aug: Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm; Sat-Sun, closed
4, 5, 6 at 86th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
You could call Lobel's Prime Meats the grandaddy of boutique stores. Family-owned and operated since 1954, the tiny Upper East Side butcher shop offers the choicest, most exclusive meats at the steepest prices. Shopping here is no errand; it's an experience. Mounted deer and elk heads, taxidermied pheasant, and red plastic letters that spell out the family's iconic name give the tidy, oak-paneled shop a 1950s Adirondack vibe. Men in white aprons (there has yet to be a woman behind the counter) nonchalantly wield cleavers and hacksaws, busy but at the ready with help and cooking advice. In the refrigerated glass case, you'll find fresh—no meat is ever frozen here—milk-fed veal; Kurobuta pork; all-natural lamb; free-range geese, squab, and duck; and Lobel's signature product: dry-aged, flavor-intense, buttery-soft beef. They stock only the richest, most densely-marbled beef, including the Cadillac of cattle, Wagyu, which comes from the same breed that yields Kobe. The budget-wary can opt for Italian sausages, English bangers or all-beef hotdogs. Or daily ready-to-eat items like house-made meatballs, stew and pot roast or sticky barbequed ribs and picture-perfect pot pies. Roast and fried organic, free-range chickens line the storefront racks, alongside bottles of the tangy-sweet house-label barbeque sauce. If you're not in a buying mood, you can always peer through the picture window that looks into a meatlocker from the sidewalk.Extra
For mail order, call 877-783-4512.