These days, most of us have never experienced (or have forgotten) the joy of going to a real live butcher or the intoxicating fragrance of fresh smoked meat or even the taste of imported cheese straight off the wheel.
Most of us just hit the grocery store and pick up whatever's in the neatly wrapped packages and probably on sale.
Well, it's time to pay a visit to the mom & pop meat and cheese shops and Phoenix has ten favorites that are run by real people who hand select their meats and cheese or make their own sausages by hand at their stores.
Check out our list.
German Sausage Company -- The only one of its kind in Phoenix, this authentic German sausage shop has been handmaking high quality German sausages since 1982. Here you can find everything from traditional bratwurst and Black Forest smoked ham to more exotic meats like Hausmacher Blutwurst -- an old fashioned farmer style blood sausage and Presswurst or headcheese. The shop also sells a variety of German mustard, beer, and sauerkraut to keep your meat company.
Butcher Bob's -- All the way out on the border of Surprise sits one of metro Phoenix's best old school butcher shops. Butcher Bob's offers a huge variety of high quality meats and, since it's an actual butcher shop, they can provide you with hard-to-find cuts with 24 hours notice. The butcher shop also makes a mean hamburger with bits of bacon and they carry a huge selection of smoked sausages perfect for your next party.
Von Hanson's Meats & Spirits -- Pay a visit to this giant East Valley meat shop and we promise you will leave one happy carnivore. Chicken bacon swiss brats, blue cheese ground beef, BBQ chicken breasts, housemade applewood bacon, fresh center cut pork chops, plenty of classic cut steaks and even homemade jerky are all waiting for you. Once you've made your meat selection, pick up a six pack of craft beer or an old school soda, a couple sides of gourmet cheese, and even a cheesecake from their dessert case and you'll have yourself a killer meal!
The Butcher Shoppe at Hobe Meats -- Owner and house butcher Bret Pont sells only the best possible meats out of this vintage meat shop off 16th Street and Bethany Home. Try one of the shop's prime cut midwestern aged steaks or pick up a few all natural chicken breast or pork chops to throw on the grill. If you're looking for something more exotic, the freezer is stocked with delicious cuts of wild boar, rabbit, elk, duck, and maybe, if you're lucky, kangaroo.
Stanley's Homemade Polish Sausage -- Specializing in Eastern European smoked sausages, this shop made their housemade goods for almost 60 years out of their little shop on McDowell Road -- until this past May, when the business moved into a bigger location across the street. At Stanley's, you can find everything from one of the best bites of Polish sausage you will ever have to spicy Hungarian sausages and cut-to-order bacon. While you're there, grab one of their mouthwatering smoked sausage sandwiches and a block of authentic Belgium chocolate for your sweet tooth.
Midwestern Meats -- This family owned Mesa shop is more than just a meat shop, it's also a full-service scratch bakery and restaurant. The meat side offers up rich cuts of corn-fed beef straight from Iowa, a huge selection of smoked hams, ribs, peppercorn bacon, all-natural whole chickens, and, our favorite, Midwestern Stuffed Burgers. In-house ground beef is stuffed with tasty ingredients like cheddar cheese and jalapenos or mushrooms and swiss cheese. Grab a couple to go or stop by the restaurant and let them grill one up for you.
Wedge & Bottle -- Troy and Krista Daily opened Phoenix's only real cheese shop last year and have been making our cheese dreams come true with a huge selection of hand picked goudas, cheddars, chevres, and gorgonzolas. Enough about the cheese, the shop also carries a nice selection of specialty imported meats like Serrano ham, prosciutto, and several different salamis. Snag a few slices of your favorite on one of their meat & cheese sandwich creations or just take your meat home and enjoy it with a glass of wine.
Schreiner's Fine Sausage -- If you've never had a hot dog from this Phoenix sausage institution then we suggest you get down to Schreiner's right this second. One bite of their plump and juicy dogs and you'll never go back to store bought. This sausage haven makes more than 60 different kinds of fresh and smoked sausage including turkey and chicken sausages. Not only does Schreiner's hand bone all of their meats, they also create their own spices mixes and only use natural casings. Drop in during lunch for a sausage sandwich, bag of chips, and a soda for just $5. And don't forget to pick up a couple sausages to take home for dinner!
The Bull Market -- The Bull Market opened its doors last year to fill north Scottsdale's need for high quality steaks, pork, and wild game. Their marbled steaks are naturally aged under specifically controlled temperatures for a minimum of 21 days and then each steak is trimmed by hand to ensure that you get one of the best tasting steaks in town. Pick up a gorgeous Saratoga rib eye or one of their giant bacon wrapped burgers and be sure to check out their selection of finger lickin' good barbecue sauces.
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The Meat Shop -- Bacon, bacon, kabobs, bacon, grass fed beef steaks, bacon, sausages, and more bacon. Phoenix's premier meat shop offers everything from the occasional whole pigs head, locally raised free range chickens, open range veal, pasture raised lamb, and super tender cuts of grass fed beef. They also make some of the best bacon in town (so good that you should probably order it in advance). All of The Meat Shop's meats are all natural and hormone free which means you're going to pay a little bit more than grocery store prices but the difference in taste is more than worth the money.
All our favorites lists also are available on our Best Of app -- see it in action here.
And check out our other lists: 11 Favorite Summer Cocktails from Metro Phoenix Restaurants 10 Favorite Drive-Thrus 10 Favorite Spots for Guacamole 10 Favorite Theme Restaurants 15 Favorite Late Night Eats 10 Favorite Summer Foods 7 Favorite Soul Food Places 10 Favorite Sangrias 7 Favorite Paleteria 10 Favorite Breakfast Places 10 Favorite International Markets 10 Favorite Spots for Crepes in Greater Phoenix 11 Favorite Phoenix Beers 10 Favorite Spots for Seafood in Greater Phoenix 10 Favorite Gelato Spots 10 Favorite Burrito Joints in Metro Phoenix 10 Favorite Spots for Wings in Metro Phoenix 11 Things to Eat and Drink Before You Leave Phoenix Ten Favorite Phoenix Hot Sauces and Salsas Top Ten Spots for Mac 'n' Cheese in the Valley Three Favorite Espresso Shots in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Farmers' Markets Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Eleven Favorite Favorite Places for Sushi in the Valley Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Cupcakes Eleven Favorite Barbecue Joints in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Wine Bars Ten Favorite Phoenix Irish Restaurant & Pubs Six Favorite Specialty Cocktails in Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Craft Beer Bars Ten Favorite Gourmet Pizza Shops in the Valley Five Favorite Japanese Restaurants in Phoenix Ten Favorite Margaritas in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Coffee Shops in Phoenix Five Favorite Thai Restaurants in Metro Phoenix Eleven Favorite Ice Cream Shops in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Phoenix Happy Hours Five Favorite Sonoran Dogs in the Valley Ten Favorite Hot Dogs in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Desserts in Phoenix Ten Favorite First Date Restaurants Ten Favorite Burgers in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Downtown Phoenix Restaurants for Late Night Dining Ten Favorite Vegetarian Entrees in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Chinese Restaurants in Greater Phoenix