If unending restaurant and food fad coverage has led you to believe New Yorkers don't know how to make a good steak dinner at home, well, you are wrong. Mostly. But while neighborhood butchers were once a staple in the city, they're now a dying breed, replaced primarily by pre-packaged supermarket cuts and pink slime. Luckily, a handful of stellar butchers have stood the test of time, and continue to serve up classic and signature meats to crowds of regulars every week. Here are a few of our favorites; please add yours in the comments.

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(Katie Sokoler/Gothamist)

THE MEAT HOOK: Joke all you want about artisanal Williamsburg hipster merchants and locally-sourced grass-fed meat; the Meat Hook has all those things, but Brooklyn butcher-pro Tom Mylan's Northside chop shop knows how to serve up some lean, mean cruelty-free beef, poultry, pork and lamb, and it somehow pulls off being entirely unpretentious while doing so. Carnivorous offerings include a variety of sausages, like bratwurst, andouille and chorizo; grass-fed beef hailing from family owned and operated slaughterhouses; mutton and lamb-belly, and all sorts of pork and charcuterie.

The Meat Hook is also committed to supporting small and local farms, and not only are they totally transparent about the farms from which their meat comes, they also donate 32 cents for every customer's dollar directly to the farms to keep them from selling out to the big meat factories.

The Meat Hook is located at 100 Frost Street between Meeker and Manhattan Ave in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-349-5033, the-meathook.com).


CASABLANCA MEAT MARKET: This always-chaotic, predominantly Spanish-speaking East Harlem butcher shop requires you to be a little adventurous, and a lot feisty. To get your meat, you choose between an express line (two items or less) or take a number and hang out against a wall—but do note that the place is always packed, and the express line may be a bit difficult to find. After you've placed your order, the butcher behind the counter will write up your price on a torn piece of paper, and send you to wait on another line, pay a man behind a glass box, and the butcher who handled your order will hand you your goods.

Yes, New Yorkers wait on many lines. But despite the market's madhouse nature—there are usually at least 10 to 15 people behind the counter, and you will have to fight to the death to get up there—the meat is always fresh, the cuts are prime and the experience is once-in-a-lifetime.

Casablanca Meat Market is located at 127 East 110th Street in East Harlem (212- 534-7350).

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(Via Yelp)

HARLEM SHAMBLES: The young(ish) butchers at this Harlem meat shop love what they do, and it shows; cuts of meat here are tender, hearty and always fresh, and like the offerings at the Meat Hook, they come from local, family-run farms. Brothers Tim and Mark Forrester sell the usual suspects, like beef, pork, poultry and lamb, but they'll also call in specialty meats like offal, rabbit and duck on demand. Harlem Shambles also offers sausages, eggs, chili and bread; best of all, though, they make delicious Cornish pasties, which are traditional meat pies originating from the English countryside. At $3-a-pop, these babies will tempt you no matter how big a steak you're planning on grilling later.

Harlem Shambles is located at 2141 Frederick Douglass Blvd in Harlem (646-476-4650, harlemshambles.com). Follow them on Facebook.

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Frank Ottomanelli (Courtesy j_bary's flickr)

OTTOMANELLI & SONS MEAT MARKET: Old-school neighborhood butchers seem to be dying out in the city these days, so it's refreshing to stop by this classic NoHo macelleria for a taste of the real deal. Opened by the late patriarch Onofrio Ottomanelli over half a century ago, the store is now run by son Frank, and continues to serve up affordable prime cuts and Italian specialty meats to customers old and new. They specialize in certified black Angus rib-eyes, bone-in and bone-out, that are all naturally aged.

Butchers at Ottomanelli's know what they're doing, and they won't let you walk out of the store with a piece of meat that isn't top quality. And the vintage storefront itself, outfitted with hanging hunks of beef and pork, should be enough to entice any self-respecting carnivore passersby.

Ottomanelli & Sons is located at 285 Bleecker Street between Commerce Street and 7th Ave in the West Village (212-675-4217).

FISCHER BROTHERS AND LESLIE KOSHER MEAT & POULTRY: No meat list is complete without at least one kosher butcher, and this Upper West Side institution is one of the best in the business. Fischer Bros. is not cheap, but what it lacks in cost it makes up for in quality. In addition to uncooked meats, they offer lots of ready-made Shabbos classics, like barbecued and fried chicken, beef brisket, London broil, veal chops and chicken livers, along with hearty sides like kugel (noodle and potato), stuffed cabbages and barley and mushrooms. They've also got chicken, lamb and veal sausages and a selection of hormone-free meats, plus you can score kosher goodies like blintzes, chocolate babka and frozen pizza bagels from their grocery and dairy.

Fischer Bros. and Leslie is located at 230 West 72nd Street between Columbus Ave and Broadway on the Upper West Side (212-787-1715, fischerbros.com).

G. ESPOSITO AND SONS JERSEY PORK STORE: The butchers at this Carroll Gardens spot will make you feel like you're a part of their family whenever you stop to pick up some of their prime pork products. The business has been in the Esposito family for about 90 years, and the shop is still a lovely throwback to a time in which neighborhood butchers ruled supreme. Cured meats hang down from the ceiling and wheels of fresh homemade sausage and their specialty, the Italian dried salami soppressata, are displayed proudly at the register. They make killer sandwiches on fresh Italian heroes, too, and you can ever order delicacies like arancini, tasty fried balls filled with rice, cheese and spices.

Esposito's is located at 357 Court Street between Union and President Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (718-875-6863).

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(Max Rivlin-Nadler/Gothamist)

LA BOINA ROJA STEAK HOUSE: Jackson Heights eatery La Boina Roja's been serving up stellar Colombian charcoal steaks and traditional dishes for years now, and they get all their meats from the neighboring butcher of the same name. The tender cuts are reasonably priced, and, in keeping with well-grilled Latin tradition, thinly-sliced. Try the fresh skirt steak, and see if you can't give it a kick as good as the one at the steakhouse next door.

La Boina Roja Steak House is located at 8022 37th Ave in Jackson Heights, Queens (718-424-6711).

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(Via Yelp)

SCHALLER & WEBER: Italian butchers might be the kings of soppressata and spicy sausage, but nothing beats a German butcher when it comes to a making a hearty, plump bratwurst. The folks over at this Yorktown shop have been making their own brats, smoked hams and cold cuts for years now, and they've got a hefty repertoire when it comes to sausage; options include signature fresh bratwursts, plump knackwurst, spicy cheddar brats and Polish and Hungarian kolbase. You can also purchase delicacies like saurkraut, mustard and horseradish, and they also sell a variety of Spätzle, a traditional German noodle.

Schaller & Weber is located at 1654 Second Ave between 85th and 86th Street on the Upper East Side (212) 879-3047, schallerweber.com). Follow them on Facebook.

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(Via Yelp)

VINCENT'S MEAT MARKET: We've praised Arthur Ave's fine collection of Italian shops and eateries in the past, so there's no way we can leave this culinary strip out of a best butchers list. Vincent's, which started slicing up meats after World War II, is a standout shop in the area, serving classic Italian custom cuts in an old-school setting. They specialize in Italian-style and dried pork sausage, strings of which hang down from the ceiling like meaty confetti. The sausage comes in a wide range of varieties, like fennel, sweet and spicy and a celebrated broccoli rabe; they also stock antibiotic-and-hormone-free poultry, and every one of their meats is a prime grade.

Vincent's Meat Market is located at 2374 Arthur Ave in Belmont in the Bronx (718-295-9048). Follow them on Facebook.

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(Via Yelp)

JAPAN PREMIUM BEEF: For the best Wagyu in town, stop by this spotless Japanese butcher shop; it specializes in the specialty beef, which comes from a breed of cattle subject to intense marbling, resulting in an extra juicy and tender meat. Favorites here include the thick tenderloin cuts, the New York strip loin and the rib-eye steaks; do note, though, that the beautiful meats come at a high cost, with steaks often clocking in at over $50-a-pound. Still cheaper than a night at Blanca, to be fair.

Japan Premium Beef is located at 57 Great Jones Street between Lafayette Street and Bowery in NoHo (212-260-2333).