The rise of vegan 'butcher' shops

Photo via The Herbivorous Butcher

The rise of vegan 'butcher' shops

Food

The rise of vegan 'butcher' shops

Oxymoronic vegan, vegetarian and plant-based ‘butchers’ have been setting up shop across the country in recent years, bringing animal-free meat alternatives to the masses.

Thriving meatless butcher shops in hipster havens like Asheville, North Carolina, Berkeley, California and Brooklyn are proving that you don’t necessarily need to slaughter a pig in order to bring home the bacon.

But for all of their success, what do vegan butchers actually sell? Here’s a peek at some of the best-sellers at five of our favorites.

The Butcher’s Son: Vegan Delicatessen | Berkeley, CA

First thing’s first; The Butcher’s Son co-owner Peter Fikaris isn’t actually the son of a butcher. In fact, his father owned the 1950s Berkeley vegetarian restaurant Michael’s American Vegetarian Diner, so soy milk is practically part of the family genome. Even so, Fikaris and co-owner Christina Stobing have been serving up plant-based proteins since opening their doors in 2016.

What to order: Try the fried chicken parmesan, roast beef reuben, or Tempeh tuna melt. Again, each of these are totally meat-free!

No Evil Foods | Asheville, NC

No Evil Foods owners Sadrah Schadel & Mike Woliansky have made it their mission to produce meat from plants that can go toe-to-toe with OG animal proteins. After naming their company after the lesser known fourth “do no evil” monkey, Shirazu, they’ve committed to helping lead the way in promoting a healthier diet with a dramatically smaller carbon imprint.

What to order: Pit Boss smoked pulled pork, Comrade Cluck no-chicken, or El Zapatista chorizo are all best-sellers. Having trouble deciding where to start? Kickstart your meatless education with a shippable variety pack.

The Abbott’s Butcher | Los Angeles & Orange County, CA 

When The Abbott’s Butcher founder Kerry Song grew tired of eating her umpteenth black bean burger or quinoa salad, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Today, Abbott’s Butcher delivers artisanal plant-based meats crafted from pure whole-foods ingredients directly to consumer doors in California, New York and Colorado, so nobody has to ever suffer through an uninspired meatless Monday ever again.

What to order: Abbott’s burgers, both “turkey” and “beef” are customer favorites, and the recipes section on their site gives instructions on how to prepare dishes like Paella with artichoke hearts and almonds, or Tarragon chicken penne.

Monks Meats: Vegetarian Butcher Shop & Delicatessen | Brooklyn, NY

This NYC pop up and wholesaler is 100% meat and dairy free, but that doesn’t stop the ‘butchers’ at Monks Meats from producing seriously mouth-watering steaks. Whether they are hawking their own animal alternatives or supplying local restaurants with the goods for their own inventive creations, the folks at Monks know their meat.

What to order: If we’re talking online orders, try the truffled seitan steaks or meatless meatballs in marinara. Or catch Monks out in the wild at Captain Dan’s Good Time Tavern, where a recent pop up featured a country-fried seitan sandwich with sweet cherry peppers and balsamic aioli.

The Herbivorous Butcher | Minneapolis, MN

Brother and sister owners Aubry and Kale Walch got their start as a stand in the Minneapolis Farmers Market. They took their vision of a 100% vegan butcher shop a step further with a successful Kickstarter campaign, and today run The Herbivorous Butcher and Herbivorous Acres, a 501(c)3 non-profit farm sanctuary.

What to order: By far the most expansive menu that we’ve seen out there when it comes to meatless meats, Herbivorous boasts 31 different “meats” on their daily menu ranging from Korean ribs to Maple sage breakfast sausage. About a dozen cheese-free cheeses like Smoked gouda and Dill Havarti round out the menu. Try them both together on one of the shop’s daily hot-pressed sandwiches.

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