Gruner’s Butcher & Deli
The Gruner family has been on Barkly Street for nearly 60 years, since emigrating from Hungary. Peter Gruner, a former biochemist and food technologist, took over the shop from his parents. Meats are still cured on site. Hungarian-style csabai sausages are specialty items, along with Spanish chorizo. There’s a counter dedicated jars of pickles, red cabbage and sauerkraut, too.

What are the best items for spring?
“Lamb cutlets, and nice sausages, preferably Hungarian or Italian.”

Best way to cook steak?
“Steak is best in its natural state. Don’t spoil it with sauce, just add some salt and pepper.”

Grand Final weekend trading hours:
Closed Friday
Sat 8am–3pm

227A Barkly Street, St Kilda

Berties Butchers
This Swan Street space has been a butcher shop since 1870 (although it’s changed hands a few times). Little Bertie cafe is to the rear, using produce from the store. Head butcher Darren Ewert enjoys slow-cooked meat and says beef brisket is among his customers’ favourites. There are shelves stacked with cured meats, jars of chilli and horseradish, and fresh dips sourced from around Victoria.

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Best smoking tip?
“You don’t need anything fancy to cook at home. If you have a hooded barbeque, you just need a good smoking box from Bunnings. Even though a brisket might take eight hours, it’s only the first couple of hours that you need the smoke, then just leave it to cook.”

Grand Final weekend trading hours:
Fri 7am–5pm
Sat 7am–2pm

218 Swan Street, Richmond

Peter Bouchier
Peter Bouchier has been selling premium meat from its Hawksburn shop for 33 years. Sausages are a favourite this spring, either in lamb, pea and feta or wild oregano. That said, lamb, honey and rosemary sausages are a perennial favourite, and you can’t go past the classic thin sausage. Quality is high priority here: you’ll find Cape Grim beef from Tasmania and a wide variety of Victorian meats. Most marinades are done on site, but you can also find Tracklement chutneys and mustards on the shelves.

Best way to prepare pork?
“We tell our customers to leave pork out on a plate the day before cooking to get the crackling going.”

Best meat for spring?
“Can’t go wrong with lamb.”

Grand Final weekend trading hours:
Fri 8am–1pm
Sat 8am–2pm

551 Malvern Road, Toorak

On the Collingwood side of Smith Street, Jonathan’s is bringing 20 different sausages this spring. Lamb and basil, Italian pork, Spanish beef and pork sausages with chilli, paprika and garlic, and chicken with bocconcini to name a few.

Best marinade for spring?
“Keep it simple. For lamb cutlets: oregano, olive oil and a bit of garlic. For chicken, you can’t go wrong with teriyaki sauce and a bit of lemon.”

Grand Final weekend trading hours:
Fri 6am–6pm
Sat 6am–2pm

122 Smith Street, Collingwood

More of a meat emporium than a butcher, this elegant store by Andrew McConnell and Troy Wheeler has marble counters stocked with quality meat from around Victoria. Rare cattle breeds are stocked, with aged cuts up to 28 days available. You can order just about any cut or size in store. There’s an excellent selection of wine, and locally brewed beer is available, too.

Common mistake when cooking steak?
“The grill not being hot enough. It must be hot – really, really hot.”

Biggest myth about butchers?
“That we’re unapproachable. Meat is fantastic, and it’s important for us to know that our customers are going home with the right choice, so talk to us if you’re unsure or want to learn more.”

Grand Final weekend trading hours:
Closed Friday
Sat 9am–7pm

273 Smith Street, Fitzroy