carnivore former carnivore, I always make sure to buy my meat locally and at the cheapest price possible. It is not easy. Most butcheries are B2C (business to consumers) and sell their meat at astronomical prices.
So I came up with different strategies to game the system and take out the middle man.
1. Look For a Slaughterhouse
Some slaughterhouses host internal markets or have wholesale butcheries like in Brussels. Look for a slaughterhouse in your city, and see if they don’t have a butchery.
2. Look For B2B (Wholesale) Butcheries or Meat Sellers
If you thought restaurants bought beef for 20€/kg, think again.
Restaurants buy their meat at wholesale prices, which can be up to three times cheaper.
Look for B2B butcheries and call them to ask if there is a day in the week when you can come buy as a consumer. That’s what I did in Brugges.
3. Look For Open-Air/Farmers’ Markets
Open-air markets often have meat producers or wholesalers selling their meat at wholesale prices. That’s what I did in Warsaw.
Farmers’ markets ensure there is a minimum number of intermediaries between the farmer and you. That’s what I did in Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia.
Trick: these markets are usually called “halls”, or “hale”, in Eastern European languages.
4. Look for a farmer directly
If none of the options above are available, find the nearest farmer and call them or pay them a visit. Ask them how you can buy their meat at the cheapest price possible. Sometimes, they will be happy to sell some to you directly.
Find below a butchery directory. Right now, there aren’t many butcheries because I haven’t been traveling much, so I’ll add the new ones as I go.
The following butcheries are places where I have bought my meat, and that I recommend.
Just visit the website of the Febev. You will find a list of slaughterhouses and meat wholesalers in the entire country.
There is only one place to go buy your meat to: Foodmet. Foodmet is a giant hall with B2B butcheries that open for B2C on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You can buy delicious meat at wholesale prices.
I used to go buy my meat at Bruges Vlees Centraal for wholesale prices.
Supermarkets have interesting choices of chicken and pork (especially Rimi and Coop, avoid the others).
But the best place to buy meat is whether Balti Jaama Turg, the central market in Tallinn.
You also have plenty of other markets like this one throughout the city called “Turg”.
Beef will be around 8 euros a kilo, and pork, around 5.5 at Balti. It will be slightly cheaper in other places. The “turgs” also sell fish.
There is only one place you will need: The Centrāltirgus (I assume this means Central Market.)
It’s located next to the train station.
The hall with the butcheries is here.
You have four choices.
- Iki. They have a small butchery inside the supermarket which is located on the first floor of the bus station. They have good meat for reasonable prices by Belgian standards (7€/kg for beef and 4€/kg for pork).
- Hale Turgus. The cheapest option by far, you will find a couple of butcheries inside the main building.
- Mobilus ūkininkų turgelis Naujamiestis: This market is a “mobile” one. The day I went, there were only four small trucks selling pork, chicken, dairy and fish.
- Kalvariju Market: This market is similar to Turgus, but much bigger and with more choices. The meat is slightly more expensive than at Turgus albeit it seemed higher quality too.
There is a market every day around the halls called Hala Mirowska. You will find a lot of small butcheries selling all of the cuts you could ever dream of.
Alternatively, I sometimes went to Wierzejki.
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