Gibbs Butcher BlockWhy We Love It: Located in a historic, 150-year-old building, the 29-year-old shop handcrafts more than 40 kinds of gourmet sausage each week such as peach or spaghetti and meatballs. "We really don't make any traditional sausages," says owner Jim Dixon. "We like to mix things up." Try This: The apple bacon pumpkin sausage ($5.99 a pound), made with all Ohio pork, is a wonderful mix of sweet and savory.
9858 E. River Road, Columbia Station, 440-235-2766, gibbsbutcherblock.com
The Sausage ShoppeWhy We Love It: The shop has been making traditional sausage, such as kielbasa and bologna, since 1938 with no additives, preservatives, fillers, nitrates or MSG. "Taste is what really makes us special," says co-owner Carol Heinle. "It's the reason people come back." Try This: The Holiday Kielbasa ($9.99 a pound), a mix of beef and pork, features mustard seed, garlic and a sauterne wine — a sweet white from France.
4501 Memphis Ave., Cleveland, 216-351-5213, sausageshoppe.com
TJ's Butcher Block and DeliWhy We Love It: The 900-square-foot spot is known for its steaks and specialty burger blends such as sirloin, beef brisket and short ribs. "We're an old-time butcher shop where you come in and get exactly what you want," says owner Kevin MacDonald. Try This: The prime rib roast ($13.99 a pound) comes with a hotel cut, where the bone is cut off and attached separately for use in stocks and grilling.
14415 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-521-3303, tjsbutcherblock.com
Tibor's Kosher MeatsWhy We Love It: While Tibor's has everything you need for Shabbat, such as brisket and challah bread, its audience is not strictly Jewish. "We have a nice mix of clientele," says owner Tibor Rosenberg. "We sell lamb chops, pepper steaks, beef jerky, salami sticks and Romanian pastrami." Try This: Tibor's famous smoked turkey ($11.59 a pound) is cured, marinated and then smoked for 10 hours to give it a rich depth of flavor.
2185 S. Green Road, Cleveland, 216-381-7615
Vince's MeatsWhy We Love It: A staple of the West Side Market for 30 years, owner Vince Bertonaschi has been a butcher since he was 20. "I put my heart into it," he says of breaking down all his own beef by hand. "I just think it's one of the greatest things to do." Try This: The hand-cut brisket ($4.39-$4.69) is perfect for smoking or roasting.
1979 W. 25th St., Cleveland, 216-621-5703