The No-Fail Guide to Getting Your Thanksgiving Turkey


Turkey. It's undeniably one of the biggest achievements of any Thanksgiving spread. But before you cook it, you gotta buy it. Don't leave home without our handy guide to SF's best turkey slangers.

Olivier's Butchery, 1074 Illinois Street, 415-558-9887

This distinctly French butchershop not only offers free-range Branigan's turkeys, which are $4.99 a pound and start at 12-13 pounds–they're also prepping turkey roti, which are deboned, tied, and seasoned, for you to cook at home. Those are $12.99 a pound and start at 5-6 pounds. Customers can also special order ducks, pick up housemade sausage (made with pork, apricots, prunes, black truffles, and cognac for $8.99 a pound), and brining kits.

Avedano's, 235 Cortland Avenue, 415-285-6328

This Bernal Heights butcher shop has two breeds of hormone- and antibiotic-free turkey from Bill Niman's BN Ranch in Bolinas: The broad-breasted variety for $5.50 a pound (it has more white meat), and the heritage variety, which has more dark meat, for $7.50 a pound. They range from 12-18+ pounds. They've also got ducks for $5.50 a pound, and stuffing made with pork sausage for $10.50 a pound.

Bi-Rite, 3639 18th Street, 415-241-9760

Bi-Rite has four kinds of birds this year. There are two from Diestel Ranch–the broad-breasted, free-range variety for $3.49 a pound (ranging from 10-26 pounds) and the organic Diestel Heidi's Hen for $4.99 a pound. Then there are the two from BN Ranch–the broad-breasted for $4.99 a pound, and the heritage for $6.99 a pound, both ranging from 10-22 pounds. You can also score ducks from Liberty Ducks for $5.49 a pound.

Bryan's Quality Meats, 3473 California Street, 415-752-3430

Though prices aren't set in stone yet, Bryan's has Diestel organic turkeys and Diestel's Heidi heirloom hens this year. As for sides, they make everything in their own kitchen, like green beans, mashed and scalloped potatoes ($9 a pound), stuffing for $7 a quart, gravy for $8 a pint, and cranberry sauce for $6 a pint.

Guerra's Quality Meats, 490 Taraval Street, 415-564-0585

Winning the prize for the least pricey turkeys is Guerra's, which sells Diestel organic turkeys for $4.49 a pound, which start at 12-13 pounds, and free range Diestel natural turkeys for just $2.99 a pound. These range anywhere from 10 to 30 pounds.

Golden Gate Meats, Ferry Building, Shop #13, 415-983-7800

Birds go fast here, so it's best to pre-order if you can. They've got Diestel heirloom ($5.99 a pound), Diestel organic ($4.99 a pound), and natural ($3.99 a pound) turkeys, as well as Mary's Heritage turkeys ($6.99 a pound). And they've got quite the spread of homemade sides as well: Applewood stuffing, bread stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce (prices vary and start at $5-8 a pound). Gravy is $5 a pint, and turkey stock is $4 a pint.

Drewes Brothers, 1706 Church Street, 415-821-0515

Even if you're not in the neighborhood, Drewes Brothers (100 years old and going strong!) could be your one stop shop for Thanksgiving. They're going all out with not only Sonoma-raised Willie Bird turkeys ($3.69 a pound from 10-30 pounds), Diestel Family Ranch Heidi brand hens ($4.49 a pound) and petite Diestel turkeys ($3.99 a pound from 6-9 pounds), but smoked and brined turkeys (both $4.99 a pound), pasture-raised chickens ($5.99 a pound), fresh Cornish game hens for $8-10 each, and housemade turduckens (!) for $125 a pop. The deadline to order is tomorrow, and they come stuffed with garlic, cranberries, pinenuts, sourdough bread and andouille sausage. Yum! They also make pies (apple, berry, and pumpkin) to order, as well as a variety of housemade sausages and dinner rolls.

Marina Meats, 2395 Chestnut Street, 415-673-6700

Head to Marina Meats for Bill Niman's BN Ranch heritage birds ($7.99 a pound) as well as the BN Ranch broad-breasted turkeys ($5.99 a pound). If you're on a budget, pick up a Martinelli brand, antibiotic- and hormone-free turkey for $3.99 a pound. As for sides, they're offering housemade mild and spicy Italian sausages, as well as chicken sausages (made with white wine, ham, and chicken thigh meat), stuffing, and cranberry sauce.

Fatted Calf, 320 Fell Street, 415-400-5614

This Hayes Valley shop carries Good Shepherd's heritage turkeys from Kansas this year. The breed's bloodline dates back to the 1800s, and range in weight from 8-20 pounds, at $7.75 a pound. You'll want to call ahead to order them as soon as possible, because these birds are going fast (the earliest you can pick them up is November 17). They're also selling brine kits for $10, and uncased, housemade fennel and Boudin Blanc sausages for stuffing for $10 a pound, and turkey broth for $6.50 a pint. If you're not feeling like turkey this year, you can instead grab Broken Arrow quail (stuffed with Boudin Blanc sausage and braised chestnuts) for $11.50 each.

4505 Meats,

Don't feel like cooking yourself? 4505 Meats definitely has you covered. This Ferry Plaza Farmers Market regular is the grand purveyors of turducken in this town, as well as a host of other Thanksgiving goodies. If you're going for regular turkey, their heritage breed smoked turkey from Bill Niman's BN Ranch in Bolinas will do the trick (Non-refundable $60 deposit, $10.50 a pound, 10-14 pounds). Check out the fresh, unsmoked version here. They've got a Turducken Junior, as well as a Grand Turducken, which involves 20 pounds of "pure poultry pleasure" and a bunch of accoutrements like root vegetables, herbs, gravy, an oven thermometer, and much more. For details on other holiday items like pork truffle butter, soaked pork rillettes, and turkey, apple and campari sausage, click here. All of it available for pre-order using the email above.

Show Comments ()

Related Articles


Follow Us On