I am so stoked that summer is here. It took a little while, but Mother Nature loosened her grip so we can get outside to fire up the grill. There’s nothing better than getting together with friends and family for some char-grilled deliciousness, conversation and good times.

I’m not a snob when it comes to buying beef, chicken or fish. I don’t like nasty meat either, though.

I've been to quite a few meat shops in the Lansing area, and these are the seven that I like the best:

Monticello’s in Haslett

I tend to go here often. One reason is because it’s so close to where I live. I also go there because of the variety they offer. When you walk into Monticello’s, you’ll find fresh produce, and that’s always good to throw on the grill.

Their meat counter is amazing. They have everything you can imagine from NY strips & ribeye to chicken and amazing seafood. Monticello’s also has a tasty deli counter for fresh deli meat, cheeses and any side you can imagine fulfilling your “grilling” menu.

Don’t forget to get some salmon jerky, teriyaki or Cajun, the choice is yours.

Oh, one more thing. Monticello’s has amazing desserts too.

Mert’s Specialty Meats in Okemos

I live in Okemos, so Mert’s Specialty Meats is a stone's throw away from my place. It’s convenient for sure, but the real reason I go there is because of their products. I have never had a bad experience at Mert’s.

Mert's Specialty Meats has amazing cuts of meat and killer sides to toss on the grill with your steaks. Be sure to check out their refrigerated section for snacks, dairy and other treats.

The one thing that will keep me coming back to a business is customer service, and they knock it out of the park every time.

If you are thinking about tossing something on the grill, consider a trip to Mert’s. It’s amazing.

Merindorf Meats in Williamston

If you live in the Williamston area, Merindorf Meats will suit you just fine. Even if you don’t live in Williamston, Merindorf’s is worth the drive.

I have been going to Merindorf Meats for years. Like most meat markets, Merindorf offers your traditional cuts of meat, chicken and seafood. They also offer the sides for your feast and a great produce selection.

One thing that sets Merindorf apart is their vacuum sealed rubs and marinades. Choose your rub or marinade and they will season or marinate your steak then they vacuum seal it. That way it absorbs the flavor quickly and won’t leak all over the inside of your bag.

You can take a summer drive to Merindorf Meats; it’s easy to get to. Take I-96 to the Williamston exit, head north and it’s on your right.

Rives Quality Meats in Rives Junction

I discovered Rives Quaity Meats one day when I was driving back from Jackson. I had a craving for a ribeye. I had heard about Rives so many times from my friends that I had to pull the trigger and make the stop.

Rives Quality Meats is conveniently located off 127. It was easy to find, and the store’s first impression was great.

My experience was pretty awesome too. The staff was friendly, and the prices were on point.

Rives offers weekly specials and a wide variety of jerky, snack stix and more.

Oh, and for all you hunters out there, Rives can also do your processing for that deer you get on opening day!

Horrocks in Lansing

Horrocks has expanded big time in the 27 years that I have lived in the Lansing area.

This place is amazing. Horrocks was once known for their produce, but they are so much more. They still offer an amazing array of fruits and veggies. Horrocks also has a vast selection of snacks and odd foods you might not find anywhere else.

I recently bought a couple of steaks at Horrocks to throw on the grill. The cut of meat was awesome, and it was fresh. I season the meat lightly so I can taste the flavor of the meat, and it did not disappoint.

If you're gong to do some shopping, be sure to check out their “Tavern.” You can sample suds, enjoy them on the patio or carry your drink with you when you shop.

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Bellingar Packing in Ashley

I'm singing their theme song in my head as I write this.

I’ve been to Bellingar Packing many times. It’s a nice, short drive to their location in Ashley, just north of St. Johns. It’s easy to find, and it’s a convenient in and out too.

Bellingar offers a variety of fresh cut steaks, burgers, snack sticks and more.

One cool thing that Bellingar Packing offers are meat bundles. They have a variety of meat bundles for beef, pork and more. At the end of the day, a bundle could save you money and it will also save you trips back and forth to Bellingar. They have meat bundles of all sizes that will satisfy you and your family.

Bellingar does meat processing too.

Check out their marinades and rubs for your cut of meat.

Aldi in Okemos

Ok, I get it. I’ve listed all these great meat markets and then Aldi is on the list.

Hear me out.

A couple of years ago I shopped at Aldi but never thought I’d buy meat there. One day I wanted a New York Strip, and I was being lazy and didn’t want to drive to any of the other locations listed in this article. I bought a “strip” at Aldi.

I was hesitant about it; I may have even been timid about putting it on the grill. I mustered the courage and did it. Was it good?

I pulled it off the grill and tried it. Holy smokes. That steak was so tender, juicy and tasty. I was blown away.

My perception of meat from Aldi was way off!

Aldi’s prices tend to be a little lower, too. If you can grab a steak and save some cash, it’s a win!

You will still have to bag your own meat, though.

Those are just a few of the my favorite meat markets! Think I missed something? Send us a message on the app and let me know.

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