The Meat Shop, Sapporo

The Meat Shop is at the top of our list of coolest restaurants in Sapporo. As an American that has lived and traveled to many cool cities, I have eaten at so many incredible places, and yet… The Meat Shop in Sapporo is up there with my favorite restaurants anywhere.

In this post, we’ll talk about how The Meat Shop makes one of the best hamburgers in Sapporo.  They have more to offer than burgers, but that is a good place to start.

I first came to The Meat Shop in 2019, by myself, there for dinner and beer. Perfect vibe, and I immediately thought of friends from back in America that would love this place.  I took a picture of the wooden box that the steak knife came in, and sent it back to a friend in The States.  This the kind of place he would like, and when he comes to visit, I’ll bring him here.

While Sapporo is, in fact, the best city in the entire world (もちろん), this city isn’t always as carefully curated as cities like New York, Tokyo, or San Francisco. And when you first come to The Meat Shop, as you walk past the old mailboxes on the first floor, to the simple (and slow) elevator that takes up to the 5th floor, the experience feels like a lot of the rest of Sapporo – a little antiquated, maybe.

But as you step off the elevator, and cross the small space to the entrance, and you enter into The Meat Shop’s full experience, with wood (lots of wood), and the smell of grilled meats, with the open floor plan of booths and a counter, the view of the staff at work in the background, and the rows of bottles that separate you from one section of the kitchen, you are transported from the mundane to the marvelous.

With that introduction, let’s get to the hamburgers…

The Meat Shop serves as the ultimate lunch spot for me. If I want a nice, comfortable lunch, and a delicious burger, this is the place. A good burger, with their special bacon (which costs a little extra) runs about ¥1600. That is more than a “McBurger,” but for the experience, it’s very much worth it.

This blog is about the “best,” not always about (nor excluding) the least expensive.

As you can see, there are range of suggested types of burgers. I have been known to order a custom “bacon, egg, and cheese,” but my usual a simple is bacon, cheese burger, no sauce, no tomato, no onion; keep it simple, with lettuce and cheese, and let the flavor of the meat (and the smokiness of the bacon) come through.

All the burgers come with fries. They used to be wedge cut, they surprised me today with shoestring.  If they changed their mind and went back to wedge cut, I wouldn’t be disappointed.

Here is a previous version of the same glorious hamburger.

(Note the wedge cut fries.)

We hope by now you can see why we kicked off this blog with a tribute to the best burgers in Sapporo (and we have more in store for you) but The Meat Shop is a great place to begin your tour of the top hamburger places in the best city in the world.

Come at lunch. Prices are very reasonable and the experience is among the best in the whole city.

And while the hamburgers are fantastic, it would be a great disservice if we did not spend a minute or two making sure you know that The Meat Shop is a full-service “steak house,” and has a lot more on their menu than just the burgers (which are more of a “lunch” thing).

Here, for example, you can see a good example of a high-end steak experience at The Meat Shop:


This particular night, I took a friend to The Meat Shop to thank him for some consulting he’d given us. Our friend likes steak. And he is a big guy, with a big appetite. We did aged beef and kobe beef. You can see the little piles of sale, and pickled ginger, and some shaved mountain wasbi.  Fantastic.  I don’t always eat like this, and we spent some real money that night, but it was a very special experience.

I have also brought friends here for their birthdays. And this last year, when it was my choice, I had my own birthday at The Meat Shop.

On that night, I, once again, went for some steak. And some kind of unusual vegetable (off the special menu). We shared one of their delicious salads. And I had a draft beer and whiskey rocks (I think it was Makers), severed at the same time, because sometimes that is a perfect combination. I sipped them both while I enjoyed the time with my friends. A slow dinner, in good company.

The Meat Shop comes highly recommended. Yes, it’s good for burgers at lunch. It’s also an excellent date spot. You can have an extraordinary meal, in a really comfortable atmosphere. A special night, every time.

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