There are a number of other legendary types of Wagyu (Japanese beef) beyond Kobe Beef, but if you want to find ONLY Kobe Beef, you have come to the right place… well to find a place to buy or 1 of 38 places to eat it at.
There are several hundred varieties of Wagyu, and Kobe is just one type/regional product from Kobe, Japan. Although, if you do not care about any of the other regions, and you only want to try the one and only Kobe beef. I am going to list the ideal places to buy Kobe beef online, along with where to eat it at in the good ole U.S. of apple pie, bald eagles, guns, and super sizing, Murica.
Murica Loves Big Steaks (the Usual Cuts of Beef)
Unlike a Japanese yakiniku (grilled meat) restaurant where you get offered up almost every imaginable cut of the cow, most American steak houses typically only offer up a few select cuts (and American online Wagyu sellers also follow suit):
- Filet mignon
UPDATED (3/1/21): if you are wondering what the types of Japanese cuts are, they range from strip loin, spencer roll, tenderloin, chuck eye roll, tri-tip, short-rib (a must), chuck flank/brisket, shoulder, rump, top round, to tongue (one of my favorite cuts).
The Japanese Beef Marbling Grading System
There are a number of other cuts that are my favorite although that takes an active effort to market the other cuts to Americans which is not going to happen because till I brought this up, most people’s expectations are only “A5” and “I want Kobe Beef.” Oh, and yea, when it comes to the BMS or the “beef marbling system,” the highest is A5 although that does not mean you should only buy A5.
|QUALITY – 5 |
|QUALITY – 4|
|QUALITY – 2|
|QUALITY -1 |
|YIELD –A (72% yield)||A5||A4||A3||A2||A1|
|YIELD – B (69-72%)||B5||B4||B3||B2||B1|
|YIELD – C (below 69%)||C5||C4||C3||C2||C1|
You won’t typically have to worry about the yield/quality or cut you want since most retailers deal with the general public, so you will typically only be offered one yield or quality which is A5 Kobe Beef (the equivalent is in the automotive aftermarket when you ask the customer if they want a ‘street’ or ‘race’ set-up, most will typically say ‘race’ regardless of the downsides).
Beware of Snake River Farms (SRF) “American Kobe”
NOT JAPANESE KOBE BEEF and Snake River Farms is doing the equivalent of a McDowell’s from the movie Coming to America with Eddie Murphy because it may sound like McDonald’s, but that’s a Big Mick you’re ordering, not a Big Mac. That may not bother you which is what SRF is hoping for, but this sort of thing happens all the time. What I mean by that is that these brand names and regional products are blurred together with other typically lesser products as being the same when they are not. When that happens, you are inadvertently pulling an SRF (except SRF is intentionally doing it like Cleo McDowell, regardless if Mr. McDowell won’t admit to it).
- Jacuzzi (brand name) versus hot tub.
- Band-aid (brand name) versus a bandage.
- Champagne (regional product) versus sparkling wine.
- Roquefort (regional and type of product) versus blue cheese.
- Bourbon (regional and type of product) is whisky, but not all whisky is bourbon.
- Scotch (regional and type of product) is from Scotland.
- Whiskey (regional and type of product) is Irish whiskey with an “e.”
This list can go on and on, but you are here to buy Kobe beef versus hearing my rant.
Where to Buy Kobe Beef Online
Now, I could name all the places, or I can tell you the best and easiest place to order it from (btw, I do not GET CRAP from these businesses, and I just recommend the business that I personally would order from).
In their own words: “It all began in 2007 with local distribution to renowned restaurants across the San Francisco Bay Area. After 10 years of distributing some of the finest meats to fine dining restaurants and high-end markets throughout the United States, we saw the opportunity to sell directly to the most gourmet and health-conscious of consumers.
It became apparent that many meat connoisseurs were not able to get quality meats at their local butcher shops, and many also could not get the transparency needed to know exactly where their food was sourced from. Through The Wagyu Shop, you are now able to access high quality meats from reputable and trustworthy farmers and suppliers. Our focus is on the famous Wagyu beef genetics and quality husbandry provided by quality producers.
Prized for its excellence, flavor, and eating experience, Wagyu beef and other rare breeds have been gaining popularity in the US. We hope to share these experiences with you by providing the highest quality ingredients for your next eating excursion with friends and family. Our wide selection of Wagyu beef will impress all your guests at your next event, whether that be your famous 4th of July barbecue or your loved one’s birthday.”
Notes: I typically like to know where my money is going and who I am promoting for free, and on a closer look, it did look to initially be Nishikawa and Sons, Inc, but the actual entity is Asia International, Inc (I think I did this research before, but I forgot). Ok, I’m thinking/writing out loud, but Asia International is Hitoshi Nishikawa who is an OG in the food industry with 40+ years of experience. Not only that, he was born and raised in Japan and studied at the University of Nebraska with a degree in Animal Science (no wonder I liked this company, this is one cool dude because that takes some bull sized balls to go to school in Nebraska). So my guess, Wagyu Shop is his sons down in LA living the Diamond Jamboree, OC life, yo.
The Wagyu Shop Kobe Offerings:
ribeye, striploin, filet mignon, steak cubes, and tenderloin cubes.
Authentic A5 Grade Kobe Beef from Hyogo Prefecture.
Certificate of Authenticity is included with every order.
Japanese Black cattle (Kuroge).
Temperature controlled overnight shipping.
This item ships frozen.
Thawing is normal during shipment.
Product of Japan.
555 Parkcenter Dr. Suite 110
Santa Ana, CA 92705
The Other Online Kobe Beef Sellers
Why the elaborate write-up for the Wagyu Shop and these other two sites have minimal copy? That is because I have a full write-up on all the places to buy Wagyu online, but this time around the focus is only on Kobe which is why I was so elaborate with the Wagyu Shop because they are a Wagyu specific company (not like that means they are anymore Kobe specific than these two, but they are the underdog compared to Crowd Cow and Holy Grail specializes in a broad range of beef).
The Crowd Cow Kobe Offerings:
The Holy Grail Kobe Offerings:
Filet mignon (4,6,8oz)
Filet mignon tips
All 38 of the Certified Kobe Beef Restaurants in the U.S.
If you don’t see the restaurant on this list, they most likely are not certified or using real/authentic Kobe beef (so that pho restaurant or burger joint touting Kobe sliders are just trying to cash in on you). Oh, and if you have come across the article touting only 8 restaurants, that article is obviously outdated.
Let Me Know How I Did with My “ONLY Kobe Beef Post”
Hopefully, I have provided you with not only the best places to buy Kobe beef online, but also the
38 37 certified restaurants to eat Kobe beef at. That way, you don’t have to put too much effort into trying Kobe beef, and you just need to lift your butt to make it on down to a restaurant. If you can manage that, you probably are not as marbled as Wagyu cow.