Food & Culture

Where to Buy Japanese Kobe Beef Online and Which 60+ Restaurants Are Certified to Serve It

There are dozens of 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 to buy or 60+ restaurants to try it at.

Originally posted on: November 27th, ’20 and Updated on August 3rd (8th, grammar errors, as usual), 2023

There are several dozen varieties of Wagyu, and Kobe is just one type/regional product from Kobe, Japan. Although, if you do not care about any other region and you only want to try the one and only Kobe beef, I list the ideal places to buy Kobe beef online, where to eat it in the good ole U.S. of Apple pie. The land of bald eagles, guns, super-sizing, and highly marbled people.

Updated on August ’23, of 38, 37, 60+ Kobe Beef Certified Restaurants (scroll to the bottom of the page) in the United States. I have also listed where you can buy Kobe beef locally, wholesale, or online.

The cow icon denotes summaries, so if you want a quick read, scroll on through.
Photo Description: a large block of wood with three vey large slabs of Kobe Beef. The first is a highly marbled piece that looks to be at least an inch thick and his highly marbled. The other two are a lot thick and leaner.
I hope my dream women would look at me the same way she would look at Kobe beef (I am highly marbled). Image by Orlando G. Calvo.

Murica loves big steaks and 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:

  • Ribeye
  • Strip (NY strip)
  • Top sirloin
  • Filet mignon
  • Tenderloin

UPDATED (3/1/21): if you are wondering what the types of Japanese cuts are, they range from all of the above, along with (listed below):

The Japanese offer more cuts than the usual suspects, which include ribeye, strip loin, filet mignon, and tenderloin, and I highly suggest you try the other cuts listed below.

Just keep in mind, you can find these cuts at a Japanese yakiniku (grilled meat) restaurants although most vendors cater to American consumers.
  • Strip loin
  • Spencer roll
  • Tenderloin
  • Chuck eye roll
  • Tri-tip
  • Short-rib (a must)
  • Chuck flank/brisket
  • Shoulder
  • Rump (if you like a piece of ass)
  • Top round
  • Tongue (a must and one of my favorites)

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.

Photo Description: the Japanese beef marbling (grading) system. The image depicts the marbling from BMS No3 (very lean) to BMS No12.
Just think of this chart as the athletic type vs the couch potato, a tasty and tender couch potato that is.
(8-12 BMS)
(5-7 BMS)
(3-4 BMS)
(2 BMS)
(1 BMS)
YIELDA (72% yield)A5A4A3A2A1
YIELDB (69-72%)B5B4B3B2B1
YIELDC (below 69%)C5C4C3C2C1
The Japanese grading scale is beyond USDA Prime.

If you are looking to try the most marbled grade of beef, Kobe Beef offers up A5 which is the highest in the Japanese beef marbling system (BMS).

The highly marbled beef is nicknamed “shimofuri” which loosely means “frosted beef.”

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 the 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.

The brand has been rebranded as American Wagyu, but Wagyu in Japanese literally means “Japanese beef,” which is as ridiculous as flying to another country, like Zamunda and seeing “Zamunda USDA Beef.” How can it be USDA if it is raised and mixed with Zamunda cow breeds?

The tactic of riding on the coattails of the Japanese, and in the case of Cleo McDowell, and the Golden Arches is pathetic.

SRF has recently switched to “American Wagyu” although they still intermittently use “American Kobe,” and if you want to know how SRF compares to Japanese wagyu, read my new article.

SRF is not even on par with Japanese Kobe beef, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
  • 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.

Photo Description: an image by the Wagyu Shop of a Kobe beef. The 1" looking steak is very heavily marbled steak is a top what looks like a marbled slab. Along with a golden fork, a white bowl with very large grains of salt? Along with fresh mushrooms, garlic, and some sort of herb.
Yup, that’s Kobe Beef, fit for a basketball legend to the prince of Zamunda. Image courtesy of

Where to buy Kobe beef locally or 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.

Where to buy Kobe Beef locally

Aye quey, La Carniceria and my latino homies are KILLING IT on a retail level. Also, on a personal bias, Alpine Butcher has a standout Instagram account with dudes who say Wagyu right, “Wa-gyu” vs. “Waaaaag-you.”

Just don’t do what what one food influencer did with taco’s and prepare the Wagyu well done, no mames.

Where to buy Kobe Beef (brick and mortar and online)

Alpine ButcherLowell, MA
The Butcher Shop
by Niku Steakhouse
San Francisco, CA
Elite Meat MarketMorgan Hill, CA
La CarniceriaAnaheim, Bakersfield, Bellflower, Chula Vista, Fontana, Hesperia, Montclair, Northridge, Pico Rivera, Redondo Beach, Riverside, Santa Ana
TheMeatery.comSan Diego, CA
Meat ArtisanOlney, IL
Palm Beach MeatsWest Palm Beach, Florida
WagshalsWashington DC
I want to try a Wagyu cabeza and lengua tacos.

After about three years, I finally updated this listing. The most significant change is the diversity of restaurants and retailers, which are no longer strictly traditional American butchers and steakhouses. Newly added are a number of Mexican and Korean additions, which sounds tasty AF.

I prefer seafood at anything other than American spots because lobster, crab, and shrimp are only steamed and served with butter and garlic. For sometimes half the price, you get salt and pepper crab/shrimp or seafood done up beyond cocktail sauce.

All 60+ 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.

Restaurants serving Kobe Beef

These restaurants are the only certified restaurants in the United States allowed to serve Kobe Beef (Japanese beef from Japan). If they are not listed here, it is not real Kobe Beef, and there are a lot of scammers.

There are a lot of restaurants that fraudulently call their product “Kobe beef,” or Wagyu (Japanese beef), and many are selling an American version.

Many restaurants are also claiming to sell Wagyu which is not true either since it means “Japanese beef,” and what they are selling is “American Wagyu” (cross bred with domestic cows raised in the US) by producers such as Snake River Farms (SRF).

Restaurants in the US listed in alphabetical order

1212 SteakhouseNew York, NY
Cupertino (Bay Area)
Pasadena, CA (SoCal)
3AndironHouston, TX
4Asadero PrimeSeattle, WA
Kent, WA
5Bae Korean GrillHollywood, FL
6Barclay PrimePhiladelphia, PA
7Bazaar Meat
by Jose Andres
Las Vegas, NV
8Bazaar Meat
Chicago, IL
9B+B Butchers
+ Restaurant
Fort Worth, TX
Houston, TX
10Beef Bar TribecaNew York, NY
Melville, NY
12The Butcher Shop
by Niku Steakhouse
San Francisco, CA
13CATCH SteakNew York, NY
14Cosecha SDLa Jolla, CA
15COTE Korean
New York, NY
and Miami, FL
16Cuerno Bravo
Prime Steakhouse
Tacoma, WA
by Wolfgang Puck
Las Vegas, NV
18Dee Lincoln
Prime Steakhouse
Frisco, TX
19Del Frisco’s
Double Eagle Steakhouse
New York, NY
20Encore Boston HarborEverett, MA
21Gaylord Texan Old
Hickory Steakhouse
Grapevine, TX
22GekkoMiami, FL
23Sushi Ginza OnoderaHonolulu, HI
24Gibsons ItaliaChicago, IL
25Hank’s Fine SteaksHenderson, NV
26Insignia Prime
Steak & Sushi
Smithtown, NY
27JING Las VegasLas Vegas, NV
28J-Spec Wagyu Dining
/Esora Omakase
New York, NY
29Klaw MiamiMiami, FL
30The Lobster ClubNew York, NY
31Mama Por DiosRancho Cucamonga, CA,
Beverly Hills, CA,
Santa Monica, CA,
Scottsdale, AZ,
32Mastro’s Ocean ClubLos Angeles, CA
Newport Beach, CA
Costa Mesa, CA
Santa Clara, CA
Spring, TX
33Mastro’s Steakhouse
Scottsdale, AZ
34Mastro’s Steakhouse
Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills
35Mastro’s Steakhouse
Houston, TX
36Mastro’s Steakhouse
New York, NY
37Mastro’s Steakhouse
San Francisco, CA
38MonarqueBlhmarc, MD
39Nick & Sam’s
Dallas, TX
40Niku XLos Angeles, CA
41Old Florida Fish HouseSanta Rosa Beach, FL
42OmakaseSan Francisco, CA
43Ootoro Sushi Irvine, CA
by Pursuit Farms
San Francisco, CA
45OzumoSan Francisco, CA
46Palm Beach MeatsWest Palm Beach, FL
47Pacific ClubHonolulu, HI
48The Pines Modern
Highland, CA
49Red Oak Steakhouse
Saracen Casino
Pine Bluff, AZ
50Roka Akor ChicagoChicago, IL
51Roka Akor HoustonHouston, TX
52Roka Akor San FranciscoSan Francisco, CA
53Roka Akor ScottsdaleScottsdale, AZ
54RPM SteakChicago, IL
55Scotch 80 PrimeLas Vegas, NV
56Steak 954Fort Lauderdale, FL
57The Pacific ClubHonolulu, HI
58T- Bones ChophouseLas Vegas, NV
59Toca MaderaLas Vegas, NV
Scottsdale, AZ
60Top BeefSan Francisco, CA
61Turner’s Cut
(temporarily closed)
Houston, TX
62Vic & Anthony’s
Las Vegas, NV
63WakudaLas V egas, NV
64Wet MiamiMiami, FL
I am American, so some of it may not be in order and some restaurants need to be removed.

Kobe beef (Wagyu) distributors

If you are a restaurant or a chef, this is who you need to hit up for your wholesale inquiries.

Kobe beef/Wagyu distributors

I love this part of the food industry because these importers and distributors demonstrate it’s not just about who has the product. It also involves relationships, logistics, knowing your product, and the service to tea bag the competition(the big Rocky Mountain oyster kine).

I worked for similar companies in motorsports, and I love learning the little details that help these companies standout from one another.

Out of them all, the Rocker Bros dominate, and if they ever went into plumbing, they may even outdo the Mario brothers. Bringing up the rear, K&K International and Capital Meat Imports are like Princess Peach and Toad rounding out the squad of the top 3 Wagyu distributors.

Some distributors have a regional, national, or global reach

Asia International, LLC
The marketing person here sucks,
avoid the business.
San Francisco, CA
Capital Meat Imports, LLC
They get product differentiation
and actively market their brands.
Vernon, CA
Japan Mania CO.,Ltd.
Eigo ga wakarimasu ka
(the odds are low).
They don’t even know
K&K International, INC.
I love a good story, and Kengo Kuba
has a good one starting in 2001.
Torrance, CA
Mutual Trading Co, Inc.
A Japanese foods distributor
that has amazing service.
Los Angeles, CA
Palm Beach Meats
Their focus is split on retail,
wholesale, and dining
West Palm Beach, FL
Rocker Bros Meat
When a business highlights
their staff, they get it.
Inglewood, CA
TREX corp, Inc
An importer and
exporter since 1996
that gets marketing
Burlingame, CA
“The largest distributor
of Japanese A5 in Florida”
Miami, FL
Wagyu Master
A small operation that has to
also hustle rice and charcoal.
(not recommended, AVOID)
Miami, FL
Wagyu Sommelier & Co, LLC
An epic business if you are
looking to stand out from
the crowd.
Philadephia, PA
Get your fat on Chef.
Japanese level service and knowledge.

The notoriety of Kobe is a draw for some, and then there are the chefs who seek out the ingredients beyond Kobe, Beyond A5, and Beyond Sirloin. If that is you, Wagyu Sommelier and staff are who you will want to contact and buddy up with.

I come across all sorts of companies, and I can tell you which ones stand out, and this is one of them.

You are what you eat you, and marbled beef matches us Americans

If you’re an Aussie, you too.

Want the complete list of where to buy Japanese, American, and Australian wagyu online? Here you go, the list of 14 leading vendors.

Kobe is only one of a several dozen regional Wagyu types in Japan.

Hopefully, I have provided you with the best places to buy Kobe beef online, but also the 38, 37, 60+ certified restaurants to eat Kobe beef at. That way, you don’t have to put too much effort into trying Kobe beef, and lifting your butt on down to a restaurant is the maximum effort required. If you can manage that, you probably are not as well marbled as Wagyu cow.

sharing is caring
Have a highly marbled friend who loves marbled beef? Share this article with them, it won’t help their waistline, but it will help this site.

Iconography by:

Male chef icons created by SeyfDesigner – Flaticon

Meal icons created by Icons_Field – Flaticon

Butcher icons created by Dimas Anom – Flaticon


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.