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Wagyu beef, which comes from four different breeds of Japanese cows, is often considered one of the most desirable types of beef available. This is due to its distinct high marbleization of fat in the muscle. The higher the marbling in beef, the more juicy, flavorful, and tender the meat. These Japanese cows were initially raised and sold only in Japan, eventually exporting was allowed. Additionally, American livestock farmers began crossbreeding these Japanese cows with American cow breeds. This led to American wagyu. While similar to Japanese wagyu in some ways, American wagyu is not the same. This is because typically crossbred with only one wagyu parent and the cattle is raised differently. However, American wagyu is still excellent quality beef and more accessible than the Japanese variety.
Despite these efforts, finding wagyu beef at your local store can still be challenging. Luckily, there are numerous other ways to buy wagyu beef. Here are our top picks for the best places to buy wagyu beef online, including options for both American and Japanese wagyu.
•Delivery Area: Contiguous 48 states •Free Shipping: Yes, over $199 •Products Arrive: Frozen
Why You Should Try It
Holy Grail Steak Co. has a remarkable history, and it was the very first authorized seller of authentic Japanese Kobe beef in the U.S. It currently sells a wide range of meat and has exclusive rights to some of the highest-grade Japanese wagyu from select ranches.
Extensive selection of Japanese and American wagyu beef
Exclusive availability of some of the highest-grade Japanese wagyu
Comprehensive guide and resource for cooking wagyu beef
Limited stock can sell out quickly
Extensive selection can be overwhelming
Holy Grail Steak Company started out as the only authorized seller of authentic Japanese Kobe beef in the United States. The company has forged relationships with farms across Japan (as well as the U.S.) to sell A5 grade Japanese wagyu, the highest possible Japanese government rating for beef. Only 1% of beef raised in Japan qualifies as A5.
Its extensive selection of beef includes rare finds like the super exclusive Maezawa beef from Ogata Farms, which has an impressive A5 rating and what is known as BMS 12 fat marbling— the intramuscular fat is at least 56.3%, which results in sublimely tender cuts of beef. The company also offers other Japanese and American wagyu, along with premium non-wagyu beef, pork, and New Zealand salmon. Beef is sold in individual cuts, as well as in packaged steak flights and subscription boxes. All Holy Grail’s beef is raised without hormones or antibiotics, with an emphasis on sustainable pasturing and humane living conditions.
•Delivery Area: Contiguous 48 states •Free Shipping: Yes, if ordering over $149 •Products Arrive: Frozen
Why You Should Try It
Crowd Cow offers a wide range of Japanese and American Wagyu as well as other meat including chicken, pork, and seafood, and it’s easy to convert any individual order into a recurring subscription with a discount.
Individual orders can easily be turned into recurring subscriptions
Wide range of wagyu and other meats available
Meat sourced from sustainable and regenerative-practice farms
No expedited shipping options
Required minimum order of $75
Crowd Cow makes it easy for you to order Japanese and American wagyu as well as other meats, and turn your custom order into an ongoing subscription box. Crowd Cow works with four different Japanese wagyu farms and several American wagyu farms to ensure customers have a variety to choose from. In addition to wagyu, Crowd Cow has a wide range of other meats, including grass-fed and pasture-raised beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and seafood. The company even offers sides and desserts as add-on items.
Once you’ve selected your items, you have the option to either turn your order into a recurring subscription or keep it as a one-time purchase. Subscriptions grant you a 5% discount. Any order over $149 gets free shipping. There are often promotions that allow you to receive a free item if you buy a certain item or spend a certain amount.
•Delivery Area Contiguous 48 states •Free Shipping: Yes, if over $200 •Products Arrive: Frozen
Why You Should Try It
After more than 40 years, Rastelli’s is still run like a small family business, partnering with farming and fishing families that go back generations. In keeping with its dedication to providing quality meats, Rastelli’s sources its wagyu beef from wagyu cattle that have been in the U.S. since the 1970s.
Wide selection of meat and seafood
Meat and seafood sourced from family farms
Only one available style of wagyu
Certain wagyu cuts are often out of stock due to limited supply
Rastelli’s started as a family business butcher shop in 1976 but has since expanded into an online business with a network of farms and partners across the globe. But even with the expansion of the business, the Rastelli’s family has strived to run their business like a small family shop, working and sourcing their meat from family farms and fisheries that have been owned for generations. Rastelli’s sells beef, poultry, seafood, pork, and lamb, all delivered vacuum-sealed and flash frozen for optimum freshness.
Rastelli’s American Wagyu is the only wagyu they sell. The Wagyu cattle, raised in the Ohio valley, are direct descendants of the original Japanese bloodline that was imported to the U.S. during the 1970s. Pasture-raised until they are 16 months old, the cattle are then switched to an all-vegetarian diet of high-moisture grains, resulting in meat with the delicate texture wagyu enthusiasts have come to expect.
Wagyu beef is definitely a luxury purchase, but Rastelli’s does offer some options. In addition to one-time orders, customers also have the option for their order to be turned into a subscription with an additional 5% off. Rastelli’s subscription model allows delivery in whatever frequency you like and can be paused or canceled at any time.
•Delivery Area: Continental 48 states •Free Shipping: No •Products Arrive: Fresh
Why You Should Try It
A New York institution since the 1920s, DeBragga initially supplied the finest cuts of meat to top-rated New York restaurants before finally creating an online store in 2007. Now, people across the country can access the same top-quality meat as acclaimed chefs.
Sells the same meat that four-star New York restaurants serve
Offers American, Australian, and Japanese wagyu
Other meats and pantry staples are available
No option for ongoing subscription
No free shipping
Founded during the 1920s as the Brooklyn Hotel Supply Company, the company changed to its current name in 1948 and has been a New York institution ever since. It sells to some of the top four-star restaurants and an impressive roster of chefs that includes names like Daniel Boulud, Laurent Tourendel, Eric Ripert, Tom Colicchio, and David Chang. In 2007, it opened its first online store, which allowed people across the country to purchase the same meat that celebrity chefs use in their restaurants.
DeBragga sells three types of wagyu beef: American, Australian and Japanese. The Japanese A5 grade wagyu comes from Miyazaki prefecture and has won two consecutive “Wagyu Olympics” in Japan. The Australian wagyu is a cross of Holstein and Wagyu cattle and receives a very high marbling score. The American wagyu comes from a cross of Angus and Wagyu cattle, with some of the cuts dry-aged, which is not a common practice for wagyu but creates a unique, umami-rich flavor.
Beyond wagyu, you can purchase other meat, including dry-aged prime beef, pork, lamb, veal, poultry, sausage, and charcuterie, as well as pantry staples like specialty sea salt.
•Delivery Area: All 50 states •Free Shipping? No •Products Arrive: Frozen, unless dry-aged, which is shipped fresh
Why You Should Try It
Most online sellers of wagyu function as a middleman, sourcing their beef from farms to their warehouse to the consumer. Snake River Farms sells American Wagyu directly to the consumer that is raised on farms owned exclusively by the company.
Snake River Farms controls the entire supply chain, from ranches to processing to customer care
Breeding and raising American Wagyu since the late 1980s
Website has video and recipes for each cut of beef
Only one type of wagyu beef
No option for subscription or recurring order
Snake River Farms is one of the top sources for American wagyu, tracing its cattle stock back to the bull Fukutsuru, a wagyu bull shipped from Japan in the early 1990s. Fukutsuru fathered and helped grow the U.S. Kobe beef industry. Along with other Japanese bulls, Snake River Farms established one of the top breeding programs in the United States; it interbred the Japanese bulls with American stock to develop the tender marbled meat that is associated with Japanese wagyu along with the meatier beef flavor that American beef is known for.
Major chefs including Thomas Keller, Wolfgang Puck, and Hugh Acheson love their beef, with chef Wolfgang Puck declaring Snake River Farms wagyu his personal choice over Japanese wagyu. Because the farm has American roots, you’ll find classic cuts and preparations that you would normally not see with Japanese wagyu, including brisket and skirt steak.
Cattle are initially grass-fed for the first year, then given a mix of hay, forages, and grains as well as potatoes, vitamins, and minerals. Beyond American wagyu, you can also order Kurobuta pork.
•Delivery Area: All 50 States •Free Shipping: No •Products Arrive: Frozen
Why You Should Try It
In addition to its American Wagyu selection, Chicago Steak Company sells a wide range of beef, ranging from Premium Angus to USDA Prime Dry-Aged, as well as other meats including pork, chicken, sausage, and seafood.
A wide range of beef (and other meat) at all price points
Website offers Steak University, a comprehensive guide, including videos, recipes, and cooking instructions
All packages come in gift boxes
Does not sell Japanese wagyu
Website can be confusing to use
The Chicago Steak Company dates back to 1865 and offers a select choice of American and Australian wagyu. The company’s wagyu is often graded A4 and sometimes A5, depending on the cut, and offers an extra touch of luxury for those looking for something beyond the typical USDA Prime beef. Each cut of beef is individually wrapped, vacuum sealed, and individually registered with a number to guarantee quality.
All items arrive in a black and gold gift box, flash frozen, and shipped in a reusable insulated cooler with dry ice.
Beyond beef, the company also sells other meat including pork, chicken, sausage, ribs, and other additions like mac and cheese and bread pudding. Gift boxes are available, making them an easy choice for someone who loves quality steak.
Though there are numerous places online to purchase wagyu beef, we found Holy Grail Steak Co. to be the best overall option. Holy Grail offers the widest selection of Japanese and American Wagyu steaks and has a long history of selling authentic Kobe beef. The company also sells packaged steak flights and offers subscription plans for added convenience.
What is the difference between Kobe and wagyu beef?
Though the terms Kobe and wagyu are often used interchangeably, especially for marketing purposes in the U.S., they do mean different things. Wagyu is a Japanese phrase that translates to Japanese cattle; the word wa means Japanese and “gyu'' means cow.
In Japan there are four wagyu breeds: the Japanese Black, the Japanese Brown (which is called Red Wagyu in the U.S.), Japanese Shorthorn, and the Japanese Polled. Kobe beef comes from a specific breed of cow, the Japanese Black, raised in the Hyogo Prefecture region of Japan, where the city of Kobe is. Thus, all Kobe beef is wagyu beef, but not all wagyu beef is Kobe beef.
How is wagyu beef raised?
Wagyu beef is raised on farms in Japan, as well as in Australia and the United States, each with its own specific feeding protocols. Cattle are often grass-fed or pasture-raised but will be finished with the farm's signature choice of feed. In Japan, there are cattle that are finished on olives or locally grown rice stalks. In the U.S. they can be finished with corn, soy, or a proprietary mix of ingredients. But almost all wagyu livestock is antibiotic-free and raised without hormones.
Why is wagyu beef so expensive?
Wagyu beef comes from select Japanese cows that are raised in a specific manner. The genetic heritage of the cows, along with the way the cattle are raised, leads to meat that has ample intramuscular fat marbling. This signature fat marbling gives wagyu beef its rich, tender, umami flavor. Because of the time-intensive labor involved in raising these select cows, wagyu beef is one of the most expensive types of beef available.
What are the different grades of wagyu beef?
Japanese wagyu beef is graded with a letter A through C and a number 1 through 5. The letter grade represents how much wagyu can be harvested from the cow, with A being the highest score. The number grade measures the firmness and texture, with 5 being the highest. Thus A5 is the highest grade possible. A secondary scale called BMS stands for Beef Marbling Scale and goes from 1 to 12 with a BMS 12 being the highest rating; it has at least 56.3% intramuscular fat.
We looked at over 30 different companies to find the best places that deliver wagyu beef. We reviewed the history of each company to find out how invested they are in wagyu and delivering authentic, top-quality wagyu beef. We considered the range and types of wagyu beef offered. And we took into consideration other factors, like if they offer a subscription plan or have different meat and side items available to order. Finally, we made sure our list included companies that have an educational component on their site, explaining the heritage and significance of wagyu beef along with recipes and tutorials on how to properly cook it.