Magnani Poultry

1576 Hopkins St, Berkeley
(510) 528-6370

Recent Reviews

Elaine S.

I have been looking for fresh and reasonably priced stewing chickens in the bay area for quite some time and have finally found the best buy in the area. When I inquired about whether they were available, I got an immediate response and was told that they needed to be ordered ahead and what the price was. I picked up the hen and chicken feet for soup this morning and was so happy. The chicken was fresh, clean and well packed and was very reasonable. I will definitely come back here.

Too Many Tamales

Great sandwiches at an affordable price it does take a while to make though.

Carlos Cruz

This place is great, it is cheap, fast and the workers are very helpful. The meat is fresh and you can find all types of meat.

Tina Meeks

I've recently moved to this neighborhood with no expectations. I've appreciated the fact that this Hopkins strip consists of small local businesses, which I whole heartedly love and support, but I must say that this shop solely survives on it's fair prices of meat. I've been here several times now and have received the same experience each time- not memorable.

Martha B.

Just came home with some turkey parts that smelled bad. Will not shop here again.

Mary I.

I'm updating my review from 2017. Unfortunately Magnani has now completely lost my business - and I spend big $ on meat. The reasons are: 1) quality - I have had it with buying meat that smells bad. And not just occasionally but regularly. They clearly have an inventory problem and no qualms about selling bad meat. 2) knowledge- most of the employees (not butchers) don't know very basic cuts of meat (like bone-in pork chop!). And forget about any actual butchering skills. I'll spare the details but have many examples of simple straightforward requests that are met with blank stares. 3) staff attitude - perhaps they're defensive because they have no idea what they're doing but it's not cool to be rude. I blame all of this on management. Workers need to be trained in order to become competent and the workers at Magnani haven't gotten a fair chance to do a good job. Please, please, Magnani ownership, fix the issues that are driving your customers away. We want you to be successful but I personally am giving up for now.

Deena L.

I love this place. I'm addicted to their organic roasted chicken. Such s great shortcut to making dinner & using the delicious chicken bones for bone broth & left overs for infinite possibilities. Yummm thank you

Mary Jane Alcala

Great coffee, cheese selection. Helpful and friendly staffs.

NYCgrrrl W.

Been coming here for a long time, but no more. Since Tim sold the shop, it's been going downhill in service & quality. I have no confidence that that their organic meats are really organic. Be careful of meats with no prices. You can be told one price and charged another. I've come here because it is conveniently located next to Monterey Market, but after being charged another price once again, I am done. I love the Hopkins Street shops because they are what make Berkeley special but I am not an idiot. I just read other reviews and I am not alone in my assessment.

Hungry S.

I had a really bad prime rib from there over the holiday. Whether it was my cooking or whether it was the meat, I can't be sure, but I suspect the latter. In addition the place gives out a more disorganized and confused air than it used to.

Shirley K.

I was shocked this evening when I purchased what I expected to be a FRESH Turkey leg and breast. I suspected there may have been a change in management, as the way the store is managed now, and the way some of the poultry (uncooked) looking less than pink and fresh are emblematic of a decline. Still, I took a chance with my purchase. When I got home, the smell of the turkey parts did not seem right, but I decided to oven roast them and go from there. My suspicions were confirmed when the taste and smell of both the cooked breast and leg were FOUL. and I had confirmation by a musical colleague. I called the store immediately and said I was bringing back the poultry in the morning, cooked and all. I luckily asked for a receipt so I will bring with me. Something has changed for the worse with this store, and I have been a customer for over 6 years--and now seeing a similar review among the Yelp commentaries, I know something is not right.

Nola Susan

Been going here since 2010, but noticed a big decline in sanitary handling of meats, freshness, and store cleanliness. Went in about a month ago to buy some chicken breasts & wings. The kid behind the counter did not have gloves on and did not have clean fingernails. I only noticed this when I asked for one last item, sliced ham. He had just finished picking up with his hands and no gloves raw chicken.

P. I.

Built on the old-school model, Magnani's Meats has berkeley's best selection of bulk olive oils, bone broths and stocks, a great meat selection, and some old school favorite canned italian goods.

Christopher K.

My wife and I agree with other recent reviews: Magnani's has gone waaay downhill in recent times. Not clean, irregular supply, somewhat unreliable, shoddy displays. She has sworn off ever shopping there again. I will probably still occasionally shop there out of convenience, but with regret. It could be so much better with either a new attitude on the part of the existing owners, or another change of ownership.

Diane C.

I'm really sorry to say that since the business was taken over by new owners in the past year it has declined precipitously. I used to shop here regularly for my meat. It was high quality, and the butchers were skilled and knew their products. Now the servers just seem to weigh and wrap. When asked questions, they give vague answers. Meat is not butchered well (chicken bones cut through bone, not at joint), and has more fat and gristle than previously. And the place is just a lot dirtier than it used to be. What really tipped me over the edge was going in to buy salami and seeing that they had a salami in the refrigerator case that was labeled with a "use by" date one month in the past. I don't trust the meat here any more, and I will not be shopping here again.

Sandra R.

I have happily shopped here for 15 years but over the last year or two I've noticed a deterioration in service and quality. Today the shop looked particularly messy, the person who served me seemed sort of bewildered, and I just had to toss the flank steak I bought because it smelled and tasted rancid. I'm not sure what's going on, but please pull it together because you are a valued neighborhood business! Props to the friendly and speedy cashier.

Rose Chu

What a shame that this place has lost quality and customer service over the past couple of years. The staff are ever-changing and do not know their products. The handling of the meats is questionable at times ( do they wash their hands often enough?). They simply weigh the meat, package them ( inconsistent practices among them), hand it over. No one seems to be in charge or care. And - worst of all, at times the place

Michael B.

We have purchased items from this place when in the area and have been fine with the quality for the most part. I will not return to purchase anything here again after the experience today. I purchased a rib eye steak priced at over $22 per pound and half of the half pound piece I bought consisted of fat and gristle once I got it home and got a good look at it. I called Magnani to file a complaint and was told by the person who picked up the phone call that I should ¨take it like a man¨. I fault myself for not fully inspecting what I was being given but the brunt of the blame lies with the ¨butcher¨. Pathetic butchering to say the least. I won´t mention the name but my regular butcher shop located on College ave will be my choice for excellent quality and equally excellent service going forward.

Allison L.

I too had been going to Magnani's for years. It was a great little gem of a butcher...until it changed hands. The current owners do know seem to care about hygiene. Sure the prices on chicken breast are cheap but do you really want to buy chicken that is sitting in some sort of liquid from the chicken as it thaws? Frequently I have seen cross contamination thru handling or placement in the case between turkey and chicken. Many times the chicken wings are burned from the refrigeration and look nasty. One time I bought many turkey necks to make stock and a couple of them were over the hill and made to whole pot of stock unusable. When I complained to them, they said I needed to bring in the offending meat to get my money back. Well it was so stinky it was already in my outside trash. Another time I bought a boned leg of lamb here and it was not trimmed properly. l so I paid $ for .6 lbs of solid fat in the inside. I know this because I unrolled it and saw the fat, cut it out and weighed it. This is how they are making up for their "good deals on pricing". I would love to have a good butcher in the neighborhood as it compliments the rest of the businesses so well, and makes shopping easy. Unfortunately this is not it. You will get safer, better meats from the local discount chain grocery.

Toni M.

When the weather cools down it's time to make chicken soup. I used up the last of my schmaltz and need to make more. I went to Sprout's to see if they sell chicken backs and they don't. One of my friends suggested Magnani's and another suggested chicken feet would be a good addition, something I'd never used. I just called and they sell both, Mary's organic, the latter information helpfully volunteered by the man who answered the phone. I am very pleased and will head over there when the current heat wave breaks.

Tina M.

I've recently moved to this neighborhood with no expectations. I've appreciated the fact that this Hopkins strip consists of small local businesses, which I whole heartedly love and support, but I must say that this shop solely survives on it's fair prices of meat. I've been here several times now and have received the same experience each time- not memorable. The only reason I continue to buy meat here is because of the prices. Chicken thighs are cheaper than Trader Joe's. In addition, I live down the street from here. The last few times my partner went and asked for them to trim the fat off, they simply packaged the meat without acknowledgment of the question. I went yesterday and asked the same to see if my experience would be different. I asked how much the thighs were and the person told me $3.99. I asked for 2 pounds. Right before they wrapped it up, I asked for them to trim the fat off. The guy looked at me annoyed, dumped the meat on the counter, and did a half-ass job at trimming. He handed me the package and charged me an extra dollar per pound. First off, this is a meat shop. A butcher! It's your job to cut meat how a customer asks! Not to mention that on their website, it literally says, "has an in-house butcher who cuts the meat to customer specifications". To conclude, the only great thing about this place, is the fair prices and convenience. Otherwise, I'd never come back here. Hoping the owners will care enough to check their Yelp and Google reviews and make a positive change to their business.

Eric P.

I have been visiting Magnani's for 15+ years. The overall quality of product and customer service has taken a nose dive in the past year. I am guessing that something has changed with management or ownership. The employees come off as impatient and/or unhappy, and that you are burdening them with your business. I ordered sliced turkey breast from the deli yesterday, and opening it today I found dried out, off smelling, unappetizing meat. I paid ten dollars for 3/4 of a pound of what felt like leftovers from the back of the fridge, a few days past the due date. Magnani's is lucky there aren't many other butcher choices close by. It seems they are riding on this fact, and pushing low quality meats. They do have some interesting, hard to find items, but Berkeley has a wealth of nicer places to provide this. I really don't like to post a negative review for an independently owned business, but the proof is in the pudding. I really hope they can raise their standards to where they used to be!

Ym T.

It is so sad that this business has deteriorated over the past 5 years. Folks that once worked there used to have SOME knowledge about both the products they sold and SOME information about how to deal with cooking the meat. NOT so now. First, it appears that the new hires ( all the more mature and knowledgeable staff have left) are more along the lines of cashier checkers. My experience is when I ask questions about the meat, in preparation, just brief easy questions: one does NOT know. ALL THEY ARE DOING IS PACKAGING THE MEAT, AFTER WEIGHING THEM. Also, I've observed a questionable handling of the meat in-between the customers' requests. Today I purchased sausages; the handler was busy, of course- and moved from the customer before me to my request. NO HANDS WASHED IN-BETWEEN. And, not so critical, but frustrating: the cashier line is often backed up, and it appears those folks are below legal age for employment, or just about meeting that age, thus: little experience. I'm wary about the owners' attention to QUALITY AND SAFETY.

Joseph A.

This is a quaint little shop with years of history attached to it, it's been open about 100 years or so and despite the world around advancing rapidly, it still somehow manages to maintain its small storefront charm and "family" style business practices. This shop focuses a lot of its business towards the sale of poultry in its many forms; ranging from raw/fresh to hot and ready to eat, but they do also stock many other fresh cuts of meat, cold cuts, soups, stocks, and dry goods. The prices here are slightly higher than other stores in the area, but quality is truly number one here and can rival any other small shop or chain grocery store.

Claudia K.

I have been going to Magnani's for years and am very sorry to see that it go downhill. Today we ordered chicken thighs. Not too tricky, right? Not boned or skinned. Just chicken thighs. BUT these were so badly cut that bits of the back bone were sticking out. Some of them were a strange shape. There was lots of extra skin and fat hanging off them. They were, if you will excuse the expression, butchered. Why don't they have people there who can cut meat? It's a lose to the community.

Isaiah G.

First off parking kind of sucks in Berkeley but you'll find something around this area. The place is medium size but very high quality. You'll find some organic products. They sell all kinds of organic stocks. The meat is the freshest and they will cut it however you want. It is a little pricey but you get what you pay for here. The rotisserie chicken is also amazing. They have chicken noodle soup for sale. They also have tons of sandwich meat to pick from. I enjoy getting my meat very fresh and all different kinds of cuts. I recommend coming to check it out.

Susan R.

I have been a Magnani customer since the late 1980's when their store was located on College Ave in Oakland. I have continued to shop Magnani's at their Hopkins Street store in Berkeley. While their customer service has certainly declined over the years, my most recent experience was so negative and upsetting that I will never again patronize the store. One employee in particular - a rather matronly Hispanic woman - was shockingly rude and aggressive from the moment she spoke to me. Perhaps she was just having a bad day but, as always, from the customers perspective that really doesn't matter. This woman was condescending, very disrespectful and oddly enough it seems she really enjoyed mistreating me. My friend who witnessed this spectacle was really appalled, as was I. I decided there and then that I did not want to make the over $100 purchase I had come in for and I quietly told the woman that I won't be buying anything because she was so so so very rude. I was very mindful to keep my tone quiet and dispassionate in an effort to communicate to her my experience of her offensive behavior in hopes that she might reflect upon her unprofessional demeanor and not mistreat anyone else who simply wants some poultry sans abuse ! Such a shame that the management allows such an ill-behaved, abrasive female to interact with their clientele. I sure miss the good old days of Magnani College Ave and the fun guys behind the counter. I will never again return to Magnani's - there are lots of great alternative places to get chicken.

Matt McMahon

Super helpful

Lucy H.

Recently went in here to buy some bacon for a carbonara I was going to make later that evening. The young woman who was serving me seemed new (I could tell by the fact that it took her 3 minutes to just wrap the bacon in butcher paper). When I returned home and unwrapped my "bacon" I found 5 slices of pure fat. One or two slices had a tiny bit of actual meat on them, but 90% of what I bought was just pure fat. As you might imagine I was horrified, this was one of the final steps in the preparation of my meal and my guests were on the way over. I tried frying it up as a last resort (see pic) but ended up throwing it all away because I'm not going to serve my poor guests chewy, gross fat! New as this employee might have been, has she never seen what bacon is supposed to look like before? I cannot believe I was sold this. Horrible service.

Khalo Tran

Super , I love this store. Everything is fresh

Michael Quinn

Know for their chicken, but try the superlative pork. These are the pork chops you remember from when you where a child...before they bred all the taste out of 'the other white meat'. Fantastic!