Where Can You Buy Prime Ribs at the Grocery Store?

The meat section of the grocery store is the first place to check if you’re looking for where to find Prime ribs. Some stores like Whole Foods Market have in-house butchers, so you can check for freshly cut prime ribs there.

But Prime ribs aren’t always labeled as Prime meat. Some stores mark them with “Beef-Bone-in-Rib-Roast” or “Standing roast ribs.” To learn more about Prime ribs and stores where you can find them, keep reading this post.

Where can you find Prime ribs inside the grocery store?

The first place to check is the meat section. This is where pre-cut and packaged meat is. You’ll also find other types of meat there like chicken and pork. Another section you should check is the Butchers. Not all grocery stores have them, but it’s the section to visit if you need your meat cut right in front of you.

You can even ask them to debone the ribs. But we’d recommend leaving them in because they add flavor to meat when it’s cooked. They also keep pre-cut meat in display refrigerators. This is one of the ways grocery stores keep meat fresh.

Butchers standing beside display refrigerator containing meat


If you don’t find Prime ribs in the grocery store, it’s most likely due to the following reasons:

  • You’re looking out for the name “Prime ribs”. Prime ribs are also called “Beef-Bone-in-Rib-Roast” or “Standing roast ribs” in the grocery store. So lookout for those.
  • The store doesn’t have it. Prime ribs are the highest meat grades, meaning that they have the best quality for cooking. Because of this, customers place high demands on it. That’s why it’s so expensive. You’ll have better chances of finding it in a high-end hotel or restaurant. 

How do you shop for prime rib?

Shopping for Prime rib is easy. In our previous post on grocery stores with the best steaks, we discussed some of the tell signs of good meat. Before shopping for Prime ribs at the grocery store, decide on the size you want.

Typically, a whole Prime rib comprises six or seven bones and weighs between 16 to 20 pounds. This size can serve up to 14 people. One trick to determine how many ribs you’d need is to reserve one rib for two people. So if you’re cooking for four people, you’ll need two Prime ribs. 

The next thing is to observe the meat at the store. Look at the color. If it’s red, it should tell you that it’s fresh. If it’s a pale shade and has a foul odor, then it’s a sign that the meat has stayed out for too long. Avoid buying such beef, especially if you want your dish to taste nice.

Then look out for marbling and connective tissues. Marbling refers to those white specks on the meat, and the tissues are the white fibrous tissues surrounding the meat. If the meat has plenty of both, you should avoid it. Too many connective tissues make the meat tough, so you’re going to spend a long time cooking it. Meat with a fair amount of them is ideal. Not only will it taste good, but it’ll take a shorter time to cook.

On the other hand, too much marbling can be dangerous for your health. Marbling in meat is unsaturated fat. High intake of such fat can raise your blood cholesterol and cause heart disease. 

Most importantly, ask the butcher or store employee what grade the meat is. Most grocery stores sell Choice meat because Prime beef is expensive. In the following section, we’ll explain the difference.

Prime or Choice: What’s the Difference?

Prime meat is the highest grade of meat, and it’s gotten from young cattle. As a result, it has just the right amount of marbling, making it suitable for dry heating, boiling, roasting, or grilling.

Grilled beef ribs on a white plate

Meanwhile, Choice meat is the next meat grade or quality after Prime. It has less marbling than Prime beef, but you can still boil, roast or grill it. Other meat grades include:

  • Select
  • Standard
  • Commercial
  • Utility
  • Cutter
  • Canner

These are the lower meat grades, and we wouldn’t recommend shopping for them. Overall, look out for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shields on meat packaging. This should tell you if the Prime ribs you want to buy are authentic. 

Grocery stores that sell Prime ribs


You might be skeptical about purchasing meat online, but Amazon has positive reviews in that aspect. The e-commerce giant sells fresh USDA Prime ribs, which you can order from the comfort of your home. The bones have been removed and tied together for you in the package. It’s also shipped with ice to prevent spoilage and retain freshness.

USDA PRIME Prime Rib Roast - Shipped Fresh, Not Frozen (7-bone roast)
  • USDA Prime Beef
  • Wet aged 28 days
  • Shipped fresh, not frozen
  • Hand cut to order, bones removed and re-tied on
  • Pasture raised, grass fed and grain finished

Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club sells Prime ribs, but it’s a membership-only warehouse. So you’ll need to purchase a plan to shop there. The store no longer offers the 90-day free trial with all-access to products for new customers. So you can’t buy Prime ribs from the store without membership.


Like Sam’s Club, Costco is a membership-only warehouse. So you’ll need to purchase a plan to buy Prime ribs. Fortunately, Costco also allows you to shop without a membership. But there would be a 5% surcharge for you on the prices posted for their members.

Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market is the most popular grocery store, in terms of organic and natural quality. So if you’re conscious of your health, you should shop there. Unfortunately, the store doesn’t do deliveries, so you’d have to buy the Prime ribs in-store.


Safeway sells USDA Prime ribs, and they’re available for delivery and curbside pickup. If you look at the store’s website, you’d also find great recipes for cooking your Prime ribs.

Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s sells Prime ribs. But like Whole Foods Market, the store doesn’t do deliveries. So if you want them delivered to you, you’d have to use a third-party grocery delivery service like Instacart or Shipt.


Kroger sells deboned Prime ribs at affordable prices. Currently, they’re not available for home delivery. Still, you can use the website’s store locator to find a Kroger store near you that sells it. 


Now, you know where to find Prime ribs at the grocery store. Remember that not all meat that carries the Prime label is Prime meat. Most grocery stores carry Choice meat and label it as Prime. So ensure to check out for the signs we’ve aforementioned. 

Also, make a price comparison before buying the meat. Prime rib prices vary across stores. But the average cost of full Prime ribs is around $400. So if you get it for prices around $199 or $200, then it’s a Choice grade. Stores like Aldi may sell Prime ribs as part of the SpecialBuys items. But because of the store’s low price margin, you can tell that it isn’t authentic Prime ribs. 

We hope this post helps you find and select quality Prime ribs at the grocery store.

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