Wagyu versus Kobe– it might sound like an MMA match or the title of a samurai movie, but it is actually two Japanese classifications for beef. The terms Wagyu and Kobe are becoming more popular across the globe, showing up in movies and restaurant menus alike. If the price can be trusted, product is certainly delicious; but what does Wagyu or Kobe actually mean?

Read on for D’Arcy’s guide to understanding Wagyu and Kobe beef classification.


Literally translated as “Japanese cow,” Wagyu is a broad term that defines many breeds of cattle domesticated in Japan. Wagyu cattle’s beef is exceptionally well marbled* thanks to centuries of Japanese feeding and breeding techniques. Nowadays, Wagyu-style cattle farms are operated all over the world– though Alberta is the only other province besides PEI to produce Wagyu beef.

*Marbling is a patchwork of fat that gives red meat its flavour, as well as determining its grade and market cost.


Like products such as Champagne or Parmesan cheese, authentic Kobe beef can only be sourced from a highly specialized part of the world that follows intense regulations– specifically a certain strain of cattle produced around Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Still, like the aforementioned products, Kobe-style beef is widely available at a relatively lower price. The main difference from authentic and Kobe-style is the strict quality guidelines that are followed, which limit the worldwide total of certified Kobe cattle to just a few thousand cows in Japan.

*Note: All Kobe beef raised from Wagyu cattle; but not all Wagyu beef can be classified as Kobe beef.

Do you want to experience the “melt-in-your-mouth” sensation of finely marbled beef? Do you have a refined palate or are you simply looking to treat yourself? Want to leave your next BBQ guests with your reputation as the Indiana Jones of steak? Visit D’Arcy’s and ask about locally available Wagyu, Kobe and Kobe-style beef!

Our professional and friendly staff will work with you to find a product that suits your needs and budget. We boast years of knowledge and experience in the industry and we are happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have.