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San Clemente Journal

Stocking up for the Holidays? Billy’s is the Place to Go

Nov 26, 2019 03:09PM ● By Nina Welch

Matt Wildermuth at Billy’s Meat, Seafood & Deli.

The Downtown Beat by Nina Welch

It’s always been a dream of Matt Wildermuth to own a restaurant or in this case a deli and he purchased Billy’s Meat, Seafood & Deli on September 13, 2018. He was always a “foodie” before that term was a thing, earning his culinary degree and a bachelor’s in Culinary Management. 
Matt moved to San Clemente with his family when he was l5, and after his schooling for 16 years Matt held a sales job at an industrial fabrics company that took him away from his food passion. When he got out of sales, he was a meat-cutter at Mission Viejo Meat House and then he was head chef for four years at Excel Long Range Sports Fishing in Point Loma. He learned a lot about fine dining at sea. “I even made bread on the boat,” says Matt. In the food business, he says, “I’m always learning and evolving. You never know everything about food.” 
According to Matt, owning a deli is the best place to show and enhance his food skills. All the original recipes and Billy’s butcher, Charlie of 15 years, came with the deli. The same customer-favorite sandwiches are made with love and high-quality meats and cheese. “The poor boy is our take on an Italian sandwich,” says Matt. 

Freshness at Billy’s is the key to quality products. Fish is delivered daily from Santa Monica Seafood’s, and Matt orders beef in smaller quantities in order to maintain the freshness. He receives fresh bread daily from Dawn Patrol Bakery.

With the holiday season approaching, Billy’s is ready to take turkey dinner orders. Shelton Farms free-range, antibiotic-free turkeys have always been a hit this time of year. Full Thanksgiving prepared meals are also available, and according to Matt, their gravy is renowned. With Christmas close behind, home cooks can find the best prime rib, filet, roast, or anything they want cut, at Billy’s.

Matt’s wife, Heather, is a Registered Veterinary Technician at the San Juan Animal Hospital. She helps out in the deli on the weekends. Their two daughters, Madison age 10 and Emily age 8, like to come to Billy’s after school when they’re not involved in gymnastics and aerial arts competition. 

Billy’s isn’t just a deli that’s a cut above the rest; it’s a gathering spot for locals. “I love watching the interaction of customers who often congregate in the courtyard,” says Matt.