HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >

Discussion

Best burgers

  • b
  • bottomless pit Jan 2, 2006 11:07 AM

I'm on the neverending hunt for a great burger. I recently tried the blue cheese and walnut burger at the Yellow Griffin, but was a little underwhelmed. I like Allen's, but I wouldn't say their burgers rock my world.

Where do you go for your burger fix?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. My most recent favourites in order of preference. And fries happen to follow suit. Beaconsfield on Queen West, Epicure Cafe Queen West and Allens Danforth. Worth a shot is Utopia on College for an excellent but not consistent burger and fries. STAY AWAY from HERO BURGER!

    7 Replies
    1. re: Steven
      v
      Vinnie Vidimangi

      Fat Phils on Marlee.
      As good a bun as you are going to get unless it is a Portuguese bun. A big, tasty, juicy burger and cheap ($3.49?).
      Favourite combination: lots of onions, lots of honey mustard, a bit of hot pepper; tomato slice under the patty, dill pickle on the side, only when he uses Strubs (the yellow-green ones are not Strubs).

      1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

        Good call! Fat Phil's is the spot. It's nice to get a burger formed by hand not by a machine!

        1. re: MC

          Yes Fat Phils is pretty good for fast food quickie, but Allens is a sit down neighbourhood restaurant. I agree that Beaconsfield ROCKS. The Drake does a good burger too. mmmmmmmmmmmm

          1. re: jeff

            I love Allen's burger, but - amazingly enough - I was trapped into eating at Milestone's on John recently and they have a four cheese burger with garlic and black pepper that is pretty fine eating. Fries were soggy, but the burger was tasty, juicy, thick. Will go back again :):)

            1. re: Richard

              I second the Milestone's rec. Shockingly good considering the very low expectations I had for the place. Now, I would actually go back there when I need a fix.

              1. re: Richard
                b
                bottomless pit

                Is Milestrone's a sit-down restaurant?

                1. re: bottomless pit

                  Yes it is a sit down restaurant. Its a chain but all the food is decent. The service is always good and there is normally if not always an attached bar called Palomino that attracts a fun crowd. If you want a really SPECIAL burger get over to Beaconsfield!

      2. I still like Lick's....

        3 Replies
        1. re: kathleen

          Lick's hamburgher are god awful, just like everything else they serve. They are really the Pits.

          The best place I've tried is easily the Fire Pit, which has unfortunately (for me) moved out the the hinterlands of Mississauga.

          1. re: kathleen

            Me too! Lots of gunk and hot peppers. A good burger!

            1. re: kathleen

              I used to love their burgers, when they were fresh made in-house. Now, they're just using meat pucks like every other fast food joint.

            2. z
              Zak Mitchell

              No matter what else I try, I have to say that at lease so far, Licks is still the best.

              1. OK i bet im going to get pummeled, but i love the smoked gouda burger at Casey's...with the kettle chips. Its a really nice mix of a big slab of fried gouda....good for the New Years resolutions and a zippy salsa. Tell them to skip the shredded lettuce, nothing grosser than soggy grass on my burger.

                1 Reply
                1. re: el

                  I love the sweet potato fries at Casey's!

                2. The Tulip at Queen and Coxwell has fabulous burgers, if you can avoid their deliscious steaks. Great chocolate cake too, if you have any room for dessert.

                  1. hows your appetite? like a big juicy burger? you must try Dangerous Dans on Queen E at Broadview.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: glutton

                      Only eat there if you care more about quantity than quality. Their burger was the most bland thing I ever tasted. The place isn't very clean either.

                      1. re: Negaduck

                        I had friends that used to drag me there because they thought it was fun or something. I never really found bland, dry burgers all that fun but would go with them if we were going to the Opera House for a show. On last visit I had to use the washroom, based on the years built up bacteria festival I saw in the washroom I won't eat anymore food from DD ever again.

                      2. re: glutton

                        Their burgers are huge, but the prep is inconsistent. As a side note, they use real beef gravy in their poutine - I once found a rather large beef bone in mine *LOL*

                        1. re: CityMatt

                          I have to agree with CityMatt's and Negaduck's assessment of DD's.

                          Furthermore, I would add a VERY BIG caveat against trying the "Bull's Balls Burger" : three bland humongous globs of overworked ground meat, full of binders and cooked to a very unappetizing shade of brownish light grey, in a process that I still have not completely figured out, but that most lkely should include a combination of boiling, nuking in a microwave and God knows what else. Oh, and a quick pass on the grill to try to infuse (quite unsuccessfully, I must say) some "flame-broiled" flavor into those big lawn-bowling balls of non-descript meat.

                          Having said that, their regular-menu 8 oz. burgers are good and tasty. A little lean for my taste, but uqite good nonetheless. Feel free to add patties to your heart and stomach's desire (not too shabby, at $ 3.00 a pop). But if you want to get the best feel for what each variant of burger is really about, flavour and texture-wise, I would recommend to keep it simple and just order them as they are.

                          Fries are completely ho-hum: mmmhhh... I'm torn between McCain and Cavendish. but definitely NOT cut in-house. Milkshakes: now, that's another story....

                      3. Freshwood grill on roncesvalles has a great burger and fries (or salad) you can add 1 of many cheeses or grilled veg's aswell.Homemade and tasty.Also takeout or delivery.Check it out !

                        www.freshwoodgrill.com

                        1. Banquet Deluxe Burger at the Patrician on King East (at Sherbourne). Homemade, with the best attitude of a family run diner. The patties soemtimes fall apart..but who cares when it's so good.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: DJK

                            Second the Patrician, hmmmm, drooling just thinking about it!

                          2. friendly's bar and grill on queen near the drake has a great classic 1/2 pound burger, but the bar it self is alittle seedy get it to go, also found the other day on dundas i belive if lounge they got these mini burges they where great too. hero burgers are good but alittle over rated.

                            1. Dude.. if you haven't tried Golden Star's 'Home Burger Deluxe' .. you gotta. It's not in a very convenient location.. Yonge and Steeles....... but it will definitely satisfy your fix.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: chris

                                i concur with goldenstar, its the best out there.

                              2. Try out the Sci-Fi Cafe's Mothership 10 oz, homemade, mmmmm

                                1. Best Burgers I agree Dangerous Dan's is NOT good. It's all quantity NO quality. Like a really bland meatloaf on a bun.
                                  Fat Phil's is Fantastic and this one is way of the track but if you are in the east end (Pickering) and want a GREAT burger and Rings try Big M burgers on Liverpool. These are Fantastic.
                                  I will try the Tulip because everything else they do is Awesome.

                                  1. Apache Burger at Dundas just west of Kipling..They have been there for years, very greasy but great.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: tasoid

                                      apache burger is the michael jordan of hamburgers. the bread is nice, the patty is nice and the bbq sauce they use is killer. and the fries and gravy is in my all time top 3

                                    2. Golden Star Restaurant
                                      A Thornhill institution, this family-run burger joint has been open since 1965. And it’s easy to see why: the six-ounce, house-made patties are char-grilled and juicy, served with fresh lettuce and tomato, and house-made special sauce.
                                      7123 Yonge St., Thornhill, 905-889-6891.

                                      "Back when Coke cost a nickel, Margaret Costante and Frank Doria fell in love in South Porcupine, Ont. Eventually they ended up in Thornhill, where they opened the Golden Star in 1964. There, beneath the illuminated sign, they’re still serving the ace burgers that have made this north Toronto diner a favourite ever since the invention of Beatle boots. Toronto Star restaurant critic Amy Pataki gets misty when she talks about Golden Star. So I was prepared for a good hamburger when we walked up to the long counter. After all, Pataki knows her chow like few others in this city. But what we got was greatness. The juicy homemade patty tastes like chopped steak with a minced onion tossed in for extra oomph. Hot, fresh and perfectly cooked, with backyard smokiness and a lovely charred exterior, it fit the sesame seed bun like it was made to measure. The tomato was ruby red and juicy, the lettuce fresh. We also broke with protocol to try a vanilla shake and were initially disheartened to see it come out of one of those pre-fab machines. But it was actually quite tasty -- milky and sweet with a lovely vanilla flavour.

                                      Slip onto the orange plastic bench beneath plastic plants and enjoy your burger from a little plastic basket. It’s a total ’60s experience. We are unanimous. Golden Star is a great burger -- and the winner!" - from Toronto.com

                                      Just make sure you order the All Star Burger!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: redearth

                                        The Golden Star burger is my favourite burger of all time. By far the best I've ever had. All other burgers are compared to Golden Star, it is very rare that one matches up. It's just a good classic burger!

                                      2. Slopy Joe's Bar and Grill in south etobicoke has great burgers.....

                                        1. I thought Hal's was a pretty good burger. Certainly Allens is great. The big burgers at Dangerous Dans have a place and time but they aren't what I would rave about.

                                          1. I like the burger at Rebel House

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: emq

                                              I second that! Great Bison Burger and excellent fries. Plus, they will actually cook it to order!

                                              1. re: Atahualpa

                                                I was there last night. It's still good and they cook to order.

                                            2. Fox and Fiddle on the Danforth has excellent burgers.
                                              They are even better on Tusday when they are 2 for 1.
                                              Our volleyball team goes every Tuesday.

                                              1. Johnny's Burgers on Victoria Park just south of Sheppard. It's busy all the time. Worth the drive from wherever in the GTA.

                                                8 Replies
                                                1. re: Zengarden

                                                  They're always busy because they are cheap, not because they are good.

                                                  1. re: wordsworth

                                                    To each their own. Even as a guilty pleasure, it's still worth the drive across town (IMHO).

                                                    1. re: Zengarden

                                                      Johnny's is a Scarborough institution...it's good and cheap. Always lined up because they deliver a good product at a good price. Another Scarborough classic is the homeburger at the Real McCoy on Markham Rd. near Ellesmere area.

                                                      1. re: Finnegan

                                                        Johnny's is great and it's one place people actually don't bitch about waiting for food to *gasp* cook.

                                                        1. re: Finnegan

                                                          Real McCoy rocks! Best burger in the city! I don't get all this talk about Johnny's Burgers, they are cheap and you can taste it, frozen patties come on.

                                                          1. re: SeniorV

                                                            I totally agree with you on Johnny's. I have posted several time these are terrible. As finnegan stated they are an institution and I am convinced this is the only reason anyone would ever go... Because they remember "back in the day" Like Tony Soprano's say's remember when is the lowest form of communication. and Johnny Burgers are the lowest form of burgers.
                                                            "There's nothing like a great burger and Johnny's is nothing like a great buger"
                                                            Real McCoy though huh??? Never tried it, I'll have to check it out. the other two places I keep meaning to get to are Jetson On Egg E across from Canadian Tire and Shamrock off old Kingston in West Hill.

                                                            1. re: Connoisseur

                                                              Forgot to mention Weber's on the way to the cottage is in the same catagory as Johnny's. Living off nostalgia not good burgers

                                                      2. re: wordsworth

                                                        Second that! I tried Johnny's for the first time the other day, and although it was cheap, it was not good. Frozen patty, mostly filler, crappy bun. I didn't even finish it, and I love burgers. I think those who love it, love it for nostalgia's sake.

                                                    2. Miller's Bar i Dearborn, Mi. (a suburb of Detroit)

                                                      1. South Street Co. Burger

                                                        1. Okay, this is counter-intuitive and embarrassing.

                                                          I was dragged to Shoeless Joe's on Front (King?) the other day, where I sulkily ordered the mini-burger trio. Shoot me in the head but they were GOOD.

                                                          I've had boring dried-out mini-burgers at several places (Loft, Bymark?, a few others). But these were excellent. Hot, fresh, moist: very very good. I ate all three, with gusto.

                                                          So there you go :-)

                                                          1. The mini burgers at Trevor Kitchen is outstanding! Yes they are little, but they are juicy and oh so tastey....and there's 3 of them!

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: TOfoodie

                                                              <shrug>, I didn't like the ones at Trevor's. They WERE juicy - and better than most I've had.... but I found them boring.

                                                              I think I probably just don't like miniburgers in general, but lucked out at Shoeless Joe's. They weren't busy that night, the kitchen was probably pretty chilled out, and so the burgers were just really super fresh and well-made. Yum.

                                                              1. re: spigot

                                                                As I've mentioned on this board before, try the mini burgers at the Keg on Church St. and Front. Don't know about other locations but their mini burgers are great.

                                                            2. The Real McCoy on Markham south of Ellesmere. I've been eating their burgers and fries with gravy since the late 70's, and there's no comparison. Alas, location isn't as convenient as it was back then, but it's definitely worth a trip.

                                                              1. Weezie's for me. I keep trying other burgers, but I keep coming to the same conclusion. Weezie's is my very favourite.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Googs

                                                                  Had the Weezie's this weekend. I've read about it on a few burger boards and go by the place each night on the streetcar, so have had it on my mind for a while. Delicious burger. Very juicy. I ordered it med. rare. Great flavour. If anything, I'd say the bun's a bit too big.

                                                                2. You want to know a place I love? Very random. In Parkdale, on Close Ave. a few doors south of Queen, this spot called Mom's Fish and Chips (but everyone knows it as Jerry's). Homemade, charcoal-grilled cheeseburger for $3 tax in...our office is addicted to them. Now, you want to get that to go, it's not an eat-in place by any stretch of the imagination...and you'd better have a few minutes because Jerry operates on West Indian time. But man are they good.

                                                                  Good fries and rings though. I see people ordering the fish, but I've never done it, the burgers suck me in every time.

                                                                  1. Hey - this is crazy: last night I ate at the Epicure at Queen and Spadina, and asked for my burger "minimally done," expecting well done. I got medium rare!!

                                                                    It was delicious - fresh and hot and pink in the centre. Unbelievable.

                                                                    1. This place has been mentioned before in other burger threads, but it deserves another mention. Just recently I tried the burger at Rails and Ales on Danforth, just east of Pape. Great burger----huge too. In a prior thread, someone stated it was a one pound burger. Yup, that would be about right. I got it with cheese and peameal--excellent. The burger was nice and juicy, done just right.

                                                                      Be aware of one thing. If you go there during a Euro Cup qualifying match, they might try to hit you up for $20.00 because they assume you're there to watch the game. I guess they're trying to make some money off the PPV. When I was told this, I got up from the bar and started to leave. The bartender then intervened and told me that I didn't have to pay as long as I left before the match started (about 75 minutes away). This kind of ticked me off, but the good burger kind of redeemed things. Average fries.

                                                                      1. Yeah, the Griffin is funny because they want to be known for burgers, and have a gazillion types, but what is more important, quantity or quality?

                                                                        In that area, when I want a burg and a pint I go to http://www.brydens.ca/ at Jane and Bloor. Very tasty, especially with the carmelized onions on top.

                                                                        When I want a greasy burger and fries and don't need the beer, I like Jumbo burger at Runnymede and Dundas.

                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: highparkrunner

                                                                          I like D-Ganz on St. Clair West near Christie. Great steaks, excellent burgers.

                                                                          1. re: bend_me_shape_me

                                                                            Big Boy's Burgers.... It's a take out place at Kingston Rd and St. Clair (Scarborough) great burger

                                                                            1. re: Connoisseur

                                                                              Not bad burger too big for me it's like meatloaf on a bun.

                                                                              1. re: SeniorV

                                                                                Funny that's my best description about Dangerous Dan's "meatloaf on a bun", only difference is DD's is a flavourless meatloaf lol... The other thing I really liked about BB's was the owner (Mike) he was a really nice, young guy with personality you just had to pull for him. Now that he opened the second location in Pickering (White's and Kingston) I don't think he spends any time in Scarbough but glad he's doing well.

                                                                        2. Burger Shoppe Queen East, Very Tasty Bigger, Hands down the Best Classic Burger in Town. Won't find any Guck or Dijon Dressing on this Burger

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: visualhornet

                                                                            I've been there twice... The first time, the burger was good, really good. Juicy, perfect bun - everything about it said, "This is the best burger you've ever had in Toronto." The second time, not so much - unbelievably overcooked patty, crappy bun, badly applied toppings, etc... I will try once more, and then I will come to a decision. Until then, I am sitting on the fence.

                                                                            1. re: redearth

                                                                              I only had it the one time, so will try it again and see what happens. Anyone been to Craft Burgers?

                                                                              1. re: visualhornet

                                                                                I tried it and while overall, it wasn't bad I wouldn't repeat. I found the patty dry and not particularly flavourful, but the toppings were nice and bun wasn't too soft or crumbly. The fries were nice - crispy and salty.

                                                                          2. I just had the Burger at Tati (sp) on Harbord where the old Kensington Kitchen used to be.. They asked "how we wanted it cooked" and cooked perfectly medium rare for me... it was a very good burger not too big, not too greasy, soft enough bun but still some character not a packaged Westons. Standard toppings could have been more red onion, pickes were a bit too light and tomato was a bit hard mayo on the side without asking... fries were thick and fluffy I liked them...

                                                                            1. Stand by for my full report on the following places: Golden Star, Johnny's, Allen's, The Burger Shoppe, Craft Burger, and Bronto Burger. I've been on a quest, of late, to find the best burger in T.O., and I started with what are many CHers faves (all of the above except Bronto Burger)... Prepare for the boat to be rocked!

                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                              1. re: redearth

                                                                                if you have room....also try Liberty, Toba, Beaconsfield, Universal. Then youre an expert.....

                                                                                Not sure how Johnnys and Allens can coexist on the same list.
                                                                                Burger Shoppe and Craft - if they stand a chance to impress I reco the organic and a request to add extra seasoning.
                                                                                Golden Star - be sure to get the homeburger.

                                                                                1. re: deelicious

                                                                                  I guess you could use the categories of best burger under $XX and best over $XX.

                                                                                  And redearth, please add Weezie's to your quest. No great burger hunt would be complete without it. I started mine when Toby's Good Eats opened at Bloor & Bay and was THE burger joint of Toronto. I miss their varieties... Sniff

                                                                                  1. re: deelicious

                                                                                    I've actually tried them all already, some of them several times, just to be fair in my criticism. The only reason such disparate places exist on the same list is because these are all places that CHers have recommended as having their favourite burger. When I have the time I will give a full report, including ACME burger, which I revisited today. Thanks, Googs, for the reco - I will add Weezie's to my list (as well as Magoo's, Universal, etc., etc.). Until my full report, I will say the following: No burger, thus far, has exceeded my expectations. Some have been good. Some have been really good. Sadly, most have been bad, and none have been great.

                                                                                    1. re: redearth

                                                                                      Your a good tease!

                                                                                      1. re: redearth

                                                                                        Whenever anyone asks me about the "best burger", I automatically split into two categories - cheap 'n cheerful, or pricey 'n perfect. The former applies to places where you might often purchase the burger for takeout, while the latter refers almost exclusively to sit down, eat in places.

                                                                                        So, I see no dichotomy in adding Johnny's and Allen's on the same list. Johnny's hits the first category, Allen's the second. In the second group, I really, really miss Toby's. They were, as promised, "honest burgers". The "Courage" (with chili) were great, as were many other varieties, including plain. (Fries were another matter; I wish every cook had been forced to spend a month in rural Quebec, eating chips out of converted school buses; then, they might know..)

                                                                                        As for cheap n' cheerful - that includes every fast food chain. I prefer Harvey's or Johhny's because they make their burgers to order, when you order, and let you load up with your choices of condiments, including fried onions instead of raw, sweet relish vs. dill pickles, ketchup vs. bbq sauce, etc. I think they offer a much better value than most FF paces.

                                                                                        1. re: KevinB

                                                                                          KevinB & Googs - I miss Toby's too, but for the eggs benny. Was my destination and I'm adrift now...

                                                                                        2. re: redearth

                                                                                          Don't forget to check out the buger at The Harbord Room. Weezie's burger was super good, but Harbord Room burger is a good notch above it in flavour and is the best burger I've had in this city.

                                                                                          1. re: redearth

                                                                                            hey, ever come up with the report?

                                                                                      2. Tried Allen's today. Burger w/ swiss and mushrooms - I like mine well-done with a bit of a roasted crust, this was perfect. The pickles, tomato, lettuce and white onion were fresh, bun toasted w/o butter. Dijon on side delish. All very good. Steak fries with sweet potato 50/50 were crisp on outside and fluffy on inside (until I soaked them in malt vinegar - a true guilty pleasure), served with a pot of sour creme.

                                                                                        I was seated quickly - was on my own and this was just fine with them. I told the waitress (friendly and attentive) I was there because of this thread on CH and she pulled the menu and told me about the burgers. She was great. So $21 included burger, fries, corona. It was a good lunch. I want to go back and try more on the menu.

                                                                                        Q. Does anyone know the place a few doors further W on the same side that does a physic thing every other Saturday? I thought that might make a great chick event with some friends soon if the food is edible...

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: xssnrg

                                                                                          I think you mean The Old Nick.

                                                                                        2. Anyone try the Xtreme burger at Moxies?? I know, probably not the type of place you would expect a great burger, but it looked damn good!

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Badabing

                                                                                            My buddy told me about the extreme burger at Moxies and claimed it was one of the best he has ever had . . . So I decided to go before we went to a movie at Yorkdale . . . I must say that the burger did surprise me . . . It was possibly the juiciest burger I have ever had and they had really good double smoke bacon and some good aged cheddar with sauted onions and mushrooms as well . . . It really was quite tasty . . . I don't know about the rest of the food there but the burger is worth checking out...

                                                                                            SB

                                                                                            1. re: snackboy

                                                                                              Good burger. But the bun has failed on me each time I've had it. It's way too small, and eventually shreds to bits

                                                                                          2. Ok - I just had the most amazing burger at Marvelous Edibles on Laird. WOW. Thick, juicy and from beef raised by the chef, grass fed (apparently), lots of spices - has a spicy mayo, fresh romaine, dill pickle, tomato. So good. I had it with sweet potato fries, served with a great dip (no idea what's in it). Great lunch! Suggest a reservation - it's so popular now...

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: xssnrg

                                                                                              I like the Burgers from Bigliardi's (Church St.) Bar Menu.

                                                                                              It's only about $8 or $9, and is served with fries.
                                                                                              The menu says it's "homemade."
                                                                                              All I know is it's juicy and tasty!
                                                                                              Has anyone else tried it?

                                                                                            2. Why do the best burgers come from pretentious sit-down restauraunts (Correct me if I'm wrong, but Weezies looked like a dining room kind of place).. So disappointing

                                                                                              How hard is it go find a decent take-out burger for ****'s sake

                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                There is nothing, zip, zero, zilch, bupkis pretentious about Weezie's. It's as hard as calling ahead.

                                                                                                1. re: Googs

                                                                                                  I am sad to report the demise of the Weezies $15 burger. It used to be in the top 4 of this city, and is now on the bottom. Soggy bun, mysteriously wet yet dry well-done meat, just awful. Plus, other than the burger, prices have skyrocketed with most mains around $27 (used to mostly be under $20) and poor cooking skills in general (greasy battered deep fried deboned smelts?)

                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                  Weezie's
                                                                                                  354 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K9, CA

                                                                                                  1. re: Food Tourist

                                                                                                    Do you suppose they have the 'new chef' blues? Constance has been devoting time to the future food shop in the neighbourhood. There's another woman in the kitchen these days.

                                                                                                    1. re: Googs

                                                                                                      The red-shirt servers were totally clueless. A helpful dark-haired lady took care of our customer service issues (both the greasy smelts and the awful burger). I think she was the chef but not in the kitchen for some reason. I definitely got the feeling that there was a newbie or clueless cook in the kitchen, not a chef. Too bad they took such a risk on a Friday night during prime time.

                                                                                                      1. re: Food Tourist

                                                                                                        It was heartbreaking enough when they lost Peter the perfect server. I certainly hope they figure out how to juggle two kids and do it soon.

                                                                                                2. re: duckdown

                                                                                                  To some of us who grew up before the fast food era, a burger is a patty AT LEAST 3/4 inch thick, freshly cooked to taste, juicy, and beefy.

                                                                                                  At one time, Lick's served this kind of burger, but they don't any more. I'm open to takeout burgers that meet my standards, but I don't know anyplace to get one. Burger Shoppe sure isn't. So dining room burgers it is, of which I like Allen's best.

                                                                                                  Bymark is an example of "pretentious".

                                                                                                  Mostly I eat my burgers at home.

                                                                                                  1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                    What makes many of the restaurants mentioned pretentious? No disresepct but if I recall you found Caplansky's to be sketchy and now these restaurants are pretentious. That's a pretty narrow range of acceptable places.

                                                                                                    1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                      With you 100% duckdown. Why can't I sit at a good comfortable bar, have a great burger, crispy fries, and a cold beer? It's one thing the TO gastronomic scene has yet to nail.

                                                                                                    2. GOLDEN STAR ---- BEST BY FAR, IF YOU HAVE A CAR ITS NOT TOO FAR!!!!! thats whats you'll get if you go there, up yonge just north of steeles east side - deluxe homemade burger, can't beat it.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: iloveoliveoil

                                                                                                        Oh my gosh, so true! We live up by there and Golden Star burgers are amazing, I couldn't agree with you more. I too used to love Lick's burgers when the very first Lick's opened in the Beaches it was terrific, but now they aren't all that great and their special sauce seems somewhat different too. I purchased a bottle of once and it was god awful!

                                                                                                      2. for an old school buger I really like the patty melt at The Pilot Tavern . . . It's served on toasted rye with sauted onions . . . The burger is juicy and seems very beefy ( I know a burger should taste beefy but many don't) . . . when you get it make sure to get the sweet potato fries as they are much better that their regular fries...

                                                                                                        Enjoy,

                                                                                                        SB

                                                                                                        1. An update on Allen's, they now offer a second burger made with meat from Dexter cattle. They actually have a whole new side menu offering meat from Dexter cattle that they source from a local farm. The burger is more expensive than the regular, it's $16, but comes with a side of onion rings. On a side note, I haven't been impressed w/ anything coming from their deep fryer, it's not crispy enough.

                                                                                                          Burger wise, I had the regular, while my companion had the dexter. I found the texture of the dexter burger to be more tender. Flavour wise, I preferred the regular.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: aser

                                                                                                            I can't think of any advantage to having Dexter beef at Allen's except that it is an Irish (dual purpose) breed.. It is a small cow with lean meat, and none of the sturdy well flavored and textured beef from Aberdeen Angus.

                                                                                                            1. re: jayt90

                                                                                                              To the waiter's credit, he did explain the difference by describing dexter as "leaner and more flavourful". Well I heard the leaner part and went w/ the regular version.

                                                                                                              I don't want lean when I'm indulging in an occasional burger. I still think the original is more flavourful.

                                                                                                          2. I tried the burger at Speedy Burger (on Queen E. at the DVP) last week and it was delicious. Big (more pancake than hockey puck) home made and juicy, soft bun. The usual toppings but Mr. Speedy will fry the onions for you if you ask. A steal at less than $4.
                                                                                                            It should be called Seedy Burger 'cause it's not much to look at but everything I've had there has been great and very inexpensive.

                                                                                                            1. I'm interested in a good take-out burger

                                                                                                              normally I go to the burger shack but its a pretty thin patty

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                                For hand made burgers in a small family-run place, try Collegiate Lunch, $6 or $7 for a take out meal. I know you'll say it's out of the way, but there are not many diners like this left.
                                                                                                                Here's the clincher: There is a big high school around the corner, and the students don't come here, they bee-line MacDonalds!

                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                Collegiate Lunch
                                                                                                                1024 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M1Z5, CA

                                                                                                                1. re: jayt90

                                                                                                                  I've heard this place mentioned before actually, t hanks.. I will check that out

                                                                                                                  Cheers

                                                                                                              2. I find burgers are best enjoyed locally I want a place close to home where I can get a great tasting burger at a reasonable price. I don't often want to travel across the city for an expensive burger, even when it tastes really fantastic. Being a Finch/Dufferin, Bathurst/Sheppard kind of guy, I end up at the Times Square Diner on Wilson Heights, just south of Sheppard for my 'everybody knows your name' experience. All day breakfast, old fashioned comfort food dinners, or just simple burger meals are all available. The draft beer in chilled mugs is a real deal.
                                                                                                                The burger is home-made style, not a frozen patty. And the cheeseburger is covered in real cheddar, not processed slices.

                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                Times Square Diner
                                                                                                                531 Wilson Heights Blvd, Toronto, ON M3H2V7, CA

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: torontovore

                                                                                                                  I drove by this place today and did a double take. A gleaming chrome paneled diner on Wilson Heights of all places! It looked really cool I must say. I think I'm going to check it out.

                                                                                                                2. Tried Allen's for the first time this week. Very nice bar with an excellent beer selection and great service.

                                                                                                                  Topic Burger : Tender, juicy, nicely cooked, medium rare, well seasoned meat, but the patty was too small in diameter. Fix'ins were terribly weak. One leaf of romaine (should be iceberg), roma tomato slices with green core included - yikes (it's summer. would it be too difficult to get a nice slice of a brandywine or such?), thick slice of raw white onion (thin sliced red onion soaked biefly in water to take the edge off would be better), dijon mustard is too strong, and dill pickle relish (I am a fan of sweet green relish - I know, I know). Dill pickle slices were OK. Swiss cheese was too strong, cheddar or blue alternatives would be worse.

                                                                                                                  I'll definitely go back, but have a plain burger with a touch of dijon. Maybe bring my own relish in to...

                                                                                                                  1. I have a burger-related question. Yesterday I read about a burger pub called Blueberry Hill that's located near York University.

                                                                                                                    Are the owner/operators the same people who operated the old 'Blueberry Hill' on Bloor Street back in the late 80s-early to mid 90s? Those were damn good burgers.

                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: somewhere4

                                                                                                                      Don't know the answer to your question - but when I attended York back in the 90's Blueberry Hill burgers were top notch. I think you inspired me to go back to school and taste those burgers again.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Pizza Lover

                                                                                                                        Thanks. I may just have to make a trek up there myself.

                                                                                                                        1. re: somewhere4

                                                                                                                          Wow!?! Blueberry Hill ... that stirs up +20 year old memories!
                                                                                                                          I went to their Mississauga location as a kid.

                                                                                                                          I think they were one of the first quality burger places in the GTA!

                                                                                                                          That said, I think (like Lick's) they are dinosaurs to the new wave of Indy burger places in the city.

                                                                                                                          1. re: 5andman

                                                                                                                            Oh my God, Blueberry Hill! I LOVED it there as a kid -- so many good memories at the Mississauga location (had no idea it was a chain, but oh well!)

                                                                                                                            If there's still a Blueberry Hill kicking around at York, I'd love to go... unless it sucks, which is what I seem to be reading... any confirmation on this? Nostalgia ain't worth the drive if I'm going to leave hungry.

                                                                                                                          2. re: somewhere4

                                                                                                                            Blueberry Hill burgers at York might once have been good, but that is distant memory. they are very very bad these years

                                                                                                                            1. re: shekamoo

                                                                                                                              BURGER'S PRIEST, thread over

                                                                                                                              1. re: Bobby Wham

                                                                                                                                WHAM has spoken! Best y'all listen, now!!

                                                                                                                      2. Went to Stockyards for lunch yesterday.
                                                                                                                        I'm an East Yorker, so Stockyards is not the easiest resto to go to (getting to st clair from East York is a pain), hence my delay in going there for lunch.

                                                                                                                        ordered their Animal Burger w'fries. i haven't tried any of the new burger boys in town, but so far, this gets my award for Toronto's best burger. juicy, messy, full of flavour and stuffed with goodness...mmmm....and the fries were also excellent.

                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                        East York
                                                                                                                        1039 Pape Ave, Toronto, ON M4K3W1, CA

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: atomeyes

                                                                                                                          I loooooove Stockyards, but if you are up for travelling for great burgers, make a point of visiting the Priest, and then please post a comparison

                                                                                                                        2. Hey gang!
                                                                                                                          Just got home from a little errand-running and a stop at The Burger's Priest, and let me say that I've been meaning to add my name to the long list of TBP enthusiasts. (FYI - I'm more of a take-out burger type of guy rather than a $28 smoked brie and cabernet-poached-pear burger fan :-)

                                                                                                                          If you've never been to TBP, I'd recommend ignoring the group's advice and getting a single cheeseburger (or you may need two) because I think the bun-to-meat ratio is just perfect. And absolutely get it with the fried onions (ignore the fact that one thin slice of onion freshly grilled costs $1 and go for it anyway, seriously) the flavour complement to the freshly-ground beef is outstanding!

                                                                                                                          These burgers are so good, and the meat so fresh that to me they are best without any other condiments, but go ahead if you must :-)

                                                                                                                          Oh, and I also have to disagree with those that are apathetic about the fries, I think they are awesome, perhaps some of the best in the city - but then again, I don't typically run with the crowd :-) These fries are thin-cut about 1/4" and perfectly cooked, slightly greasy and a little softer due to being served in a bag, rather than a box. They taste like real potatoes that have been successfully twice-fried in hot oil and I love 'em. But I've never understood the obsession some people have with fries being pale white, crispy and tasteless except for the piles of salt they pour on.

                                                                                                                          If I'm being ultra-fussy CHOW-style I would say a tad less seasoning on the burger, a tad less salt on the fries, and turn the flat-top up 50 degrees or so, to put a darker crust on my med-rare burger and I'm in heaven.

                                                                                                                          All-in-all they get full marks from me, definitely my #1 fave place for a take-out burger in the city.

                                                                                                                          Cheers,
                                                                                                                          .James.

                                                                                                                          (What's #2 you ask? ... that'd be Real McCoy in Sarberia, (similar but better than Golden Star or Buger Shack, plus better fries and gravy) ... but I admit I've never tried the burger at Stockyards, always opting for the killer Fried Chicken or their awesome Porchetta & Rapini sandwich) :-)

                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: TorontoTips

                                                                                                                            I'm really glad that I can piggy back on a fellow Hounders experience of TBP... Based on all the hype and rage a couple of us checked it out Friday and all I can say is SADLY DISAPOINTED!!! I wanted to love this place I really did.

                                                                                                                            Firstly: The place is tiny Sorry I mean TINY... Note to self, We can live with that. Not worth complaining about.
                                                                                                                            Secondly: The guy at the counter not very friendly or welcoming... Note to self, it was busy and really, were here for the burger not the service. not worth complaining about.
                                                                                                                            Thirdly: Everything on the burger is à la carte... Note to self, I guess I should be happy the bun wasn't extra lol not worth complaining about. But, I mean really? à la carte. Everything???
                                                                                                                            Fourthly: The burger... the burger was........ OK? it wasn't out of this world and it certainly was not exceptional? yes it was fresh, but it wasn't anything that any of us couldn't throw together at home.

                                                                                                                            fifthly: and this is where I the wheels fall off completely… . So looking past the size of the place, the size of the burgers, the à la carte Everything??? And the mediocre service.. As we were leaving we happened to notice a couple of guys eating burgers. “Wait a minute, Hold the phone”… Their burger looks vastly more impressive than anything we saw on the menu, Pourquoi??? The following conversation goes something like this…

                                                                                                                            Us; Hey that looks great. What burger is that?
                                                                                                                            Them; The Vatican burger”
                                                                                                                            Us; We didn’t see that on the menu”
                                                                                                                            Them; It’s not on the menu, it’s a “special item”
                                                                                                                            Us; special item?
                                                                                                                            Them; Yeah it’s on “the secret menu”
                                                                                                                            Us; what secret menu?
                                                                                                                            Them; they have a secret menu that’s only available through facebook it’s a REALLY COOL idea
                                                                                                                            Us; Facebook?
                                                                                                                            The guy behind the counter; Yeah we have secret menu items that are only posted on facebook, it’s a REALLY COOL idea.
                                                                                                                            Us; Walk out thinking WTF???

                                                                                                                            Note to self, It’s a really STUPID idea but not worth complaining about because we’ll never be back.

                                                                                                                            WTF?

                                                                                                                            1. re: Connoisseur

                                                                                                                              Yeah, a lot of burger places do that, especially in the states. Not that weird given the type of spot they're going for there. Also, the secret burgers aren't really that secret. I thought most people were aware of them.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Connoisseur

                                                                                                                                Thanks for the heads up Connoisseur,

                                                                                                                                I can understand your astonishment. What you describe sounds, well, stupid, on many levels. Haven't been to TBP yet but it has lost some of it's appeal. I'll still give it a try, but I'll check Facebook to see which foot I need to stand on to order correctly...

                                                                                                                                PS Hate using Facebook. They are turning the freedom of the internet into a corporate monopoly.

                                                                                                                                1. re: jmarcroyal

                                                                                                                                  The only thing I'm going to disagree with you about is your service comment. While service might not be important to you for a takeout burger joint it is to others. I know for myself I tried BP once and while I did enjoy my burger I had the same feeling as the poster above about the person taking orders. There was only 2 other people in the place eating, nothing on the flat top cooking and we coudn't even get a hello or semi smile from the person taking orders.

                                                                                                                                  While I did like the burger at BP I'm not into driving for 40 minutes to give someone my business who doesn't seem to appreciate it, especially when I live 5 minutes from Golden Star(Yonge and Steeles area) and they are a very friendly place with good burgers.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: fatguy16

                                                                                                                                    Totally agree!

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Connoisseur

                                                                                                                                    Your burger was a la carte? I'm confused?

                                                                                                                                    For those who've never been, you order a cheeseburger and get to select your free condiments and toppings, (lately, I'm a mustard & fried onions guy at TBP) or you order a combo and you get fries and a drink with your burger. If you want bacon or fried onions they cost extra, other toppings are free. Nothing unusual about it to me, exactly the same as every take-out burger joint I've ever been to.

                                                                                                                                    The "secret burgers" are modeled after In & Out Burgers, and are just kitschy combos of toppings & extra patties, etc. for the fanboys. Examples include adding bacon to a veggie burger, (The Religious Hypocrite), grilling a bun into a grilled-cheese and using one for the top, one for the bottom, and putting a doublecheese-doublepatty in the middle (Vatican) or putting the cheese-stuffed mushroom veggie 'option' on a Vatican, (Tower of Babel) etc. Goofy. Nothing to see here :-)

                                                                                                                                    I do agree with your comment about tiny - it's crazy-tiny, with 4 or 5 stools at a counter, and barely enough room to hold all the drooling fools like me waiting to take out their amazing, flat-top, freshly-ground cheeseburger slice of heaven :-) Service is not effusive, but surprisingly quick, even when it's ultra-busy.

                                                                                                                                    Bottom-line, food is subjective. Some folks love burgers at Johnny's (retch), some love waygu beef burgers on brioche with poached pear relish and sun-dried asparagus foam (expensive retch) and some love old-school greasy flat-top burgers on soft white buns like you get from In & Out, or Steak & Shake. I'm the latter, and these are damn good examples of this style of burger - best in the city that I've found.

                                                                                                                                    (Then again, I live 5 minutes from Golden Star, too, but I drive to The Real McCoy for even better charcoal-style burgers, and better fries with gravy, too. And say hi to George the owner, he's ultra-friendy, just no rhymes :-)

                                                                                                                                2. Definitely not the best burger in Toronto, but definitely the best deal in Toronto right now is at Jetsun's Juicyburger. I went to their Eglinton/Warden location on Friday and they are selling their $5.50 Juicyburger for 1/2 price in January.

                                                                                                                                  At that price it's definitely worth it. Not sure if it's at their other locations...but it was at the Scarborough one.
                                                                                                                                  Some people have mentioned Jetsun's in this thread...I would rank it top-10. Patty is a bit thick, but filled the burger craving I was having at the time.

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: pakmode

                                                                                                                                    Its ok Ill say that much, but last time I went there the workers kept talking to me trying to sell me on their product, telling me that the potatos were grown in ontario and how fresh everything is blah blah blah. I just want to order a burger and eat it. If you feel your message is important, have it written on napkin so I can read something while I eat...

                                                                                                                                    Anyway, the place is decent, and if that burger is half price, it might be enough to bring me back again, but imho, it wasnt anything special...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: pakmode

                                                                                                                                      Can't disagree more. Just think Lick's but not as good.

                                                                                                                                      McD's McDoubles are better for the price.

                                                                                                                                      DT

                                                                                                                                    2. BQM at queen and spadina. i'm surprised that no one's mentioned it. they use beef from grass-fed cows. no chance of e.coli, so you can have your burgers cooked to medium. it's a bit on the pricey side (about $8 a burger), but is definitely one of the best burgers in town.

                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: chrisco

                                                                                                                                        While I'm a proponent of raising cattle on pasture, grass-fed beef is not immune to e.coli.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tatai

                                                                                                                                          i know that e.coli could have something to do the processing of the meat and contamination in the process. but according to the documentary "food inc." feeding cows grass at least for the last 3-5 days before slaughter ensures that e.coli would be flushed out of the system.

                                                                                                                                          anyways, it was a nice burger, nonetheless.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tatai

                                                                                                                                            Similarly, e.coli can be contracted from knives, blades, kitchen equipment, mattes, grinder, etc.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: chrisco

                                                                                                                                            someone correct me if I am wrong, but I am under the impression that the fact that they can cook to medium has nothing to do with the beef being grass-fed. the regulations are concerned with where the meat is ground and whether it is from one animal or more. Also Grass-fed is different from Grass-finished. not to take away from this burger though, the move away from cornfed beef is worthwhile and should be supported

                                                                                                                                            1. re: shekamoo

                                                                                                                                              I think the regulations say the meat must be ground on site or on the day of serving, something to that effect. It doesnt matter if the cow is grass fed or whatever, if its been ground in some processing plant and frozen and shipped and all that, then its not fresh and should be cooked more thoroughly.

                                                                                                                                              I heard somewhere that a McDonalds burger patty could contain meat from over 100 different cows, so Id definetely dont want that medium rare!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: jmarcroyal

                                                                                                                                                Any ground beef from a large packer can contain mixtures of hundreds of animals in one tray. The major producers won't test for e coli after the ground beef is shipped. A few retailers do their own testing, but are cut off from some large packers.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: shekamoo

                                                                                                                                                grass-fed and grass-finished both reduce the chance of e.coli in the cow's stomach by 80%. but yes, bqm does process the meat on site which is another factor that that allows them to serve their burgers at medium.