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Best $10-20 burger?

Yes, some may blanch at paying for a burger in the mid-teens, but regardless, it seems like every other bistro is coming out with their own take on the gourmet hamburg. It's the elemental challenge that the chefs like throwing in. I haven’t gotten around to trying them all out yet, but perhaps in time. In the meanwhile, has anyone tucked most of these badboys away? If so, any standouts? Other contenders also appreciated.

Harbord Room $14 – sharp cheddar, caramelized onions on Fred’s egg bun, with fries and a little salad + Berkshire bacon ($2). Recent board favourite.

Nota Bene – $19 - Jennifer’s Stilton beef brisket burger. On a burger blog, the author remarked that "this is the greatest thing I've ever tasted. Best burger in Toronto. I'll fight you if you disagree...seriously."

Allen’s $10, various toppings. Longtime champ. Rare as ya like it.

Weezie’s $14 –with frites – 8oz. beef, cheddar, bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion. Gets love all around. Medium-rare and juiiicy.

Globe Bistro $15 - Ontario Rib Eye Burger - Northern Woods mushrooms, Québec cheese curds, Niagara pancetta, house made pickles, Yukon gold frites. Fancy new entry.

The Drake $16 - Kerr Farms - bacon, white cheddar, Russian dressing / $18 blue cheese, caramelized onions, house bacon, roast jalapeno & Kozlik’s dijon aioli

Beerbistro $11 – seasoned with belgian ale on a beer buttermilk bun (+ berkshire beer bacon/beer-braised mushrooms/imported guinness cheddar $1.95/1.50/2.75). Solid, tasty burger that gets slept on despite all the beerbistro fans.

EDIT: Okay, so there's another current thread on a similar topic...

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  1. I am not a burger connoisseur, but I'd suggest that someone who is check out Tequila Bookworm's burger and see if it ranks inclusion on the list. Assuming you can find a waiter to serve you one, anyway.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jacquilynne

      Hmm..yes not very fond memories of the service at Tequila Bookworm. In fact it ranks as the worst service experiences in Toronto for me. It was SO bad that it was the one and only time that I did not leave a tip-they pissed me off that bad (and I can honestly say that even with pretty mediocre service I never leave less than 15%). Would never venture a foot in that place again. Surly, surly, surly and slow.

      1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

        I've never found it surly -- entirely non-existent sometimes, but invariably friendly if you could find someone to actually serve you. It sounds like the service is consistently slow and inconsistently also rude.

    2. Of the ones on your list, I've only tried Harbord Room and Allen's. Allen is always a fine burger but for total "yum" factor, I'd head straight over to Harbord. Best burger I've eaten in a very long time.

      1. for a limited time only the drake burger will be only $10 with a beer! only available from 4-8pm. not a bad burger but not the best... . the price may make it infinitely more palatable though.

        3 Replies
        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          Yeah, I saw this deal. It sounds pretty good... hopefully this time they won't overcook my burger.

          1. re: tjr

            went last night and they didn't ask how the burger was to be cooked.... really lovely pink through the middle though. i'd say it's a pretty awesome deal (also came with ample mound of great fries and a small pile of coleslaw).. i mean where do you get a beer (smaller pint) and a full burger meal for $10! great.

            but the allen's burger had them on quality of meat and the wonderful crisp exterior they get even for rare rare meat. but that's $8 with virtually nothing else. i'd hold the russian dressing.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              tried the drake burger yesterday under the $10 promo. My friend asked if the burger could be served pink and the server mentioned that all their burgers are cooked medium rare.

              My burger came nice pink and juicy. Unfortunately, my friend's burger was the complete opposite. $10 is a good deal...if you get the right burger. Weird that it was hit and miss on the same order.

        2. shouldn't the Bymark burger be listed here too?? I haven't personally tried it but heard it's good! =D

          2 Replies
            1. re: urbuddee

              bymark is $35, above poster's price range. It's a damn good burger though....

              Of the above, I've only had Allen's (my fav) and beerbistro (decent).

              Somehow, things like russian dressing just does not belong on a burger.

            2. The original comment has been removed