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Jan 1, 2011 12:57 PM

Burger and shake places downtown?

I recently visited NYC and in the lower east side there is a gem of a burger place called Mikey's; grill squashed medium rare burgers, soft squishy buns(not the 'stiffer the crust the ritzier' mentality!), gourmet dogs, hand-cut fries and AMAZING thick shakes.
I'm wondering if there's anything comparable in toronto? Maybe a little Hipster, and gourmet-ish but not super upscale. All of the 'craft burgers' I've tried thus far are served on a stiff kaiser and I really love the soft buns.
Any ideas, chowhounds?

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  1. This is the closest you're going to get:

    I don't know if they have shakes, though.

    5 Replies
    1. re: TorontoJo

      My favourite burger place in Toronto is W Burger Bar.

      1. re: kwass

        But I don't think W Burger Bar serves the type of burgers the OP is looking for. The Burger's Priest is the only place that I'm aware of that serves the griddled, squashed, New York style burgers (a la Shake Shack) he's looking for. There may be the hidden mom and pop diner here and there that do this, but I couldn't name any.

        1. re: TorontoJo

          FYI. Stockyards Smokehouse & Larder is doing flat top burgers as well. Also, "griddled" and "squashed" burgers aren't an exclusively New York thing. They are really a diner/drive in thing. Fact, the original McDonalds burger is the template for this style of burger and most of the big chain fast food joints all started in the same manner ie. Burger King, Wendy's et al. You can find burgers like these in most places throughout North America. In & Out Burger has easily been the most visable place serving burgers in this style and they are based in California. Just for clarification.

          1. re: insideman

            Yep, I recognize that other places do flat top burgers (and yes, love In and Out and even have a Steak 'n' Shake craving once in a while), but given the OP's experience, I was sticking to the New York experience.

            I haven't tried Stockyards burger, still need to make my way there to try the fried chicken!

          2. re: TorontoJo

            W Burger bar does give you the option of charbroiled or "griddled" but I don't know if they are "squashed". I usually get mine charbroiled, but they do have some good shakes too from what I hear... they offer "spiked" shakes too. It is worth checking out. I am trying to remember the bun if it is soft or hard, I don't recall it being super "crispy" bun, I think it was fairly soft...

      2. For the stuff you want downtown, the best option is actually Johnny Rockets. Smashed burgers, very good shakes, Nathan's hot dogs. But it is not exactly hip, except maybe in some weirdly ironic way.