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Mar 6, 2012 11:12 AM

Best Burger - Walking distance from Entertainment District

Ill be spending a weekend in Toronto soon with the family, and I crave big, fat, juicy, rare, hunks of beef, covered in cheese and bacon....aka...burgers.

We're staying in the Entertainment Distric (HIlton Garden Inn on Peter St to be specific) and I would love some recommendations as to where I can get a great, no frills necessary, burger within walking distance on a March afternoon.


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  1. Grindhouse. Located on King at Peter, south west corner, just down the street from the Hilton.

    Good burgers and other food. Good craft beers on tap. Never had a bad meal there yet.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lister

      I've been to Grindhouse twice.. One time I was less than happy. Almost downright pissed even.. (their "port" poutine gravy is just plain weird to me, so I would not recommend it at all to anybody) and on the first visit my burger was also way over charred to the point of being bitter. Nail in the coffin was their incredibly obnoxious karaoke/trivia going on in the place and they sat us right beside a gigantic speaker which almost left us deaf for a day. Not to mention this incredibly crude "DJ" doing the karaoke who was swearing more than a drunken sailor and making incredibly crude comments as if they were funny (it wasn't, especially not when trying to eat)

      However on my second visit with the GF we both got their "big mac" style burger which this time was actually cooked much better and got the plain fries which was also much better than the poutine. That meal we both really enjoyed. GF didn't care for their "homemade ketchup" though which is more like tomato soup with basil in it

      Basically , yeah, I'd recommend grindhouse too. Just don't go during karaoke and avoid the poutine and you'll be good.

      1. re: duckdown

        It's always good advice to avoid karaoke nights anywhere. Audio torture chamber.

        As for the port gravy, it's a matter of preference. My girlfriend and I like it. It's different.

    2. Not great, but BQM Diner on Queen W. is my pick over Grindhouse. And Big Smoke on King W. near Bathurst over both of them.

      8 Replies
      1. re: GoodGravy

        Whose going to break the news to them about the "rare" part?

        1. re: justsayn

          News? What news?

          Am I not able to order a blood soaked, cold in the middle, burger in Canada.

          Please tell me that is not the case.

          1. re: Titus0327

            You can get your burger cooked however you want at Grindhouse (which would also be my recommendation - the black and blue burger is delicious, as are the onion rings). Most places cook them well done (this definitely includes big smoke and I think likely includes BQM, although I could be wrong).

            1. re: Strongbad789

              Another +1 for Grindhouse - live in the area, and so frequent them quite a bit. As people mentioned, in many burger places, they don't let you specify how you want it cooked (they claim there's a health code where it has to be cooked well done... dunno if that's true or not), but Grind House does.

              I'm a fan of their "Big Grind" burger (which is what I think duckdown is referring to with "Big Mac" as it has a similar sauce), and the Big Boy burger is good too. Also another +1 for their onion rings, they're big, crispy, and delicious!

              Have never been to karaoke night, but every first and third Saturday night is their comedy night, which is usually pretty funny (be prepared for lots of cursing though - not a place to take your mother!)

              1. re: Strongbad789

                BQM has diff kinds of grinds, some of which they'll cook medium rare, and some they won't so it depends. As for rare, just talk 'em up, show them your DL so they know you're not from the health dept., and maybe they'll slip you a rare burger.

              2. re: Titus0327

                Just to be totally clear, a truly rare burger is technically illegal to serve in a restaurant in Ontario. Doesn't stop some places from doing it anyway, unless the health inspector is actually in the house at the time.

              3. re: justsayn

                What's wrong with having some surprises in life? :-p

            2. Burger Bratz (or Brats) in the area is pretty good too. I think it is on Adelaide not far from Burrito Boyz and Smokes Poutinerie.

              Enjoyed my meals at Grindhouse before but it is a bit on the pricier end of the spectrum. They do make pretty much everything in house though (including their buns) so worth the premium for most.