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May 17, 2012 11:10 AM

Toronto Life's 25 best burgers

I'm a bit lukewarm on this list. Ideally a list like this would be comprised of at least 15 burgers from actual burger joints, rather than the mere five featured here -- but I understand that as much as Toronto's burger scene has moved forward in the last few years, it still needs work. And it's sad that of those five, two are what I would consider nostalgia places, that trade more on fond memories than actual taste (Apache and Golden Star).

Then there are burgers that aren't actually burgers (Lamb? Elk??), and a disconcerting number of fancy-pants burgers. All in all it's an interesting list, but one I can't say I'm crazy about.


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  1. SHOCKED that they would DARE omit Burger Shack's Home-Banquet-Medium-Rare from the list! SHOCKED, I say!

    I think you're right, though, about the disconcerting number of fancy burgers- but consider the source. IMO, Toronto Life's turned more and more hoity-toity over time and the fancy-factor's gotta be taken into account.

    Oh, ad I'm vaguely disappointed that there was no mention of Goody's.

    7 Replies
    1. re: biggreenmatt

      when i read Apache and Golden star's inclusion, i already knew it was a joke of a list. then they included a few burgers that are questionably bur gers (HRVATI?).

      in the end, lists are made for people to debate and to get mega-pageclicks. to Toronto Life got it right, i guess.

      1. re: atomeyes

        My top 25 would include Caren's Stilton Burger and Weezie's burger. Of the ones mentioned by Toronto Life, I've tried only tried 4 ( Harbord Room, Nota Bene, Marben,Holy Chuck). I'd rank Weezie's burger ahead of Marben's, although it's possible Marben was having an off-day the one time I ordered their burger.

        I have several friends who continue to enjoy Golden Star's home burger, and go out of their way to get a home burger from time to time. I don't think the inclusion of Golden Star automatically makes the list a joke.

      2. re: biggreenmatt

        Any list of the top 25 or even top 10 burgers in Toronto that doesn't include Goody's Diner is immediately irrelevant. Suivant!

          1. re: Googs

            AGREED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! er... X 2 <g>

            But with Goody's being not mentioned, I still can get my burger fix in 15 mins, with out long lineups.

            1. re: biggreenmatt

              Actually I'd claim the complete opposite. Toronto Life is moving more and more down market in the last cooule of years.

            2. I've tried most of the burgers on that list and Harbord Room is the best I've had in the city and possibly anywhere. Just had one last week and it was amazing.

                1. The original comment has been removed
                  1. Hey!
                    I've only been to about 5 of the places listed, so I can't comment on the overall list (and I have concerns that most of the burgers are north of $15!) but I absolutely support the inclusion of Golden Star, lament the exclusion of The Real McCoy, comfy with Burger Shack being omitted due to quality of meat that's good, if over-seasoned, but just OK, and I have mixed feelings about excluding Goody's, which definitely has a fun attitude towards amusing burger toppings ("borrowed" incidentally, in it's entirety, without credit, from, including the photos) but the actual burgers I've had there have been a little hit and miss on the quality of beef and proper grilling.
                    That said, all of the above may be 100% better than some inclusions on the list, since I've not visited most of the places listed ... and I won't go seeking the latest $20 smoked gluten-free brie and grass-fed poached pear with pomegranite jus and applewood-smoked macaron foam burgers - Just my 2 cents. :-)