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best burgers in T.O.

  • j

apache burgers in the west end of toronto. dundas just west of kipling.

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  1. In Scarborough, you have to go to Johnny's....on Vic Park (southeast corner at Sheppard Ave. E.)

    burgers are $2 something!!!

    26 Replies
    1. re: goober
      Mississauga Matt

      Now you're talking!

      I had the good fortune of growing up about a mile from Johnny's, and to this day I still have found if not hazy memories of being drunk out of my gourd and filling that craving that we all get in the inebriated state by chowing down on a Johnny's cheeseburger, fries, and Coke.

      In those days they always had more guys behind the counter than customers in front, which is saying something given the steady turnover. Most if not all of the guys were Greek, and the place could very well have been the prototype for the "no Coke, Pepsi" Saturday Night Live sketch.

      My favourite part was that they used to bend the burger in half to check for doneness. Then they'd slap it on a slightly toasted white bun with lots of French's-quality mustard.

      My sensible side says that these aren't the greatest burgers in T.O., but man, I'm salivating right now.

      Next time I visit my parents, I'm popping in!

      1. re: Mississauga Matt

        Yeah, Johnny's isn't the greatest....but that place has a mystique about it, like California Sandwiches and Carousel Bakery (at St. Lawrence Market).

        Those places are an experience - beyond the food!

        1. re: goober

          That's one thing I really missed when I first moved to this area from Windsor...the excellent burgs you could find in Essex County. I really wish I knew of a place in TO like Gilligan's in Windsor, where there are many different types of burgers (and meats) in many different sizes (because sometimes you feel like a little one, and sometimes you just have to stuff as much meat as your body can handle) :)

          1. re: james

            burger-shack is far and away the best burger joint "uptown." the frozen burgers are nothing to write home about (i haven't had one in about 9 years). however, the homemade burgers are superb. ask for it medium and you won't be sorry. their fries are certainly above average and blow licks' out of the water. furthermore, the prices are solid and supporting small independant places like that always feels good. don't sleep on the shack.

            1. re: jordan

              Burger Shack - Eglinton and Oriole PArkway - amazing. Try their chicken souvlaki, and be sure to get lots of napkins..

              Burger Shack
              233 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M4R1A9, CA

              1. re: FraidyMan

                Totally agree! I even love their fries and shakes. I still need to try their Greek food being the owners are Greek but I always get a burger there despite my best efforts:)

        2. re: Mississauga Matt


          You must have grown up near me....I've never been to Johnny's by choice...there is nothing great about the burgers...word of warning...don't get a burger when the Leafs are on as the flippers are more interested in the Leafs.

          Yeah, they do love the French's mustard there.

        3. re: goober

          Please. Johnny's is garbage. All they do is take a pre-formed frozen patty out of a cardboard box that they buy in bulk and slap it on their grill. It tastes like an out of the box burger. I tried it once to see what the hype is all about. Never again.

          Whatever happened to Lick's? Have they shut down all their branches?

          1. re: BeenThere
            Kevin Bertsch

            Oh, please. Johnny's is an institution. Of course they use pre-fab burgers and fries. These guys are short-order cooks, not chefs. The secret is to go for the steak on a kaiser - although, having worked across the street at the now-defunct Texaco station for four years, I scarfed down many a cheeseburger, and still go back from time to time for nostalgia's sake. The steak was tender, heavily salted and garliced, and a great treat.

            As for Lick's - they have franchised, and are expanding like crazy. On yonge St. from Finch to Elgin Mills, they have three locations - more than McDonald's! My kids now think Lick's burgers are the best available, much to my pocket book's chagrin. Their big gimmick was (and is) the staff sing songs as the orders come in; it's cute the first few times, but we keep coming back because the burgers are so good. But I can't see buying their uncooked patties to take home - they are so damn expensive, why not just grind some good quality chuck and season it yourself?


            1. re: Kevin Bertsch

              Johnny's is an institution? Institution of what? Cardboard burgers? I don't know anything about the steaks. The steaks may be good. But, this thread is about the "best burgers" and not about the steaks.

              I have tried their burgers, but I haven't tried their steaks. Actually I had the burger only once and it was AWFUL. Never going back there again.

              The Lick's burgers are the best I have tasted in Toronto. But there is no location close to me.

              1. re: BeenThere

                If you're from the area you would totally understand why Johnny's is an institution. Went to high school around the corner and Johnny's not John Anderson's was the burger of choice at lunch. Also, many a drunk night was spent in on those pic nic table enjoying their cheeseburger. So maybe it is a pyschological thing but Johnny's cheeseburger with fried onions tomates and bbq sauce still my favorite frozen patty and all.

                There are Licks all over the place .... if you've been to Johnny's then there is a licks at york mills/don mills one at cummer/yonge and one at yonge/south of 7.

                1. re: fiasco

                  lick's is decent, similar but inferior to Groucho's (eglinton and also bayview) neither of which are cheap like Johnny's, the once and future king of greasy goodness. The Senator (open only for lunch) and Allen's on the Danforth are also good if you don't mind spending $10 for prime meat.

                  1. re: Dan

                    I tried Johnny's once and wasn't impressed. Frozen burgers don't get me all excited.

                    Lick's used to be fantastic but since the explosion of franchises it's gone downhill.

                    If you're on Yonge, north of Major Mac there's Three Coins on the west side. Outstanding burger and huge to boot. You don't need fries with that.


                    1. re: Davwud

                      The only problem with the the Three Coins (which is just around the corner from my place) is it closes at 3:00 pm - yes, that's PM. I have enjoyed many a breakfast there, but any place that doesn't stay open past 3 in the afternoon can't be a great burger joint; 3 AM would help it qualify.

                    2. re: Dan

                      My pal and I went to Allen's on teh Danforth yesterday for lunch - we both had the "organic sirloin" burger and man-o-man was it good! With a side of their their sweet potato fries that put all else to shame.

                      1. re: Joshman

                        How much is the burger at Allan's and does it come with fries, or is that separate?

                        1. re: red dragon

                          I think it's about $8. Fries are extra.

                    3. re: fiasco

                      Cummer and Yonge has been closed for months now.
                      The location at Yonge and 7 was awful last time I was there.

                  2. re: Kevin Bertsch

                    There is a Lick's at Pape and Danforth.

                    1. re: Kevin Bertsch

                      Are you kidding me? Their burgers are horible, the service is absolutely distasterous and the place is falling a part. The only good thing about the place is the extended hrs and if you have nowhere else to go that was an alternative

                      1. re: nickdodes

                        Licks is now a "burger boutique". Are they serious? Licks was once my favourite burger, until they changed the recipe. Their burgers just don't taste the same as I remember them. They seem more peppery or they added some "spice"/ingredient like they're trying to mask something. There's nothing that competes with a simple burger that gives you the flavour of smoke and beef. The Licks at Morningside Crossing has good service, but again the burgers just aren't the same as they used to be.

                        1. re: scarberian

                          When Licks first opened, their burgers were freshly made at each location - never frozen. After expanding and franchising, they eventually went to frozen, preformed burgers and I agree, they have never been the same since!

                  3. re: goober

                    Craft Burger on King near Bathurst it's the best so far, they have an Organic burger and I believe they even have a Buffalo burger, try their Garlic Mayo.. OMFG it's goood..they have gourmet toppings such as grilled mushrooms with rosemary, caramelized onions.. etc....there fries are even good, but if you don't like fries you have an option of onion rings or even salad.. Just a note seating is limited..it's a small place...and the meat is all fresh not pre-cooked and no fillers..

                    1. re: lovleyladyT

                      Too bad I didn't have the same experience at Craft. I found it very underwhelming and average. Burger was ok. It was juicy but gourmet toppings? Everyone's got those now, it's not a point of difference anymore. Good burger, good bun, that's what makes a burger in my opinion. Oh, and also, it's not only that there is limited seating, the seating that IS available, is usually dirty. It's a pretty grungy place that no one ever seems to mention in their reviews.

                      1. re: lovleyladyT

                        I'm glad your overall experience is better than the one time I decided to give Craft Burger a shot. My burger was so chewy and full of gristle that my jaw actually hurt after eating it. Never again.

                        1. re: redearth

                          That's unfortunate. I've eaten at Craft maybe ten times, and while I don't think that it's a fantastic burger by any stretch, it's a decent one that's better than many other places and I've never had a problem with gristle.

                    2. Groucho's and Licks's (both chains) serve very good burgers, way better than Mickey D's or the rest. Also try Burger Shack at the corner of Avenue Road and Eglinton Avenue West. Banquetburger, fries (fresh cut) and a drink for $6.25 all in.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: LuckyChucky


                        I think there are still a whole bunch of Lick's locations. I am sure a search will find them for you, or a Canada411. I know the one in the Beach is still there and swamped on weekends.

                        These were always my favorites even though I go there not too frequently. I went about six weeks ago and the burger tasted really different. It had that kind of springy... sausage like... prefabricated bounciness to it, rather than the real garlicly meatiness it used to have. I thought it was kind of like what a Harvey's burger would taste like if they made them that thick.

                        I am wondering if I got a really bad batch or if they have changed their product? Anyone know? If that is what I am going to get from Lick's from now on I think I'll skip them and go for the chicken or just go elsewhere...

                        Wondering if anyone else has noticed this...

                        Oh... and you can now buy Lick's burgers at Dominion to cook at home!

                        1. re: Taryn

                          LICKS!!! I've tried many of these other aforementioned burger places- Apache, Wimpy's, Webers, etc... and Licks is still the best. Plus, you can't beat the in-store entertainment (aka poor employees forced to sing oldies!!!)

                          1. re: Tiffany

                            There is a Wimpy's in Cobourg...is it in any way connected to the UK Wimpy's chain?

                          2. re: Taryn

                            Lick's has moved away from small scale, in-store burger creation. Their burger patties are now commercially made with commercial fillers as well. Hence their grocery store packaged burgers! I've stopped going for a couple of years now because of this move.

                            1. re: Taryn

                              Same thing happened to me a few weeks ago. I bragged to my BF about how great the 'Gobbler' was (turkey burger) and when he brought it out, it was a pre-formed, rubbery, tasteless patty. It used to be ground turkey with a lovely garlic taste. No more.

                          3. For a really good hole-in-the-wall experience, try "The Chicken and Burger Place" in Etobicoke at Dundas just East of Kipling, or 5096 Dundas St West (I just looked it up!). Great (and huge!) Banquet Burgers, but the best burger on the menu is the Mixed Burger (there is a Polish/Eastern European name for it which I cant remember). Although not strictly a burger, as the Large Mixed Burger is served sans a split bun (it's way too big), it's awesome - a huge patty stuffed with feta and onions, served with fries and half a raw onion (the pungent sweetness REALLY goes well with it, but it's only for those who dig that sort of thing!) on the side. I used to get this as a treat every weekend - almost makes me want to drive up there a few times (moved quite some distance since).

                            Give it a try! :)

                            1. i haven't been there in awhile, but Wimpy's isn't bad.

                              They serve up a thin, but plate-size patty.

                              1. The Golden Star at Yonge and Steeles has been around forever. They make delicious, juicy homeburgers! I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: KarenK

                                  Oh yeah, Golden Star! What do they put in their patties? Onion, garlic...very tasty. Their rings and fries are good, too.

                                  1. re: Lat K.

                                    I don't know, but I feel like Pavlov's dog whenever I think about them! Gotta love the 70's decor too.

                                    1. re: KarenK

                                      I worked at the gas station across the street for two years. I practically lived off the homeburgers.
                                      They're great. At least, in the 80's they were. Haven't been in years


                                      1. re: Davwud

                                        you can't go wrong with golden star...make sure to get the HOMEBURGER, and not the other original burger.

                                        1. re: good_eats

                                          Woohoo thanks! I drive by Golden Star ALL THE TIME (I buy groceries from a few places on Doncaster) and have been very curious about it.

                                          WILL TRY IT OUT =)

                                  2. Seriously, try Sci-Fi Cafe & Grill homemade burgers. It's not a well-known place and it's at Dufferin & Steeles.

                                    I hear a lot about Apache Burger, but I had two friends who had quite violent food poisoning after going there so I'm very hesitant about making a trip down there.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Logan

                                      If your thinking of the place that was attached to the comic book store, it is now gone.

                                    2. Nobody's mentioned Webers.

                                      Yeah I know it is Hwy #11 (or Barrie or Orillia), but there are now 2 Toronto franchises. At Toronto's Pearson airport - one in terminal 2 and now another in terminal 3.

                                      For a while there I used to choose airlines based on whether they departed from Terminal 3 so I could have a burger on my way out, but now they have opened in terminal 2 so Air Canada can have some of my business back. How sad is that.

                                      Anyway, the Weber Burger is not just for cottagers anymore, although I don't know if they ship their fresh patties down daily - I somehow doubt it.

                                      Check out the website for the restaurant's history -especially the story of the bridge. I had heard that it was installed because people were getting killed crossing four lanes of traffic for the taste of a Webers burger. This appears to be a myth ;-)

                                      BTW photo's not mine - it's off the Weber's site

                                      Link: http://www.webersrestaurants.com

                                      Image: http://www.webersrestaurants.com/NYgu...

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: Yermum

                                        Ah Webers! It's worth the drive to Muskoka :>

                                        1. re: Marie

                                          Hd it a few times and always thought the "tradition" brought the people in rather than the burgers. Many pubs do better (but more pricey).

                                        2. re: Yermum

                                          I meant to follow up on this a while ago.

                                          Stopped at the Webers at terminal 3 on the way through Pearson airport last month and asked about their patties - while ordering one of course. They DO, in fact, send their homemade patties down fresh to the Toronto locations from Hwy 11.

                                          This is not your pub burger with a big fluffy Kaiser and a thick slab of Bison meat - for that go to the Box and Arrow (Guacamole Shroom Burger is my fave there)- Webers is my choice for an honest to goodness Cheeseburger.

                                          I'd also mention that I have come to these burgers recently, and didn't grow up driving up North. No tradition or nostalgia here.

                                          This is Ontario's version of the White Spot. Very different, but many similarities.

                                          For more info on their hamburgers follow the link below.

                                          Link: http://www.webersrestaurants.com/mham...

                                          1. re: Yermum

                                            The reason nobody mentioned Webers is because the joint on Hwy 11 serves frozen crap and gives you the choice of mustard, ketchup and relish as toppings. I don't believe how so many people can stand in line for a piece of flavoured cardboard on a stale bun. It must be like the kings new clothes. Its two times for me, the first and the last.

                                            Try an A & W burger if you want a treat... Or have a Harvey's Angus when they are around. If you are on Queen West, stop in at the Rex hotel for an incredible burger and live music.

                                            Webers? You have got to be kidding, or gullible, or both.

                                            1. re: FraidyMan

                                              Besides mustard, ketchup and relish, Weber's burger come topped with a generous helping of nostalgia. Delicious!

                                              1. re: redearth

                                                Agreed. Take away the nostalgia and you have a mouth full of in·ed·i·ble Crap....

                                                1. re: Connoisseur

                                                  Come on! Webbers is "inedible crap? It's not the best burger out there but far from inedible. People line up there to buy food and toss it out? Get a grip people.

                                                    1. re: abigllama

                                                      The most inspired cooking at Webbers is the Lawry's Seasoned Salt on the fries. I agree with abigllama, though. It's doing something right to attract all those customers. I think it's largely families stopping on the way to the cottage, so what pleases kids more than plain straight-up food?

                                            2. Groucho's at Eglinton (1/2 blk west of bathurst) has the best chicken, veggie and beef burgers. The toppings are the best and everything is always fresh. Good service and really good prices (they also have a frequent buyer card).

                                              1. Give Big Stan's a try. They're at in the food court with Amato pizza near Queen & Duncan. I haven't had a bad burger there yet!

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Mike D

                                                  Big Stan... I totally forgot about them. They're pretty good but lots of (not great) bun. IMO it's like a cross between a diner burger and a backyard burger.

                                                  1. re: chocabot

                                                    Sadly, Big Stan's is closed now, as are the majority of stalls in that plaza.

                                                2. Shamrock Burgers, in east, east Scarborough.


                                                  or, T-Bones in Scarborough.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: jameskennedy

                                                    Not a pub or burger shack, but the burger at Weezie's is really good. A bit too much bun, but the patty is juicy and delicious. And you can actually taste the cheese.

                                                    1. re: grandgourmand

                                                      Don't forget about the double-smoked bacon, garlic mayo, and homemade catsup and mustard. I mean, c'mon! Weezie's is absolutely my fave burger in town.

                                                      1. re: jameskennedy

                                                        I've been going to Shamprock Burgers for years, I enjoy their homeburgers. Their regular burgers are prefab and pretty average, but their homeburgers are pretty darned good. They can be a little expensive though, homeburgers start at around $5. Their onion rings are done in a fish and chip batter and are very different from your standard ring, the grease factor gets to you after about 5 or 6 rings though.... Pretty good fries as well.

                                                        They must be doing something right, they just opened a second location in Brooklin.

                                                      2. I'm a huge fan of Johnny's and Golden Star. Both Reliable.

                                                        1. I just tried Lick's the other day. Just another burger to me. Apache was far superior.


                                                          1. Harry's Drive In Kennedy and Lawerence ..... great burgers with fantastic onion rings.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: kernalpanx

                                                              oh yeah...Harry's drive in...that place and Johnny's bring back some good memories. and the burgers aren't bad either.

                                                              I also like the Steak Pit in Mississauga banquetburger

                                                              1. re: to_frankie

                                                                Mmmm.... Harry's....banquet burger with fries smothered in gravy, ketchup and vinegar...the taste of my youth...It's worth the drive to Scarborough : )
                                                                My brother still drives there for a burger at least once a month.

                                                            2. Apache burgers taste like SCHNEIDER'S STEAKETTES I think it's the nostalgia that draws people back NOT THE TASTE

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: philly cheeze

                                                                Yeah, the patties are frozen, with a lot of filler... How they would ever be considered a contender for T.O.'s best burger is beyond me.... My votes would be for Golden Star's All Star Burger, Allen's burger (medium or medium rare, otherwise it can be a little dry, as they use 100% sirloin, ground on the premises), the Burger Shoppe burger (very inconsistent, yes, but when it's good, it's very good), Bronto Burger (Dundas West, west of Keele) - a very tasty, never frozen patty - (I think there may be some bread crumbs in the mix, but it's a very moist and flavourful patty), Shamrock Burger, in Scarberia, and Weber's, of course (if I'm driving up north or flying somewhere out of Pearson!)~!!

                                                                Places I would never have a burger at again: Johnny's (one of the worst burgers I've ever had - if people enjoy it for nostalgia's sake, fine, but please recognize that it should never be considered a contender!), Craft Burger (the chewiest, most gristly patty my jaws have ever attempted to work their way through), and Acme Burger (they don't seem to understand that precooking the patties IS NOT A GOOD THING!).

                                                                1. re: redearth

                                                                  Gotta dispute the Weber's recommendation. It's a great place for ambiance and it marks the "official" beginning of "cottage country" for many. Decades ago, it was one of the few places in the area to serve food that didn't feel threatening. But a good burger?

                                                                  The real charcoal sure smells good, but the burgers have little taste of meat. Just a skinny, overdone, filler-laced frozen puck. (The "Lick's burgers sold in the supermarket can still taste decent at home if you sear them well and serve them rare. The Weber's burgers from the supermarket are as ghastly as those served at Weber's.) Bad fries at Weber's also.

                                                                  I've been known to stop at Weber's when driving north, but I ain't gonna say that these burgers are any good. I thought the Pearson location had closed.

                                                                  Burger Shoppe is pathetic and a ripoff. They are in my neighbourhood. I wanted to love the place. I don't.

                                                                  1. re: embee

                                                                    I will admit that my fondness for Weber's does stem from pleasant childhood experiences - I haven't had them in a while, so perhaps they're not what they used to be. The fact that they grill on charcoal does make a big difference, though. As to whether their airport location has closed, I can't say, as it has also been a while since I've flown out of Pearson.

                                                                    And, to clarify, I listed Burger Shoppe because the very first time I went there, I had what was one of the best burgers I've ever had in this city. Subsequent visits failed to impress, sadly, but that one burger was enough to include them on my list. I only hope that experience will one day be repeated.

                                                                    1. re: redearth

                                                                      Apparently a new gourmet burger place that will serve bison, lamb, venison, etc...among the usual fare is opening at Queen and Brock right beside the liquor store where Rosie's Chicken used to be. Anyone know anything about this?

                                                                      1. re: jamesm

                                                                        Just today, I saw a sign for a new place on Eglinton near Avenue Rd.--Terra Burgers, I think. Anyone know anything about it?

                                                                        1. re: jamesm

                                                                          I really enjoy the homemade beef burgers at Stampede Bison Grill in Parkdale beside the LCBO. They don't homemake their bison burgers, though, so I haven't tried it. This is a good burger that is great value and I like their thin fries.

                                                                          My burger find of today is at NINE18 at the Turnberry Golf Course on Bovaird in Brampton. They don't ask you how you want it done, but it automatically arrives done medium (perfect). Homemade fries are disappointing (poor texture and no flavour). The NINE18 burger is slightly better than the one at W Burger Bar downtown, for comparison of taste.

                                                                          Stampede Bison Grill
                                                                          5 Brock Ave, Toronto, ON M6K2K6, CA

                                                                2. How about Steer Inn burger on Yonge just south of Major Mac. Another one of those places like Apache. Great onion rings

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Rickshaw

                                                                    Wow, that brings me back... I used to go there after ripping it up at Fantasia, many years ago. I always got the steak on a kaiser, though. Yum.

                                                                    1. re: redearth

                                                                      I live about a mile north of the Steer Inn, and have had many a burger there. How you can say the Steer Inn is great, and rip Johnny's is beyond me; they both serve pre-fab burgers and frozen fries. I agree the steak is good at the Steer, but it's good at Johnny's too.

                                                                      The Steer has much better onion rings, though. They are the best I've ever eaten, and when we order for the family, we don't even bother with the fries.

                                                                      1. re: KevinB

                                                                        I said nothing about the Steer Inn burger, nor did I say the Steer Inn is great, and my enjoyment of the steak on a kaiser there must be considered in the context in which I put it - after a night drinking at the local strip club. Also, this was many years ago - I hope my palate has improved somewhat since then. I stand by my opinion of Johnny's, though. I have only tried the burger there, simply because it was recommended by so many CHers. It is a terrible burger, albeit cheap.

                                                                    2. re: Rickshaw

                                                                      Steer Inn definitely has the BEST onion rings - but their burgers - not so much.

                                                                      1. re: apetimberlake

                                                                        I had a mini burger (slider) at The Drake on Tuesday as part of their catering for a fundraiser party. Not the best -- kind of bland.

                                                                      2. Hubby and I are die hard burger fans and have had Apache, Johnny's, Burger Shack, Steer Inn, and Lick's but the one that is our hands down winner is Golder Star up in Thornhill. It is one of the places we miss most after moving downtown from the burbs.

                                                                        While their milkshakes do come from a machine - they are really great - I love the Mocha and Chocolate!

                                                                        As with all places, don't get the regular burger - pay a little extra and get the homemade version.

                                                                        Just driving past that place makes your mouth water!

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: LovelyAsia

                                                                          Always passed by the Golden Star but never dropped in. I will drop in next time I'm by to try it out.

                                                                          1. re: LovelyAsia

                                                                            The only thing that annoys me about Golden Star is the ketchup. Just plain awful knock off, but according to the owner it saves him thousands a year. I bring my own, I need Heinz. All star burger (Homeburger) is great, as are the machine made milkshakes, butter pecan, delish.

                                                                          2. If you want enjoy your burger with a cold beer, I'd suggest the Roxton on Harbord, (one block east of Ossington). We just tried it yesterday and while I don't know if it qualifies as "the best" burger in the city, it's certainly the best one I've had at a non-fast food joint.

                                                                            1. Has anyone tried "Craft Burger" in King St??

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. sorry, but if there's one thing you CANNOT find in this city, its a good burger.
                                                                                i found a very good joint on Dundas west of the 427. it closed a few years ago.

                                                                                anyone who mentioned BUrger SHack or Johnny's - you might as well eat at Harveys.

                                                                                anyone who mentions LIcks? Its great for a chain. for a chain. but i give it a 2 out of 5. their veggieburger is much better than the meat burger.

                                                                                otherwise, i make my own at home. much better than a resto burger.

                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                1. re: atomeyes

                                                                                  Have you tried Allen's? Golden Star's All Star Burger? Of course one can make an exceptional burger at one's home, but that is hardly the point of this thread, is it?

                                                                                  1. re: redearth

                                                                                    Try Acme Burger at Queensway and Royal York - REALLY good burger. Also, Bert & Ernie's has a good burger w/fries.

                                                                                    1. re: Nadiacatlover

                                                                                      ACME does have potential, but every time I've ordered a burger from them, they merely reheated a previously cooked patty on the grill. As a result, the meat was dry, dry, dry. Not good, but I think it could have been, if the patty hadn't of been pre-cooked.

                                                                                      1. re: redearth

                                                                                        They re-heated it for you?! I just got the pre-cooked burger served to me cold. Never going again.

                                                                                    2. re: redearth

                                                                                      Late reply to this...

                                                                                      Obviously the point is to find the best burger out there. but time and time again, I get nothing but blandness on a bun.

                                                                                      my last two discoveries aren't bad.

                                                                                      JK Gardiner - very rich and decadent burger. served nice a juicy (read: medium done). bun is a home-made english muffin. nice ketchup, dijon mustard, mayo and relish to apply to burger. melted cheese on it as well. my complaint? very very rich tasting. almost like eating butter. but still a good change of pace.

                                                                                      my favourite burger in the city?

                                                                                      believe it or not, its Fionn MacCool's on the Esplanade. Their Friday night burger special is excellent for taste and value. Takes at least 20 min to get the burger. pretty certain they are made to order. nice and juicy, very good flavour to it. served with pickle and tomato on a bun. fries are homemade and done quite nicely - cooked nice and dark and really flavourful.

                                                                                      All of this for $7 PLUS you can order a pint of McCaffreys to wash it down!

                                                                                      1. re: redearth

                                                                                        Allen's on Danforth gets my vote for best burger in the city. It's fresh, organic and ground on premises from a single cow weekly, so it's also about the only place I've been able to order a rare burger. Amazing!

                                                                                      1. re: jjmo

                                                                                        I have, and they are excellent burgers!

                                                                                      2. I just had the burger at Citizen on Queen Street East and it instantly catapulted to the number one spot in front of The Beaconsfield and Allen's!

                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Urusmaritimus

                                                                                          Please describe this burgerlicious experience and, most importantly, will they cook it to taste?

                                                                                          1. re: embee

                                                                                            What's the price on it? I had a pretty decent experience there. Food overall was good. This burger news is good to hear.

                                                                                            HAve you had Weezie's? How does it compare?

                                                                                            1. re: grandgourmand

                                                                                              I'm sad to say, I didn't notice the price. I would have though if it were over-priced. I love the Weezie's burger as well. The Citizen burger is juicier and softer- that is the main difference!

                                                                                            2. re: embee

                                                                                              Their perfect burger was simple -spiced only with salt and pepper I suspect. It was ultimately flavourful because of the quality of the unctuous soft meat. Juicy, juicy, juicy! The bun was soft and if anything, ever so slightly too large for the patty. They serve it with perfectly sweet and soft caramelized onions, with other condiments on the side.
                                                                                              Not sure about cooking it to taste- I trust the chefs there so I just let them do their thing. I suspect they would accomodate!
                                                                                              It is on their new lunch menu and I'm unsure if it made it to the dinner page. Go get one, fast!

                                                                                            3. re: Urusmaritimus

                                                                                              good to know (re: Citizen) - that must be new on the menu...don't recall seeing it last time I was there..I may have to go tonight just to check it out!

                                                                                            4. There's a place near my office at the 400 & Hwy 7 called Paps Bar & Grill. Usually I would go there for their breakfasts (standard fare but good), but a few weeks ago, I went for lunch and decided on their hamburger and sweet potato fries. It was very good. The hamburger: it was moist, and a little pink inside, nicely seasoned, pretty large, and it seemed to be formed by hand. It was grilled nicely. I do believe that there was filler inside, that it was bound with egg and breadcrumb to give it that texture, but I don't necessarily have a problem with that because it reminds me of my mom's burgers. The bun was soft and good, and definetly NOT previously frozen. The sweet potato fries were thin, crispy and delicious. No clue on whether they were frozen or not, but even if they were frozen, they were damn good! YUM. And the whole thing costs less thatn $10 for a sit down restaurant!

                                                                                              1. Not your everyday burger, but in my opinion the best burger in Toronto is at the Studio Cafe inside the Four Seasons hotel. This is not a $5 burger, but it is also not the silly $30 burger with the fois gras or any other stuff. It is a no nonsense straight forward burger that is by Toronto standards, great. Fancy hotel prices though.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: PJO2007

                                                                                                  Being a youngster when I first started going to Studio Cafe, I began with their burger. I agree it's amongst the very best in town. At least the prices charged for food at the Four Seasons are well worth it.

                                                                                                2. Best Burger for the price is SIZZLER'S on the west side of Yonge just north of College. A bit of a hole-in-the-wall, but for lunch, burger only is about $3.50 of a 'combo' with drink about $4.50. Open late (early morning) for night crawlers.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: mysterydvr

                                                                                                    The quality of the burger at Sizzler's has gone way down even in the past 6 months. It's now really gristly, mal-formed, and they always seem to overcook them no matter what the request. I'm pretty sure they're still homemade though, and cheap, probably a better alternative than the McDonald's and Wendy's that pepper that strip.

                                                                                                  2. I personally really enjoy the burgers across the street from Apache Burgers... Red Cabin. MMmmmm.....

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Darksyde

                                                                                                      Dangerous Dan's at Queen and Broadview is a good alternative to the Licks in the beaches

                                                                                                    2. Schneider's Steakettes (now on special for $2 a pack at No Frills). Frozen just doesn't get any better. Unique taste and plenty of filler.

                                                                                                      1. I have also been looking for the best burger in Toronto and they are few and far between.
                                                                                                        Dangerous Dan's - awful
                                                                                                        Licks - not much better
                                                                                                        Johnny's - not worth the drive
                                                                                                        The Golden Star - also not worth the drive
                                                                                                        Here are the two that I do like:
                                                                                                        South St. Burger Co. - made fresh daily and all are supposed to be medium rare - BUT ASK FOR IT TO BE MEDIUM RARE OR THEY WILL COOK IT WELL DONE. When they are cooked well done - they taste like all the above - but medium rare - excellent!
                                                                                                        Also they have NY Fries which are pretty good. $10 for burger + cheese + fries + drink.

                                                                                                        The Abbott on the Hill - also made fresh daily and can be cooked rare or medium rare - excellent. $15 for burger/cheese/fries and soft drink.

                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: gordini

                                                                                                          I don't like South St at all, very bland and the patty is far too thin

                                                                                                          1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                            Too expensive for what you get. It's a decent patty but a bit of a rip.


                                                                                                          2. re: gordini

                                                                                                            South St won't cook to medium rare. They claim that they cook to 160 (medium well), but that the burgers will still be pink. They even ask that you specifically tell them if you want your burger cooked "well done".

                                                                                                            In fact, they only (barring a cooking goof) cook to very well done. When I insisted on the pink burger they promised, it took several tries and the intervention of the manager before they got it right. However, the pink burger was still dry and bland.

                                                                                                            They do have interesting toppings, a judicious selection of which can add some good flavours and moisture, but the patty ain't got it. They do have great shakes, okay fries, and freshly made (though odd tasting) rings. They are quite expensive for what you get, though not the overt ripoff of Burger Shoppe or (especially) Terra Burger.

                                                                                                            1. re: embee

                                                                                                              Speaking of Burger Shoppe, I noticed a sign outside the place the other day advertising a Hawaiian burger (pinneaple, I guess, gross on a burger) and a hot dog, which is probable "premium". the first thing I thought was that their business is going downwhill, so they're expanding the menu. I used to really enjoy the burger there, but the last few times, dry and burned. And since the poutine is nothing special, there's no reason for me to go.

                                                                                                              1. re: grandgourmand

                                                                                                                I had a burger with a grilled pineapple ring on top of it in Hawaii, and it was pretty tasty.

                                                                                                                1. re: grandgourmand

                                                                                                                  I saw a recipe for what they called an "Australian" burger in a very recent issue of Gourmet. They described it on the cover as the burger that would change your life.

                                                                                                                  It sounded really gross. However, it wasn't April 1 and Gourmet, whatever its failings, doesn't tend to run gross-out recipes (at least, not intentionally).

                                                                                                                  I really prefer my burgers to taste mainly of burger, with perhaps some good cheese in the center, but I couldn't resist. I topped an Oliffe "Kobe" burger with a slice of grilled pineapple, a slab of old cheddar, and a fried egg with a still runny yolk, plus some onion, tomato, and mayo. I wouldn't want to eat this very often, and it certainly wasn't "life changing", but it was actually extremely good - almost decadent.

                                                                                                            2. The patty melt at The Pilot Tavern is pretty good!

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: snackboy

                                                                                                                I send the rec for The Pilot. Lots of flavour!

                                                                                                                I found the Beretta organic burger at Bronto in the Junction too bland.

                                                                                                              2. Im going to chime in on one place that no one had mentioned already. Its "red charcoal" and its near dundas/ bay (close to the greyhound station)
                                                                                                                decent place and it compares favorably to many of the better places that have been mentioned already in this thread

                                                                                                                1. They certainly aren't at Jetsun's Juicy Burger.

                                                                                                                  Just imagine Lick's but not as good.


                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                    My burger from Jetsun was par-cooked and taken out of a stainless steel pan full of liquid on the grill and finished when I ordered it. The Lick's comparison was spot on.

                                                                                                                    I talked about it in a blog post last week.


                                                                                                                  2. There's a little place on Runnymede, north of Dundas St West. Jumbo Burger. Of course, it might just be nostalgia but I love the burgers. And the fries. And the onion rings. Sigh...

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: redleaf55

                                                                                                                      Speaking of Runnymede - what about the Yellow Griffin Pub? I've only been once, and I'm not one to speak about quality of burgers, what do others think about it? They've got a wide selection of burgers there ...............

                                                                                                                      1. re: redleaf55

                                                                                                                        Im with you. I used to hangout there a lot when i was younger. My school wasn't too far away and the place is open really late so finding food in the late hours of the night was simple. Not that it was forced it was really good. I really enjoyed the food there and it brings back a lot of good memories when i drive by.

                                                                                                                      2. why do I keep seeing Apache burgers on here? they taste like something from a local hockey arena

                                                                                                                        1. No matter how you feel about "upscale" burgers, I still contend that Bymark has the best burger in town.

                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: tjr

                                                                                                                            I would like to know of burger joints with just two upscale qualities: shoulder beef ground on site daily; hand made patties cooked to order, including medium rare. This is the same level of care we expect at a good fish and chips place, but it is surprisingly elusive for burger places.

                                                                                                                              1. re: embee

                                                                                                                                Yes, I was aware of the high quality burger at Allen's, but I'm hoping for a small shop or take out place that takes the burger seriously, and finds a way around the 160 F guideline.

                                                                                                                            1. re: tjr

                                                                                                                              Ditto!.. Best served alongside their lobster braised poutine.

                                                                                                                              1. re: sugarcube

                                                                                                                                Seems like a bizarre concept. I haven't had it, but I would be reluctant to order braised lobster on fries, with a truffled foie gras topped burger. Slumming. Where's the beef?

                                                                                                                                1. re: jayt90

                                                                                                                                  I like trying something different and innovative, so Bymark's rendition of a burger and fries caught my eye.
                                                                                                                                  The lobster was not intrusive to the poutine's flavour and the presentation was lovely. The lobster shell was cut vertically and served on the platter in a ying yang manner. Chunks of plump lobster meat settled in nicely with the mound of crisp frites.
                                                                                                                                  The waiter mentioned it was 'poutine style', so in lieu of cheese curds, there was a generous drizzle of béarnaise.

                                                                                                                                  There was definitely beef and a whole lot of it in the burger. You could order it rare because it was U.S.D.A prime beef. It was oh so tender. Alas, there was no fois gras on the burger, but rather shaved truffles. The truffles provided a slight earthiness but my mistake was eating it with the burger, as opposed to taking it off and enjoying it on its own... the subtle flavour was overpowered by the other elements (meat . brie, pancetta)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: sugarcube

                                                                                                                                    That does look good. I don't want to second guess McKewan, but why use U.S.D.A. prime when Canada prime is available? And really, it is only ground beef... Hopefully the pancetta was from Ontario.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: jayt90

                                                                                                                                    While I love a great burger in general, I haven't had better than Bymark's in Toronto. I have been to Allen's, and their burger is great too. The smaller shops, in my experience, often don't have very great burgers (though there are several exceptions).

                                                                                                                                    The lobster "poutine" at Bymark is also great. The only thing I don't like about the burger there is that the onion rings can be fairly bland. They will switch them out with their excellent fries though, if you ask (and if you didn't already have the poutine, haha).

                                                                                                                                    Whether or not a burger is supposed to be topped with brie or truffles is another story, but it's definitely the best tasting burger I've had in the GTA.

                                                                                                                              2. If you're in the area, Texas Burger in Uxbridge makes great burgers! Their Texas burgers are from the local butcher and are delicious. Great rings too!

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: Askosrose

                                                                                                                                  Not far away, in the Hamlet of Claremont, is The Old Brock Cafe where Peggy serves up the best burger, IMHO! If any of you out there come from Winnipeg and know and appreciate the Salisbury Nip, then you will love Peggy's burgers!

                                                                                                                                2. Recently, I have felt a certain drive....a drive to find the best, tastiest, hard earned cash-worthy burger in the greater Toronto area. It was a quest I took on with ferocity and one I didn't take lightly. I tried all the ones recommended to me:

                                                                                                                                  The Camel's pulled pork sandwich - at $9 completely not worth it.
                                                                                                                                  Johnny Burgers - greasy and nostalgic
                                                                                                                                  Golden Star - flashback on a bun. Nice and big and juicy!
                                                                                                                                  Bismark - tasty but chokingly expensive
                                                                                                                                  Fire on the Eastside - best lamb burger ever eaten - all burgers should be served open-faced on one slice of herbed focaccia
                                                                                                                                  Licks home burger - greatness with guk
                                                                                                                                  Webbers - classic burger that is nice and juicy but not too greasy that you don't want to jump in the lake when you get up north.

                                                                                                                                  But hands down, the greatest burger I've ever tasted in my life (and trust me, I've eaten a LOT of burgers) was this week at The Globe Bistro. I have never had something that tasted so much like how I imagine a burger SHOULD taste like. It was supersonic juicy on the best house-made bun with parmesan/rosemary fries, handmade smokey ketchup and I think just a little dash of heaven.

                                                                                                                                  If you want to taste an amazing hamburger, please give The Globe a try.

                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Doritolover

                                                                                                                                    "Golden Star - flashback on a bun. Nice and big and juicy"

                                                                                                                                    Nice and big and juicy??? Have I been going to the wrong golden star? Their burger patties are like 1/4th of an inch thick every time I order it, and to me seems basically like the same old burger you'd get almost anywhere else. Comparable to Sonny's, or Johnny's, or Apache maybe even.

                                                                                                                                    I never understood the hype on this place even after eating there a couple times. Do they have 2 kinds of burgers or something? Maybe I've been asking for the wrong one

                                                                                                                                    1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                                                      they do have 2 types, the regular hamburger is like you described, ho hum frozen patty a la Johnny's. Basically, avoid!

                                                                                                                                      Their homeburger is the one made in house, very garlicky. One of my faves in the city with bacon and cheese.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                                                        I found the Golden Star homeburger to have a nice irregular shape with excellent charred highlights and was well presented (see photo), but it was also very thin. It was a lot like having an upscale McBurger. Quite tasty, very easy to eat, needs the cheese, bacon, lettuce, and onion to fill out the experience, but totally forgettable in the long run.

                                                                                                                                    2. I really enjoy just eating a plain burger from M&M with heinz ketchup. Reminds me of my first year on campus when there would be free burgers in res every other week. Simple and definitely quells the burger craving.

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: hippotatomus

                                                                                                                                        I've been complaining lately that too many places are trying to reinvent the wheel here and we can't even do a simple burger great.


                                                                                                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                          Wow, this thread lives on to its sixth year! And I bet all I have to say is "Johnny's" to give it six more years!

                                                                                                                                      2. I visited Allen's recently and I had a rare burger with goat cheese. It was actually cooked rare (a rarity in Toronto), the bun was wonderful with a good mix of squish to crisp and the meat itself was rich and silky. I felt the burger could have used a little more intense beef flavour and some salt, but once I added salt, I was very pleased.

                                                                                                                                        Having explored the various joints recommended in this thread, I can confidently conclude that the Allen's burger is probably the best burger in the city.

                                                                                                                                        $10.50 for the burger with goat cheese.

                                                                                                                                        (I still wouldn't mind a good 5$ burger though :P )

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rudiger

                                                                                                                                          Has anyone had the $21 burger at BARBERIAN's (served at lunch)???

                                                                                                                                        2. WOW!!!! Big Boy's Come out to Ajax - yes, way way out here! Whites Rd. & Kingston SE corner in the strip mall. 1/2 #, toasted kaiser, handmade, never frozen, toppings galore - is juicy without being obnoxious about it. I prefer my WD and it is perfect. And the fries... did I mention the fries? Large cut, rustic (peel on) very crisp with fluffy potato inside.

                                                                                                                                          The Big Boy combo is $8.95 - burger w/ all the toppings, fries and canned drink. I have not ventured out further than this but they have other menu items - including a deep fried mars bar (surely a heart-attack waiting to happen???).

                                                                                                                                          This puts Johnny's (Scarberia) to shame for quality, speed, friendly service etc. Seats are very guyish - looks like a truck w/ galvanized metal tables and chairs that are actually car seats. 2 large screen TV's. Busy and capable. Highly recommend!!!

                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: xssnrg

                                                                                                                                            That's in Pickering, nor Ajax. I was put off by the steely, macho decor but I may try it if they will do medium rare. It just doesn't look like a place that will cook to order.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: xssnrg

                                                                                                                                                Yea they are opening a Big Boy on Queen Street Close to Bathurst, I didn't know it was a Burger place though? isn't it from Diners Dives and Drive in's?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: xssnrg

                                                                                                                                                  You don't need to go out to Pickering. the original Big Boy's is at Kingston and St. Clair and the big boy burger is fantastic. The owners are great and friendly. I agree the steely decor is not great but the food is!!!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: turkish335

                                                                                                                                                    there is a Craft Burger location at Yonge & Bloor north of Bloor on west side and they are really good although I had to ask them not to put any salt on the fries on my 2nd visit
                                                                                                                                                    we just went there again today
                                                                                                                                                    the fries are sort of similar to chippys which I am not crazy about

                                                                                                                                                  2. I've recently had the good fortune to taste the burgers at Weezies, Frank, and Harbord Room and recommend all. However, Harbord Room's $14 burger is the best burger I've had in many years (rivals homemade).

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Food Tourist

                                                                                                                                                      I haven't tried Harbord Room's burger yet but if it's like the rest of the food there it would be amazing. The best burger I've had recently was down the street at Loire Casual Gourmet - it was thick, juicy, pink on the inside, and served on Harbord Bakery's delicious challah.

                                                                                                                                                    2. I must confess that I haven't read all the posts above, but tried Craft Burger for the first time last week. Uh, it was OK, but just OK. After all the raves I've heard about this place, I was expecting it to be a burger epiphany, but it wasn't. Nothing wrong with the burger, had some juciness to it, but I didn't find any "beefy" flavour to it, or that nice char-broil/grill taste. Also, the fries that came along with it were HORRIBLE. They had a paprika-seasoned salt, almost artificialness to them and were extremely salty. I love salt. I add it extra onto almost everything, so if this was salty for me, it was very, very salty. One of us had the onion rings; it looked like it was panko-crusted but soggy, and they were stuck together.

                                                                                                                                                      Anyway, all in all what was also hard to swallow was the $25 bill that came with it...2 burgers, 1 fry, 1 onion ring, 2 drinks. I wouldn't have minded so much if they were above average.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Burgers can be a bit subjective but I'd say Craft Burger over Apache and Johnny's. Barberian's has come close at lunch. The Craft at King/Portland is better than Yonge/Cumberland. Check out the Craft Red.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Not in TO but in Grimsby -- Joe Dog's. Excellent burgers. It's on the main drag just east of Ontario Street. Great decor, too. They have one in Burlington but I haven't tried it. My reason for going to Joe Dog's is that they have prime rib that's superior to Outback's every Saturday and it's only 13.99 with a caesar salad and fries. They actually serve it rare. But back to the burger; it's so large you might want to pass on the bun and they do a great job of seasoning it.

                                                                                                                                                          BTW, do you know that the major chains DO NOT add any seasoning to the meat -- not even salt. The formula they all follow (I'm talking about the U.S. based franchises) is 100% pure beef with about 17% fat content. All the flavouring is in the bun.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: xircus

                                                                                                                                                            anyone been to rails and ales lately? they had the best burger in the city..

                                                                                                                                                          2. I've heard a lot about Allen's burgers. I've lived closeby for years but have never ventured in there. I heard the burger isn't even on the menu, so are there any other "tips or tricks" to getting a good meal at Allens? Just ask for a burger? Do I have to order fries/rings separately or condiments?

                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: szw

                                                                                                                                                              Just order it. You get Dijon, E.D. Smith ketchup, and some good relish. Everything else is extra. You can order it cooked to taste, including rare. If it comes overdone, I send it back.

                                                                                                                                                              I don't think they have rings. The smoked potato salad is very good. Fries (plain and sweet potato, which you can mix) are fresh and okay, but not great. They have most of the standard condiments - the several available cheeses are real.

                                                                                                                                                              As to the other food, all I can say is look through the many threads on this board. Some things are good, pricey, but worth it. Other things are reliably bad (e.g., the curries). Many things are much too expensive for what they are, whether good or not. I wouldn't order a $40 steak here.

                                                                                                                                                              The beer selection is excellent, but expensive.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: embee

                                                                                                                                                                Lettuce, tomato, and onion slices are also included with the burger.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: szw

                                                                                                                                                                The only reason people like Allens is cause they will cook it rare - hence why it isnt on the menu. If you like it rare then go for it. IMO its gross. Out of all the up and coming new places around the city I still find the Gourmet Burger Company on Parliament to be consistently the best. Just dont expect your patty to need a "pad" when served.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MindGrinder

                                                                                                                                                                  There are at least several places that will cook a rare burger, and that isn't why the burger is technically not on the menu. GBC is just another "gourmet" burger joint looking for the possibility of starting a franchise, but with dry patties that lack seasoning, not even in house gourmet toppings can save it.

                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not a huge fan of Allen's, but GBC is far from the best burger in the city.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tjr

                                                                                                                                                                    tjr, I hadn't realized you'd been to Gourmet Burger Company. What did you have? How was it? How many times have you tried it?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Googs

                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Googs, I don't post on most restaurants I visit, usually only if something is mentioned. I've only been to GBC once, and would probably not return; I had a burger with "The Works," with fries and a drink. I requested rare, they cooked it to about medium, but I was in a rush so I didn't bother sending it back. The patty, while pink, was dry; they likely use fairly lean meat. It was also underseasoned (for me). The bun was a kaiser. The fries were fine. My friend had an "Aussie Burger," well-done, and enjoyed it.

                                                                                                                                                                      It seems like most of the other "Gourmet" burger places that are sprouting up like weeds.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tjr

                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks. Too bad about using lean beef. Nonetheless, it's on my "to do" list once I hit a certain weight. Its Burger vs Bikini Season.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: MindGrinder

                                                                                                                                                                    It isn't just about "rare". It is a beefy, juicy burger with great flavour. That they will cook it rare isn't why it's not on the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                    This was a shtick from before their burgers were discovered by the media- one of those "I'm in the know" gimmicks". At that time, most restos other than fast food places, and even Lick's, would serve a rare burger.

                                                                                                                                                                    They sometimes promote their burgers on table cards.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Sorry to have to post something negative but Casey's at Yorkdale is not the place for good service and good burgers. They all come very well-done unless you chose the Bison one but it is as thick as a loonie, mid-rare and very spicy. The accompanying fries came lukewarm but the bill was $20 with tip and for what I got -- and mostly what I left on my plate is extravagant.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I had high hopes for the Drake Hotel Burger after reading reviews which sung its praises. Although it was tasty (a good charred crust, juicy meat, cooked medium) unfortunately, by the second bite, I bit into a chunk of gristle. Startled by it and uncertain about what happened I accidentally swallowed it and continued eating my burger. However, when I bit into ANOTHER piece of gristle, I had quite enough. I just didn't want to continue on the chance of biting onto another 'landmine'. I caught the second piece in my mouth and brought it to my waitress's attention. While the waitress was more than friendly/helpful about alleviating the situation (my burger and tart were on the house and she offered to replace the burger meal, which I declined), I won't be trying that burger again anytime soon.

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sugarcube

                                                                                                                                                                      that's a shame. i haven't encountered gristle there but thought the meat itself wasn't very flavourful. it's a good stop though if they're still doing the starving artist menu and one wants a quick reasonable meal and a drink!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. I've been to many of the places mentioned. Apache is tasty, but way too greasy. Allen's is mediocre. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Utopia on College. Its cheap and a generous potion, and they have great fries. Nota Bene does a great burger, but its expensive. Finally I quite like Craft burger, but I find it a little expensive for fast food.

                                                                                                                                                                      28 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dubchild

                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, Utopia makes a nice sandwich. It gets very busy though.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dubchild

                                                                                                                                                                          So you're saying Craft is better than Allen's?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: aser

                                                                                                                                                                            It might just be me but I find all this medium rare/rare burger business hogwash. To me, a burger tastes best medium. I find that often with medium rare/rare the beefy taste I love in burgers is very much muted. I find with medium it is plenty juicy and you get more beef flavour out of the cooked ground meat. I don’t know….. could just be me. I guess to each their own. Medium rare is fine and all, and it is nice and soft but not necessarily my first choice. At the very least I don’t think a burger cooked medium is a bad thing. Far from it. A steak… I’ll take mine red and bloody but not rare. Again, muted taste when rare. Not beefy. Which to me is the whole point of having steak or a burger.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                              I don't think it's "hogwash," but people certainly enjoy their meats cooked to different temperatures. I know people who aren't put off by red meat, but like their meats well done because that's the flavour they enjoy most. Not my personal preference, but so be it for others.

                                                                                                                                                                              I prefer beef anywhere from raw to medium rare. Medium rare is probably the farthest I'd be willing to go; medium is unappealing.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tjr

                                                                                                                                                                                What I find a bit discomforting is the notion that a good hamburger precludes those cooked medium. That somehow the marker of good restaurant is one that cooks burgers to medium rare or rarer. It’s nice to have choice yes, and if an establishment is providing the option one would hope that they are confident in their product and kitchen staff, or grind on premises. Which is great! But to me cooking to medium rare does not, on its own, instantly qualify a place as one I must visit. As if somehow, if they cook to a customer’s request, that means their burger rocks. That is what I find hogwash. I’ve had a lot of the medium rare cooked to order burgers on this board, and while most of them are good and cost more, at the end of the day, honestly, they’re not better than a mom+pops local fry joint in most cases. Also, personally, I just like the taste of medium better.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree with you. I happen to like my burgers seared outside and rare within. However, cooking the burger rare doesn't mean much if it doesn't taste good. A bad burger is a bad burger, whether rare, medium, or beyond. A poorly seasoned, dry, gristly rare burger doesn't "rock".

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm okay with medium. I am not okay with "medium well", which is the minimum doneness you can get at most Toronto restos of any type.

                                                                                                                                                                                  The chains, and many independents, all cook universally beyond "well done". To my palate, even the best beef going no longer tastes good long before that point.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                                    If a restaurant isn't willing to cook to medium rare, it says a lot about their confidence in their meat quality. It might not always guarantee a great burger, but it's one of those telltale signs I use to find a good burger joint. Process of elimination so to speak.

                                                                                                                                                                                    My preferences are the same as tjr's.....

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't think a burger cooked rare is automatically good, but my preference is more towards this. I've enjoyed burgers that were medium or above, but I'm sure they would have been better less well done as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                      As embee said, bad is bad. As aser notes, if they won't cook a rare burger, they may not be confident in the quality of their product.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tjr

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, these are all good points. I for sure agree. I just felt compelled to vent that medium rare/rare need not be the litmus for quality, although yeah, it does bode well for a place if it at least tries to pay attention to the kind of details involved in cooking this way. As embee and ya'll have noted, there are other areas where skill and attention to detail come into play. For me it's mainly about love, juiciness, and seasoning. Places should be judged by how good their burger tastes, first and foremost. I know it's an obvious thing to say, but sometimes I feel people lose sight of this. And I think we've all been to places/had burgers at home that were done medium and were fantastic. Not to take anything away from those who prefer medium rare/rare, not at all. It's just medium need not equal dry. I won't eat dry. Medium done right is a pleasure!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                                          That's okay, everyone has their own preference! I don't think most of the people here think a burger done medium is a travesty, but rather that the incidence of overly well done burgers in Toronto is pretty high. Sure, a well done lover's paradise, but not so much for those of us who prefer our burgers on the rare side. So it makes for a tough search to find somewhere that will cook burgers to our preference. Luckily, the best burger I've had in Toronto is probably the one I'm not going to be making at home anytime soon (Bymark), so I'm perfectly satisfied.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tjr

                                                                                                                                                                                            I too think Bymark serves the best burger in the city. I loath to bring it up here because people get all uppity about the cost. Plus it really is unfair to compare it to other burgers in the city, it's in a league of its own.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I think I'll head to Golden Star now to satisfy an old school type craving.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: aser

                                                                                                                                                                                              You're right...stacking up Bymark to a more traditional burger isn't fair. That doesn't mean it isn't a fantastic burger. It is. Man, I have a craving. At my old job, whenever we'd have a work-sponsored social gathering, we'd have Bymark sliders, pretty much all you can eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: grandgourmand

                                                                                                                                                                                                The Bymark burger was amazing and I noticed a similar rendition being offered at Mark McEwan's One Restaurant (dubbed on the menu as the 'Ultimate Street Burger'). Have you tried this one?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sugarcube

                                                                                                                                                                                                  A rip off at $28. (One) If you allow a generous 30% for food, that is almost $9. for a patty, bacon, relish and cheese. At least the bacon is smoked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jayt90

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Maybe they burned truffles for the smoke? Truffle smoke - now there's an extravagance!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: redearth

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've never had the burger at One. If the meat quality is the same as at Bymark (ground USDA prime strip), then I'd imagine it's probably delicious as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tjr

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I had this a few times after I'd posted this. It's delicious as well, but not quite as good as the Bymark burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        66 Wellington St. W, Toronto, ON M5K 1J3, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                                        Magic brought up a good point which should be developped a little better. "...confident in their product and kitchen staff, or grind on premises.". Ground beef is some of the dirtiest meat out there, that's why its so cheap. Not only is it coming from a part of the animal which may or may not be unclean, but it has been all mixed together and exposed to air. If its been mixed with seasonings, well now you have cross contamination. Fast food joints cook burgers through for safety reasons. It is possible that an establishment will grind a cut of meat to order, season it and form a patty. The questions to ask yourself are, how much am I paying for this burger, and what volume does this restaurant do. If its busy and an inexpensive burger, you're gambling with your stomach. I seriously doubt even the high-end places grind burgers to order.
                                                                                                                                                                                        For the record, I like Allen's. It has a great pub atmosphere, nice staff, one of the best beer lists in the city, and, in my opinion, consistently mediocre food.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dubchild

                                                                                                                                                                                          Of course no place grinds to order, that's suicide for the staff, it makes no sense at all for a restaurant to do this.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The main thing about grinding your own meat is that the meat is most likely from a couple cows at worst. Whereas factory ground beef is a molotov cocktail of thousands of cows mixed in one batch. That's the biggest difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: aser

                                                                                                                                                                                            As I understand it, sometimes meat processors do not have the hygienic conditions required for ground beef that is going to be cooked to rare/medium rare. There is bacterial contamination from innards, etc. On a solid piece of beef (steak, roast) that will be thoroughly cooked on the outside but not the inside, that is fine, as the inside has never been contaminated, but as ground beef has the outside on the inside, it needs to be cooked through thoroughly when from such a source, especially for people with compromised immune systems, children and seniors.

                                                                                                                                                                                            The restaurants that are willing to serve steak tartare and burgers rare must know their meat, where it comes from, how it was cleaned and cut and ground (some of which they may do themselves), and they are confident that such contamination has not occurred.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                                                                                              Lick's meat is Pasteurized before grinding and served cooked beyond well done. Back when it wasn't Pasteurized, they'd cook it to your taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: embee

                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow! How do you always know everything? Hahahaha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                That seems ridiculous. Is this lawsuit fear in the extreme? What makes them do these things?

                                                                                                                                                                                                There must be places using non-pasteurized meat, as from time to time, there is a serious food-poisoning problem. Think there was one a couple of years ago north of Toronto...

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                                                                                                  But I don't know anything that's actually important :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                  You answered your own question.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                                                                                                Well that's exactly my point, you have more control over what goes in, a couple cows vs thousands of cows. The odds are definitely against you with the latter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Then again, if food safety laws were strictly enforced to the tee, you would not be eating any charcuterie at the black hoof.

                                                                                                                                                                                                It's a personal choice, some will eat ground beef at medium rare, others won't. Plus I have a stomach of a pigeon anyway thanks to eating really suspect asian streetfood as a kid. Built up my tolerance....

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: aser

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Iron stomach! I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't have a lot of trouble eating carpaccio, but ground beef gets a bit absurd when even a spot of pink appears. E. coli isn't exactly present in all beef, but if you don't know the provenance of your ground beef, obviously you'd be a bit scared to serve your customers something less than well done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've often seen irradiated beef in the US. I'm not sure if embee, or anyone else who does a lot of cross border shopping has any knowledge about it. I was under the impression that, despite the "horrifying" concept of irradiation, that the beef was free from E. coli and whatnot. I'm not really sure what the health risks of eating irradiated beef are, nor do I really care to eat it, but perhaps this could solve the problem?

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                                        A true medium rare burger is a bit mushy or soft in the center, and the flavor of the beef hasn't developed.
                                                                                                                                                                                        But if I order it that way, and it is reasonably thick, it will settle into medium by the time I get it. And then it is just fine, with a hint of pink.

                                                                                                                                                                                      4. re: aser

                                                                                                                                                                                        I had the spicy burger at Craft Burger a few weeks ago and it was possibly the best burger I've ever had. It wasn't actually all that spicy, but the taste of the beef was phenominal. I'd pass on the onion rings if I went again, though - somewhat tasteless and a bit too oily.

                                                                                                                                                                                      5. re: dubchild

                                                                                                                                                                                        i haven't found the patties at utopia to be beefy enough in flavour. while certainly satisfying this is where they fail a bit for me. i actually find the allen's burgers to have great flavour. they do a good job of rare but i'm starting to think i'd rather do it a bit medium rare to get some good juices flowing in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      6. i like the homemade patties at The Burger Shack, but they're way too thin

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I doubt if anyone could find a better Burger than at T-Bones in Scarborough. For $4.99 you get an 8 oz. homemade sirloin burger which, when loaded, you can hardly get your hands around let alone your mouth and a fresh order of homemade fries cooked to perfection! You cannot go wrong with their steak dinners either!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. i might get blasted for this but i dont know whats so great about Goldenstar burgers. maybe it was the day i went but the burgers were subpar at best. they were small and very "ordinary". maybe i orderd the wrong burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                            But a burger that i was very impressed with was the one at Stockyards. it was surprisingly tasty. definiately worth a try. kind of pricy though

                                                                                                                                                                                            20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ttran88

                                                                                                                                                                                              You must have ordered the regular hamburger. They sell a regular, frozen patty that you would get at any dirt ball place. its terrible.

                                                                                                                                                                                              However, they also sell a Homeburger, which is they're store made burger that I find quite flavorful.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Most people who go for their first time end up getting the regular burger because Goldenstar doesn't clearly advertise the distinction other than it being on the menu...

                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm sure I have said it on this board before, but I currently still hold the record at Goldenstar for a Quadruple Homeburger. (thats right)

                                                                                                                                                                                              Its been a while since I've been, but I plan on writing a proper review on it one of these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jamie Eats Burgers

                                                                                                                                                                                                thanks Jaime.... that must be it. Your right it was just a plain frozen burger. i will go back and ask for the homeburger. thanks for the clarification. it boggle mine and my friends mind what the hype was about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ttran88

                                                                                                                                                                                                  When you order it. it comes pretty juicy, depending on which guy is on the grill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  but if you are feeling rambunctious and you think you have good rapport with the grill man, ask for it juicy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jamie Eats Burgers

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Get Yourself over to The Real McCoy in Scarberia. (Markham Rd & Brimorton Dr). I guarantee that you're gonna be a convert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Order the Mojo Burger (homemeade patty with cheese and grilled bacon) and fresh-cut fries with gravy, or hand-dipped ontion rings, and you'll notice that it's very similar in style to Golden Star or Burger Shack, but each element is just that much better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    No rhyming grillman, and it's take-out or stand at the tiny window-ledge counter only, but definitely TO's best old-school greasy-spoon burgers, fries, onion rings and they make a hella-good neighborhood-style pizza too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TorontoTips

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Co-workers eat there sometimes and rave about the place, I will have to make the trek over there after work some day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Davedigger

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yonge & Doncaster, a few blocks north of Steeles. I have never understood what people find so special about this place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: OTFOODIE

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree with Jamie; if you order the regular burger, you're going to get the same frozen deal that you can get in a dozen places around Toronto. You need to order the (more expensive) home burger, which is a fresh, not frozen, patty. And, like "magic" above, I order it medium. I want the extra char on the outside, and while I order my steaks blue-rare, the consistency of almost raw ground beef just doesn't do it for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now, let's keep it going, folks! Six more weeks, and this thread moves into Year 7!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: FrankD

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Okay I'll pipe in. I had the burger at The Rhino (Queen West West) a while back. It was big, organic, and cooked screamingly rare. Anybody else tried it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: haggisdragon

                                                                                                                                                                                                          it is a great deal for a large organic burger (i think sub $7)... but it was bland and all the stuff surrounding it seemed rather low in quality (bun, veg, fries). great deal for an organic fill-up though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: FrankD

                                                                                                                                                                                                          you can even ask the grill man to put on some worchestershire sauce while its grilling. Nothing beats some sweet MSG to enhance the flavour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have a suspicion that they include Worcestershire it in their base mix to begin with. However, they won't tell me the secret recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          after this discussion, I think I'll going tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jamie Eats Burgers

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have no idea whether this is still true, or ever was, but Golden Star once told someone in the press that the fresh burgers were prepared for them by Nortown. This was very long ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jamie Eats Burgers

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Since when is there MSG in Lea & Perrins Worcestershire?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Googs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I checked my bottle, and the ingredients are straightforward, no food chemistry shenanigans here. Possibly the U.S. version, but ours is U.K.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Googs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  After salty, sour, bitter and sweet, umami is considered our fifth sense of taste. Umami refers to the presence of glutamic acid, an amino acid with salty/savory characteristics. Its presence gives food more depth in flavor, or character. Umami is present in seafood products such as anchovies. Real Worcestershire Sauce is a complex mixture of many natural sources of glutamate, It's a potent brew of anchovies, tamarind, soybeans, vinegar, garlic, shallots, onions, salt, molasses and sugar.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Monosodium glutamate (MSG).is a common and cheaper flavour enhancer that contains the same umami glutamates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: longolame

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lea & Perrins FAQ page specifically says there is no MSG in the product. However, "natural flavours" is listed on the ingredients, which is a known catch-all term for hiding ingredients that contain glutamate, such as Calcium Caseinate; Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP), Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP) , Yeast Extract, Autolyzed Plant Protein, Sodium Caseinate, Autolyzed Yeast, etc. These ingredients are found in virtually all fast food, and a person sensitive to MSG needs to avoid the hidden forms as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Source: http://www.msgmyth.com/hidename.htm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Googs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No, no MSG. But glutamate, which will usually bother people who are sensitive to MSG, is commonly found among those flavourings referred to in the second paragraph of the answer. Labelling laws need to change so companies have to say "no glutamates," which includes MSG, rather than "no MSG," which doesn't include glutamates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: CeeQueue

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And as mentioned before, anchovies are a major source of natural glutamates. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the physiological reactions experienced after a meal that is laced with MSG (monosodium glutamate), is because of the salt (sodium) component. It is known that combining glutamates with salt significantly increases their potency. A big salt hit can really hit the body hard.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Luckily I seem to have no immediate, obvious adverse reactions to glutamates or sodium but I do need to take medication to reduce my blood pressure. So I struggle to keep that great tasting salt to a minimum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. One of the best burgers I've ever had was from a place called Ciro's located on Bloor and Lansdown.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: harrisar

                                                                                                                                                                                                        T.O.'s top 5# burger joints . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1) craft
                                                                                                                                                                                                        2) gourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                        3) south st.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        4) acme
                                                                                                                                                                                                        5) hero

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mykeylykey

                                                                                                                                                                                                          no way... south st. is practically fast food

                                                                                                                                                                                                          golden star and burger shack are definitely better ( in my opinion ) but to each their own of course


                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                                                                                                                            YUS! BURGER SHACK!!! ... love that grease pit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mykeylykey

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I haven't been to #1 through #5 but for me #6 is the home ground Collegiate burger, at $5.75 the plate.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jayt90

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jay, do you know what their hours are? I was thinking of heading over there yesterday, but it was after lunch hours and I wasn't sure if they were also open for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: CeeQueue

                                                                                                                                                                                                                M-F 8:30 to 7PM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sat. to 4PM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sun. 10-4 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's a demanding schedule for a Mom and Pop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I tried to edit this into the link but no luck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jayt90

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks. I'm usually an early dinner person, so the weeknight times should work for me. Looking forward to trying that burger combo!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jayt90

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Got to Collegiate Lunch today and tried the Collegiate Burger combo. A really good, honest diner burger. Came cooked a perfect medium without even asking. Very fresh, flavourful tomato (so rare to find!). The fries are the frozen variety, but still pretty good. For $5.75, which included decent-quality processed cheese (as opposed to the really thin, cheap stuff that disappears into the bun) and two full strips of perfectly-cooked bacon...you can't go wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the reco, Jayt. By the way, have you tried their home fries? They ran out of fries after my order and I saw people getting what looked like crispy, golden home fries with maybe some peppers and onions (they went by too fast).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The place was quite busy at 4:30 when I left (all 4 booths full and a couple more at the counter). Very friendly service, too.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jayt90

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      jayt90, consider the hours edited in. You have to "apply" now to have editing/adding privileges. Here's the link:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Googs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks Googs, I awaiting their fix.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mykeylykey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Maybe you should rename the list to top 5 mid-scale fast food burger joints.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, I had a burger from European meats just now, I would put that way ahead of any of those.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not sure what the mix is (probably scraps since it is a butcher shop) but the burger is pretty wild because it has bitter/sour notes to the beef, yet there is that high fat taste and feel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  best tasting burger I've had in a long time actually.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      How much? What is included?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      European Quality Meats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      176 Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jayt90

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The burger is $2.29 plus tax, from memory.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The bun serves only as a containment modality. The patty is quite large, even after cooking. It contains lots of industrial stuff and includes beef. The flavouring is coarse. The patty has been frozen. It is way over- cooked en masse. (The use of French does not imply that French cooking techiniques have been used.) Then the patties are put into a container. The are taken out as ordered (a la minuit!) and cooked again for five to ten minuits, or until done. What is remarkable is that the patties stay a decent size.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The toppings are rudimentary. No tomato ,lettuce, brie or foie gras. Sauerkraut, off brand yellow mustard, off brand ketchup, onions.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        European Meats supplies hot dog carts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The price is right, and the taste of the burger stayed with me for many hours, for better or worse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          what are you referring to as 'industrial stuff' ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jamie Eats Burgers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A whole bunch of additives. I saw the list of ingredients on the box.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. We went to W Burger Bar on College just west of Yonge tonight for the second time. We'd previously had excellent bison and lamb burgers; this time we tried the beef burgers and they were fabulous -- 7 ounces of juicy, naturally raised Ontario beef. Great texture and flavour, and perfectly cooked to the medium degree of doneness I'd requested. Love their homemade panko-crusted onion rings, too. We were happy to see that they've resolved their service issues, as well.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Tom's Burgers 5775 Hwy 7 on the south side near Ovida blvd. Across from No Frill's . They have preformed Schneider burgers. Then they have a fresh ground beef burger with seasonings in the meat, kinda like garlic. The home made burger. I order two and I think they are worth the drive to Tom's. Tom's looks like a small joint, nothing fancy. I will drive from Mississauga to this place. Try the home burger and post your thoughts right here

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Apache are not burgers worthy of best in T.O. Neither are Johnny's or Harry's, or Square Boy for that matter. Forget orange pleather seating and old Greek guys with no hair nets and their shirts half open, we are looking for the best burgers. Nostalgia has no place in the conversation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My votess: if budgeting, or want quick take out: Magoo's.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      if budget and time are not an issue, by far the best burger I've ever had (and there hasn't been many here that I haven't tried, is MyPlace Canadian Pub, Jane and Bloor. I think it's about $16, but man, it's awesome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Square Boy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      875 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1L8, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Nota Bene will be coming out with a ' Wagyu Brisket Burger' in the month of May!! If this is a reflection on how Chef David Lee prepares his food and grilled his steaks ( always deliciously smokey and perfect! ), then the 'Best Burger' crown might be heading their way?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nota Bene
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh my -- one of the best dishes at the Brickworks Picnic back in 2008 was chef Lee's Wagyu brisket burger cooked on a Big Green Egg. It was smokey, beefy goodness personified. He didn't grind the brisket, rather it seemed shredded, or at least very, very roughly chopped. It would be lovely if the Nota Bene version were similar. Not sure if they've got a Big Green Egg set up outside, but that would be heavenly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nota Bene
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Does anyone have any more info on the Wagyu brisket burger at Nota Bene? I am going on Saturday and would like to know if they are indeed serving it yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've spoken to a couple of staff while booking my reservation and they did not seem overly informative (or informed) in regards to the Wagyu brisket burger. They essentially had no idea what I was talking about. Which to me is a bit of an early dubious sign, already creating an odd impression on me seeing as this is my first Nota Bene experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Regardless, any info would be appreciated. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I'd like to nominate Great Burger Kitchen. I've been twice. The first time I was very happy and the second time I had the lamb burger and it was fantastic. I subbed out the blue cheese for feta.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My buddy had a bacon double cheese burger and said it was one of the best burgers he's had.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Great Burger Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1056 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1Z8, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Must get back there soon. Anyone have fries? Poutine? If so, how were they this time round?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Edit: Btw, you might consider posting a review on Chow... The handful of reviews are almost without exception by people who have never posted to Chowhound... And they're universally negative.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow, those reviews actually seem... unbelievable. We've been twice and have had very nice experiences. Much better bargain than The Burger Shoppe and the poutine, indeed, is really great. We've heard similar reviews from others in the hood. Not sure where this mass of unhappy reviewers came from.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Burger Shoppe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                688 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1G9, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I know this may sound strange, but the best burger i had in this city has to be the Bacon-Cheese burger from Swiss Chalet. I am 100% serious. I was totally forced to order this burger by a friend, as he guarenteed that I will love it. Mind you, we only visit the one in Markham off Woodbine Ave North of Steeles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I dare you to try it, u will be toally surprised!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now other than Swiss Chalet, I love Hero Burgers, they have the best gourmet toppings.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The 6 oz With Peameal Bacon and cheese is absolutely delectable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have tried the burger shack, and their burgers are pretty good, next time no fries or onion rings. They were a tad too greasy and distracted us from the actual taste of the burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dangerous Dan's Diner, from what I hear have a great burger, apparently voted the best in T.O... Will try in the near future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bon appetite!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hero Burgers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              100 Wellington W, Toronto, ON M5H3X7, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kimd60

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That Swiss Chalet burger was good, but I think they cheaped out and changed it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. After having read all the comments here dating back some SEVEN years, I can see how much passion some people have regarding the simple burger. It all boils down to personal taste. Some of you who hate Johnny's have recommended places that some of us would shun after trying their burgers. For me the burger has to be juicy and with simple flavours i.e. salt, pepper, (and smoke if cooked over charcoal). Gourmet toppings? Then you're ruining your burger, but that's IMHO. Johnny's, yes they are pre-fab and they don't hide that fact, is juicy and has decent flavour. Golden Star was a very good burger when I had it years ago, I can't comment on it now, also juicy and simple flavours. My biggest disappointment was Big Boy's at BOTH locations. I had high expectations of this place considering the hype I heard about it from others. I basically got an over priced dried out burger with not much flavour. It kind of reminded me of the burger at Wimpy's, big but dry. Hot House Cafe, IMO, did have a very good burger (again it was years ago when I last had their burger so I can't comment on it's current state) and the server would ask how you wanted it done. Lick's is now a "burger boutique", and though they are not dry, the flavour seems to have changed in their burger. It just tastes different now and I'm not sure if different is good. Of the chains, I really enjoyed A&W's Uncle and Papa burgers. I found them very juicy (Scarborough Town Centre location) and flavourful. I had the sliders at Pickle Barrel during a Bar Mitzvah and they were quite good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hot House
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                35 Church Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1T3, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: scarberian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Great Burger Kitchen is awesome......i had a bacon & cheddar burger and an ontario poutine (w/onions and bacon)....can't wait to go back...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Great Burger Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1056 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1Z8, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chrisfernando100

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    GBK is great, first time the burger was a tad bit overcooked. But still great flavour in the pattly, clean crispy vegetables, super fresh bun. Second time I tried the Vodoo Burger and the burger was cooked perfectly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: visualhornet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've had a regular and a lamb. Both were fantastic.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. IMO Best in T.O.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Grindhouse Burger Bar (King West )
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Original Indian Motorcycle (Temperance)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Craft Burger & Gourmet Burger Company make mediocre attempts at being a "gourmet burger".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Big Smoke Burger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  573 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M1, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Grindhouse Burger Bar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  365 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K1, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ms.b

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Grindhouse is phenomenal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They actually know what they are doing. Which turns out, actually makes a difference!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Who would have thunk it ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jamie Eats Burgers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      RE: Grindhouse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It is one of the only places I have been to that actually makes the buns as well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Don't go to Yellow Griffin. The service is terrible. The burgers are unique, and taste alright. Nothing special.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yellow Griffin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2202 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6P, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Just had a burger at Woody's Burgers on Lakeshore Blvd near 40th Street. I am not a big burger fan in general, however this was one of the best burgers I've ever had. I had the Gorgonzola stuffed burger and it was yummy. They offer lots of different condiments/sauces/mayo's to add to your burger. I did not have a side dish so can't rate those, although they offered salads, fries and sweet potato fries. They have a website woodysburgers.com I say this place is a must try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fryerlover

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've been here once or twice and liked it, but the burger ALWAYS has come way overcooked. I just wish they'd get some better burger cooks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Definitely skip their "pulled pork" which is stewed and has little flavor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My burger was well done, no red in the middle, and I do like to see red. However I did not find it overcooked or dry, although maybe the gorgonzola covered that up...lol.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm not much of a pulled pork fan, although that could be becuase I've never had a good one. I had one years ago at Hard Rock cafe and so much sauce the bread was saugy and it was dripping grease......that kinda turned me of of pulled pork.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fryerlover

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Re: pulled pork at HRC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's equivalent to saying eating a burger at McDonald's turned you off burgers. Possible, but c'mon, try the real thing somewhere reliable that slow smokes their pig!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Food Tourist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I may try it again one day, however I always see so many other things on the menu that I'd prefer more. I'm not a huge pork fan anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Brand new place called The Burgers Preist ("redeeming the burger one at a time") just opened at Queen E and Coxwell across from Harvey's. Amazing high quality burgers. Try the veggie - aka 'The Option". I'm not a burger person and I love this place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: frelma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For those who don't know, you must cook a burger to a minimum of 160 degrees (that's about medium well), it's the ministry of health's standards and could cost the business owner a law suit and his entire business to cook the meat any less. The best burger can be measured in a few ways. 1. Quality; if you're looking for real quality then get ready to open your wallet. 2. Quantity or Value: a cheap and tasty burger ie; Apache or Johnny's is sometimes all you need. I think south street is the opposite of both, way to expensive for what they're serving. Having said that, the bun is just as or more important that the beef in between, it can save or ruin a burger. In any case don't confuse quantity with quality, and most of us have cravings for both.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: toburger

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This Ministry of Health thing is not true. Allen's has been fresh grinding their beef and cooking to order for years and years now. Burger's Priest is doing the same - and I'm looking forward to trying it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: childofthestorm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cooking to a high internal temp. was a suggestion from Toronto Health inspectors, and most burger places complied.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jayt90

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's actually an Ontario Health Regulation. My guess is any place that grinds their meat on-site can cook it to whatever temp they want.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Burger law: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5556...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: childofthestorm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                found this, but didn't bother to varify the source...I'm quite certain it's true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Isn't anyone familiar with Ontario Regulation 562, which is reportedly upheld by Toronto Public Health? It states that the internal temperature of ground meat (except poultry) must be 160F. I have read the "guidelines" but to get a Green Pass, the city states that you must meet or exceed O. Reg 562."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. no way man
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hands down, no contest, miles ahead of all others...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Allen's on the Danforth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: katiemo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Okay, I guess, if you can get past the snooty service and the meagre, mediocre (at best) toppings. Just because it's one of the few places in the city that grinds their own meat and allows you order the burger to your preferred doneness doesn't, sadly, make it the best place in the city for a burger. My backyard grill still rules the roost. For now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: katiemo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have to agree on Allen's. Have been there a few times and the service issue is something I have not seen.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I only go during patio season as I believe they have one of the quaintest oasis in the city. They could do so much more with it in my opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I had the BEST BURGER EVER at Lolita's Lust a few weeks ago. Better than Globe (my previous fave) and miles ahead of Allen's (which I wouldn't have voted for anyway). I have yet to go to GBK or Burger's Priest, but I will, soon. Maybe right now. The burger came with cheddar and bacon and was just the right kind of greasy a 7 month pregnant woman wants, but not too greasy to cause heartburn. It was cooked to order - medium rare, with a nice grind to the beef. Yum! If I weren't at work downtown right now I'd go get one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lolita's Lust
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                513 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P5, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: thenurse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hooters Western BBQ Burger. I planned on just having wings, but after reading the posts on this board for the last couple days, I've been looking forward to a good burger. And a good burger was had! Juicy burger. Good size bun. Was contemplating getting a second one, if not for eating nachos, wings and fried pickles. Will be going back soon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I grudgingly admit that Burger's Priest is the best burger in the city, but for the B.S. you have to put up with there, I would much rather Great Burger Kitchen, which I think is solidly in the number 2 slot. It also doesn't seem nearly as unhealthy, yet it's still a big, juicy, flavorful patty, excellent fresh toppings, and way more choice for less money. Plus the new location in St. Lawrence Market has lots of great seating with big screen TVs and it's licensed. Add to that a very friendly and attentive staff, and you've got near perfection!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  St. Lawrence Market
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  92 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Great Burger Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1056 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1Z8, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  23 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: shekamoo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Are you being facetious? Have you ever been there?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jmeggs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have been many times. Really, what is the BS?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jmeggs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, please elaborate on the alleged "BS"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jamesm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well, I've only been there a few times, so maybe my experiences were anomalies, so I won't disparage the place ... And like I said, the burgers themselves were the best I've had in Toronto.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jmeggs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've been there twice in two weeks. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I wasn't overly impressed the first time, so I wanted to go again to see if I missed something. I experienced no "BS" whatsoever, the staff was helpful, patient and friendly - but I don't think it's the best burger in TO. It's *good*, and the ingredients are incredibly fresh, and the buns are great - but for my money, I still prefer Allan's and Craft Burger.. actually, add Nota Bene and Beaconsfield to that list too... but it's very convenient and I haven't experienced a lineup... so I will be going back. I like how there's always parking - not the case with Craft Burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1154 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1J5, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nota Bene
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Big Smoke Burger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                573 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M1, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: justpete

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I enjoyed burger priest but compared to in & out prices, it is rather expensive. The burgers are slightly bigger than In & Out's but the prices are more than double. I'll be back, but not exactly rushing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Perhaps they're comparing themselves to Shake Shack as their prices line up with that. Then again they're not paying NYC rent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Stockyards offer a decent alternative at a cheaper price, they also do griddle burgers and grind in house. Allens I can get a med rare burger w/ a fine pint. Maybe even Golden Star?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: aser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Compared to a combo at Harveys across the street, BP isn't much more expensive for a tastier burger. I get the feeling there's more than just meat in a Harveys burger. BP might be emulating Shake Shack and In n Out, the dude is from Cali afterall, but if they don't have the custard flavors of the month like Shake Shack. That'd be a nice addition, but prob. more trouble than its worth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GoodGravy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hmm, I would disagree w/ that, a double double (burger only) at BP is $7.99. You can get out of Harveys w/ a burger combo (fries/drink) for under that I'm sure. Again, I haven't eaten in Harveys in over 10 yrs so I could be wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Double double combo at BP is $14.19 I think, maybe more?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A double double at in & out is $3.35, a shack burger (same thing) is $7.25.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: aser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But how can a single operation in Toronto using high quality ingredients and producing what many think to be the best burger in town compete in prices with Harveys(which serves truly disgusting junk food) or even a more quality US chain like In&Out, or even a rather small but probably well established NY based franchise?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Is this seriously meant as a criticism of BP's price point? Maybe I am mistaken and you are just comparing the prices without saying anything about BP

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: shekamoo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Shake Shack started out as a single operation too, granted owned by a famous restaurateur.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like BP's burgers, but is it illegal for me to say they're "overpriced"? It's simply my opinion. I used comparable products in the marketplace to explain my stance. Harveys was brought into the picture by another poster. The product is nowhere near its quality, that's a given. Prices were pointed to repute the claim BP is only slightly more expensive than them, which isn't true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          At the price point BP is charging, I would rather have a medium rare burger at Allen's where I can sit down comfortably and enjoy a pint. Also, I brought up Stockyards above, very similar business model to BP. Their prices are cheaper, bigger portions, similar quality.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No need to get your knickers all knackered, BP makes a good product. I find it a bit overpriced factoring its location and setting (ie. lack of seating), that's all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: aser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            haha, I dont know about knickers and knackers and illegality and all, I was trying to make a point in a respectable fashion to the effect that your comparison with US prices is not a fair comparison to comparable products in the market to base a claim about BP being overpriced. although it is well within reason just to maintain that BP is overpriced given its location and setting, it is not reasonable based on a comparison with US places.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now, the comparison with Allen's and particularly Stockyards is surely fair. I would reply that BP's burger is better than Stockyards (although I am a huge stockyards fan), and that the service at Allen's makes the burgers absolutely worthless to me. but that is my private opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: shekamoo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe it's slightly unfair to compare their prices to US operations. However, I feel they open themselves up to it because they're "COPYING" note for note another company's product line. Simply put, they're biting, and I'm sure he'll be the first to admit to that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Based on burger alone, I would rank BP as equal to In & Out, with Shake Shack improving upon In & Out's formula.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Again, I'll revisit BP, just not as often as I would hit Allen's, Stockyards or Golden Star. Probably avoid BP in the winter as I don't have the option to go outside to eat if all 5 stools are taken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For some reason, i've never encountered any service problems at Allen's, on numerous visits. Perhaps I've been lucky, who knows.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: aser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You're not the only one. While I liked BP, I found it expensive (considering what you get) and it's not within walking distance, so it's automatically out of the picture unless I'm in the area. It's probably the best fast food burger I've had in Toronto, but Craft is cheaper and almost as good when they cook the burgers properly, plus I don't have to travel. And Craft has better fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree, considering the price anyway, that Allen's burger is much better. I'm actually kind of surprised that the people who usually rag on the price of burgers don't complain about the prices at BP. $15 for a fast food burger? But you're willing to pay because they use "good" ingredients? But a burger made with much better ingredients (which you are not willing to pay for) is a rip off? What?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sometimes I just don't understand CH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: aser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Shake Shack and In & Out don't operate in Canada so a price comparison isn't as useful since neither competes w/ BP. Harvey's is across the street so it's a direct competitor. Stockyards, Craft, Allen's are far enough away as not to pull customers away from BP or Harvey's. A Harvey's and BP combo comparison with like for like offerings would be the most useful if you were selecting solely on price, but clearly, CHers order taste, cost, decor, and convenience differently, hence the different opinions. A BP double double might be $8, but a Harvey's double cheese is around $6. While it's a significant (25%) difference, in real terms, the $2 diff might be worth it to people for the difference in taste and quality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: GoodGravy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, there's plenty more than beef in a Harvey's patty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: jmeggs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This makes me even more curious. I've been there multiple times and can't even guess what you could be talking about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: szw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think my problem is every time I'm there it's super busy. The guys behind the counter tend to get a little flustered when it's busy and will tell people it will be ten/fifteen minutes (I've seen this twice now) for orders, almost as if they want to dissuade you from ordering. I personally don't mind the wait, I think it's worth it, though their space is so small and seating so limited that you're forced to wait outside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It would be great if they could move (or open a second location) that's a little bigger and a little closer to the core. My impression, from how busy they are and how much they charge, is they are probably doing very well, so maybe this will come to pass! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jmeggs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If it really does take 10/15 minutes (not unreasonable IMO), and they said it would take 5 minutes, people would get angry and complain about it. Customers generally would rather know the truth about wait times rather than being lied to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: jmeggs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Have to disagree re BQM. On a friend's recommendation for the burgers and onion rings, I went one night and ordered a burger + rings combo. With a coke, it came out to something ridiculous like $18. WTF. I got it to go, as I live a few minutes away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The worst part is that the burger was meh. It was beefy, but really not worth the cash. AND they gave us fries (too oily, all stuck together) instead of the onion rings. I will not be going back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ha whoops. I saw Great Burger Kitchen and somehow my brain translated that into BQM. Thanks for pointing out my error Davwud.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Great Burger Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1056 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1Z8, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. The Beaconsfield on Queen, Super Mack on Dixie, and LICK's...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1154 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1J5, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Cowbell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1564 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6R1A6, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Believe it or not, I really love the burgers at Milestones, especially one called the American burger which has smoked bacon and cheddar.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fantastic moist, beefy taste and slightly pink.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've tried most of what was mentioned on this board, but aside from Golden Star's, Milestones is my go to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: 1roadstr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Umm.. Milestones serves frozen, premade burgers that come out of a box. And they have the nerve to charge $15 for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ManAbout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Umm..Well, if it's a frozen burger, it tastes pretty damn good. Any no, they don't charge $15.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Besides, Harvey's uses frozen patties, but that doesn't stop it from being a decent burger.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Have you even tried it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I just found out that Five Guys Burgers is now operating around the GTA. One in Mississauga and the other in Vaughan. Anyone tried their burgers (not the US locations, but the ones here) ? How does it compare to an Allen's or actually BP's? Burger's Priest, to me, is the best burger in T.O.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2150 Burnhamthorpe Road West
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mississauga , ON L5M 4Z5

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7600 Weston Road
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Vaughan, ON L4L 3B1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: scarberian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Some Woodbridge location reviews near the end of this thread:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And Mississauga discussion here:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Epicure Cafe (502 Queen St. W) has amazing burgers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Recent visit to Allen's resulted in $75 for 2 burgers, single order of half sweet / half regular fries, and 4 beers. Yikes !

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like the atmosphere and the burger was good (however no "crust" on the meat this time), but the service was abysmal (waiter was distracted by personal issues and kept disappearing for extended periods), fries were horrid (I don't think mushy when I think of fries), and to charge me 25 cents for a leaf of romaine or a slice of tomato seems very petty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My only burger and beer destination has just slipped off the list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's some really expensive beer. Unless the burgers are what drove up the price, then BP, et al; look like a great bargain in comparison.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GoodGravy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's $11.25 for a cheddar burger, but yes they did start charging for lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion. Each are now 25 cents, whereas before all 4 came w/ the burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So basically, a $1 increase.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: aser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                See that's total BS just on the principal... What next???

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                $11.25 for a cheddar burger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                25 cents for lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                $2.25 for a bun
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                $3.75 surcharge for preparation???

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: aser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So two burgers were a bit under $25 meaning four beers and some fries cost $50. Like I said, that's some expensive beer!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GoodGravy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Burgers with "toppings" 24, Sauteed Onions 1.5 (yikes, but I heard they were good), 1/2+1/2 Fries 5, Beers 30 (7.50 each, yikes again !), HST 8, Tip 7.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There were two of us, but I'm not saying I couldn't choke back 2 burgers and 4 beers given sufficient time ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yikes! Although you did order 4 beer, but still... Maybe they also charged you per fry? Places that start charging per topping are going beyond greed. C'mon, 25¢ for lettuce? Might as well order a salad on the side and put that on your burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: scarberian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If anything said 'we wish to embarrass our clients' its making you either order such a basic item for a ridiculous price or feel cheap for not ordering it. Shame on them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Googs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Love the Ab Fab photo Googs. Pats rules.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. The Burger's Priest on Queen East. Beyond yummy!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. At those prices, you might as well have ordered a steak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Have to put a vote in for Big Boy Burgers! They have two locations - one in Pickering and one in Scarborough! Outstanding burgers including a bun that does not look like it came out of a Dempsters bag and out of this world fresh cut fries. Their menu looked great and I only wished I could have tried a few things on it! Next time maybe! The prices were extremely reasonable too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Hooter1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Looks promising but I have to say, that bun looks exactly like it came out of a Dempster's bag.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I live 0.5 km from Big Boy in Pickering, and I have not ventured in because a review I respect said they pre-cook their burgers. I have even heard this about GBK, Jones and Gerrard, but that is not close to me. If someone here says Big Boy burgers are cooked to order, juicy, full beef flavor, and maybe even pink in the middle, I will walk across 401 and the tracks to try them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jayt90

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Perhaps you both should read a few more reviews, or actually try the place yourself! I recently tried both Johnny's and the Real McCoy. Big Boy beats Johnny's hands down. The Real McCoy and Big Boy are close, but Big Boy's wins on the fries! The buns are definitely not Dempsters!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Hooter1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LOL... Beating Johnny's isn't much of an accomplishment, considered that their frozen hockey puck burgers made from the cheapest "meat" around and tasting like cardboard are probably the worst burgers you will find in Toronto.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ManAbout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think people give Johnnys props strictly as a joke and to get a rise. I doubt anybody really thinks they are great burgers that set a high standard...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: jayt90

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Think of a bigger Harvey's burger and you've got Big Boy. Full of filler and gets the overcooked bready crust on the outside to boot. I ate there once, their fries were terrible as well. They tasted like they'd been par-cooked then sat for a few days before final frying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I will admit they look impressive, the proof is in the taste/texture.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hooter1, have you seen them prepare a burger there? Mine was pulled par-cooked from a stainless steel tray and finished on the grill. To make matters worse, the cook then broke the patty in half to make sure it was cooked through. Maybe I should have complimented them on giving me two burger patties for the price of one!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Try, Starr Burger, Shamrock, Shake Rabble and Roll, all in the Durham region. They are all superior. Next up I feel you'll tell me Pete's Big Bite is the second best burger joint in Durham.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Dr Butcher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the report and link to your blog Doc.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Dr Butcher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree with you doc about Big Boy. I tried them twice (both locations) and I found their burgers dry. I ordered the ones made in house (not frozen) and they came out dry with not much flavour. It was also a bit pricey considering the end product. As for their fries, it was nothing to write home about. Both meals were quite disappointing and I was hoping Big Boy would come through. I still have to try Real McCoy from all the positive reviews it keeps getting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Best Burger = Harbord Room
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I wasn't thrilled with my first visit to the Harbord Room, so I didn't go back. Some friends have been going on about their burger. They felt it was better than Gabardine or Marben. I believe someone else mentioned it on this post how good it is. So I finally tried it and agree it is the best I have had in this city. My favourite is still the burger at DBGB in NYC, but this was very similar to that burger. What made HR and DBGB's great is a soft brioche bun and a flavourful and juicy patty. They are both simple straight forward burgers with no fancy toppings, but what makes them work is they're rich, juicy, and have a texture that melts in your mouth. My only criticism is they are both a touch salty. I will definitely be back for another.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          488 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1E5, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Harbord Room
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          89 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA