Toronto Life - The Dish

The latest buzz on restaurants, chefs, bars, food shops and food events. Sign up for the Dish newsletter for weekly updates. Send tips to thedish@torontolife.com

Restaurants

61 Comments

All-Beef Party: Toronto’s 25 best burgers ranked in order of heart-stopping, messy magnificence

25 BEST BURGERS

Nine years ago, Mark McEwan scandalized Torontonians with his $35 truffled Bymark burger. That was before words like “grass-fed,” “heritage” and “dry-aged” entered into the burger lexicon. The city is now crammed with craft burgers, and carnivores no longer flinch at steep price tags. Competitive chefs bring in whole cows from nearby farms, bake their own buns, smoke their own bacon (twice), replace ketchup with tomato chutney and source the most pungent cheeses they can get their patty-flipping hands on. Thankfully, the mom-and-pop shops haven’t been artisinalled out of business—there are still plenty of sublime greasy-bag burgers around, as well as a few new-school diners ironically replicating them. Here, the very best of the city’s boundless burgerdom.

Start the slideshow »






MAP

[mappress mapid="25"]

  • SonaTaiga

    Burger lists for Toronto are always missing a few staples. PJ O’Briens on Colbourne has had one of the best burgers in the city for years. Similar to Allens but better.
    Seeing Apache Burger takes me back. I would suggest Magoo’s for anyone who finds themself in Etobicoke. It’s another long-standing burger institution.

  • burger eater

    How could you not include “The Yellow Griffin” on this list??

  • Lando

    I like turtles.

  • Andy H

    No Big Smoke? Definitely at least on par with Apache.

  • beuh_dave

    Five guys! The only burger that matters.

  • cindy

    pathetic….stockyards #4????????????????? SO OVERRATED ARE YOU JOKING

  • r

    I notice that Dangerous Dan’s is not on this list at all. It is a staple location for anyone who likes burgers in this city.

    For shame torontolife, for shame.

  • Lucas

    Dangerous Dan’s just offers gluttony. There burgers are dry and tasteless, if that is your staple for burgers than you might want to try some other places on this list to open you horizons.

  • Sandra

    Dangerous Dan’s didn’t make the list because their burgers are huge but offer nothing else..just dry grey tasteless blobs of beef.
    5 Guys is ok for a chain but rightfully doesn’t belong on the list.

  • MC

    Where is the Roxton?

  • Sebastien LC

    Merci Mon Ami located in Liberty Village has THE Best Burger in Toronto. Only on Wednesdays.

  • SK

    What about the Burger Shack? Come on TL!

  • Mike

    The last time we went to Golden Star I found little black specks all over my fries. Upon closer inspection they appeared to be fruit flies. I took another look at the malt vinegar and it was full of them.

    I took the vinegar to the cashier and he said that those are just lumps of congealed malt… particles. I came back with my fries and pointed at the little wings attached to each speck. He offered to make me a new serving of fries, but ever since then I’ve stuck with Jetsun’s. No bugs so far (that I’ve seen) and they have better burgers anyway.

  • Andrew

    I’ve tried the burgers @ Allens, Burger priest, Stockyards, Golden star, The Drake, Queen ane Beaver and Apache.
    The worst; Apache
    The best: Allens

  • Rup

    But who has the best lamb burger?

  • Paul

    Welcome to frigging Burger world TO! Time to diss Bymark burger.. with so much new burger bars opening up, its such last decade news.

  • sharkey

    @ Rup: Lamb Burger @ Blue Plate #14

  • cg

    Just had the best cheeseburger ever at Gilead Café and Bistro. Really.

  • ???

    APACHE BURGER IS TERRIBLE !!!!!!!!!

  • Sunny

    I tried the Bymark burger and it was the worst dried up burger patty I have ever had and the porcini mushrooms were raw and awful.

    Drake, Orgin, Nota Bene, The Gabardine were really good.

  • Jenn

    Woody’s Burgers on the Lake Shore in Etobicoke is also very good. Tons of burger types and delicious toppings.

  • Elmo

    Of course, there will be lots of disagreements on this list. The last 2 times (I gave them another shot) I ate a burger at Allen’s it was entirely unseasoned. I don’t like burgers that taste like meatloaf, but seriously, there was NO salt on the meat. Unseasoned meat is absolutely disgusting.
    I discount this entire list due to the fact that Goody’s isn’t mentioned at all

  • Steve rock

    OHMYGOODNESSGRACIOUS
    HOW DID THE BIG MAC NOT MAKE THE LIST? HAS NOBODY NOT HEARDS OF MACDONALDS?
    IT’S MY FAVORITE RESTAURANT!!!
    IM PERSONALY OFFENDED MY FAVORITE RESURANT DIDN’T MAKE IT ON THE ONLINE LITERATURE!!! FOR SHAME!! BIG MAC IS NUMBER ONES! I HAVE OPINIONS!

  • Al MacDonald

    I could forgive missing 1 burger place but not 2. The Beer Bistro on King and Stout Irish Pub on Carlton have phenomenal burgers.

  • lana

    The gladstone cafe’s burger’s didn’t make the list? I feel like that’s a hidden gem.

  • Anastasia

    A great place in the East End is Goody’s Diner. Great burgers!!!

  • John Dou

    CDubbs Mississauga…worth the drive across the border…but then again we said Toronto rt? You want meat CDubbs outdoes them all with the Sumo Burger!

  • Balmoral

    I LOVE the Bymark Burger ! Never should we all forget that Chef McEwan
    started the whole Toronto BURGER evolution. The press took many shots
    about the audacity of even including a gourmet burger on the menu of
    an upscale restaurant so I say Thank You McEwan Toronto loves burgers !
    Many places on the list have great burgers each spot has it’s own unique
    creation. GBK Great Burger Kitchen which is not on the list has 2 downtown
    locations delicious burgers really good fries, I have only been to the Gerrard location = not many stools so be prepared for a possible * Car Picnic *
    which is always fun !!!

  • Me Thinks

    Stay at home, and make your own…

  • Igor Kenk

    Didn’t the Now magazine do the top 50 a year ago?

  • Dave

    How is Magoo’s in Etobicoke never on these list? They make homemade burgers at great prices. Apache is horrible there burger has gone completely downhill.

  • Christina

    WOW!! You missed out Louvrier at Dundas and Bathurst.
    Amazing in house fresh ground beef, with a pile of the city’s BEST fries!!!

    Mmmmmmmmmmmm

  • jr

    where is Great Burger Kitchen?? a travesty! the resto’s must pay for the burgers to be on this list….

  • m

    the bellevue in kensington market has one of the best burgers i’ve had in a really long time. been to most of the places mentioned – bellevue gives them all a good run for their money.

  • Bobby

    I am hopelessly addicted to the Stockyards Green Chili Pimiento Burger. If I don’t have it in a week, I start to get the shakes. Of course lists like this are really just a subjective view, but i can honestly say that I have a hard time eating burgers anywhere else now as they never compare. I hope I am wrong as that just means I get to enjoy another burger even more!

  • Stavro

    Missing Boo Radleys at Symington and DuPont.

    Not fancy like the many overrated and expensive restaurants in the list, but great burger and one that all can afford.

  • Kevin

    I love burger and when a friend send me this link, I started with the closest one (Marben – #2 on the list). Suffice to say author and I have different taste and I will stay with with Craft Burger on King.

  • frodo

    how isnt there no burger brats or danger dans on this list?but im glad holy chucks was 5th

  • Jen

    Would be nice to have at least one burger place on here that average people can afford. Unfortunately, those places are far and few between (RIP Sizzlers (Yonge and College))

  • Jimmy Simpson

    Perhaps these lists should be split up like wine reviews with a “Best Under $15.00″ section.

    I can’t seem to enjoy an $18.00 hamburger no matter how good it tastes.

  • brian k

    The O&B Canteen at the Bell Lightbox makes a mean hamburger. It puts many on your list to shame like Allens and the Burgers Priest, which were very disappointing given the high expectations I had from reviews like the one above. Perhaps T.O. Life has to look beyond the expected and middle of the road as usual.

  • Brit

    Anyone who’s interested in the best burger in the city must go to Union on Ossington because unless you’ve been there and had the burger you haven’t had TO’s best!!!
    I challenge anyone with taste buds who knows a good burger to go and yes you can hank me here.

  • Brillat

    SHAKEY’S without a doubt, the best burger in the city

  • Steve McAdam

    The Best Burger in Toronto is actually not found in a restaurant but found weekdays lunches only on the side walk BBQ of Summerhill Fine Foods in Rosedale. A 1/2 lb of sirloin ground on site, carmelized onions, bacon, your choice of cheese plus a cold table of 15 ‘fixins’….all in for less than $6! This is the best kept secret in the area! I have never found a better burger at any price!

  • Lyle

    I do not agree with The Stockyards burger at #3 above my beloved Nota Bene burger, their burger is great but they have to improve on the crappy store-bought Weston’s bun before they should be a top 5 contender. Nota Bene is my #1, truly drool inducing…

  • Janet

    How could you not include No Bull Burgers on this list? Best organic beef burger in town! Completely inaccurage list!

  • Leanne

    Hey how about Johnny’s in Scarborough on Victoria Park..Have been there for eons and are amazing, good fries and gravy too..love it..

  • Dirty Harry

    BIG SMOKE BURGER over Burgers Priest or Apache all day long. How Burgers Priest made number 6 is beyond me. Also are you comparing apples to apples??? Are all thesr bugers in the same price range and same topping or is this a Ferrari and Ford comparison?

  • Juan`

    Dangerous dan is not there because their service is horrible and the owner is a jerk. The owner is one of the rudest person i have ever met. He didn’t let me use the washroom and spoke to me like i was a low life living off of the streets. I swore never to go there again.

  • LB

    Been making our way through this list (some definite disappointments) and still feel there are several great burgers missing:
    - The Beer Bistro
    - Carens Wine Bar
    - The Rushton
    If looking for a good lamb burger, try Le Select Bistro or Rosedale Diner.

  • norm

    $35 for a hamburger? Where do these places get the nerve to put such prices on a hamburger? Any hamburger priced over $10 (OK, $12 tops if it includes fries, etc) should not even be considered. To charge more than that for a hamburger is pure larceny. Go to Burger King on Whopper Wednesday. You can buy a Whopper for $1.99. Not the best burger on the planet, but not the worst either. Definitely better than paying the ridiculous prices some of the trendy little places on this list charge. Of course if you are dressed in your spiffy Italian suit, you probably would not feel adequate paying any less than $20 for a burger.

  • ndp

    What about detroit Eatery….probably one of the best banquet burgers around…..

  • Anakolia

    What about Utopia Cafe and Grill? They have such an amazing bacon cheese burger…mmmm :P

  • rob

    It is a great list TL has here, but what about Great Burger Kitchen? I had there Voo Doo burger last week at there spot of church st, it was fantastic. they also had a award pm the wall from toronto harbour front festival, for toronto’s best burger last summer.

  • Mike

    Where the heck is craft burger/big smoke? I tried stockyards and I have to say any burger at big smoke is about 100 times better.

  • The burger prince

    This list is great for young hipsters. But for regular folk this list is out of wack. There is no johnnys, big m, toms, or zets. No bull at queen and parliament is also good. I guess Toronto life only covers everything south of bloor.

  • Cheryl

    We are not huge foodies but we were in the mood for a good burger……Surpised that “holy chuck” is number 5 on your list. $9.99 for a burger made with PROCESSED cheese was disappointing. The menue does not mention processed cheese and the statement on the wall indicating “no tans fats” is misleading.

  • Cheryl

    Number 5?????? We are not huge foodies but we were in the mood for a good burger……Surpised that “holy chuck” is number 5 on your list. $9.99 for a burger made with PROCESSED cheese was disappointing. The menue does not mention processed cheese and the statement on the wall indicating “no tans fats” is misleading.

  • cheecheemonkey

    Look, I think the Harbord Room is great.
    But I have had that burger 3 times and yes, it is delicious, but the freaking bun always arrives half soggy and turns into a disgusting doughy mess at the end. It makes me sad they can’t toast it or use a more substantial bun. It ends up being sort of gross…

  • Patrick Rea

    Where’s Magoo’s Gormet Hamburgers? They’ve been around for over 25 years and you guys keep missing them.

  • Greg dorter

    Your post is too old now! check at Toma Burger to find the best burgers evers!

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement