This vibrant, bustling tavern is, first and foremost, a great spot to enjoy a local beer or two. For stacked burgers that are dripping with grilled cheese and finger-lickin’ good beef juices, this is the place to go.
The Burgernator is on a quest to rid the city of overcooked burgers, processed cheese and questionable toppings, and oh boy are they doing a great job. Bonus points for creative names such as Atomic Burger (which comes with a devilishly good deep-fried herb-crusted cheese) and Drop And Give Me Spicy.
An absolutely classic local diner, Golden Star has been feeding generations their drool worthy burgers since 1964. The juicy, homemade burgers are legendary in the Thorn hill area, and it’s a much loved family eatery.
Mushroom and lentil patties, BBQ jack fruit and black kale slaw are just some of what’s on offer. Map updates are paused.
Pressed flat onto the griddle to create a thin patty with crunchy edges and often served on pillow rolls, check out these places to see why this is Toronto's new favorite snack. Lots of lettuce and thick slices of tomato add freshness to Rudy's burgers.
Matt's Patty's Burger Club Celeb chef Matt Matheson is back on the scene in Toronto with this burger joint serving double smash burgers topped with spicy ketchup or a chunky mustard pickle sauce, presented on buns coated in sesame seeds. Gold Standard Locations on Roncesvalles and in Park dale of this burger counter serve Detroit-style sliders with mustard, onions and cheese on soft, squishy buns.
Aunty Lucy's An Annex hotel now plays host to this Black-run smash burger project. Try the Quasi with one dry-aged beef patty or the Accra with two, both served on potato buns.
You can also get Way burgers topped with phone gas on black buns here. Harry's Charbroiled This burger project once took up residence in an old diner in Park dale, but now operates out of a takeout-only spot in Little Italy.
Expect smashed Plain Jane as well as red and green chorizo burgers. This place near Yong and Sundas serves a double smash burger with provolone, pickled veg, basil aioli and marinara.
The name may be extra, but the selections are straightforward: classic smash burgers and crinkle fries done right. The cheeseburger ($10.50) with American cheese, kosher pickle and secret Extra sauce comes fully loaded so there's no need to modify.
If you're lucky, you can catch this bright-yellow food truck roaming around the west end, but its main home is on Palmerston where you can order for pickup. Don't be confused by the name, the Plain Jane ($8.49) burger with cheese and pickles is anything but boring, neither are their thick cut french fries.
The Holy Chuck signature double cheeseburger ($12.49) is patty perfection with bacon, caramelized onions and specific instructions not to add any toppings. Things get wild as you go down the menu, with burgers like the Holy Duck ($35.99) with fresh Quebec phone gas, maple smoked bacon and Italian white truffle oil.
From the Holy Cheeses ($13.99) with deep-fried mozzarella to the Son of a Bun ($13.99) with two friend chicken tenders inside, these burgers are famous in their own right. We love a good collab, and Gianna’s Patties and Pies specializes in perhaps the best one ever: Detroit-style pan pizza and burgers.
The High Priest (literally) of burgers comes in at $12.99 and has two original beef patties, Secret Sauce and American cheddar. Keep your eyes peeled for their not-so-secret menu with totally ridiculous and absolutely necessary concoctions like the towering Four Horseman of the Apocalypse ($29.99) with either panko-crusted or cheese-stuffed portabello cap, American cheddar and two beef patties between two grilled cheese buns.
Burger ($19) with its organic and grass-fed beef, garlic aioli, aged cheddar and beet chutney. The Drake combines the hipster vibe you'd expect from a boutique hotel with the artiness that the neighborhood was previously known for.
In the middle of busy Sundas West, Antler stays true to its rural roots with a menu featuring nontraditional meat like venison, wild boar and of course that Zweihänder game burger ($26) with a patty of wild boar, bison and deer topped with duck egg aioli and smoked cheddar. It's prepared to medium as standard, with a pickle, onions and riddled Beaufort cheese oozing down the sides.
The MOST burger ($23) has thick black pepper bacon, smoked cheddar and that fancy Boston BBB lettuce that's almost too good for a salad. At $40, the famous By mark Burger might be one of the most expensive in the city, but we’d be lying if we said we couldn’t taste the difference.
The eight-ounce patty is loaded with brie DE me aux, shaved truffle and grilled porcine mushrooms. © CopyrightFinally, a restaurant that has realized that a burger is more than just a food item, it is in fact a religion, something that one must dedicate oneself to fully in order to find fulfillment.
Shan't Mardirosian, who owns three locations in Toronto, originally set off down a different path, attending seminary school. The patties are custom-made on site several times a day and are slipped between simple, no-frills buns with no nonsense ingredients to create a thoroughly satisfying burger which is also great value.
In the decade following World War II, dining in restaurants started to become more common among ordinary families in Toronto. Responding to the need for inexpensive but decent quality food, several family-style chains of restaurants began opening in the mid-1950s and 1960s.
Among them were Swiss Chalet, Church’s Fried Chicken, Harvey’s Hamburgers, St. Hubert, Steak N’ Burger, KFC, and a few years later, Ponderosa. I had landed my first full time job, and though earning a modest salary, was anxious to “dine out” with friends.
The building still exists today, but is a “Le Château” clothing store. Similar to all the Steak N’ Burgers, the decor of these two restaurants looked like the wild-west during the days of the cowboys.
Memorabilia from the old west were displayed on the walls, and in one or two sites, the chandeliers were wagon wheels. The tables and chairs were not particularly comfortable, so did not encourage clientele to linger and chat.
As a result, there was a relatively quick turnover of customers, as in fast food chains of the present decade. When the chain began, the main menu items were roast beef, hamburgers, and a small steak, the latter a cheap cut of meat, tenderized and served well-done.
The steak was accompanied by a baked potato with generous amounts of butter, and a bread roll sliced in half and toasted. Steak N’ Burger was managed by Cara Operations Limited, a Toronto -based food company that owned a 50 percent share in the Keg N’ Cleaver, now renamed “The Keg.” In 1977, Harvey’s Hamburger and Swiss Chalet were merged into a single company named Food corp, which was sold to Cara Operations Ltd.
However, public tastes changed, the Steak N’ Burger sites became less popular. As a result, during the years ahead, the Steak N’ Burgers slowly disappeared.
Undated photo of the Steak N’ Burger on King Street East. It relates anecdotes and stories by the author and others who experienced these grand old movie houses.
Note: an article on this book was published in Toronto Life Magazine, October 2016 issue. Another publication, Toronto Then and Now,” published by Pavilion Press (London, England) explores 75 of the city’s heritage sites.
It contains archival and modern photos that allow readers to compare scenes and discover how they have changed over the decades. Note: a review of this book was published in Spacing Magazine, October 2016.