​Top 5 Burgers in Toronto

​Top 5 Burgers in Toronto

Toronto has been in the grips of the gourmet burger trend for a few years now, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. New craft burger joints seem to pop up every other week, and the selection is becoming overwhelming. From the boutique restaurants specializing in foie gras-topped creations to the old-school diners serving up classic patties, there’s a place out there to suit every taste.
Here’s my picks for the top 5 burger places in T-Dot. Grab some napkins and let’s do this!

1) The Legend: The Burger’s Priest / theburgerspriest.com
If you’re looking for quick service, don’t come here. (During a recent lunch visit to the Queen Street West location, I waited 35 minutes for my order.) If you’re looking for a place to sit down and eat, don’t come here. (Most locations have a few token bar stools, but the place will be overrun with people ordering.) If you’re looking for relish, don’t come here. (Owner Shant Mardirosian hates the stuff and refuses to serve it.) But if you’re looking for the best burger in town, come here. The expanding burger chain (now with three locations) grinds their beef onsite in small batches throughout the day to produce perfectly juicy patties. There’s even a secret menu, but I’ve never been tempted to stray from my favourite burger in Toronto: The Priest, a griddle-cooked cheeseburger topped with a breaded, deep-fried, cheese-stuffed portobello mushroom cap ($9.99). Heavenly! 

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2) The Trek: Golden Star/ goldenstarburgers.com
This family-run restaurant may not look like much, with its old-school diner vibe and orange booths, but one bite of their classic burger will make you forget all about the trek to Thornhill. Try their charbroiled All-Star Burger ($6.70) with a side of handcut fries and homemade lemonade.  The homemade beef patties and toasted sesame seed buns make the trip well worth it – there are no fancy add-ons, just a really great, perfectly cooked burger dressed with traditional toppings.  It’s cash-only but they have an ATM onsite. 

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3) The Posh: Richmond Station/ richmondstation.ca
There was a time you’d never dream of ordering a burger at an upscale restaurant, but all that’s changed in this carnivore-driven age. Toronto’s most esteemed establishments now offer an impressive array of burgers: The Harbord Room boasts a $16 beef brisket with Guinness mustard, Nota Bene’s crispy buns and Stilton topping make theirs worth the $22 price tag, and Bymark is famous for its $35 strip loin burger laced with truffle oil. But if you really want to wipe burger juice off your face with a freshly pressed linen napkin, the best bang for your buck is at Richmond Station. Their signature burger is stuffed with braised short ribs and topped with aged cheddar and beet chutney on a toasted house-made bun, served with roasted radish salad and rosemary Kennebec fries ($20). Co-owner and butcher Ryan Donovan breaks down the heritage Ontario beef in-house, so don’t worry if it’s a little pink.

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4) The Glutton: Holy Chuck/ holychuckburgers.com
Don’t bother going to this burger joint at Yonge & St. Clair unless you’re really hungry; only two of the 26 burgers on the menu contain a single patty. The rest are designed to fulfill your extreme meat cravings. They range from the signature Holy Chuck burger (two patties with bacon, cheese and caramelized onions for $9.99) to the Go Chuck Yourself ($19.99), a whopping six patties topped with six cheeses, triple bacon, and caramelized onions stacked between three grilled cheese sandwiches. If you thought that was extreme, you should try their epic new Holy Duck, a beef patty with double-smoked bacon, topped with seared Quebec fois gras, truffle oil, maple syrup and Italian black truffles ($27.99). Just don’t blame me when your heart stops.

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5) The Newbie: Five Guys Burgers and Fries/ fiveguys.ca
Though their burgers can’t compare to some of the gourmet ones mentioned above, Five Guys makes the list for offering combos that are vastly superior to typical fast food chains. Their meat is fresh instead of frozen, their burgers are served on sesame seed buns, and their selection of free toppings is huge (mayo, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, ketchup, mustard, relish, onions, jalapeno peppers, green peppers, steak sauce, BBQ sauce and hot sauce). You won’t leave hungry; their standard burgers start with two patties (though you can order the “little” version if you just want one), most locations offer an unlimited supply of peanuts, and if you’re ordering it to go, they’ll scoop an extra mound of French fries into your takeout bag. There are three locations in Toronto (so far), including a new one at Yonge & Dundas.

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Honourable mentions: The Works, Apache Burger, Rude Boy, The Stockyards, Square Boy Burgers

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