On Thursday, August 27th, plan to have a burger for lunch or dinner in honour of National Burger Day. But you don’t want any ol’ patty. You want something good.
Here are my top 5 picks for best burgers in the city:
89 Harbord St.
The Dry Aged West Grey Farms Beef Burger ($19) from The Harbord Room is one of Toronto’s best burgers because of its high quality ingredients and big flavours.
There are so many notes that make it perfection:
- the high quality beef that arrives juicy, not dry
- not just any cheddar, but sharp cheddar to stand out against the other flavours
- the fantastic touch of caramelized onions instead of sharp, raw ones.
- lemon aioli adds both brightness and depth
- Guinness mustard pairs beautifully with the beef
- an egg bun because who doesn’t want to devour an egg bun?
- Even the accompaniments stand out - perfectly salted fries and slaw to add crunch.
One of the best burgers also happens to be rather elegant, making it ideal for every occasion from business meeting to late night date night.
382 College St.
You would think that an Oxtail Stuffed Burger ($22) might be gamey, but it’s anything but. In fact, it’s one of the juiciest burgs you’ll find in the city.
There’s a lovely homemade chutney, a cold crisp lettuce leaf and a nice touch – the soft white bun’s been grilled. Superb arugula salad with fennel and a light creamy dressy, and herbed fries are served in bowls nestled next to the burger.
892 Queen St. W.
Rose and Sons Swans is brand spanking new, so you might think they’d need some time to work the kinks out. Not with Chef Sonia Marwick (former sous chef at Fat Pasha) at the helm. She gets the House Ground Chuck Burger ($14 - pictured above) so crisp on the outside and juicy, raw-in-the-middle inside. The sear on it is brilliant. The flavour? Even better. The meat on its own is so compelling, you’ll be tempted to remove the scrumptious focaccia bun and forgo the aioli, pickles, fresh butter lettuce leaves, tomato and onion slices, and just eat it on its own. But don’t – the toppings are phenomenal too.
I appreciate the originality of the fries too - thick coins of potato made lengthwise, gives you so much surface. Nicely salted and browned, these will be the thing that brings you back to carbs.
1 Richmond St. W.
Richmond Station, around since 2012, is one of just a handful of restaurants where they have consistency down pat, which is why you’ll see so many of the city’s chefs dining there on their nights off.
Which is why you can always count on their Stn. Burger ($21) to be stellar.
The burger is made with ground beef, topped with braised short rib that’s frozen, so that it melts while cooking. Heinrich has referred to it as a “hidden surprise. Like gravy, but on the inside.” The ground meat is then folded around it and then pressed into a thick patty. Salt and pepper is added and then it’s put right on the grill. The result is an insanely juicy meaty concoction that you won’t soon forget.
A sliced, buttered, housemade milk bun gets toasted and then toppings of aged cheddar, lettuce, and zesty housemade beet chutney and bread and butter pickles are added.
The rosemary fries (made with Kennebec potatoes to ensure a crispy exterior and soft, fluffy interior) are as heavenly as the burger.
219 King St E
Sometimes you just want a plain ‘ol burger. Nothing fancy, but good, simple and that won’t leave you hungry afterwards.
The Patrician Hamburger ($5.15) is a homemade patty that Chef Chris grills without charring it. The meat is still pink the middle but has a great crust. On a toasted white bun with lettuce, tomato, mustard, (ketchup’s on the table) it’s one of the best things you’ll eat all day.
That, along with the great family that runs the joint – Terry, his mom and uncle, and brother-in-law Chris – makes it a must for tourists and Torontians alike.