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Up until a few years ago, the burger landscape in Toronto was boring and predictable. Frozen patties and generic condiments dominated the city and there were very few good burger joints. Fast forward to today, and we've got everything from diner-style burgers to custom-blended gourmet patties. The city is bursting at the seams with new and juicy options. To find the best of the best, we conducted the 2014 Zagat Burger Survey and these burgers made it to the top.
The Rude Boy
"The Rude Boy ($11) consistently goes above and beyond," says one voter of this Roncesvalles diner, a Toronto go-to for tasty burgers and cheap pints of beer. There's a reason why the locals flock on a daily basis: "Their burgers are unbelievably delicious," said another voter about the restaurant's The Natural burger ($7.25), which is served with all the fixin's and housemade smoked jalapeño ketchup. Read more about The Rude Boy on Zagat.
Photo by Denise McMullin
Toma Burger Addiction
Daily housemade breads lay the foundation for a great burger at Toma. "The brioche bun is amazing and all the ingredients are flavourful," adds one voter. The classic burger ($8.95) with cheddar, arugula, caramelized onions and "secret sauce" is the "perfect combination of everything and consistently delicious," according to a die-hard fan. Read more about Toma Burger Addiction on Zagat.
The Beast Style
It's a "great burger and good-quality meat, and toppings," says one devotee of the burger ($14) at this Toronto hot spot. The St. Clair West shop goes through hundreds of 'beast style' burgers each week, sandwiching two mustard seared patties with housemade secret sauce, American cheese, onions and pickles. Read more about The Stockyards on Zagat.
P & L Burgers
It seemed only logical that meat-obsessed chef Matty Matheson (Parts & Labour) would open a burger shop on Queen West. Matheson's hottest burger ($9) on the menu is all about bacon, American cheese, red onion, pickle and housemade P & L sauce on a toasted Silverstein's bun. Read more about P & L Burgers on Zagat.
Bymark Street Burger
The Harbord Room
Dry Aged 'West Grey Farms' Beef Burger
The Harbord Room's dry-aged 'West Grey Farms' beef burger ($17) has been a crowd favourite since the day it was introduced. "By far the BEST burger I've ever had," echoes one voter. And another adds, "the cheese and meat melt into each other, creating a vibrant bomb of flavour. The perfect burger!" Read more about The Harbord Room on Zagat.
There's a reason why the Burger's Priest outposts have daily line-ups. Voters describe the High Priest burger ($9.99) as "extremely juicy" and "definitely one of the best burgers in the city." The "Flat Top burger from my childhood" tugs at one voter's nostalgia. Another loves "the panko deep-fried jalapeños," calling them "a nice addition to the bacon cheeseburger." Read more about Burger's Priest on Zagat.
Head to the Danforth for "hands-down the best burger ($14.95) in Toronto," as one voter puts it. Allen's keeps it simple with a "terrific bun and toppings." All meat is "ground on the premises, cooked to order" adds one rave reviewer. The cheeseburger is layered with a slab of aged Ontario cheddar to give each bite "umami." Read more about Allen's Restaurant on Zagat.
Aficionados love hitting this place for juicy, hormone-free burgers ($7.50) complemented by tall pints of Ontario beer. "I enjoy the range of beef options," says one voter of its option to choose chuck or brisket. The burgers are also cooked to your liking. "It was juicy and you could really taste the quality of the meat," adds another fan. Read more about BQM on Zagat.
The Holy Chuck
Burger Anatomy: The Stockyards