Photo cred - beefwhisperer
Though the city once had a love affair with brunch, Toronto's become grossly infatuated with the dripping hot messes of meat normal people call "burgers". It's sort of revolting to note how much of it has become a Nicholas Sparks story, but GTA's finest need their 6ozs. They've become vices - whether they're fast, gourmet, artisanal, or diner - and they help power and revitalize the city's core workers and cultural hubs. They're also slightly charred deathtraps that will force you into an eternal burger k-hole, and these ten creations will do that and make sure you never visit a Hero Burger again.
Kensington Market may be turning into an assorted chocolate box that features every strain of vegan, but at least this monstrosity exists. The Burgernator takes pride in the Augusta eatery's name by being simple: a triple beef patty in between two grilled cheese sandwiches with caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, and Burgernator sauce. It's a challenge for the most part, but at least it will leave you on the floor, convulsing with happiness.
The Burger's Priest's "The Vatican City"
Toronto's classic American cheeseburger joint pushes a secret menu that will figuratively punch you in the face, but it's this original that likes to get literal. The Vatican City squeezes a double cheeseburger between two grilled cheese buns only to make you drool, sweat, and combat a little bit of anxiety before the holy spirit compels you. Okay, okay - only the latter part is true.
Dangerous Dan's Famous 8oz FULBurgers
Digging into everything peameal, Greek, Hawaiian, brisket, and veggie, the Queen East diner carries enough 8oz FULBurger options to keep a flock of basics satisfied. Don't believe the hype? Their Big Shroom uses shitake, button, and oyster mushrooms in teriyaki sauce with deep fried spinach while The Big Kevorkian is topped with fried onion, fried mushrooms, deep fried pickles, garlic dressing, mayo and two slices of fried bacon.
Gangster Burger's "The Don C Burger"
Lee B. and Will Nguyen's creation started from the bottom with an unexpected visit from Drake and since then, they've turned Gangster Burger into a low-key hang for grilled fare. The Queen West shop boasts a pretty unique menu - using dill Havarti, mac and cheese, spicy ketchup, and other garnishes to compliment a prevalent smokiness - yet it's The Don C that continues to merk their 6oz competition. It's a classic with the basic LT&C toppings and as Nona would say, it's good for you.
Holy Chuck's "The Cowlorie"
Holy Chuck doesn't really need a description but if you still haven't endured their six-patty hybrids ("Go Chuck Yourself") or Caribbean lookers ("The Jerky Cow"), then The Cowlorie is a good starting point. The standard double cheeseburger can be dressed up and down or even altered with lamb patties and gluten free buns to satisfy the anti-beef regime.
The Parts & Labour Burger
If you've moshed at The Shop, then you've likely noshed at the P&L. Terrible puns aside, Parts & Labour prides itself in serving you 7oz of Canadian brisket, bacon-onion jam, dill mayo, iceberg lettuce, and Monterey Jack cheese on a toasted egg bun. It's not the flashiest invention on the grill, but it'll hit that sweet spot in ten seconds or less.
The Rude Boy's "Rude Boy"
Roncesvalles may be cluttered with one too many old Polish ladies, but at least they know how to pick them. The Rude Boy upholds the neighbourhood's cultural reign with hormone-free, grass-fed beef that's grinded in-house and their staple of the same name takes things up a notch with house cured peameal, a fried egg, maple whiskey double-smoked bacon, pickled red onion, and garlic aioli.
The Stockyards' Beast Style Burger
The St. Clair smokehouse has become synonymous with fried chicken and terrible first date situations but don't discount their venture into the grill world. Their "griddle-smashed" burgers are always cooked medium-well to let the juices hit it off with your shirt and their Beast Style option will run amuck on your Sunday's finest with secret sauce, caramelized onions, and American cheese.
The Works (Any Burger)
The Works is essentially a roided-out Arby's that has no tolerance for serving "basic" customers. They have close to 50 burgers on their menu and not one is afraid of getting weird. "The Full Mountie" flirts with poutine; the "Hunka Hunka" fist bumps peanut butter, banana, and bacon; and the local "TIFF It Out" slaps on some gouda, bacon, and avocado. The Bloor West and St. Lawrence Market locations also offer portobello mushroom caps and lean elk for those who dare!
Five Guys Burgers And Fries' Bacon Cheeseburger
Five Guys doesn't exactly fit in with the rest of the entries on this list, but it's all-the-way-from-America grease makes a pretty good point. For a fast food joint that isn't named Umami, their fresh never frozen ground beef sits at the top of non-gourmet spots in the city and their bacon cheeseburger has become a popular favourite. Seriously. Just ask your bae.