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Staff Picks: 5 Unbeatable Burger Joints

A tasty treat from King Street East’s Big Smoke Burger

Few foods say summer so much as a juicy burger with all the trimmings. These specialty patty pushers are our favourites for grilled, meaty flavour.

Big Smoke Burger
The burgers here are straightforward but nonetheless worthy of relishing. Among the favourites is the Craft Burger, a savoury six-ounce charbroiled patty of Ontario AAA ground chuck that comes with rosemary garlic mayo and sautéed mushrooms. The fries and onion rings are hand-cut and seasoned to perfection, and house-made milkshakes double as dessert. Long line-ups are not uncommon, especially during the lunch rush. Fortunately you can call ahead for pick-up. 50 King St. E., 416-947-9500; plus other locations.

Homestyle comfort food guarantees a full house at this modern-style burger shop. Meat lovers can choose their cuts of beef—chuck, brisket or sirloin—while vegetarians have their pick of a grilled tofu burger with jalapeño aioli or a chickpea and veggie patty with curry aioli. Sweet potato fries are highly recommended, as is the poutine layered with toppings like pulled pork, grilled chorizo and jalapeno peppers. 354 Queen St W., 416-792-7792; plus other locations.

The Burger’s Priest
Torontonians kneel at the altar of this cheeseburger destination, modelled after Classic American burger houses of yore. For less than $10 you can feast on the Priest, a single beef patty layered with cheese, plus two cheese-stuffed deep-fried portobello mushrooms. The rest of the menu stays true to the eatery’s freshly ground ultra-premium beef, which is cooked to order on a flat-top griddle. There’s nothing especially fancy, just good, honest flavour. 1634 Queen St. E. and 3397 Yonge St., 647-346-0617.

Grindhouse Burger Bar
The culinary team whips up wholesome fare with ingredients from local artisans and organic farmers. If you’re not watching your waistline, indulge in a chorizo sausage and beef burger dubbed the Spanish Fly—it comes paired with manchego cheese and house-made salsa packed in a fresh-baked, beer-infused bun. Backed by a holistic nutritionist’s stamp of approval, other tasty delights include the eight-ounce Big Boy bison burger, a black truffle- and cranberry-infused turkey burger, and a quinoa, brown rice and chickpea mash-up of a veggie burger. Gluten-free and vegan options are also available and equally delicious. 365 King St. W., 416-977-3010.

Holy Chuck
An eclectic menu offers more than 20 burgers like the Greek Bahahastard (two lamb patties), Go Chuck Yourself (six beef patties plus six cheeses), and the Holy Duck (beef patty with bacon and foie gras). Although the standard condiments are available, it’s unlikely you’ll need them; Holy Chuck’s burgers are come piled high with decadent fixin’s. 1450 Yonge St., 416-962-4825.

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