Inching towards mediocrity.

Handheld, charbroiled goodness. (Now with 87% more chance of a heart attack at an early age!)


Today we take another look into the depths of my fair city (Toronto) to see what’s what – BURGER WISE.

While I think it’s safe to say that sandwiches are nature’s greatest gift of food, hamburgers come in at a close second – a more evolved sandwich, you could say. And what an evolutionary marvel it is. Grilled beef, melted cheese, fresh vegetables….there’s no beating a good hamburger. And here, in my humble opinion, are five of the best in the city.

It should also be noted that I detest the term “cheeseburger.” A hamburger should never be bereft of cheese – it’s as integral an ingredient as the beef patty or the bun. A hamburger refers to a burger with cheese. Should you choose to go cheeseless (and why would you want to?), then that’s known as a “hamburger without cheese.” It’s science.

So sit back and prepare to drool…it’s BURGER TIME.

What the EFF is going on, Toronto? (The Burger Edition!)

One last quick note – I’ve decide that it’s simply to difficult to rank these. They’re all delicious, and all very unique. So rather than a traditional countdown, I’m just going to present these in no particular order. I also highly recommend you check ’em out!

Dangerous Dan’s Diner
714 Queen St. East

What can you say about Dangerous Dan’s that hasn’t already been said? Or thought? Known as quite possibly the unhealthiest restaurant in the city (and damn proud of it, too) Dan’s offers a dining experience like no other. Their most famous sandwich is the aptly named “Triple C” – or “Colossal Colon Clogger.” This behemoth features a 24oz patty, a quarter pound of cheese, a quarter pound of bacon, and two fried eggs. While I have yet to experience this…thing…myself, I’m sure curiosity (and a deathwish) will force me to one day, and that’ll probably be the end of me.

Recommended meal: The Big Kevorkian (fried onions, mushrooms, bacon, deep fried pickles, garlic dressing and mayo) with cheese, onion rings and something to wash the grease down.

Burger Shoppe
688 Queen St. East
210 Ossington Ave

Quality, naturally raised meats highlight this gourmet stop, which has locations at Ossington and in Riverdale. The restaurant features a wide and varied array of burger choices, with ingredients as far ranging as portobello mushrooms, onion rings and pineapple. A little bit pricey (as are all of these shoppes) you get what you pay for – a damn fine burger.

Recommended meal: The Riverside Burger (BBQ sauce, bacon, mayo, lettuce, mozzarella, and a homemade onion ring), poutine (it’s BIG) and a shake made with real ice cream from Ed’s Big Scoop in Leslieville.

Oh Boy Burger
571 Queen Street West

This is a fairly new place, and I had the good fortune to try it just last week. Utilizing all local ingredients (even the buns are freshly baked in Toronto) these bad boys are BIG. And delicious, with a topping bar so you can tell them what kind of veggies and sauces you want on the thing right then and there. Oh Boy also features a fully stocked bar (very nice) and more seating room than any other restaurant on this list (minus the Beachside.) Really good experience (minus the long wait, but they’re new so I’ll let it slide) with some of the best onion rings I’ve ever had.

Recommended meal: Oh Boy Classic with Three Cheese Combo – classic burger with a combination of mozzarella, chedder and havarti cheese. Combo comes with fries (or onion rings), your choice of toppings on the burger, and a fountain drink. (With free refills!)

Craft Burger
573 King Street West
830 Yonge Street

Ah, the legendary Craft Burger. One of the finest burger eateries in the city. All natural ingredients (of course) and cooked to order – so it takes a bit longer than your average McDonalds, but fast food’s really not that fast these days anyways. And the quality is something you really don’t mind paying for.

Now, bit of a side note, a lot of people I talk to seem to be divided on their onion rings. It’s an odd aspect to focus on, but I gotta chime in on this. I love their onion rings. They’re big and delicious, and very unique. So I’m gonna recommend them….right….now.

Recommended meal: Craft Spicy (caramelized onions, spicy chipotle mayo, lettuce, tomato), onion rings, coke.

Beachside Grill
1922 Queen Street East

This is a fine little restaurant out in the Beaches, just East of Woodbine. They’re mostly known for their breakfasts (their omelette is ridiculous – in a good way) but they also cook one helluva burger. Their poutine may be a bit lacking, but it, like most of the food here really hits the spot on a Sunday morning hangover trip. The burgers are huge, as well, and just the right amount of sloppiness. I don’t know for sure if the burgers are homemade or not, but my guess would be yes; they’re big and ungainly and overall delicious. One of the better spots in the city, I’d wager.

Recommended meal: Swiss and mushroom burger, poutine, chocolate shake.

So, that’s it for now. I encourage anyone from the city to post their own favorite burger spots; I’m sure I have missed PUH-LENTY and would love to discover some new ones.

Stay tuned for CHRISTMAS WEEK next week!

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