Few foods are more soul-warmingly satisfying than a well-made burger. This classic handheld never goes out of style — perhaps because the best burgers strike a delicate balance between the familiar and the novel. The beef-and-bun combo is timeless and comforting, but — from fancy wagyu patties to globally influenced condiments and housemade buns — there are endless ways to dress it up and intrigue diners’ taste buds.
Whether you prefer a locally sourced beef burger enjoyed in stylish surroundings or a light, alternative protein option that you can eat on the run, these nine essential Toronto burgers satisfy every kind of craving.
Bymark (Financial District)
Almost two decades into its run, celebrity chef Mark McEwan’s sophisticated restaurant remains a Financial District mainstay. Before the premiumization of the humble burger was de rigueur in Toronto, the signature Bymark Burger raised eyebrows with its elevated ingredients (and elevated price to match) in the restaurant’s early days. Finished with brie de meaux, shaved truffle, and grilled porcini mushroom, the burger has become an iconic menu staple that exemplifies Bymark’s refined take on classic cuisine.
Dining at the restaurant: With a sleek interior designed by Yabu Pushelberg, it’s easy to see why Bymark is a go-to for power lunches and business dinners. The bi-level space includes a dining room with an impressive floor-to-ceiling wine cellar, plus a bustling patio.
Takeout: Bymark’s full menu is available for takeout, including bottles from its well-regarded wine list.
Chef-owner Grace Cho draws on her Korean heritage and Canadian childhood for Té’s creative menu. Dishes like the Korean barbecue burger, made with soy-marinated Canadian beef chuck, housemade sweet pickles, and wasabi mayo dip, bring Korean-influenced flavours to the North American favourite dish.
Dining at the restaurant: The restaurant’s minimalist, industrial-style interior or quiet back patio are both inviting settings for savouring imaginative fusion fare washed down with tea-infused cocktails, Japanese beers, and sake.
Takeout: This restaurant does not currently offer takeout.
BlueBlood Steakhouse (St. Clair West)
Casa Loma’s lavish steakhouse offers premium beef cuts sourced from across the globe. The restaurant’s burger is no exception to its splurge-worthy menu, featuring wagyu beef topped with aged cheddar and served with hand-cut duck-fat fries.
Dining at the restaurant: Over-the-top opulence is the theme of BlueBlood’s distinctive dining areas, which are decorated with glittering chandeliers, a sky-high bar centred on a stuffed moose head, modern art pieces by Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali, and handsome oak panelling.
Takeout: Takeout and delivery are both available, including cook-at-home raw cuts and grill kits with wine pairings.
Lov (King West)
Montreal-import Lov offers vegan riffs on comfort food in a stylish setting. The King Fu burger brings a flavourful and better-for-you spin to the often-indulgent dish with a crispy tofu patty that’s topped with lacto-fermented carrots and miso coleslaw.
Dining at the restaurant: The restaurant’s dreamy interior is decorated with natural materials, hanging plants, and soft gold accents, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering plenty of natural light. Pair your meal with a glass of organic wine or artful cocktail while dining in the Instagram-worthy interior or out on the equally airy patio.
Takeout: Takeout and delivery are both available, including bottled beverages from Quebec-based kombucha brand Fous De L’île.
Skyflower (Little Italy)
Skyflower offers a retreat from Toronto’s urban streets on its plant-filled rooftop patio. Helmed by MasterChef Canada winner Eric Chong, the menu brings an upscale, chef-driven approach to nostalgic dishes. The deluxe meltdown burger is a prime example, taking the beef-and-bun combo up a notch with black truffle fonduta, bacon jam, and truffle aioli.
Dining at the restaurant: With eye-catching floral displays and striking views of the CN Tower, the setting is as much a draw as the food at Skyflower. The restaurant takes on a lounge-like atmosphere later on weekend evenings, complete with bottle service and DJs.
Takeout: This restaurant does not offer takeout.
Lee (King West)
Star chef Susur Lee’s long-running King West restaurant blends Southeast Asian flavours with French culinary techniques on its playful, small plates menu. The signature cheeseburger spring roll is a light, fusion-style take on the beloved handheld featuring AAA Angus beef, smoked chile mayo, pickled veggies, and aged Canadian cheddar, all wrapped in a crisp lettuce cup.
Dining at the restaurant: The vibe is equally hip and moody in the restaurant’s polished interior or out on its wraparound patio overlooking King Street, which is illuminated by the red glow of Lee’s recognizable neon sign.
Takeout: The full menu is available for takeout and delivery. Dishes are served hot, but also come with reheating instructions for enjoying at home.
1 Kitchen (King West)
This stunning new restaurant set in the sustainably minded 1 Hotel focuses on farm-to-table cuisine. Much of the menu is plant-based, with many ingredients grown in an onsite garden, while meat dishes feature locally sourced proteins. The 1 Kitchen Burger is made from Nolan Farms Angus beef from Ontario’s Grey Highlands and other toppings are sourced through farm-fresh supplier 100km Foods.
Dining at the restaurant: With glass walls and greenery dangling from the vaulted wood ceiling, 1 Kitchen’s chic, earthy dining space is reminiscent of a greenhouse. Cocktails are made with cold-pressed juices and the wine list highlights organic and biodynamic bottles.
Takeout: This restaurant does not offer takeout.
Notable chef David Lee’s restaurant Planta was a pioneer in Toronto’s plant-based scene when it opened in 2016, bringing fine-dining flair to vegan cuisine along with an emphasis on local, scratch-made fare. The Planta Burger is among the restaurant’s most celebrated entrees, regularly touted as one of the city’s best veggie burgers. It features a delicious black bean and beet patty topped with vegan queso and buffalo aioli.
Dining at the restaurant: Planta’s beautiful interior comes together with 25-foot-high ceilings illuminated by skylights and botanical prints paired with modern geometric designs.
Takeout: The food menu is available for pick-up, along with organic wines, local beers, and bottled cocktails.
Fresh on Crawford (West Queen West)
Founded in 1999, plant-based mini-empire Fresh introduced Toronto to vegan fare before it became mainstream. The menu emphasizes hearty yet wholesome cuisine, including a selection of patties such as the barbecue burger, which sees a housemade grain burger topped with barbecue sauce, a pair of quinoa-breaded onion rings, garlic mayo, and napa cabbage. Cold-pressed juices and craft cocktails made with ingredients like turmeric and organic craft kombucha pair well with lunch or dinner.
Dining at the restaurant: Dine in the restaurant’s bright, casual interior or outside on its large patio, which is set on a prime people-watching corner of Queen Street.
Takeout: Fresh offers takeout and delivery directly from the restaurant or via third-party providers. Housemade sauces and dressings such as garlic mayo and chile oil are also available to purchase by the jar to-go.