A hot, juicy burger fresh off the grill, nestled in a warm, pillowy bun and dripping with all the accoutrements, is one of life's simplest, most delicious pleasures. 

Best of all, they don't have to be pricey. You can find a burger to suit any budget and satiate any craving. Here, we've rounded up our favourite beef patties in the city, from an easy on the wallet option to a bust the bank burger that will blow them all away.

Rudy ($)

Best burgers in Toronto: Rudy

What’s the deal?

There’s something incredibly comforting about the food at Rudy. It’s quick and easy, and just greasy enough to make your mouth water – without the food coma. The Queen and Duncan shop is essentially take-out only, offering just a couple stools, while the College location has more room to breathe – and scarf down burgers.

What you get

Traditionalists go with the Rudy – their classic cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and “Rudy sauce”, all for a little over $6. It might seem slim compared to the meatball-on-a-bun burgers, but the smash-burger style maximizes the beef patty’s flavour. For a few extra bucks, the ravenous can get a Rude Dude double cheeseburger.

What else

Rudy might be known for their burgers but the poutine could easily steal the show. Topped with squeaky, Quebec cheese curds and a saucy house-made gravy, this $6 add-on is a lunch no-brainer.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, walk-up takeout windows have been installed at all three Rudy locations, including their newest spot on the Danforth. You can also find them on DoorDash for delivery.

rudyresto.com

The Drake Hotel ($$)

Best burgers in Toronto: the Drake Hotel

What’s the deal?

If you’ve yet to visit the iconic spot that started Queen West’s gentrification, consider it a must. The Drake combines the hipster vibe you would expect from a boutique hotel with the artsiness that the neighbourhood was previously known for. Grab a seat in the lounge and tuck into a menu made with seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients in the eclectic atmosphere.

What you get

Most burgers come with just the bare minimum of toppings and sides, but not at the Drake. For $22 the patty is piled with aged cheddar, Perth bacon, Russian dressing, topped with a pickle and served on a milk bun, with a side of fries. Upgrade to pecorino and truffle butter fries for just $4 or sub in a side of greens for $3.

What else

The beauty of dining at the Drake is that there’s always something on. Sip on $5 mixed drinks or $10 cocktails during their happy hour. Or stick around for trivia nights, live music or their weekend dance parties.

Call 416-532-5042 x 1 to order for pick up. Best of all you can pair that Drake burger with beer, wine or liquor from their lengthy takeout list, or even a full mimosa kit. The Drake is also on DoorDash and Uber Eats.

thedrake.ca

Bymark ($$$)

Best burgers in Toronto: Bymark

What’s the deal?

This financial district hot spot has the class and quality you'd expect from Mark McEwan’s namesake. You’ll find it full of suits grabbing lunch or winding down by the bar upstairs where the vibe is a little more lounge-y. Dark and cozy, the lower level room has that fine-dining feel.

What you get

Priced at $40, the famous Bymark burger might be one of the most expensive in the city, but we’d be lying if we said we couldn’t taste the difference. The eight-ounce patty is loaded with brie de meaux, shaved truffle and grilled porcini mushrooms. While it gets all the hype, there’s another one on the menu that’s worth the spend. Juicy and a little more funky, the dry-aged beef burger topped with caramelized onions and raclette cheese is well worth the $38 price tag.

What else

The menu is solid gold, but the crab cakes and the seared sea scallops are two of our appetizer go-tos.

Bymark may be closed for the time being but fans of Mark McEwan can still get their fix by ordering from a menu of pre-packaged meals at mcewancatering.com.

mcewangroup.ca/bymark