The perfect burger is more difficult then you think. Too many toppings, not enough pink, or sad soppy buns can take your burger from bonafide-beef-bonanza to barely edible.
You need to start with ethically and locally raised Ontario beef (we’re looking at you VG Meats!) and add a skilled hand to achieve that perfectly prepared patty. Exercise restraint with your toppings — less is more when it comes to the building burgers. And for heavens sake, don’t reach for a bad bun! A sad, soggy, falls-apart-before-your-third-bite bun really bursts our burger loving bubble. Always opt for a balance of crusty firmness and chewy softness.
Seems like a lot of rules doesn’t it? Well, may we suggest you put away your spatula and let these barons of the burger world flip one for you! They’ve hit the mark and consistently deliver a burger fit for a king.
So, without further ado — we give you our all-time favorite Ontario grown and grilled burgers!
Feast ON: Richmond Station
THE PLACE: Chef Carl Heinrich and Butcher Ryan Donovan are serving up seasonally inspired fare to downtown suits and hungry bike couriers alike. The food is refined and the wine list perfectly curated to match.
THE BURGER: Slow braised beef short ribs are combined with braising liquid, formed into a torchon, chilled overnight and then sliced as a stuffing for this %100 Ontario beef patty. It’s served on house baked milk buns, toasted on the cut side only and topped with beet relish, pickled onions and mayonnaise — all house-made and exceptional!
Feast ON: Burger Revolution
THE PLACE: This just-off-the-road burger joint in Belleville is starting a revolution in the way we treat ‘fast food’. Husband and wife team Jeff and Rayling Camacho sling burgers, but their cooking pedigree runs deep — and global. One look at the menu will have you hooked.
THE BURGER: We’re sending you off menu. The Bohbel, “a seriously unreal taste of place” as Trevor puts it, is a locally raised beef patty, griddled, then topped with roasted garlic, house made potato chips, jalapenos, avocado, peanut butter (!), Ontario bacon and cheddar all on a toasted pretzel bun. Sound good, don’t it?
Feast ON: PORT Restaurant
THE PLACE: One word: PATIO. This pickering waterside restaurant touts one of the province’s best patios, hands down. It’s sunny, with just the right amount of shade, perfect for sipping endless caesars!
THE BURGER: These guys start by grinding local beef chuck, brisket and striploin in house, grill it to perfection and then top it with Ontario maple bacon, Pine River white cheddar, pickled onions and dijon mayo. The side burbank fries that comes with this bad boy ain’t nothing to scoff at either!
Feast ON: The Masonry Restaurant & Market
THE PLACE: The Masonry calls a historic building on the main strip in the town of Perth home. Huge ceilings pair perfectly with red bricks and facilitate many late night craft beer sessions.
THE BURGER: We’re loving the Joynt Farms Lamb Burger served on a pretzel bun (we really love pretzel buns). Chefs Kyle and Jesse swap out beef for organic Ontario lamb and top it with a slew of local fare including fresh arugula, pepperonata, goat cheese and house made basil mayo.
Feast ON: Harper’s Burger Bar
THE PLACE: Kingston never saw it coming — Harper’s took Princess Street by storm. This technicolor patty flipping spot has been helping hungry students achieve burger nirvana (and curb serious munchies with their deep fried mars bars!) for nearly a decade.
THE BURGER: They’re all delicious, so may we suggest the slider sampler? Three of their signature burgers pilled high with everything from Seed to Sausage molasses cracked pepper bacon to kimchi and red curry sauce. Our picks? The Lala Land, The Smokehouse and the aptly named Bull’s Eye!
Originally published as part of the Feast ON series on OntarioCulinary.com