Top 5 Burgers in Burlington

Burlington carnivores, tell me what’s good — if one feeds on flesh, the most satiating type comes from beef (fresh, not frozen), right? The satisfaction of biting into a handmade juicy burger is only epitomized when accompanied by a side of fries … although when you’re critiquing burgers for days on end (tough gig, eh?), a salad is very necessary at some point. Sometimes you need a burger topped with bacon and/or an array of BBQ sauces. Then there are days where you just want to taste the flavour from the meat and see what the chef knows about seasoning and if he or she grills better than your favourite uncle in Michigan. Regardless of the side, Burlington has an amazing selection of burgers. Here are our top five picks.


5. Boon Burger Cafe

The good folks at Boon Burger prove you don’t necessarily need meat to create a phenomenally satisfying meal. Their Cowboy burger is the topseller in Burlington and boy, it’s massive. Made from scratch, burgers are handmade, grilled, baked, and served on a whole wheat bun. The black bean patty comes with BBQ sauce, “bacun,” lettuce, tomato, and it’s slathered in Bermuda sauce (which really should be called Vegan Big Mac sauce because it tastes gluttonous and McDonald’s has officially been replaced for all cheat meals going forward). This Canadian chain, or “world’s first vegan burger cafe,” has mastered selling plant-based junk food for the masses. Hot sauce and other (less important) condiments are already on the table, surrounded by a massive roll of brown paper towels. Full of farm animals, the environment is quirky. Very friendly staff wear black T-shirts reading ‘boonivore’ on the back. After one bite of the Cowboy, I want one, along with everything on their menu.

Grill or griddle?: Grill

Price: $11


4. Zesty Pita & Burgers

Oh, Zesty. First they won me over with their shawarma and now their Classic Burger … It’s the next best thing from homemade. Zesty’s burger is fresh, it’s halal, and it’s cheap. Made from scratch, with or without cheddar cheese, it’s overflowing with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, ketchup, mustard, and mayo. The sesame seed bun is squishy and tastes just right.. Simplicity has never been so delicious. This is ‘fast-food’ at its best. Zesty has two locations in Burlington and you can ask for shawarma toppings on your burger, but in that case, why wouldn’t you just order shawarma? Zesty’s owners hail from Morocco, which is now on my bucket list.

Grill or griddle?: Grill

Price: $5.99


3. Barque

Go for the brisket … leave having sampled everything because the ravenous carnivore in you will surface and the meat is *that* damn fantastic. Barque Smokehouse first opened in Toronto’s west-end Roncesvalles Village in 2011, heading further west to Burlington in summer 2017. Once you’re seated, you’re served popcorn and complimentary sparkling water. Don’t look at the menu. Just order the Smokehouse Sirloin Bacon Cheeseburger with candied smoked bacon, ‘Bama BBQ sauce, chopped lettuce, and pickles. It’s served medium and tastes like a burger straight out of your dreams. Now, the popcorn. It’s amazing. You might sneeze or cough but you must keep snacking. (Turn the container upside down, RIGHT over your mouth, if no one is watching). The seats are so comfy, the vibe is fun and casual chic, and the meat speaks for itself. For the plant-based or vegetable lovers in your life, there are some options - namely sides. Barque serves locally grown ingredients when possible. The menu also offers Southern Fried Chicken, Baby Back Ribs, Pulled Pork, and Smoked Wings. Service is awesome.

Grill or griddle?: Grill

Price: $17


2. West Plains Bistro

Excellent food, great prices. This adorable little Aldershot Village gem fills right up in no time. That oughta tell you something. Offering up French cuisine, the bistro serves market fresh cuisine (and offers a lovely patio come summer). You can go with the chalkboard picks or start with the Fried Cauliflower (lightly breaded and fried, romesco sauce, and garlic aioli) and chicken liver Pate. There’s also Classic Escargot, Pistou Shrimp, and Baked Brie to start, plus mains such as Steak and Frites, Frenched Pork Chops, Lamb Shank, and so much more! But on this day, we were all about the Bistro Burger. it features a ground beef patty with braised beef, garnished with bacon, arugula, roasted garlic aioli, mushrooms, gruyere, and caramelized onions. It arrives on a pretzel bun. One bite in, and that’s a wrap. We’re in straight burger heaven. Finally, dinner isn’t complete without dessert. There’s an array of cheesecake, plus pie and of course, Creme Brulee!

Grill or griddle?: Grill

Price: $19


1. Culaccino Bar & Kitchen

This hip Italian bar-slash-gastropub is one of the newest along Brant St., taking over the former Eatalia spot. I found this place while strolling downtown … the stunning aesthetic caught my eye so I went in to find out more, quickly realizing it’s Burlington’s best-kept burger secret. Just order The Burger and wait for it to arrive. Take in the glorious horseshoe-shaped bar and industrial light fixtures and wooden chairs with colourful legs. Try not to drool over the food or decor. Decked out between a bun with black-and-white sesame seeds you’ll find a thick grilled patty made in-house, like everything on the curated menu. It’s wrapped in prosciutto and drowned in melted Gorgonzola and served with frites and house-made ketchup, which tastes so healthy it feels as if I’m eating clean for just a split second. A few bites in, I had to put The Burger down and just nod at it to convey appreciation and respect. The friendly owner, Jerod, and staff work hard to provide a stellar experience. Oh, and by the way, they’ve got craft beer on beer on beer on beer! Dozens … close to 100 varieties. Culaccino opened around summer 2016 and weekends are fully booked. Check out this stunning restaurant and experience the best burger in Burlington!

Grill or griddle?: Grill

Price: $18


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