Order the fingerling potato salad with the Steady’s burger.
Chase Fish & Oyster 10 Temperance, at Yonge, 647-348-7000, thechasetoronto.com, @thechaseTO Although this always-slammed Bay Street boîte champions sustainable seafood, ex-Catch chef Nigel Finley's house burger is worthy of its own fan club, especially when it's 8 substantial ounces of naturally raised Cumbrae beef cooked gloriously medium-rare and dressed with sharp PEI cheddar, pickled jalapeño and parsley aioli ($20 with frites). It's also one of the cheapest mains on the all-day menu!
Monday to Friday 11:30 am to 1 am, Saturday 5 pm to midnight, Sunday 5 to 10 pm. Closed holidays. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: barrier-free. Rating: NNNN
Emerson 1279 Bloor W, at Lansdowne, 416-532-1717, @EmersonToronto One-time Pastis toque Scott Pennock brings a certain Gallic je ne sais quoi to the wilds of Bloordale, most impressively with this family-friendly gastro-pub's 8-ounce take on a Big Mac, here dressed not so secretly with creamy Beemster cheese sauce, chopped iceberg lettuce and a honkin' huge dill pickle ($12).
Sunday to Thursday 5:30 to 11 pm, Friday and Saturday 5:30 pm to 2 am. Weekend brunch 11 am to 3 pm. Closed some holidays. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: two steps at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNNN
Richmond Station 1 Richmond W, at Yonge, 647-748-1444, richmondstation.ca, @richmondstn Our apologies to Mark McEwan et al.: Top Chef Canada season-two winner Carl Heinrich's outrageously juicy patty stuffed with short rib trimmings on a house-baked milk bun dressed with aged cheddar and sweet beet chutney ($20 with skinny frites and roasted radish salad) is downtown's new gourmet burger benchmark.
Monday to Friday 11:30 am to 10:30 pm, Saturday 5 to 10:30 pm. Closed Sunday, holidays. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: barrier-free, eight steps to washrooms. Rating: NNNNN
Samuel J. Moore 1087 Queen W, at Dovercourt, 416-897-8348, facebook.com/thesamueljmoore, @TheSamuelJMoore This ambitious kitchen on the first floor of the Great Hall might look like it's been around since the one-before-last fin de siècle, but chef Alexandra Feswick's classic comfort food carte couldn't be more contemporary. Look no further than her hand-chopped sirloin burger ($17) laced with bone marrow and fabulously sided with frites dusted with fresh rosemary and deep-fried garlic.
Wednesday to Sunday 5 to 11 pm, bar till 2 am. Weekend brunch 10 am to 4:30 pm. Closed Monday, Tuesday, some holidays. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: barrier-free, four steps to washrooms. Rating: NNNNN
Steady 1051 Bloor W, at Havelock, 416-536-4162, thesteadycafe.com Described as "an ode to the backyard barbecue," ex-Hogtown Vegan chef Vanessa Roebuck's locally grown cheeseburger is grain-fed and hormone-free, beefed up with oatmeal and spinach. A terrific purple fingerling potato salad spiked with fresh corn and jalapeño makes a fitting side.
Wednesday to Saturday 5 to 11 pm. Weekend brunch 10 am to 3 pm. Café open daily from 9:30 am, bar till close. Closed Monday, Tuesday, holidays. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: bump at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNNN