The Drake

1150 Queen Street West, Toronto

It occurred to me recently that, though I’ve mentioned Toronto Life’s semi-recent list of the 25 best burgers in the city on the blog before, I’ve never actually used its suggestions to determine my next review.  I guess I have a hard time taking a list of the best hamburgers seriously that features an elk burger and a lamb burger (not to mention at least a couple of meatloaf burgers, and perhaps most egregiously, the mediocre-at-best Apache Burgers).

But I was struggling to figure out the next place I wanted to review, and I thought I may as well give Toronto Life a shot.

So I wound up at The Drake, a boutique hotel with a fairly popular restaurant on its first floor, and (of course) a burger on the menu — number 20 in the city, as per Toronto Life.

The Drake Burger is described as having “cheddar, Perth Bacon, Russian dressing, pickle + hand cut fries.”


Okay, Toronto Life, you win.  I guess I should be taking your list a bit more seriously, because this was a pretty damn good burger.

It only takes one bite to realize that they’re clearly using very good quality beef.  The patty has that distinctively satisfying beefy flavour that tells you that someone in the kitchen knows where to get the good stuff.

The grilled burger is a little bit too tightly packed, with beef that is slightly too lean.  I’ve certainly had juicier burgers — but  I can forgive a somewhat dry burger when it tastes this good, and when it at least has a bit of juiciness to it, which this does.

It’s also, sadly, a little bit busier than I’d like.  Between the peppery bacon, the tangy thousand island, and the sharp cheddar, there’s a lot of assertive flavours competing for your palate’s attention.  It’s a tasty combo, no doubt about it, but with a burger this good, I’m generally of the opinion that less is more.  But of course, compared to the failure pile at The Samuel J. Moore, it’s positively heavenly, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.

The fresh sesame seed bun did a good job of holding up to the burger and was quite good.  Good too were the crispy, perfectly cooked fries.  Actually, no.  Like the burger, they were better than good.  They were pretty great.

So yes, to quote Seinfeld, The Drake is great.  How could you not like The Drake?

The Drake - the hotel The Drake - the restaurant The Drake - the burger The Drake - the burger
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