KO Burger, 366 Bloor Street West

Concept: 2 out of 5
Execution: 4 out of 5
Yeah, but: It can be variable.

The Long Version: KO Burger is one of those interesting little places that doesn't quite make sense. Originally branded as Wing Shop 366, using the number of their street address – and still serving wings – from the outside they look more like a disreputable place for Bubble Tea. But there seems to be an inverse relationship between maketing slickness and the quality of the burger: McDonalds serves paper products, while KO Burger is really, really good.

It did take me quite a while to make it through the front door of KO burger, but after yet another abysmal experience at the local Lick's, I finally decided to give the independent business a try. That was on February 11, 2012. I know the exact date because it completely changed my burger-buying habits. (And because I wrote a tweet about it.) I wasn't able to bring myself to order a hamburger from anyone else for almost two months. I think the Harvey's near my work still has the "Missing" poster of me posted in the back.

In early April I finally succumbed and had a hamburger somewhere else, but it only because I was 450 kilometers away. Let me tell you, it wasn't the same.

One of the best things about KO Burger is that they use buns from the Cobb's Bakery that's literally right next door. That's about as good as it gets. The french fries ("freedom fries" for my American friends) are good, but like most, they don't travel particularly well. The hamburger patties are exceptional, and include the options for veggie and lamb-burgers as well. I usually go with their 9oz beef patty with back bacon and cheddar, and while tax brings the total to over $10, it's absolutely worth it.

The only way I could see KO Burger being better is if they offered Peameal bacon. That was what won me over at Gateway Storage and Marine, which remains the best burger that I've ever had. In case anyone's keeping score, it's also an even more unlikely-looking place to find great food than KO Burger is. Take that, McDonalds.

last updated 4 may 2012


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