Nestled in the heart of Kensington Market in downtown Toronto, Burgernator has been serving up specialty Halal burgers for almost a decade. Kensington Market is a highly walkable area in downtown with many specialty and artisan food shops, markets and restaurants. The mission of Burgernator is to rid “the city (Toronto) of half-hearted and overcooked burgers, processed cheese, and questionable toppings”. To say the least, they are winning this battle.
Essentially, this is a specialty burger shop that combines various toppings to create unique burger for customers to enjoy. When naming their burger creations, the restaurant has adopted a military theme which aligns with their slogan and mission to create a superior burger to dominate the market. Each burger creation has a special name with military reference that links back to the toppings for that burger. Some the names include “The Big Bang”, “Atomic Burger”, “Drop down and give me Spicy”.
While the majority of their burgers are beef, they do offer chicken and vegetarian options on their menu too.
Kensington Market is sandwiched between China town, University of Toronto and the hospital district. It is a very walkable area, and driving in the area can be frustrating with all the pedestrians and one way streets. Parking can difficult to find but is possible with several parking lots and residential zones around. Be sure to pay attention to the street signs for parking bylaws.
It is very dim when entering the restaurant, like entering a bunker. Most of the light comes from the large bay window at the entrance. The counter to order is in the back. The menu is posted on the wall near the counter, but it is best to grab a menu while you stand in line so you know what to order when you reach the front of the line, just like you would at Starbucks.
A stairway to the basement gives access to the washroom and prayer room.
It is a counter service style restaurant, and burgers are made fresh to order. The team works like an army unit to quickly process and fulfil orders to ensure the line is continuously moving. For best service it is best to give a clear order with minimal customizations to your sandwich.
As a specialty Halal burger shop, they emphasize quality over quantity. The portions are filling and they create value by providing prompt service along with a great tasting burger that dominates the competition. Sure the price point is a little higher than your typical burger spot, but it’s well worth it.
Burgernator invaded the Halal burger scene years ago and has taken a dominant position in the market. It changed the burger game in Toronto. Many other Halal burger shops have popped up to emulate Burgernator’s success some within Kensington Market itself. Yet with the increased competition, Burgernator continues to set the bar high drawing hungry guests from all over the city.