Apache Burgers

Location:5236 Dundas St W, Etobicoke, ON M9B 1A7

Website: Apache Facebook Page

Price: $11

What We Ordered:

  • Hamburger
  • Fry Rings
Outside Apache Burgers in Etobicoke

Burger Review:

Apache Burgers is a staple in the Etobicoke community and has been owned by the same family since 1969. The daughter of the original owner was even working the cash when I visited. I frequently see Apache Burgers on “best burgers in Toronto” lists, but I wasn’t blown away by their burger. The price of the food was great, I saw a family of 5 get lunch for about $53 including tax. You hardly see prices that good anywhere. The place was busy, and I understand it’s like that every day. And it should be busy because a family run joint serving decent burgers at a great price is a wonderful thing. I think Apache is an excellent alternative to fast-food joints like the Wendy’s that is almost next door. The burger for me just fell a little flat. Maybe because it’s been so hyped up online so my expectations were high. Or maybe because it isn’t really that good, and people only rave about it because it reminds them of their childhood (the place has been around for over 40 years)… it’s kind of like remembering “Adventures in Babysitting” as an amazing movie, but when you watch it back as an adult you realize it kinda sucked. If you’re looking for an outstanding char-grilled burger in Etobicoke, I’d recommend Woody’s over Apache. 

The hamburger from Apache Burgers

Meat: Thin beef patty cooked on an open flame grill. They didn’t have any info about what kind of beef they use, but it tasted fresh. It was a bit chewy overall and I didn’t like the after taste. But it was well seasoned and not too salty.  

Toppings: They have the traditional toppings you’d expect at a burger joint, but nothing fancy. Their BBQ sauce was tangy and sweet and I liked it a lot. I had leaf lettuce, diced white onions, length cut pickles, sliced tomato, mayo, ketchup, and their BBQ sauce. The toppings kinda ruined the burger for me. The tomato was green in the middle and the lettuce was a bit brown on one of the edges. Not as fresh and ripe as I would expect on a burger. 

Bun: The bun was a regular non-sesame seed bun, toasted on the inside. Probably a little to wide for the patty size. It was good, but not mind blowing.  

Cross section of the Apache hamburger

Other Food:

I had the fries and rings combo. The fries were yellow and a bit soft. I’d love to see them cooked a little more to get crispier. The onion rings were generously breaded. They had no malt vinegar which I would have liked. I saw poutine on the menu and the guy beside me was chowing down on it. Looked decent but I didn’t have any. 

How the food came to the table

Atmosphere & Staff:

This place has the deep down worn that you’d expect from an old burger joint with a lot of traffic. The floors are sticky, and you can see in the baseboards that this place has years of use built up. But the kitchen surfaces look clean, and one of the guys came by and wiped down the tables while I was there. They take cash only but they have an ATM. The decor is 50’s diner with the exception of two identical back-lit round cartoon drawings of a Native American wearing a headdress (see below). I was taken back when I saw it because it reminded me of the Washington Redskins logo which is now recognized as being culturally insensitive and are being called on to change their name and iconography. I think the restaurant is owned by a Greek family, so I just can’t place the connection to Native Americans other than the restaurant name. But I truly don’t know the history of the owners, or why the place was named Apache (The Apache are a group of Native American tribes), or the origin of the artwork. There could be a great feel-good cultural significant story behind it. I’m not casting any judgement here because I don’t know the back story. My point is only that in the moment that I saw it, it felt very out-of-place in the otherwise family run 50’s diner look complete with neon guitar and Marilyn Monroe mural. If the place was packed with art from Native American artists or historic photographs, I would have liked that much better as an homage to the Apache namesake.

One of the Native American signs on the wall. The other one is identical but facing the opposite direction so they are looking at each other
The interior of Apache Burger has a 50’s diner vibe

Final Verdict:
3 stars

Meh. That’s what I have to say about this burger. It certainly is a decent, traditionally topped char-grilled burger. Since it’s inexpensive and from a family run joint with ample parking, I do recommend it if you’re in the area. But don’t go out of your way. 

Woody’s Burgers

Location: 3795 Lake Shore Blvd W, Etobicoke, ON M8W 1R2

Website: https://www.woodysburgers.ca/

Price: $14.60

What We Ordered:

  • Beef stuffed Gorgonzola blue
  • 50/50 Fries
Outside Woody’s Burgers in Etobicoke

Burger Review:

I was excited to be driving by this burger joint on the way back from a meeting so I stopped for lunch. They use a Canadian hardwood burning grill which is apparent right when you walk in, as you’re hit by the yummy smell of open flame grilling. I got the beef stuffed gorgonzola blue burger. I was worried that maybe the gorgonzola would be skimpy, but boy was I wrong! This was piled high with gooey blue cheese and toppings so I was in heaven (I love blue cheese burgers!). They have a lot of toppings to choose from, and I was reluctant to make a decision between five kinds of mayo that all sounded fantastic. I would say the only thing holding me back from a 5-star review on this burger is the thinness of the patties which makes them overcooked and a bit dry. I know it’s a 4oz, but they flattened it out too much to meet the width of the bun. If they used smaller buns, they could make the 4oz a little thicker (but not as wide) and produce a nicer patty. But that’s my opinion. I know others really like a thin patty, and if that’s you – this might be a 5-star winner. 

Just look at that dripping blue cheesy and saucy deliciousness

Meat: Two 4oz thin patties with no processed ingredients. The meat comes from local farm raised cattle. They do press the burgers fresh on site daily. But I suspect they are using a mold, as the patties come out perfectly uniform. They also have a 7oz patty which may offer a different experience as I imagine it would be a thicker patty (although I didn’t see it so I’m not sure). They char the crap out of this patty but it works well with the blue cheese and generous amount of toppings so I didn’t mind. 

Toppings: This burger joint offers a lot of toppings for free and reasonable prices for premium toppings like brie or pulled pork for $1.95 or less. I had garlic mayo, ketchup, BBQ sauce (which was sweet and sticky), gorgonzola cheese, long-sliced pickles, arch cut red onions, and sliced tomato. The gorgonzola was piled high and so amazingly yummy. 

Bun: Brioche style bun that was flaky on top. I’d say a tiny bit too much bun happening for the thin patties. I can imagine one 4oz patty getting lost in this bun. 

Cross section of the stuffed beef Gorgonzola blue burger at Woody’s Burgers

Other Food:

I had the 50/50 fries, which is half french fries and half sweet potato fries. They looked and tasted fresh cut. The sweet potato fries were really salty and the regular fries were a bit under cooked. I ate about 1/4 of the lot and tossed the rest. They were good, but not amazingly crave-worthy. 

How the burger arrived at the table. 50/50 fries can be seen in the back

Atmosphere & Staff:

I was in line for a while because I was behind a group of friends, so I would say the service is slow. Bring your patience with you if you come at a busy time. Ordering was very awkward, as even a short line up left no room for people to pass by. There is more seating than I see in some burger joints, and plenty of tables outside on a patio. They didn’t seem to have A/C so it was hot as heck but cooler under the fans inside than the humid day outside. They do serve beer so you could sit and drink on the patio if you wanted to. The place noticeably smelled like wood-fire BBQ upon walking in, and my hair smelled of it the rest of the day (which was fine with me). The staff was friendly, and they conveniently had buzzers to let you know when your meal was ready for pick up which was handy. I would say it’s a little too narrow and busy to navigate with a toddler or stroller, although not impossible. 

Final Verdict:
4 stars

If you are into char-grilled patties I would highly recommend this place. My hair smelled like campfire for the entire day afterwards. Worth a stop on your burger tour.