Review: The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro, Toronto

For some time my mother had been raving about a new burger joint in Oakville. She sent me a rather long email detailing how they had an extensive burger menu with innovative milkshake and poutine offerings that she knew I’d want to check out. Rather coincidental that I recently received a press release from their headquarters advising that the Ottawa born burger chain was set to take over Toronto. I coordinated a tasting with Lucky and Steph, my two burger experts on a hot summer evening.

Currently there is one Works Gourmet Burger Bistro in Toronto, located on the Danforth. Lookout for their new restaurants popping up in Leaside, The Beaches, Bloor West and Queen West soon.

Once I arrived at the restaurant I was greeted by the shops owner, Zaki Zahur. We both had big grins on our faces. I hadn’t seen Zaki for five years, we both studied Hotel and Food Administration at the University of Guelph together. Fitting that he was now running a burger spot and I was writing about the experience. I’m always happy to see that people follow through with their passions! The restaurant has a great patio but Zaki sold us on a bench by the front of the restaurant. Once seated he pulled up a garage door and we soon found ourselves sitting on a customized indoor patio! What a delight when walls vanish and offer a welcoming breeze.

Our waitress soon arrived with water glasses which were served in measuring cups (they also serve their famous milkshakes and banana split in these as well). I had already done research on the menu prior to arriving but made a few adjustments with feedback from Lucky. We actually closed our eyes and visualized each dish coming to the table in a feeble attempt to avoid over eating. A good plan, we nixed three burgers to two and added a tower of rings.

Steph arrived just as our milkshakes were coming to the table. We spent the next few hours having one of the most hilarious meals I’ve had in a long time. We found ourselves bursting out laughing throughout the evening as we each offered up our worst dating experiences. Once finished dinner we hobbled out of the restaurant, lovingly patting our food babies. We had just indulged in one of those “heart attack” feasts which fill your arteries and stiffen your grip. We were most impressed by The Works milkshakes and poutine. I could drink an entire vat of their chocolate peanut butter milkshake (just give me a long enough straw) and sharing their varsity poutine is an excellent snacking option. Now that I think about it, The Works is a great spot to go on a date. It’s low key, affordable and has so many options to choose from you can really get a chance to see how adventurous your dining companion really is. Massive milkshake and a tub of poutine for two. I really can’t imagine anything more romantic than that.

We sampled (* notes our favorites):

Cherry Chocolate Shake *

Creamcicle Shake

Peanut Butter Chocolate Shake *

Blaze of 1849 with Beef

avocado, salsa loco, sour cream and jalapeno

The Grid with Elk *

chipotle ketchup, havarti cheese, double smoked bacon, caramelized onions

Varsity Poutine *

fries, cheese curds, gravy, montreal smoked meat

Delhi-Licious Poutine

fries, cheese curds, butter chicken gravy, chicken breast

Waldork Salad

spring mix, toasted walnuts, avocado, grilled pear, blue cheese, red onion, beets


tzatziki chill and chipotle mayo for dipping

Banana Split

strawberries, triple thick fudge sauce, bananas, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, walnuts and oreos

#342 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010. 

The Works on Urbanspoon

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