Sunday, October 4, 2015Cloudy 10°C

The Rude Boy

Posted by Erin Scholz / Reviewed on March 28, 2013 / review policy

The Rude Boy TorontoThe Rude Boy opened rather quietly this past week on Roncesvalles Avenue in the location previously occupied by The Greek Spot. The foursome of chefs Liam Kelly, Faiez Bapoo, Paul Simmons and Alex Sengupta (The Lakeview, and the recently opened Samuel J. Moore) identified a hole in the culinary offerings in the neighbourhood and decided that a burger joint was just the ticket.

The Rude BoyThe menu is tiny with a total of five burgers (including "The Natural", $8.50, pictured at the top featuring lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle) and three sides, which include onion rings, fries dusted with parmesan and rosemary, and a house salad. We opted to split an order of the Sapporo battered rings with a house-made mustard ($4.50), after our pleasant server suggested them. The batter was light and crispy and perfectly salted. The portion, however, was a bit smaller than expected, and we probably could've had a full serving each.

The Rude BoyMy friend chose "The Veg" ($11.50) for her "burger" — fully expecting it to be a veggie burger. This, alas, was not the case. Though it came on the same burger bun as the other offerings, it consisted of marinated portobello slices, rapini and a tomato relish accompanied by a scant amount (3?) of homemade potato chips and a sliver of a pickle. While the combo of veggies was pleasant enough and the mushrooms and relish offered up a great tang, the bun to content ratio was unfortunately tipped too far towards the carbohydrate. And despite the lurking flavour, we couldn't help but think of the delicious veggie burger on offer right across the street at The Local.

The Rude BoySmall menus can make one's meal choice rather difficult (everything sounded good), which was definitely the case here — their namesake burger "The Rude Boy" ($13.50) which consists of house cured bacon and peameal, beer mustard, garlic aioli, and a fried egg was particularly appealing but ultimately seemed a bit on the heavy side. I opted instead for "The Sting" (also $11.50) as the description (and name itself) seemed to promise bold, spicy flavours. Crispy jalapenos, Sriracha aioli, pepper jack cheese and cucumber slaw served atop an 8oz. beef patty.

The meat itself was extremely moist and well-seasoned (salt is crucial to a good burger) and the bun was nice and soft. Chef Kelly uses locally sourced meat from the fantastic Sanagan's Meat Locker in Kensington Market and then grinds it in-house. Unfortunately the toppings came up on the short side, and like "The Veg" the accompanying sliver of pickle and few chips pushed the notion of frugality to its limits. Perhaps more problematically, the deep-fried jalapenos, the suspiciously bland Sriracha aioli (more mayo-y tasting than anything) and pepper jack cheese layered heavy on top of heavy on top of heavy. The small amount of cucumber slaw provided little relief and I actually stole some of the mustard from our onion ring order in search of some much need acidity.

The Rude BoyRude Boy's cocktail list is rye-based, and they have a good showing of draft including Sapporo, Okanogan and Blanche de Chambly as well as a variety of pint cans. The music was the perfect volume but a bit all over the place switching from 70s reggae (yay!) to 90s ska (no!). The decor is suited to the stripped-down burger menu with multiple booths that seat about 40, messily hung pictures and the movie poster from which the restaurant takes its name.

Rude BoyStill in its infancy, The Rude Boy has solid bones. The arguably (is it even?) most important aspect — the burger itself — is locally sources and fantastically juicy. They could easily fully win me over by being a bit more generous with the accompanying pickle (hah?) and chips, considering the prices they're asking. Roncesvalles is undoubtedly lacking in late night fare, and Rude Boy helps to fill that void.

The kitchen is open until midnight Monday through Wednesday, 1am Thursday through Saturday and until 11pm on Sundays. The bar remains open unti 2am every night.

Photos by Denise McMullin



Klingor / March 28, 2013 at 02:50 pm
Wow, what a line of hipster d-bags at the bar.
More Burgers Sir? / March 28, 2013 at 02:58 pm
This line made me laugh, "identified a hole in the culinary offerings in the neighbourhood and decided that a burger joint was just the ticket."

As soon as I saw Lakeview mentioned in this article I threw up all over my computer. Ew.
Sylvie / March 28, 2013 at 03:00 pm
This is close to where I live, think I'll give it a looksie. :P
Yup replying to a comment from Klingor / March 28, 2013 at 03:01 pm
Haha, so true.

If the burgers didn't look crappy enough, those barfly asshats assuredly turned me off this joint.
trickydisco replying to a comment from Klingor / March 28, 2013 at 03:02 pm
hey dickhead, i think they're actually local kids - fuck off
a local / March 28, 2013 at 03:03 pm
The slide of Roncesvalles continues...
what replying to a comment from Klingor / March 28, 2013 at 03:05 pm
Umm.... They just look like regular people.
truesay replying to a comment from Klingor / March 28, 2013 at 03:07 pm
the only thing worse than hipsters are slowpokes who are still using the term hipster.
hop / March 28, 2013 at 03:15 pm
The top half of the bun in the first picture looks really odd. A bit reminiscent of Barry Bonds circa 2001-2004.
MrsPotato / March 28, 2013 at 03:38 pm
Look as those guys at the bar ---
what a line of hipster stereotype gold!

Jack Wagon / March 28, 2013 at 03:43 pm
Are the asshats at the counter eating there ironically?
GA replying to a comment from hop / March 28, 2013 at 03:51 pm
HA. that's a funny comment.
Nice one.

Like the old skool Barry Bonds reference...
I thought that too! replying to a comment from Klingor / March 28, 2013 at 04:09 pm
Looks like an ad for
Wes / March 28, 2013 at 04:15 pm
Too many Ukes over on Ronces for me to care.
Pete / March 28, 2013 at 04:16 pm
So who should be at the bar instead of these "hipster d-bags"? Only true douches complain about the clothes people wear to restaurants.
Yeah...local d-bag kids replying to a comment from trickydisco / March 28, 2013 at 04:16 pm
Or di you dress exactly like all your friends when you were their age, too?

IN any case, Roncey desperately needed a place that wasn't Gabby's, and this is it, and I will go there because it'll be tasty and they'll learn their lesson about being so friggin' cheap wih the sides/toppings. And it will exist for many, many years, and so rejoice. :)
Adam / March 28, 2013 at 04:18 pm
Went there last week and crushed some incredible burgers and the onion rings were really really good.

also for everyone commenting on the photo of the guys at the bar... I half expected a clientele like the one pictured, but when I was there the place was filled with gorgeous women. not really relevant but neither are most comments here.

I'm SOOOO over food. replying to a comment from Jack Wagon / March 28, 2013 at 04:18 pm
Yeah, they're actually not eating, they bought it and are protesting by ignoring it.
Says the P.O.S. from Etobicoke in a puffy ski vest replying to a comment from Pete / March 28, 2013 at 04:22 pm
Take your rusty Ford Bronco and go HOME...Roncey has enough problems without your sorry ass, Pete.
E. Toby Coe replying to a comment from MrsPotato / March 28, 2013 at 04:23 pm
Didn't you read trickydisco's reply? They are "local kids"!!!

Seeing these woolly-hatted, bearded strangers invade this neighbourhood over the past few years has been fascinating. At least they like good food.
Uh, four years ago called... replying to a comment from Wes / March 28, 2013 at 04:23 pm
...they want your penetrating insight back.

Ukranians have left in droves over the past two years...obviously you haven't stepped foot here in ages.

Jump to conclusions much, Adam replying to a comment from Adam / March 28, 2013 at 04:27 pm
"half expected a clientele like the one pictured"

That's typical Adam for you...always making assumptions before he walks into a place. And that's why Roncy can't have nice things, Adam. I hope you're happy now.
Adam W / March 28, 2013 at 04:38 pm
"The music was the perfect volume but a bit all over the place switching from 70s reggae (yay!) to 90s ska (no!)"

You can't go to a place called "Rude Boy" and complain about them playing 90's ska...
trickydisco replying to a comment from Yeah...local d-bag kids / March 28, 2013 at 04:48 pm
yeah that's it - i just think it's a bit weak making fun of a bunch of kids is all.
I've been to the place the food is quite good, the topping are fresh and the owners are nice. We needed another place in the hood for a beer and bite. Speaking of the beer, the lineup is weak, hopefully they get some good local stuff and ditch the taps they have - all of them
O.G. / March 28, 2013 at 04:49 pm
Did anybody notice the prices? $13.50 before taxes, with no side, for the Rude Boy? Tried it the other night, and was seriously underwhelmed. Homogeneous in taste and texture, the burger was quite disappointing. And don't even get me started on the travesty that was the special that night - the oyster po'boy. Hoo boy, was that a crappy sandwich! They're seriously going to have to up their game if they want to survive, clueless ironically non-eating hipsters or not.
Canada's Economic Action Plan / March 28, 2013 at 05:07 pm
Your federal government applauds hard-working Alberta beef farmers and the general consumer use of federally inspected beef. In fact, if it doesn't say 'Alberta Beef' on the label, you may be consuming cat meat.

To ensure culinary compliance at eating establishments, your federal government is erecting 345 small, indestructible signs along the entire length of Roncesvalles stating that the enjoyment of beef in this sector was wholly made possible by the Conservative Economic Action Plan.

[Please resume the preceding argument over Rude Boy's chintzy onion ring portions]
E. Toby Coke replying to a comment from Uh, four years ago called... / March 28, 2013 at 05:23 pm
They were Polish, but whatever. Carry on.
Wes replying to a comment from Uh, four years ago called... / March 28, 2013 at 05:47 pm
For good reason.

As its now full of beardos.
OG / March 28, 2013 at 06:16 pm
Ah yes, beards, the ultimate trend. And hats. What will these crazy kids think of next? Shoes?? Hair?? Maybe even a backpack and clothes??
me / March 28, 2013 at 06:19 pm
I love this place. I go every chance I can with my dog and Papa.

Go try them today. You'll be so glad you did!

Oh, and tell them "me" sent you! :)
E. Dope onCoke replying to a comment from E. Toby Coke / March 28, 2013 at 07:09 pm
user-pic Roncey was predominately Ukrainian.
E. Toby Coke replying to a comment from E. Dope onCoke / March 28, 2013 at 07:22 pm
Predominantly Ukranian?

Ok! Glad you set me straight. For some reason, i thought they were Polish. How silly of me. Dziekuje, friend!
SW / March 28, 2013 at 07:36 pm
People wearing hats in winter?... :O THE HORROR! They must be d-bag soulless hipsters! ...Cuz that's really what I took out of this article..

Super curious to try this place. Looks good to me! (Although that rapini on a bun looks mildly questionable.) Thanks for the post.
Christopher / March 28, 2013 at 08:38 pm
Yeah the Burger Patties look great but the bun is just wrong, too much bun. That thick burger looks tiny under that bun....
meeeeee / March 28, 2013 at 10:32 pm
I thought I noticed something different when walking home on Ronces this evening. However, based on this review, I think I'll stick with The Local for now, or at least until they get their portion size to price ratio sorted.

For the record, Ronces was Polish. The Ukes were at Bloor and Jane.
buddy / March 29, 2013 at 12:15 am
Say "roncey" one more time...
A Priest but no Hero / March 29, 2013 at 04:19 am
More burgers in TO? (Yawn)
Roncies / March 29, 2013 at 08:58 am
I ate here the other day and it was tasty if not a little expensive. I had the Natural with just lettuce, tomato and onion and it was juicy and delicious. The onion rings portion was perfect amount and the best I've had in a long time. A week before this, I had a burger for the first time at the Stockyards which was better but they've been going at it for awhile...

Roncesvalles has been a Polish neighbourhood, not Ukrainian which was mostly found at Bloor and Jane to Runnymede.

And regarding the hipsters, they seem to be at all the good restaurants. Unfortunately, they seem to leave in droves once the trendiness seems gone... Where will tacos be in a few years?
Fat Polish Tits / March 29, 2013 at 09:26 am
It's Ronces, not Roncey or Roncy.

First it was German then the Poles moved in and the Germans moved out, like WW2 in reverse.

Bloor West Village has the Ukranians. They were similar funny clothing but the women are much colder and unfriendly. Their tits are also not as spectacular, but they are less prone to being meat bombs.
P / March 29, 2013 at 10:44 am
yep, pretty tired of people yelling about hipsters, it's getting to a new level of weird now, I mean, these guys aren't even dressed fashionably, they're wearing winter hoodies and shirts with a generic hat cause it's still cold out.
The ONLY thing these guys have in common is that they're young. So.. I guess when we see young guys together (even dressed in generic old navy clothes) we yell HIPSTER D BAG! doesn't make sense.
Unless you're an angry 40 yr old.
LA / March 29, 2013 at 02:00 pm
The guys in the photo look almost more hip-hop than hipster to me. A careful look at the shoes- more sporty than typical-hipster-ironic-loafer or 90's doc marten, and just their general style (purposely low pants with boxers exposed, toques, etc) looks more hip-hop to me. I don't even know why I'm chiming in here at this point, because I realize the ridiculousness of the situation that I just studied a photo of a group of guys sitting at a burger joint to figure what their "style" is, but ummmm….. yeah, that's right, I just did that.

And on a more relevant note: excited to have these guys in the neighbourhood! Onion rings look amazing.
C.B / March 29, 2013 at 02:02 pm
I really like this place. I've eaten there twice now and burgers have been great both times (I've had the Double Double and the Sting).

But I agree that the onion rings could be a larger serving for the price and the complimentary pickle should be a FULL pickle. Not a half of a spear.

Owner and chef were very nice and attentive.

I should mention that I do not have a beard.
C.B replying to a comment from C.B / March 29, 2013 at 02:04 pm
Oh... they should also open at 5pm (or earlier)... get that after work crowd walking home.
jameson / March 29, 2013 at 06:12 pm
There's actually a lot of overlap between polish and ukranians...its not as cut and dry as we like to think it is.

just saying.
JohnQ / March 29, 2013 at 07:52 pm
Are you afraid of "Hipsters" or something? Can't go to a restaurant that they're in? What are you in grade 9? or have you just become old and lame?

Goatee Metal Rap

The list goes on and on, too bad you've turned old and can't let the youth or those that want to take part be a hipster without it upsetting you or without you having to put them down...
The fault in JohnQ's logic replying to a comment from JohnQ / March 30, 2013 at 11:24 am
The only problem with that list is they were all cool (or at least avant-garde), whereas hipsters are just insufferable navel-gazing bores with the 1st world problem of too much time and money on their hands.

oops, gotta jet, someone just sent me a HI-larious instagram!
can't we all just get along...? replying to a comment from JohnQ / March 30, 2013 at 11:36 am
..and agree that Rude Boy is delicious, maybe a smidge over-priced or --more likely-- needs to not be so stingy with the toppings and sides. this is a great addition to the neighbourhood, and will be a great stop before or after movie-going at the Revue.

one suggestion though? they may want to set fire to one of two hipsters every now and then--not only to control the population, but to keep the frothing torch & scythe-wielding boomer hoardes at bay. if this site is any indication, they're hungry for a fresh sacrifice right about now
Uh, four years ago called... replying to a comment from Wes / March 30, 2013 at 11:43 am
Here is something you aren't going to see very often on BlogTO: an apology.

I had a brainfart and mixed it up--it IS Polish, not Ukranian. And I was pretty harsh on Wes. Although, I think I was mostly angry that he was being a racist dick than the fact that I thought he was wrong. But I was wrong.

So Wes...if you have a seriously good burn, lay it on me cuz I deserve it.
Uh, four years ago called... replying to a comment from Wes / March 30, 2013 at 11:47 am
I will say in my (limited) defense that there is a bizarre Ukranian shop still on Ronces selling really weird/tasty alcoholic chocolates and crazy religious trinkets. stopped in yesterday and got my boozy cherry liqueur-on.
d.a.r.y.l. / March 30, 2013 at 10:16 pm
the guys in the picture look pretty normal.
i would sooner take offense to the size of the bun than whether or not some dude's wearing sperry topsiders.
jon / March 31, 2013 at 10:41 am
go to the ace
Junction Kid replying to a comment from O.G. / April 1, 2013 at 08:26 am
Seconding OG, tried this place last night. A take out "rude boy" burger and fries was $20.35 all in! Great burger, great fries but I'm having a tough time justifying that kind of cash. I could see going back but it would be a very occasional indulgence.
Lily / April 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm
To those who comment on the young clientele - you lovely people must still be in high school clique-mode. Mind your own business. The rest of the world does not need to hear about negative comments related to the way people look. It's ridiculous, immature and totally cowardly. What do YOU look like? And how old are you anyway?
Jennifer / April 1, 2013 at 03:16 pm
In response to the people who are intimated by the patrons at the bar. Please get over it!! If you talk to the guys behind the bar and the chef, they are nice chatty folks. I love this place since it came to Roncy and have been there a couple of times with nothing but awesome friendly service. Come back and try again. Just ask the asshats to move over! The Rude Boy will do very well here in our neighbourhood and we welcome them. I am just happy they aren't another freekin nail salon.
Jennifer's Yeast Infection / April 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm
It's Ronces, not Roncy. There is no 'y' in Roncesvalles.
WOW - Children... / April 3, 2013 at 04:21 pm
BTW yeast infection,,,,it doesn't work that way.
RONCY replying to a comment from Jennifer's Yeast Infection / April 3, 2013 at 04:22 pm
JYI - don't be so silly.
Ronces Ragamuffin / April 4, 2013 at 10:29 am
If a 'c' is not followed by an 'e' it has a hard 'k' sound. It is most certainly pronounced Ronky.

Lived in the area all my life and only started seeing and hearing Roncy in the last five years by all the newcomers paying $900,000 for homes that were half that price ten years ago.

Ronces Represent! Ronky is wonky.
Ronces Ragged replying to a comment from Ronces Ragamuffin / April 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm
Do my mean like Fancy? I didn't know I should have been saying Fanky. My bad!
neverben / April 5, 2013 at 12:33 am
Be glad the onion ring portion was small... they're gross as hell.
Trish / April 5, 2013 at 08:52 pm
Just had Rude Boy burger for first time tonight, and I have to say it's a good Burger.. They are very flexible with changing up ingredients even on signature menu burgers, you can ask for Salt, No salt, cheese, No cheese.. etc.. they are happy to oblige you..Fries were Just ok, a bit under cooked for my taste, and I would NOT recommend the ONION RINGS.. they lack flavor in the batter, and they are Extremely OILY..if I was running the place I would switch to a potato batter, for the rings and I would add some seasonings too it also. But other than that the Burger is well prepared and juicy and tastes like a real burger use to, next time I'll try the salad instead of rings or fries.. I would recommend this place, for the West end of the city, but if I lived east side it would be burger Priest all the way..
Trish replying to a comment from neverben / April 5, 2013 at 09:05 pm
I just have a question? why are people on here debating the area and being so petty about he people in the area? Isn't this suppose to be about the actual Burger joint? "AKA" reviews? Just to let you know youngsters, when a old bar or local hang out closes, the old patrons tend to continue to frequent the old Bar location, because OLD people are creatures of habit, so if you see strange looking people at the bar it's probably because they use to come there drinking at the old Greek place that use to be in that space.. they will drift off over time, so the youngsters can take over as it should be..why is everyone being so critical of each other? change is going to happen like it or not.. So come out try a burger meet some new people don't judge a book by it's cover and chat with each other.... don't worry be happy.. lol have a good day everyone..
cyanide replying to a comment from Ronces Ragamuffin / April 6, 2013 at 08:05 am
cystic, cypher, cyber, fancy, cycle, and the list goes on:

Or have you been saying kycle your whole life?
chk / April 7, 2013 at 03:05 pm
I wanted to see what people thought about the food but, as usual, you guys and your grade school comments make me sad ... Came away with little insight about the food, lots of insight about how people seem to seek out any opportunity to be petty and cruel.
April / April 8, 2013 at 02:55 pm
We went to Rude Boy on Friday night. It was packed, however my fiance and I managed to get seated at the bar. We ordered an order of onion rings, french fries and 2 Natural burgers. Note - if you want sauces, such as aioli, ketchup or mustard, you must ask for them, as they are not on the burger. However, the waitress was happy to bring lots of sauces over for us. The service was great, but more importantly, the burger was awesome! It was juicy, was on a nice soft bun, and had great flavour - just a solid burger! We will definitely go back, and since we live in the hood, we will probably take advantage of getting take-out. The only negative is that it was a bit pricey. $8.50 + $1 for cheese, plus the cost of sides... it all added up - $50 for the two of us - he had 1 beer I had a coke. Wish they had a combo option, but hopefully that can be added once they settle in on Ronces!
Ronky Honky / April 8, 2013 at 03:29 pm
Notice this fine young lady who lives in the hood calls it Ronces. I'm so confused.
Suck My Pierogi / April 10, 2013 at 09:51 am
Haven't been to Roncesvalles in years. Noticed the Intersteer has moved and looks a little less divey.

Anyone know if Eva the owner is still running whores up top. She used to manage some fine young Polish ass for hire.
John McDong / April 10, 2013 at 10:30 am
Not sure if the girls behind the bar are still available for hire but a lot of working girls still go there for a drink and/or business hookups.

Most seem to operate out of that run down apartment building across from Butlers.

I got head from one girl there on the balcony while a couple watched from the Butlers front window. I shot ropes that day! Cheap too.
Polish Prince / April 10, 2013 at 03:16 pm
You want good time girl, go Zagloba for Polskie peachka.

Local has stuck up English girl with piranah teeth between legs. Danger.
marc / April 20, 2013 at 02:12 pm
Well I live on roncey and was excited when I saw this place open up. BOY was that excitement short lived. WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY. $30 for 2 burgers and a ring?

Now this would be fine if either was not probably the worst burger and side I have had all year. My wife didn't even finish hers. The rings where the worst I ever had, and tasted just like grease. The burger was okay at best, its about half as good as big smoke, and 1/4 as good as this end up.

I never write bad reviews on places as well I usually get what I pay for. However with what I paid I deserve more then half eaten rings, burgers that made its way to the bin.

allisa / April 26, 2013 at 08:29 pm
stinky unfinished bathrooms - no
lack of fries on the side of my burger - no
random booth at the front of the restaurant - no

"the veg" - yes
mustard with onion rings - yes yes
friendly service and potential to grow - yes

great edition to the neighbourhood, just needs to work out the kinks (seriously, SIDES FOR THE BURGERS!)
NewTaste / June 14, 2013 at 04:55 pm
I recently ate there and thought the mains were good but found that the freshness was seriously lacking with some of the toppings. I don't mind paying a premium but expect that I can get a proper tasting quality tomato and healthy lettuce to go along with it.
AK / November 8, 2013 at 11:02 pm
had the pleasure of trying Roncy's Rude Boy tonight, hoping it would be a local fave as we live in the neighbourhood.. i guess you gotta stick to the burgers - my fish and chips had pretty good batter but was also pretty not fully cooked (or freshness really is a problem like above comment). spent more quality face time with my toilet bowl than i anticipated on date night.. #fail
Runder / January 19, 2014 at 09:50 am
Good burger, ditto with side servings.
Cool old wooden beer fridge as well.

Hipster is a term that says more about the person using it to label someone more than the person being labelled. Get it?
gayle b. / February 16, 2014 at 02:24 pm
Sounds promising, hope they read this, regroup and come out stronger. Really wish people would stop being so judgmental of others...really, do we need all these labels and negative comments?
Bill / June 16, 2014 at 01:38 am
What kind of douche complains about the size of a complimentary pickle? Its free dumbass! If you don't like it, shove it up your ass.
Lynn / February 28, 2015 at 08:32 pm
We were a bit worried given some of the comments, but it was a really great place for a Saturday night last minute dinner. Two burgers, (one with smoked cheese), an order of fries, an order of onion rings and one beer totalled $30. Pretty good deal for two.

Atmosphere was fun and decor was pretty decent, esp that fabulous old style wooden fridge.

We will return!
Devi / July 4, 2015 at 11:01 pm
I just met Alex Sengupta today for the first time. What a gerk. I frequent or I should say I frequented the Abbott until today. Only 1/2 of the people that are hired know how to make coffee and I was commending one of the best and said he should give her a raise and Alex became very rude and said I should see what it's like to supervise staff (I have at international and government organization buddy).
Arrogant, never around (so doesn't supervise), does a sloppy job with keeping machines functioning, and has evidently forgotten how to treat a customer.
I am all about local coffee shops, but this guy has gotta go.

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