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Ever since going to Shake Shack during my first visit to New York, this burger chain instantly rose to the top of my burger list. During our most recent trip, Mike and I went to the original location in Madison Square Park since we lucked out with some gorgeous weather.

Shake Shack in Madison Square Park

This burger chain started out in this park back in 2004 and has grown to nearly a dozen locations, most of which are in Manhattan. A few months ago, I was at the DC location and the food was just as good as I had remembered, so I was hoping this wouldn’t disappoint.

Since the weather was amazing, we were afraid we’d face a half hour wait. Even though we arrived around noon, we lucked out and only waited five minutes before getting to the front of the line. After ordering, we were given a pager which lights up and vibrates when your order is ready.

I normally go for the cheeseburger, but this time I went with the ShackBurger – American cheese, lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce ($4.50 single/$7 double). What can I say? I love these burgers! The hand-formed patties are juicy and delicious. Sure, they’re not very large but they make up for it in taste. I also really like their buns, which are slightly sweet and while soft, hold up pretty well against the juicy burger. I find the last few greasy bites are the best, like the last few bites of the bottom of the burrito (you all know what I’m talking about!). So, how did this compare to the regular cheeseburger? To be honest, I couldn’t tell the difference since I couldn’t really taste the advertised “ShackSauce.”

A ShackBurger, a double hamburger, fries and an Arnold Palmer

Mike ordered a simple Double Hamburger ($3.50 single/$5.50 double) and really enjoyed his first Shake Shack experience.

One of their burger offerings is the Shack Stack – a cheeseburger with a crisp fried Portobello filled with cheese, similar to the Priest burger at Burger’s Priest. I bet that tastes pretty amazing too – Shake Shack’s delicious patty plus a deep fried cheese-filled mushroom? I considered it, but after eating four meals a day during my New York trip, I decided to scale back which is how I ended up with the Shackburger.

For a side, Mike and I shared an order of Fries ($2.65). The first time I saw these fries I was a little skeptical since I’m not a huge fan of thicker fries as they generally aren’t quite as crispy. However, these crinkle-cut fries are some of my favourites. They’re always perfectly crisp and seasoned. Once, I tried the cheese fries ($3.65) which is simply their regular fries topped with cheddar and American cheese sauce. I didn’t really enjoy them but it’s just a matter of preference. I prefer the plain fries simply with a side of ketchup.


Although we didn’t get any frozen custard on this particular visit, on a previous visit, I tried one of their Concretes – dense frozen custard blended at high speed with toppings and mix-ins. During that particular visit, I made my own concrete. The base costs $4.50 with an extra $0.75 per topping. I added bananas and hot fudge sauce to my concrete and it was delicious – a classic combination!

After several experiences, I keep coming back to Shake Shack and it’s easy to see why. It’s just too bad they don’t have any locations in Canada!

At a glance:
• Amazing burgers and fries
• Many other locations in NYC
• The Madison Square Park location is outdoors and is known for long lines

Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4.5 stars
• Service: N/A
• Atmosphere: 4 stars

Shake Shack (Madison Square Park) on Urbanspoon

  1. Ingrid @ Silly & Hungry (Reply) on Monday 7, 2011

    Hey I just found your blog. Glad to find another Toronto food lover! Your experience sounds great, can’t wait for your next Toronto post though 🙂


    • Jess (Reply) on Monday 7, 2011

      Thanks, Ingrid! There will definitely be many more Toronto posts to come!