Danny Meyer Shake Shack May Just Have the Best Burgers in Manhattan
Danny Meyer restaurants in New York have always been popular, but you have to wonder: did the monstrous success of the Shake Shack, with perhaps the best burger in New York City, take even restauranteur supreme by surprise? Sure, he's had plenty of big hits before: his first venture, the Union Square Cafe, helped redefine New York City's concept of "fine dining" (no small feat, that); his Eleven Madison Park and Gramercy Tavern are much loved and packed every night (and, not incidentally, New York Times three-starred); and his Blue Smoke serves some of our favorite BBQ in town. Still, with all that, the passion, the sheer fanaticism, behind the cult of the Shake Shack–especially of its burger–is something even this food-obsessed city has rarely ever seen.
The phenomenon of Danny Meyer's Shake Shack began four years ago, when his first smartly designed, free-standing structure opened in the newly renovated Madison Square Park, and immediately began attracting 90-minute, even two-hour, lines of people ordering, essentially, burgers, fries, shakes. Meyer even put up a Shack-cam so devotees can check online to see how long a wait, awaits.
In quick succession, burger-lovers were given two new Shake Shacks: one at Citi Field, the other in the heart of the Upper West Side, right across the street from the Museum of Natural History, a block from Central Park. The menu of the Shake Shack, Upper West Side, will be familiar to long-time fans. Get the Shake Shack Burger (featuring the secret Shack sauce), or the Double Cheeseburger, and you'll be the happiest eater in town. If you want to mix it up a bit, there are Portobello 'Shroom Burgers to be had, as well four varieties of hot dogs.
Danny Meyer's Shake Shack may also contend for the best french fries in New York City. The fries are excellent, crisp and moist and full of potato flavor – either regular or cheese. And the Concretes (think chunky milk shakes) and Frozen Custards (think soft serve ice cream… now think even creamier), are top-notch sweet treats all, though we're partial to the Shacky Road and the Natural History "Crunch-stellation", made with vanilla custard, malt, Valrhona chocolate crunchies, caramel AND hot fudge. Really, until you've dined at the Shake Shack, Upper West Side, it's hard to really have a serious conversation about the best burgers in New York City.
The Shake Shack, Upper West Side
The Shake Shack, Upper West Side, is located on the corner of Columbus Avenue and 77th Street. It's open every day from 10:45 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. There are much-coveted window tables in the main room, and there's a second seating area downstairs, which you can also rent out for a private Shack party. Yes, the wait is long, pretty much all day and night, but Meyer's system of vibrating "pagers" which alert you when your order is ready ease the pain a bit.