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Shake Shack a top restaurant?!?

The people listing Shake Shack as a top restaurant in lots of publications and websites must be on crack. I just don't get it. The burgers are puny, the fries remind me of Ore-Ida which is nasty. What am I not getting about Shake Shack? Or is it just the locations in DC that suck?

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  1. I've never understood it, either. There are better burgers in NYC, that's for sure.

    1. Shake Shack in my opinion serves great unadulterated burgers which are by no means puny! I am a rather large person and cannot finish one of their double burgers w fries-Their burgers are the perfect size and taste for those who want pure beef taste-not something gussied up.

      1. I think their burgers are tasty - and the shakes even better - but I don't think either is good enough to justify spending 30 minutes in line for.

        I certainly would not list a SS as a top NYC restaurant though.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jerico

          I am with jerico.
          I do fancy their soft ice cream..yummy.

          1. re: jerico

            "I think their burgers are tasty - and the shakes even better - but I don't think either is good enough to justify spending 30 minutes in line for. "

            96 people on line last July 4th. Ninety six.

            Video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkBh3W...

          2. What publications and web sites?

            It's probably my favorite burger in the city as I prefer thinner patties over the thicker/pub style, but who exactly is saying it's one of the "best" restaurants in the city? Best RESTAURANT or best BURGER? You can't compare it to Per Se, Eleven Madison Park...

            1 Reply
            1. There was a time not long ago when the dried out patties from a warming tray at the Corner Bistro were among the best-rated burgers in town. I think you have to have lived through that dark time in New York to understand why some of us look to Shake Shack like manna from heaven.

              1. I prefer 5 Guys and New York Burger Co.

                1. The fries at Shake Shake are the weak link. The burgers are fine.

                  1. For the price point (btwn $5-8) it probably does qualify as one of the best burgers in NYC.

                    1. New Yorkers do not refer to it as a "top RESTAURANT."

                      1 Reply
                      1. Travel & Leisure I remember for one. I did a google search for the top restaurants.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: DuaneNoVA

                          The only "best restaurants" list that really matters is the San Pellegrino one. A lot of these travel mags are really just glorified brochures looking for extra clicks.

                          I rarely trust any top X list that makes you click through a whole slideshow... Maybe the ones on Serious Eats. But very few others. Most of the time they're just writing ridiculous "listicles" and insanely long slideshows to drive traffic and ad impressions. "Hey, let's name Shake Shack a BEST RESTAURANT to be controversial!"

                        2. I wouldn't say they're puny, though I also realize many people now assume any burger should start at a half-pound of meat and only grow larger. Seems ridiculous to me, but anyway... I wouldn't call it a top restaurant, but they make a delicious burger and really good shakes, and not much else. I think the fries are bland, but I don't see why they're nasty - it's not like they're crawling with maggots or topped with habanero spiked pepto-bismol. Nasty? No, I just don't see that. Honestly, they're too bland to be nasty.

                          1. The Smoke Shack is definitely one of the best relatively cheap burgers in NYC. I think it's worlds better than the original Shack Burger. The Smoke Shack benefits immensely from the acidity and heat of the cherry pepper relish.

                            But of course the Shake Shack isn't a "top restaurant" in any real sense of the term. It's a hamburger stand, plain and simple.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: brancron

                              The burger at Smoke Shack tastes like an ashtray.

                              It reminded me of a Whopper dipped in liquid smoke.

                              Not a good thing.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                The Smoke Shack is a burger at Shake Shack. It has smokey bacon and a pickled pepper relish like you would find in the balkans. It is better than the normal shack burger.


                                I was never a big fan until I found out you can order it rare.

                                1. re: MVNYC

                                  Then I misunderstood.

                                  That said, still avoid the Smoke Shack BBQ joint at all cost if what you want is a burger.

                            2. Are we talking about "top restaurant" as an absolute? Or are we talking about top in its price point?

                              I think that if you're going to spend around 10 dollars for a burger, Shake Shack is a very good option. (I avoid lines by only going in the winter, though I also live near Madison Square Park, so that's easy for me)

                              The way I see it, if I were looking for a Michelin-style guide to fine dining in NYC, then I probably wouldn't be happy to see Shake Shack listed. But if you're talking about publications that cover different kinds of food, including cheap burgers/fast food, I think Shake Shack is a contender in its own class.