Shake Shack

  • Restaurants
  • Burgers
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Covent Garden

Shake Shack is a fast-food chain founded and based in New York. The NYC version has something of a cult following, helped along by clever marketing and the use of social media; for example, webcams show live pictures of the queue, so that the Twitterati can alert their friends to their 30 seconds of fame on the live feed.

However, diners used to the high standards of burgers from British chains such as GBK, Byron or the many brilliant independents shouldn’t get their hopes up. Despite the slick branding, Shake Shack’s appeal has more to do with enjoying an American diner-style experience than with British-style gourmet burgers. There are buzzers to tell you when your food’s ready, drive-by style hatches from which to pick up your full tray, and friendly staff kitted out in baseball caps. Prices are another draw, with the cheapest burger coming in at £5.

And there’s the location. Shake Shack has chosen one of the prime sites in the UK for capturing tourist footfall – right in the centre of Covent Garden piazza. The site that for a while was the Icecreamists (an ice cream parlour) is now the counter where you stand in line before placing your order. There’s plenty of Shake Shack seating in the central market, out on to the cobbled piazza, or indoors in an adjacent building.

As for the burgers, they’re no great shakes – thin patties, soft buns and processed American cheese. The crinkle-cut fries are fine, in a mass-produced way; the cheese sauce was gloopy and highly processed. Other options include hot dogs and frozen custard ice cream. The highlight of our meal was the chocolate milkshake, because of its distinctive and strong chocolate flavour.

Burgers have moved on a long way in London over the last few years, and it’s hard to see Shake Shack becoming a cult with London’s highly discerning burger enthusiasts. But with such a good site and enthusiastic, engaging staff, Shake Shack is bound to be popular with tourists.

Venue name: Shake Shack
Contact:
Address: 24 Market Building
The Piazza
London
WC2E 8RD
Transport: Tube: Covent Garden tube

Average User Rating

2.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:2
LiveReviews|5
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Carly-Ann Clements
Staff Writer

As everyone was so excited about Shake Shack, I did (unwisely) get my hopes up about this NYC favourite and I was woefully disappointed. That’s a bit harsh. The food’s not terrible it’s just not as good as you would hope. The burgers are a bit odd but mediocre, the chips are a bit dry and though the shakes are decent, they’re not worth the 1000 calorie price tag they incur. If you go out and have a burger, side and a drink, you’re looking to spend the same amount as going to a sitdown restaurant (or more). It’s worth experiencing though. But always get the cheese on the chips… only a fool wouldn’t.

Diana B

I like shake-shack, I can't deny that. It's upscale fast food, which tastes a lot nicer than your average McD's. It's a little overpriced for what it is I think, especially when you compare it to it's New York prices, it seems us brit's are being ripped off. But I go to shake-shack quite frequently so I can't complain too much. The only thing is that in my last couple of visits, I have noticed a drop in quality of food. When it first started the buns were light the meat tasted fresh as did the chips. However recently the buns are soggy and sometimes a bit stale. The burger no longer tastes fresh but of old oil. The chips are still good though, as are the frozen custards. It's definitely a place to stop by at if you're hungry and fancy a burger in covent garden.

Kristie Bishop

The burger was actually quite good. However, I do not have cheesy chips to experience the orange cheap melted cheese on top, I have cheesy chips to experience hot stretchy cheese that tastes like cheese!! The milk shake was OK, but my main reason for 1 star is the price. Two of us had one burger, one fries and one drink each and it came to £35!! However I left no more satisfied than I would leave a McDonalds...but I was out of pocket by £25. NEVER AGAIN!

Tom

Personally I thought the food at Shake Shack was really top notch. If you find yourself occasionally craving a McDonalds but just can't quite bring yourself to step back through the doors of a proper fast food chain, then Shake Shack is just what you need. This isn't about poncey gastropub burgers made with ciabatta or little pots of triple cooked chips with the skins left on, Shake Shack make a proper burger and chips - they just make it really well. The milkshakes (which are made using custard) are particularly good, the burger was excellent. I was less sold on the crinkle cut fries, normal french fries would have worked slightly better. All in all, a definite recommend.

taco

Most overhyped and underwhelming experience of these new burger joints. The shroom burger was about the size of a £2 coin (priced at £5.25) and just as tasty. The dryness of the chips (with or without plastic American cheese topping) brought the whole thing down even further, only slightly to be taken back up by a Meantime London Lager. Worth maybe 1 star for its branding, but definitely not worth queuing up for...