Shake Shack

  • Restaurants
  • Burgers
1 Love It
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
Address: 24 Market Building
The Piazza
Transport: Tube: Covent Garden tube
Do you own this business?

Average User Rating

2.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:6
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:3
2 people listening
Grace I

If you've eaten in the Shake Shacks in New York City (the best is in the basement food court at Grand Central Station), you'll be expecting high-quality burgers and fries. In my most recent visit to this Covent Garden branch, the fries were lukewarm and the burger was salty and tasteless. Six months ago, the burgers were much better. Either the quality is slipping due to the high-volume of sales or I've had better burgers in the last six months and lost my regard for these. Go when it's not horrendously crowded and you'll get one of the outdoor tables. But you'll find better burgers at any branch of Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

Daniel L

shake shack is now a household name after it's IPO and with branches around the world. However, it seems a far cry from the outlets in NYC. The burger is definitely decent, but it just doesn't live up to the original outlets. The craft beers on offer do make up for it. Overall, not the cheapest for the size of the burger you get but still a cheaper alternative than a transatlantic flight!


Simple good burger and fries. I had their standard cheeseburger and crinkle fries with blueberry lemonade. Ordering is straight forward and quick and we had no problems with queuing. We did visit later in the evening of a weekday though so I can imagine it would be much busier during the weekend. The portions are generous and extremely satisfying and they have great choice from their menu. Seating is available in the piazza in the heart of covent garden. Seek out if you are looking for a decent burger.

Angela L

What's with the long queue for this place? After much consideration, bit the bullet and ordered the cheesy fries at my cousin's recommendation - they were sloppy and cold! Ughh! I think ppl come here because of the hype, rather than the quality! Avoid! Can't comment on the burgers, wouldn't go back!

tiago a

I had heard that these would be the best burgers of my life.

I would say they are pretty good, you can taste the meat which is very very positive but I wouldn't say it's the best burger ever, probably far from it, BUT its definitely a quality burger!

Also enjoyed the Cheesy chips :) 

Staff Writer

Was taken to Shake Shack by my Canadian friend who convinced me I was about to have the best burger of my life. While it was decent enough, the hype surrounding it left me a little disappointed. 

The concretes are worth experimenting with though, lots of bizarre flavours to try out.

Sarah R

Having tried Shake Shack burgers in New York and falling in love with them, I got overly excited about the fact we have them in London as well.. I do think they are unfortunately slightly worse then its NY's original.
There is room for imrpovement Shake Shack, I belive in you!

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!


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.


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...

More venues

Sponsored listings