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Madison Square Park, Madison Ave., at E. 23rd St. (Gramercy)
New York, NY
(1) 212-889-6600 | www.shakeshacknyc.com
BEST FORLunch; dinner
PRICE (BURGER; FLAT-TOP DOG; FROZEN CUSTARD)USD 3.55-8.60 USD 3.00-5.75; USD 3.25-6.75
FAMOUS PLATESShackburger; Shack-cago Dog; Concrete
DRINKS AND WINEMilkshakes; lemonade; iced tea; Arnold Palmer; soft drinks; beer; wine
# OF SEATSHandful of park benches and tables
OUTDOOR DINING?Yes - all seating is outdoor
PRIVATE ROOM AVAILABLE?No
METRO23rd St.-Broadway (N, R); 23rd St.-Park Ave. South (6)
Before this Madison Square Park burger mecca became a New York phenomenon, it was a simple concession stand serving hotdogs to passersby. Restaurateur Danny Meyer and his team have come a long way since then, turning the retro-chic snack bar into a permanent location and opening up numerous others around the city, the country, and the world. Thousands of New Yorkers patiently tolerate the excessively long lunch and dinner lines (which can take up to two hours in the summer) to get their hands on the famous burgers, hotdogs, frozen custards, and milkshakes.
This locale caters mostly to business types from the nearby financial firms, but it’s not rare to spot a family or two or some tourists.
WHAT WE WOULD WEAR
It’s an alfresco joint that attracts many park strollers (and their pets), so don’t be afraid to go super casual with a comfortable sweater, jeans, sneakers, and your favorite accessories.
GO HERE WITH
Friends; family; kids; significant other; yourself
WHY WE LIKE IT
It may just be a burger stand, but it’s still the flagship. And so what if you have to wait through most of lunch hour? The burgers make it worthwhile. Plus the opening of the additional branches around the city has eased the lines a bit at this spot.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
There’s not much seating–you’ll be lucky to snag a park bench. Otherwise you’ll probably have to enjoy your eats standing up.
GOOD TO KNOW
To avoid a long wait, check the handy live feed on the Shake Shack website, which gives a view of the line situation. Inspired by its park location, this venue welcomes dogs with the “Pooch-ini,” a doggie dessert comprised of frozen custard, peanut butter, and a dog biscuit. Vegetarian options are available (the ’Shroom burger is so good that even carnivores should try it). Finally, a tip: the beverage and cold food lines are separate from the hot food line, so you can always grab some beers or even (gasp!) dessert before dinner to ease the wait.
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Read more about Shake Shack in The Diary
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