Young and Hungry

Attack of the Potato Buns! New York’s Shake Shack Invades Five Guys Turf

Tuesday marks a new dawn in D.C. fast food, with the 11 a.m. grand opening of Danny Meyer's hallowed New York burger chain Shake Shack in Dupont Circle, a venue destined to rival the local Five Guys behemoth.

Nearly four years ago, I was on the flip-side of this equation, during the opening of the first Five Guys location in New York. “Now D.C.’s got nuthin’ on us!” declared one of many proudly posted comment cards displayed inside the Brooklyn address. The place immediately drew comparisons to Meyer's Shack and burger buffs converged in droves to see how D.C.'s famous burgers stacked up against the New York standard bearer.

I recall one unprovoked critic who, after gobbling his burger, emphatically preferred Meyer’s glorified hot-dog stand. "Shake Shack!"

“It’s the potato buns,” concluded his buddy across the table, referring, of course, to Meyer's buns. “Makes all the difference.”

It will be interesting to see if D.C.-area diners respond differently.

How does the Shack burger stack up? Stick your opinion in the comments section.

Shake Shack, 1216 18th St. NW

Photo by Chris Shott

  • EAII

    Potato buns

  • Michael E. Grass

    Question: Which way will the line stretch? Down 18th Street NW, or down Jefferson Place? A Madison Square Park-like queue could be trouble for north-south pedestrian foot traffic.

  • mindy

    what are concretes?

  • Native American JD

    Shake Shack employees eating on Metro last night on the Red Line.

  • Jason

    SO much better than Five Guys

  • Thanasis Vegos

    Great place to be! great meal for me and my familly. I plan to go again soon. I've read at that soon the Shake-Shake chain will open in Greece too. i plan to visit Greece this July, so hopefully i can go and visit the Greek "Shaka-Shake".

  • bob

    the shake shack is burgers are mediocre , and fries are 100% unimpressive. it is a very forgettable experience, not a fan of the experience. Five Guys dominates in every category... food quality, taste, freshness, and quantity and customer service.

    In my opinion shit shack is a step above the burger kings and McDonald's while its charm is based around ability to have a beer or wine during a visit.

    five guys 1 shit shack 0

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  • Alta

    I firmly disagree with Bob. At least Shake Shack has employees that SPEAK ENGLISH than some shit-ass Five Guys. Also they're more open minded about allergy precautions which I like since I've got a peanut allergy. Juuust saying.

  • Bruce

    I haven't had a chance to check out the DC Shake Shack yet, though I have tried Shake Shack in New York and was unimpressed.

    I'm a Fuddruckers fan, so replacing Fuddruckers with Shake Shack is, in my opinion, a bad trade for Washington.

  • Mr. E

    I am very finicky about my burgers and only find very few burgers really excite my taste palates. I have tried Five Guys and I really liked them. It gets really messy sometimes but still tasteful and the fries are extraordinary. The service is really great and I think Alta is racist with his comment. Nationality, gender or age of employees do not bother me. I just want good service and Five Guys in Tidewater Virginia has it.

    I can say anything about DC Shake Shack, because I have not tried them yet. I would really love to when I make a trip up to DC. I really like Potatoes buns so this is something to look forward to. I will give a fair, honest and intelligent review back to you all soon.

  • Mr. E

    Nice pictures Native American JD

  • anon

    Just be sure to bring an awl or suitable pocket knife to expand your belt a notch or two.

  • Boinkens

    Shake Shack blows Five Guys out of the water. I was a dedicated 5G lover until I had my first Shake Shack burger last year. The bun is better and the patties are juicier and better seasoned. Five Guys has it on fries and toppings selection, but the actual burger is far superior at Shake Shack.

  • Meat is delicous

    Yeah im still a Rays Hellburger fan.....its pretty good though

  • Shake it

    What about the custard and the shakes? I had the Mud Pie flavor and it was the creamiest thing ever! It's definitely some fun for the summer.

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