There may be a rivalry between New York and Chicago, but it clearly doesn’t extend to burgers. Popular New York-based fast-food chain Shake Shack confirmed its expansion into the Windy City in May, and the hype behind it finally came to a head on Nov. 4 as hundreds of hungry Chicagoans flocked to the corner of Rush and Ohio for the store’s grand opening.

I arrived for lunch at precisely 12:12 pm, only to see a line stretched all the way down the block. However, the hour-and-a-half wait (all in the name of journalism) was well worth it. The restaurant itself gave off a pleasant vibe, with a modern wooden interior, warm lighting and upbeat music. And the food, of course, was stellar.

shake shack

Photo by Carla Garcia

I ordered the ShackBurger: an all-natural Angus beef cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and the restaurant’s signature ShackSauce. It was definitely simple, but absolutely delicious, with a fluffy bun and juicy, flavorful meat. I was deeply saddened once it was completely devoured — the true sign of a good meal.

An order of crinkle-cut fries, made with Yukon potatoes, was the perfect complement to my burger. (What is it that makes crinkle-cut fries so good? The larger surface area perhaps?) Although I ordered the cheese fries, I would recommend the regular option, as I found the cheddar and American cheese sauce somewhat disappointing.

shake shack

Photo by Carla Garcia

The Shake Shack menu boasts several other enticing options. Serious meat-lovers can indulge in the SmokeShack, a cheeseburger with applewood-smoked bacon, while the cheese-filled portobello ‘ShroomBurger is tempting for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Not in the mood for a burger? Try the Publican Pork Sausage, a Chicago exclusive made with meat sourced from Publican Quality Meats.

Dessert is a must at Shake Shack, and visitors can choose which creamy hand-spun milkshake flavor suits them. There are also three special concretes featuring ingredients from local businesses: the Salted Carame’L’, with a salted caramel doughnut from Glazed & Infused; Da S’mores, with a slice of s’mores pie from Bang Bang Pie Shop; and the Shack Attack, with Vosges black salt caramel chocolate.

shake shack

Photo courtesy of Shake Shack

The buzz behind Shake Shack is well deserved, and with nothing on the menu over $10, it’s a great place for college students to grab a bite. Head over once lines die down, or brave the windy wait now (for your stomach’s sake).


Location: 66 E. Ohio St., Chicago, IL 60611
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sun 11am-11pm

Looking for other great burger joints? Check these places out:

Umami Burger

DMK Burger and Fish

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