Saturday, February 8, 2014

London Burger War // Shake Shack Vs Five Guys

Five Guys, 1-3 Long Acre, London WC2E 9LH 

Last Summer following on from Patty Bun (read about my visit here) and Meat Liquor burger invasion came two all the way from the US. Yes Shake Shack and Five Guys arrived in London, Covent Garden to be exact, mere minutes away from each other and I felt it was my duty to sample them both, for important blog purposes obviously.

First up was Five Guys, hailed as President Obama's favourite burger spot and famed for their fries cooked in pure peanut oil (boxes of which decorate the branch). I can't speak for the lines of an evening but I was lucky to be passing at approximately 430pm one week day afternoon and joined a short queue to receive my brown bag of goodness.

The menu is simple, pick a burger (or hot dog) and then add your toppings, onions, mushrooms, sauces you name it there's a sufficient list to personalise your burger to your liking. Important thing of note, their regular offering contains two burger patty's so if you prefer a small meal pick the 'little' option. 

Once you've ordered your meal you watch as the Five Guys team create your delicious feast. Your burger is wrapped in silver foil and your fries are shovelled into a polystyrene cup, this is rustic goodness at it's best. You're handed a brown bag filled with you feast and an empty cup to fill with the drink of your choosing from one of their super drinks machines. Ive only ever used a similar drinks machine in America and the options are vast - I want for Cherry 7 Up Zero if you're interested.

As far as I'm concerned this was on par with a meal you'd be served in a restaurant and admittedly it's more expensive than your average McDonalds or Burger King but deservedly so and worth every penny. 

Even better I've just checked online and a store is coming to Bluewater in Spring which is just down the road from me - I see many a late night drive in my future.

Shake Shack Covent Garden, 24 Market Building, The Piazza, London, WC2E 8RD

My trip to Shake Shack wasn't as quick as Five Guys and I visited one evening after work and queued for AGES. Ok I'm exaggerating slightly but it was a good 20 mins for ultimately a takeaway burger. The queue did give me a chance to peruse the menu and know exactly what I would order when I got the the counter.

I went for the Smoke Shack which is a cheeseburger topped with bacon, peppers and 'shack sauce'. On this occasion I was feeling saintly and opted for the saintly single burger and less saintly fries with cheese sauce. You're handed a buzzer which flashes and vibrates when your burger is ready and you collect from the counter and are handed your meal on a tray - clearly Shake Shack are going for the more sophisticated option.

I'll be straight with you now, Five Guys is my clear out winner of this burger battle. The Shake Shack offering just didn't meet up. The fries were bland, the cheese sauce was not for me and the burger just didn't satisfy like Five Guys did. I think you can see from the two photos that the Shake Shack meal looks like the more plastic offering. This really did taste like fast food and for a sizeable price. I actually walked away quite disappointed and wished I'd just gone for my usual Burger King Bacon Double Cheeseburger.

It wasn't all bad, their signature 'concrete' frozen custard desserts. I forget which I chose now, I think the Union Shack and that I do recommend.

So there you have my opinions of Covent Gardens burger bars, what about you, do you have a favourite?


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25 comments:

  1. Its no good I'm gonna have to move to London!!! lol. Although the choose your topping has me worried -- dont cope well chosing under stress - thats why I wont go to subway!! lol

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    1. HAHA that's so funny… luckily you have enough time in the queue to decide what toppings you want x

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  2. Well the Five Guys one looks better - do they do veggie burgers? If so it might be worth a try next time I come to London.

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    1. They do veggie sandwiches which apparently aren't veggie burger pattys xx

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  3. Looks great, this is definitely going on my list of places to eat!

    Hannah | Girl+World

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  4. FIVE GUYS ALL THEY WAY HAHA! I'll admit we're planning a trip to London to go to Five Guys..... That's bad isn't it?! I ate there last July and still dream of it!

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    1. Not sad at all, I'd happily go on a burger hunting holiday x

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  5. Replies
    1. Well at least we wouldn't fight over the chips then! x

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  6. I only recently tried the 5 guys burgers over here in USA. I didn't know they were Obama's fave! I LOVED the burgers. Best I have eaten in years!

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    1. Now I have to try Five Guys in the USA so I can compare to our UK version!

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  7. Five Guys looks the best :) But I'm with Ali, I would get in a right panic about the toppings! Not that I have to worry about it at the moment, with all the train lines closed I don't think I'll be coming to London any time soon :( xx

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    1. I know between strikes and this morning all trains into Liverpool Street have been cancelled it's not making it very easy!

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  8. My company are moving to offices smack bang over Five Guys haha... uhoh x

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    1. That def falls under the well jel category! x

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  9. omg my mouth is watering that burger looks soooooooo good lol xxxxx

    Laura | Tease Flutter Pout

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    1. This look so yummy defiantly going to pay a visit to Covent garden now that I've seen this lol
      www.stylehercloset.blogspot.co.uk
      Thema

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    2. Let me know what you think when you've tried it x

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  10. i haven't been to either of these as i live up north, but i wish i could go! the burgers look so nice

    from helen at thelovecatsinc.com

    ps. you can win nearly £150 worth of high-end skincare on my blog, if you fancy entering! click here

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    1. Fingers crosssed branches will be opened up North soon, it's certainly not fair you're missing out!

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