At 11:23 a.m. on Thursday, 23 minutes into its second day open to the public, Shake Shack‘s new location in Philadelphia (20th and Sansom) had a line of 15 people out the door. Add in the 20-25 folks in line inside the building. Meanwhile, every dining seat as well as every waiting area seat were also already filled.
So I guess you could say that Shake Shack’s newest outpost was both eagerly anticipated and a big hit. Of course, this is Philly, which loves to hit up new food places and bars as soon as they open, though regular return visits aren’t automatic. Judging by the initial reception, as well as Shake Shack’s success at its other locations, it’s pretty likely that long lines will stay the norm for quite a while.
I first had Shake Shack at its CitiField in Queens, and I’ve also been to the Madison Square Park location, where it first started. Long lines are the norm in those other locations, so people here will have to get used to waiting to order up their burgers, fries, shakes and custards (though there is a separate line if you just want to order cold items). But the food is worth the wait.
My lunchtime companions and I all had cheeseburgers and shakes. The burgers come with lettuce, tomato and Shack Sauce on a potato roll. The meat, though, is the big star. It’s top notch. All the ingredients combine together for a wonderful and well-cooked burger. A friend who has recently had In-N-Out and Shake Shack in the last two weeks absolutely preferred the Shake Shack burger. Meanwhile, the chocolate shake was also pretty solid. Yes, the burger and shake will run you over $10, but it’s a nice treat to have every couple of weeks.
It also warrants mentioning that the staff could not be nicer. The cashier and staff member who brings over your tray are all very friendly, and someone comes around to check on how you’re enjoying yourself and even helps dispose of your tray. Customer service definitely contributed to a great experience.
By 11:55, before the regular lunch crowds even go out, the line had already extended halfway down 20th Street towards Walnut Street. There was no immediate end in sight.