Burger Wars - Five Guys vs Shake Shack

Two hugely popular American burger chains have opened in London this week within 24 hours of each other. We take a look at their various offerings to see just how they stack up against each other.



Shake Shack


Five Guys

Danny Meyer turns his laser focus to fast food to create "fine casual" dining
It's all about the toppings - as many as you want for free.

What to expect

Shake Shack
Five Guys
Basic burger



Five Guys

ShackBurger - 100% Aberdeen Angus beef cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce. £5 single, £7.50 double.


100% Irish beef. The 'little' hamburger is actually a normal-sized burger - their straight hamburger has two patties. All are cooked well-done. The little is £4.75 and the normal burger is £6.75. You can also order all their burger and dogs bunless.

Also try

The Shroom Burger is a great option for vegetarians - it's a crisp-fried Portobello mushroom stuffed with cheese. Veggie, but not low-cal then.


The bacon cheese dog or the grilled cheese sandwich which is made using the bun turned inside out.

Magic ingredient

The potato buns, made by Martin's in Pennsylvania are really, really good. They've shipped them over from the States.


If there is one, it's the toppings - which as well as the usual ketchup, mayo, lettuce, pickles, onions and tomatoes includes grilled onions, grillled mushrooms, green peppers, jalapeno peppers and hot sauce. It's also pretty useful that you can order ahead online (although it's currently down until the massive demand subsides).


Crinklecut fries - either normal or with cheese sauce topping.


Normal skin-on fries and cajun seasoned fries - both fried in peanut oil.


The Shack concretes - frozen custard (whipped ice-cream) are mixed with a range of different ingredients and toppings, each Shack has its own unique concretes.




All manner of good things including ShackMeister ale made for them by Brooklyn Brewery, beers from London breweries such as Meantime and Kernel plus wine from the Frog's Leap vineyard in California. There's also root beer floats, shakes (including black & white and peanut butter), homemade lemonade, iced tea and their Fifty/Fifty trademark blend of iced tea and lemonade. Not to mention their signature shakes, of course.


The Coca-Cola freestyle fountain is a veritable Willy Wonka-style machine offering more than 100 different types of drink. Sure you can get the usual Coke Zero or Sprite, but wouldn't you rather try something like Pibb Extra or Mello Yello?

What will a burger, fries and shake set me back?


Shake Shack


Five Guys


More info


Shake Shack


Five Guys


24 Market Building, The Piazza, WC2E 8RD


1-3 Long Acre, London WC2E 9LH


A combination of covered inside the market building, indoors and outside on South Row.


All inside

Opening hours

Monday – Thursday, 11:00 – 22:00; Friday & Saturday, 11:00 – 23:00; Sunday, 12:00 – 22:00


11am-11:30pm Monday-Thursday, 11am-12am Friday & Saturday, and 12am-10:30pm Sunday.

Other branches planned?

Meyer told us "We wouldn’t go to any city anywhere unless we thought there was capacity for at least two."


Reading opens next month and there are also rumoured planned sites including Islington (with about 24 opening across the UK by the end of 2014).


Five Guys burger image courtest of mondomulia.



Further reading