I’m a big burger fan and I’m not ashamed to say that I love a good old McDonald’s but Shake Shack and Five Guys are next level. These American fast food joints are more expensive but deliciously tasty and I thought it would be interesting to compare the two so on the weekend I hit Canary Wharf which has both of them to try them out.
The Five guys burger is highly customisable, you can choose from a variety of extra toppings such as lettuce, tomato, bacon, crispy onions, peppers, jalapeños to name a few and add them to your burger for free. You definitely don’t get that at McDonald’s! Every burger is cooked to order so you have to wait a few minutes so it’s not quite as grab and go as other popular fast food chains.
The end result is a very squashed looking burger which isn’t very pretty, wrapped up in sweaty tin foil but the taste is incredible. In my experience the burger tends to fall apart a bit, probably because of all the extra toppings I add but it is a bit of a messy experience.
Five guys do a few different burgers but I really love that they do a little cheeseburger (£6.45) which is perfect size for me. It’s a decent portion but the normal burger is absolutely huge and more expensive at £9.95.
The Shake Shack burgers are much prettier and very instagrammable. They’re not as customisable but you can clearly see each layer in the burger so it’s much more minimalist. I don’t think that the burgers have got as much flavour as the five guys burgers but they’re visually much more appealing.
I usually order the Shack Burger (£5.75) which is a cheeseburger but I think the size of the burger is a little bit small – it’s a similar size to the Five Guys little cheeseburger although its nearly a pound cheaper.
The Five Guys chips (£4.75) are really good, they can be quite salty and are served with the skin on but they’ve got a great flavour.
I usually order a regular portion of fries “Five Guys Style” and you’re given a huge brown bag filled halfway with chips. Watch them as they prepare your order and they’ll put in a full cup of chips and then add an extra scoop for the bag! I’d hate to think how big a large portion is. You can also order a small portion or choose to have your fries “Cajun Style” which I’ve heard are pretty good.
The Shake Shack fries are crinkle cut which makes them appear much prettier and uniform in size but they’re not as flavourful as the Five Guys fries.
At £3, the crinkle chips are a lot cheaper than five guys but the portion size is a lot smaller. Five Guys also serve Cheese Fries which is essentially a cheese sauce poured over the chips. I think this actually makes the chips a bit soggy but they still taste pretty great.
Believe it or not, the drink is one of my favourite parts of visiting Five Guys (£3.50). You pay for a cup which gives you unlimited drinks from the machine which has almost every flavour possibility imaginable! My favourite is diet Vanilla Coke which is impossible to find anywhere else. You can usually buy one drink and share it if there’s two of you, they’re pretty relaxed about things like that.
At Shake Shack the choice is a bit dull – it just offers the standard selection of drinks but it does offer wine! I’ve never tried it before because I don’t really fancy a glass of wine with my fast food but hey ho, each to their own! I ordered a Diet Coke (£2.95) which was a lot smaller than the Five Guys drink and it’s not refillable.
Despite both being fast food outlets, Five Guys and Shake Shack are both completely different in terms of taste and visual appeal. What I do know is that it’s pretty expensive considering it’s just a burger, chips and drink at the end of the day. I’d almost say it’s a case of style over substance but in this case I’m not sure which one is top for me. I think Five Guys might have the edge, what do you think? Maybe I should’ve just gone to McDonalds ..
Total: £14.70 for a meal for one person.
Total: £11.70 for a meal for one person.
What’s your favourite, Five Guys or Shake Shack? Feeling Inspired? Check out my London restaurant hit list!