I’ve actually been to this Shake Shack branch at least 10 times since it’s opened last summer. I went the opening week (since the office where I interned wasn’t too far) and then I’ve been going again recently ever since I’ve been interning again in Midtown. I first thought there wouldn’t be a line because, one, it was so new and, two, I thought “why would anyone come to this Shake Shack when the original is just a 10 minute train ride away”. Well when I went to the new Shake Shack the first time last year I found it mobbed with people with a 30 minute wait. I was confused at first but then I saw why this Shake Shack was to packed. The tourists finally don’t have to go to places they wouldn’t normally go (Upper East/West Side or Gramercy) to get a Shake Shack burger, it was now only a short walk from their hotel rooms! With that I decided to wait out the line one day (the day that I took a 90 minute lunch break, 45 minutes of which I was waiting outside, 30 which I was eating and 15 which I was running back to my office). The place is set up with indoor seating (unlike the original Shake Shack which is totally outside) and has a menu identical to the Madison Square Park menu with perhaps a few additions to the ice cream section. The service is very friendly (which is seen throughout any Danny Meyer restaurant) and this Shake Shack actually is very careful about food allergies and the computer is set up to alert the kitchen about an order that needs to be specially prepared.
The Shake Shack burgers look almost identical to that of the Madison Square Park location though for some reason I prefer the original location better both food wise and scenic wise (I actually never minded sitting and eating outside in the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park even during those 20 degree December days). Surprisingly the same rules apply for this Shake Shack as they do in the original location. When there is nice weather the lines are absurd and at least 20-30 minutes. In the winter however the lines are non existent and, from my three visits in the past two weeks, the wait rarely exceeds 5 minutes. Though I’d personally visit the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park if you’re on your lunch break or for whatever reason are stuck in Midtown, the Theater District outpost is a great options if you are craving a Shack Burger!