Re:NYC: Bill's Burger Bar vs. Shake Shack?
I working on a 20-stop burger study of Manhattan and so far Shake Shack and the Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien Hotel are my top 2 spots. Check the weather for the weekend as all seating at the Madison Square Park Shack is outside. They have an Upper West Side location with indoor seating. I really do love their burgers (and the potato buns they use really elevate it!). I think the brugers are griddled as opposed to open-flame grilled. The custards/concretes are great too.
The Burger Joint has open-flame grilled burgers and they do an awesome job. Beefy, juicy and fresh toppings too. Keep in mind that these are not huge, oversized burgers, but of average girth. Both BJ and SS can tend to have long lines, but I've always walked away from both places feeling like they were money and time well-spent.
I haven't made it to Bill's yet, but it's on my list along with Luger's, Corner Bistro and Carnegie John's street cart.