Leave it to restaurateur Danny Meyer to reinvent the roadside stand. This month in Manhattan he has opened a Midwestern-style burger joint like those of his childhood—but with a twist. For his Shake Shack (in Madison Square Park), Meyer hired eco-conscious architecture firm SITE to build a kiosk with a sloping, ivy-covered roof. His three-ounce burgers , made from equal parts sirloin and brisket, were conceived by chef Kerry Heffernan of 11 Madison Park. Sundaes are topped with fruit from the Union Square Greenmarket; "concrete" shakes have mix-ins such as his own version of an Oreo. One thing that stays the same?The American cheese on the burgers. "I insisted on it," Meyer says. Sometimes you can't mess with perfection.
—Niloufar Motamed