This roadside double burger is the exact same roadside double offered by the iconic Shake Shack. And it has everything you’ve ever wanted in a burger. Two burgers. Swiss cheese. And insanely tender and complex onions simmered in beer and bacon. Thank us later.Angie Zoobkoff

Shake Shack’s Roadside Double Burger FAQs

What is the best bacon for burgers?

That’s going to depend on your preference and what you want your final burger to be. In general, regular ol’ American-style bacon is what is most commonly used for making bacon cheeseburgers. You’ll get a little salty crispness that’ll mix perfectly with the melty, cheesy goodness, and it’s just a heavenly, classic combination. If you’re feeling fancy, splurge on some thick-cut peppered bacon.

What type of onions should I use?

Since the onions will be simmered to glorious perfection, go with standard yellow onions. They have a strong flavor that’ll mellow out during the cooking process, and they’ll be tender, sweet, and delicious.

A Shake Shack roadside double burger on a plate.

Shake Shack’s Roadside Double Burger

5 / 2 votes
This roadside double burger is the same roadside double from the iconic Shake Shack. And it has everything you’ve ever wanted in a burger. Two burgers. Swiss cheese. And insanely tender and complex onions simmered in beer and bacon. Thank us later.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories1093 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes


For the beer-simmered onions

  • 1 teaspoon mild vegetable oil
  • 4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick (6-mm) pieces
  • 2 medium onions, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced 1/2 inch (12-mm) thick
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup ale
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1/2 star anise

For the salt and pepper mix

  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the burgers

  • 4 store-bought or homemade hamburger buns
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 teaspoons Dijon mustard, melted
  • 2 pounds very cold ground beef, preferably 80/20 mix, divided into 8 patties
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese


Make the beer-simmered onions

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until crisp, 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Add the onions, butter, and salt and stir until the onions are evenly coated. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring often, until the onions begin to soften and are translucent, 12 to 20 minutes.
  • Add the ale, vinegar, bay leaf, and star anise. Cook, uncovered and stirring frequently, until the liquid has almost evaporated and the onions are very soft and caramelized, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf and star anise.

Make the salt and pepper mix

  • In a small bowl, stir together the salt and pepper.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: This makes far more than you’ll need, but it’s handy to have on hand for, well, everything.

Make the burgers

  • Heat a cast-iron griddle or skillet over medium-low heat until warm, about 3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, brush the cut side of the buns with the melted butter. Place the buns, buttered side down, on the griddle or skillet and toast until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the buns to a plate and spread 2 teaspoons mustard on the buttered top of each bun.
  • Wipe off the griddle or skillet. Increase the heat to medium and heat it until hot, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle a pinch of the salt and pepper mix on each burger.
  • Place the burgers on the griddle or skillet, seasoned side down. Using 1 large, sturdy spatula to very firmly smash each burger into a 1/3-inch-thick (8-mm) round. Press down on the spatula with another stiff spatula to help flatten the burger quickly. Evenly sprinkle another big pinch of the salt and pepper mix on each burger.
  • Cook the burgers, resisting the urge to fuss with them, until the bottom edges are brown and crisp and the juices on the surface are bubbling hot, 2 to 4 minutes. Slide 1 of the spatulas beneath the burger to release it and scrape up the caramelized browned crust. Use the other spatula to steady the burger and keep it from sliding as you carefully flip each burger.
  • Place a slice of cheese on each burger and cook to your desired doneness, about 1 minute more for medium doneness.
  • Transfer the cheeseburgers to the prepared buns, and top with 2 to 3 tablespoons of onions. Devour immediately.


Shake Shack Cookbook

Adapted From

Shake Shack

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 burgerCalories: 1093 kcalCarbohydrates: 30 gProtein: 56 gFat: 81 gSaturated Fat: 36 gMonounsaturated Fat: 31 gTrans Fat: 3 gCholesterol: 244 mgSodium: 15129 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 6 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2017 Randy Garutti | Mark Rosati. Photo © 2017 Christopher Hirsheimer. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Sometimes you just need a ridiculously large, over-the-top burger. This was one of those times. And this roadside double burger satisfied the craving perfectly. It’s a seriously large burger and there was no way any of us could finish it, but every bite we had was so unbelievably delicious. Do. Not. Skip. The. Onions. They absolutely complete the dish.

Though really, a single patty would probably have been plenty.

The only thing I would change is to mix the salt and pepper into the beef instead of sprinkling over the top. I found that with a double stacked patty, it was noticeable that the seasoning wasn’t even throughout.

We LOVED these burgers! With every bite I kept saying “OMG, these are delicious!” with the occasional variation of, “These are amazing!” My husband was equally as impressed. I would have rated these a 12 if I could have.

These burgers are a symphony of flavors. There is the richness of the complex bacon and beer-simmered onions, which get acidity from the balsamic vinegar and spice from the star anise and bay leaf. And, yes, there is richness from the long-cooked bacon and onions. The tang of the Dijon. The nuttiness of the Swiss cheese. The flavor of quality ground beef and its fat. The crunchiness on the surface from the meat being compressed onto the hot cast iron griddle. (Make sure that you scrape up all of the crunch that may stick to the griddle.) I have spent most of today eagerly awaiting being able to eat the leftover burger tonight.

I used a local artisan beer, Anchor Steam which, like our car, is a hybrid. It has yeast traditionally used in lager beers, but it is brewed like an ale.

I used brioche hamburger buns, my favorite bun for a burger.

I used 80/20 organic beef, which we get from a local butcher when we are up on the North Coast. We are very fond of the flavor of this meat, and are very particular, not wanting to use anything else. Sometimes you just have special ingredients that you stick with.

We like our burgers cooked medium rare, so we cooked these burgers for a little less than 2 minutes on the first side and 1 minute on the second side.

The recipe, indeed, would make 4 servings. I, however, used only 1 pound of ground beef, making 4 burgers, not 8. I did make the whole recipe for the Bacon and Beer-Simmered Onions. How could I not?

This is truly a damn good burger. I can’t imagine a way to improve anything about it. I have a list of “Best Burgers” in many cities. This one should be listed where we live. I have now filed away the list for where we live. If we’re going to go out, it will be for something that I can’t do better at home.

I thought this recipe worked well, the bacon and beer gave the onions a new dimension (whereas normally I would just have fried the onions). I would be happy to have this recipe again with the leftover beer.

The meat I used was 5% fat and I pressed the burgers as flat as I could by hand, although they were still thicker than bought ones.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. If I want to double the onion recipe, should I still break the star anise in half, and add both halves? Just wondering if breaking it in half will release more of the flavor, as I’ve never used it before?
    Many thanks!

    1. It’s fine to leave it whole, Terry. If you buy it in a bag or in bulk you may find a few half pieces, so you could use two of those, but a single whole one is fine, too.

  2. 5 stars
    Motha-o-gawd what a fabulous burger. Don’t tweak it, don’t stray from this recipe. As one that enjoys a good burger better than a good steak this is a winner. I kept saying “Wow” so much that I even annoyed myself at the table.