Shake Shack UWS & Stumptown Coffee

Taken place on January 8, 2010.

Free from the grips from the GREs, I’ve made plans with my friends Helen and Seungmi to have lunch at Shake Shack. Needless to say, I craved a burger after putting myself into self-exile from my social world. I chose to meet at the Upper West Side location just so we don’t freeze our butts off and our food wouldn’t get cold within a few minutes.

Cheeseburger Cheeseburger

I ordered the cheeseburger with everything on top since I needed to save some calories and stomach space for my group dinner at Szechuan Gourmet (I’ll talk about it in the next post) later on that evening. This simple burger was still amazing and I missed it terribly. I never felt happier.

Hot Chocolate
Hot Chocolate

I split their Valhrona hot chocolate with Seungmi after reading Robyn’s comment on this beverage; it’s decadent. It’s really rich and chocolate-y and quoting from Robyn when we talked about it later that evening, “it [has a texture] of a melted chocolate bar.” Perhaps a bit too sweet for my liking but it’s very good. (By the way, the white stuff floating on top is melted whipped cream.)

Later on the afternoon, we all went to my favorite coffee destination Stumptown Coffee in the Ace Hotel. I craved caffeine and this was the closest to where we were walking around K-town (also known as Koreatown).

Mocha with whipped cream
Mocha with whipped cream

Seungmi’s mocha with whipped cream were the stuff dreams were made of. At least a coffee nerd’s dream. A cup lined with chocolate syrup, then poured over perfectly pulled shot of espresso, with steamed milk with a dab of fresh whipped cream, as requested. I took a sip and it was very good. Seungmi was content with this drink as she said it wasn’t too sweet and not too overwhelmingly bitter (from the espresso).


I have this weird compulsion whenever I’m at Stumptown: to order a cappuccino. The main reason being, they serve only one size (which means they’ll never change the proportion of steamed milk to espresso shot(s)) and it’s consistently an excellent cappuccino. Not too milky and perfectly balanced between the milk and bold espresso. Maybe when the weather gets warmer, I’ll grab a cup of their cold brewed iced coffee or if I feel compelled to change my ordering ways, I might try their latte or their drip but for now, Stumptown’s cappuccino and I are soul mates that can’t be separated.

Shake Shack (Upper West Side)

366 Columbus Avenue (on the corner of W 77th Street)
New York, NY 10024 (map; website)

Stumptown Coffee
in the Ace Hotel
18 W 29th Street
New York, NY 10001 (map; website)


I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.

  1. Steve says:

    great shake shack pic!

    my only experience at Stumptown was when they first opened and I got the iced coffee. not great. i have to get back there for a cappucino.

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