When Shake Shack opens its glass doors on Larimer Street at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 21, it’s safe to assume that a line of hungry Denverites will have been (im)patiently waiting for hours to taste the hype. And if your burger tendencies lean toward a smashed patty on a squishy potato bun, you’re going to love what Shake Shack has to offer.

This is where the line will form whenever Shake Shack RiNo is open.

There are several items unique to the RiNo location: rotating local brews from Ratio Beerworks (the Repeater is on tap), Odell Brewing Co., Denver Beer Co., Funkwerks, and Great Divide Brewing Company; frozen custard with mix-ins, called concretes, featuring Long I Pie Shop’s seasonal pies and Glazed and Confused doughnuts; and a green chile burger dubbed the Green Chile CheddarShack.

If you order that burger expecting it to come topped with a ladle of classic, Denver-style green chile, you’ll be disappointed. Instead, it’s a Shake Shack patty (a combo of sirloin, short rib, and brisket) dressed with shredded sharp white Cheddar and a tangy relish of green chiles, sport peppers, jalapeños, and lots of scallions seasoned with red wine vinegar and a touch of honey. It’s a bit spicy, a bit acidic, a bit sweet, and all-around pretty damn tasty.

The Colorado-only Green Chile CheddarShack.

The crinkle cut fries are retro-rific, and the Pie Oh My concrete, which will change with the seasons, is starting off as a creamy-floral combo of vanilla custard blended with a slice of Long I Pie’s salted honey lavender pie. Expect big chunks of pie amidst the custard, which is a very good thing indeed. The Glazed and Confuzed concrete, called the Glazed Dazed Donut, combines a banana bread doughnut with vanilla custard, salted caramel sauce, and chunks of chocolate toffee. Pro tip: Swipe your fries through the custard, no matter which version you’re tasting (and as Frosty-lovers are known to do), and revel in the sugar-and-salt Shake Shack magic.

If you go: Ribbon-cutting at 10:45 a.m. on March 21; doors open at 11 a.m. May the line be ever shorter than you fear.

2995 Larimer St., 720-543-8609

Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen is 5280’s former food editor. She oversaw all of 5280’s food-related coverage from October 2016 to March 2021.