C++11 introduces std::stoi (and variants for each numeric type) and std::to_string, the counterparts of the C atoi and itoa but expressed in term of std::string.

#include <string> 

std::string s = std::to_string(42);

is therefore the shortest way I can think of. You can even omit naming the type, using the auto keyword:

auto s = std::to_string(42);

Note: see [string.conversions] ( 21.5 in n3242)