10 Best Lobster Rolls in New England
The lobster roll has become the New England summertime sandwich of choice. Tasty chunks of lobster meat drizzled with butter or tossed with mayo and served up on a crisp, buttery bun are all the rage these days. Food and travel writer Mike Urban, author of Lobster Shacks: A Road-Trip Guide to New England’s Best Lobster Joints (Countryman Press, 2012) has shared his picks for the ten best lobster rolls in New England.
The Clam Shack This is the best lobster roll in the six-state region. Owner Steve Kingston’s meticulous use of fresh-daily, soft shell lobsters and chilling each handpicked order on ice creates a freshness of flavor unmatched anywhere. Served on toasted, buttered hamburger-style buns from a local bakery, the Clam Shack’s cold-meat rolls may be had with mayonnaise or warm butter. This is the lobster roll by which all others should be measured. Kennebunk, ME. 207-967-3321; theclamshack.net
The Lobster Pool Nestled in a quiet corner of Cape Ann, this pretty little spot serves up the best lobster roll between Boston and the New Hampshire border. Each roll at the Pool is made to order with generous chunks of lobster mixed in a small bowl with mayo, then placed atop a crunchy leaf of lettuce and wedged into a toasted, buttered split-top bun. Butter may be substituted for mayo, on request. The Pool’s lobsters are procured fresh daily from a supplier in neighboring Gloucester, then cooked up and hand-picked at the Pool throughout the day. Rockport, MA. 978-546-7808; lobsterpoolrestaurant.com
Five Islands Lobster Company This shack is perfectly positioned on the town dock to receive a steady flow of super-fresh lobster from the cold, deep waters of nearby Sheepscot Bay. The lobster is fresh-picked throughout the day, tossed with a bit of mayo, and served in a toasted, buttered, split-top bun lined with a leafy piece of lettuce. Cold rolls only are served here; no butter. Georgetown, ME. 207-371-2990; fiveislandslobster.com
Lobster Landing Owners Enea and Cathie Bacci have put a unique Italian spin on their hot, buttered lobster roll at this quaint, dilapidated shack next to the Clinton town harbor. Instead of making their lobster rolls with split-top hot dog buns, they load their warm, buttered lobster meat into hefty Italian grinder rolls that have been toasted on a standard-issue, propane-fired backyard barbecue grill. The result is a warm, buttery, crispy-crunchy lobster roll that pleases in both quantity and quality. Clinton, CT. (860) 669-2005
Red’s Eats If you can handle the hour-plus wait in line on the sidewalk along busy U.S. Route 1, your sweet reward will be a magnificent lobster roll that’s known far and wide as one of the best in Maine. With tail, claw, and knuckle meat from a 1+/-pound lobster, this roll is bigger than most and may be had with mayo, warm butter, neither, or both. Wiscasset, ME. 207-882-6128