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Brown's Lobster Pound | New Hampshire's Best Lobster Roll?

Brown’s Lobster Pound | New Hampshire’s Best Lobster Roll?
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Summer in New England is a season of passions. From baseball to blueberries, we’re willing to sweat and swoon for the things we love when it’s hot outside, but perhaps the largest share of our summer affection is reserved for lobster. Yankee recently ran a list of the 12 Best Lobster Shacks in New England, and it’s been getting a lot of comments from readers sharing their favorite lobster spots to hit (and some to miss).

As a New Hampshire resident, I thought it was only right that I check out the list’s sole Granite State nod — Brown’s Lobster Pound in the coastal town of Seabrook, just a half hour south of the Maine border. Family-owned and operated since 1950, Brown’s serves up seafood favorites year-round (everyday from April 15 – November 15th, weekends and holidays otherwise) to hungry visitors, whether local, on vacation, or just passing through.

browns lobster pound seabrook
Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Brown’s Lobster Pound in Seabrook, NH. The personal coolers you see aren’t for leftovers, they’re for the BYO in the BYOB.

Perhaps the most unusual thing about Brown’s is that there’s another popular seafood spot right across the street. Markey’s Lobster Pool (named by Yankee as one of the 10 Best Clam Shacks in New England) has its own set of faithful fans, but for many first-time visitors, the difference between the two comes down to beer and parking. Markey’s has wine and beer for sale while Brown’s is BYOB and has the bigger parking lot, which can certainly make all the difference on a busy summer Saturday.

browns lobster pound
Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Get your lobsters here!

Outside, a sign announces that fried food orders (which, a little confusingly, includes lobster rolls) are taken at a window outside. After you order, you wait until your number is called and a tray slides out with your food. Two large menu boards bracket the windows, and include everything from fried clams and chowder to steamers and fresh lobster.

browns lobster pound menu
Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Decisions, decisions…

If I’ve learned anything in the last few years it’s that there’s no agreed-upon consensus for how any regional New England dish should be prepared, whether it’s baked beans or clam chowder, and the lobster roll is no exception. Comments proclaiming that the best lobster rolls are made with cold lobster and a little mayo are usually countered with something like “Then you must hate lobster. Hot and buttery is the only way!”

Of course, everyone is right.

The Brown’s lobster roll comes on a buttered and grilled top-split roll, lined with a little lettuce for crunch, and then topped with chunks of cold lobster (did I already lose you?), freshly picked, and lightly dressed with mayo. A dash of paprika and classic red/white cardboard sleeve completes the order. I have to say, it looked pretty darn good to me.

browns lobster roll seabrook
Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Brown’s lobster roll comes in a classic red and white cardboard sleeve.

Brown’s might not be everyone’s top lobster roll, but as many of our fans on Facebook are happy to point out — “Is there really a WRONG way to enjoy fresh lobster?” We Yankees forget sometimes the good fortune of our geography. How lucky we are to disagree about where to find “the best” fresh lobster, when a lot of people can’t find any at all!

Once you’ve got your food, head inside to the large dining hall. Seating is cafeteria-style, and the chatter in the room coupled with the smell of fried food only deepens the feeling of culinary communion. Since it was a beautiful day, I made my way to the back of the room (passing trays heaped with piles of golden brown onion rings, brothy bowls of steamers, and customers carefully cracking open lobsters as I went), where a door leads out to a deck overlooking the tidal Blackwater River.

browns dining room
Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
The indoor seating at Brown’s is cafeteria-style, meaning plentiful and informal.
Aimee Seavey


Aimee Seavey


As Yankee's Digital Editor, Aimee manages, produces, and promotes content for Yankee's digital and social media initiatives. A lifelong New Englander, she loves history and a good Massachusetts South Shore bar pizza.
Updated Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

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8 Responses to Brown’s Lobster Pound | New Hampshire’s Best Lobster Roll?

  1. Candace July 16, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    I would pass both of the cold lobster rolls and head straight for Rye Harbor Lobster Pound for a hot roll. You haven’t lived until you’ve had one of their rolls with lobster bathed in hot butter and sherry. They are amazing.

    • Aimee Seavey July 16, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

      Candace, I’ll be in Rye in a few weeks so I’ll definitely put it on my lobster roll list! Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Charlie July 17, 2014 at 7:22 am #

    The Beach Plum in North Hampton. Half way between Brown’s and Rye. The lobster rolls are huge and delicious.

    • kristine August 20, 2014 at 11:07 am #

      I disagree with the quality and taste at the Beach Plum. The rolls were small hot dog rolls and McDonald’s used to have better ones at the third of the price. This was last year and maybe they were out of good rolls and lobster, but we have never gone back.

  3. Betty Levering July 19, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

    I was introduced to a fabulous Lobster Roll at lunch years ago while on vacation! Can’t get it out of my mind! Hope to go back for another before “the last round-up” occurs for me!

    I think it was cold; but I may be wrong??? Hot or cold, it won’t matter…I’ll love it! Maybe I’ll be on the safe side and have one of EACH!

    I loved that part of our beautiful United States of America! It was a wonderful vacation!

  4. Steve Trahan August 21, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    I agree that Browns is the best. However, the Beach Plum has opened a year round 2nd location right on route 1 in Portsmouth. They offer a foot long lobster roll that is a shoe in for the epicurean chronicles. Buttered and grilled foot long hot dog roll lined with lettuce served hot with drawn butter nape or cold with mayo. Worth checking out for certain.

  5. Will Burpee September 12, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

    Aimee made a valid point that resonates with a “New Englander in exile” such as myself. I live in Illinois, and lobster rolls are hard to find, and certainly not the variety of places to choose from those of you back home have. Whatever your favorites are, be thankful you have them close at hand. That’s one of the things I miss about not being in New England!

  6. George Wood March 16, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

    I live over 200 miles away from Browns now and have been known to make a one day round trip as I did this past Saturday just to have a large order of fried clams. Still drooling. Many times I will include a couple orders of steamers. It was easier for me to get the when I lived in Newburyport but now in N.Y.

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