Summer on a Bun: Lobster Roll Recipes and More

Nothing says New England summer like a lobster roll. Visit one of the local eateries that make them best or a try a recipe.
lobster roll recipes

How do you like your lobster roll? Cold and dressed in mayo or warm and drenched in melted butter? Maybe you don’t have a preference, as long as it comes with a waterside view. No matter which lobster roll recipe you enjoy, you have a New England summertime tradition right in the palm of your hand.

Know Your Roll: Types of Lobster Rolls

There are two primary types of lobster roll recipes: Maine- and Connecticut-style. While some variations exist in between, most eaters are loyal to one or the other.

Based on the results of our Northeast Food Fight, the cold, Maine-style lobster salad roll is a resounding favorite. Some will add celery, lettuce and other seasonings to the mix, but purists believe that nothing should come between fresh lobster meat and mayo.

If you are driving through Connecticut and stop at one of the many lobster huts along the shoreline, you are more likely to find a hot buttery Connecticut lobster roll.

If you’re lucky, you may find a spot that serves both and you can decide which option you like better – if your mind isn’t made up already.

One thing remains consistent among all bona fide lobster rolls – the roll needs to be a split-top, New England hot dog bun.

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Find a Lobster Roll Near You

McLoons Lobster Shack
South Thomaston, Maine

If you want to try both types of lobster rolls, take a drive up Interstate 95 to the small coastal town of South Thomaston. Head out to Spruce Head Island and you will find McLoons Lobster Shack, where you can get half mayo and half butter on one roll. This family-owned lobster shack is set near one of the area’s oldest wharfs, where you can sit out and watch the lobster fishermen pull in their catch of the day.

Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar
Eastham, Mass.

It wouldn’t be a proper Cape Cod road trip without a lobster roll. Named one of the best lobster rolls in Cape Cod, Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar offers both cold and warm lobster rolls in regular or jumbo size. Both are served with a side of famous Cape Cod potato chips made just down the street in Hyannis. After having a bite to eat, you can grab a famous Arnold’s ice cream and play a round at Arnold’s Mini Golf.

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Easton’s Beach Snack Bar
Newport, R.I.

Easton’s serves all of the beach snack favorites, from burgers to fried seafood, but it’s known for its twin lobster salad rolls and buttered lobster rolls made with claw and tail meat. Take your meal out to the patio, which overlooks the beach, the Cliff Walk and the Newport mansions.

Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock
New London, Conn.

This quintessential lobster hut on a quiet marina gives you the chance to try both lobster roll styles while watching fishing boats coming in and out of the harbor. While you’re comparing rolls from different areas of the Northeast, why not try the New England and Rhode Island clam chowders, too, and have a full taste test.

Seven Seas Restaurant
Milford, Conn.

Seven Seas is known locally as one of the first places to serve a hot lobster roll. The hot buttered roll originated in Milford in 1929 at a restaurant called Perry’s that no longer exists, according to the Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink.

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The Shelly at New York City’s North River Lobster Company.

North River Lobster Company
New York City

Is there a better place to eat a lobster roll than on a boat? Located on the Hudson River and 41st Street at Pier 81, you can hop aboard and sail up the Hudson while enjoying North River’s 28-inch classic lobster roll, The Shelly. At 28 inches (!), it’s oh-so  sharable and very Instagrammable. The restaurant serves other varieties of the classic roll, including one with bacon, one tossed with truffle mayo, and one sprinkled with “everything” seasoning.

Lobster Roll Recipes

Want to host a lobster roll tasting party at home? All you need is enough split-top hot dog buns for everyone and a few lobsters. If you want to make it Maine-style, try this recipe from AAA Five Diamond Designated topper’s at The Wauwinet in Massachusetts.

If Connecticut-style is more up your alley, saute salted butter and lobster in a pan until it is cooked through. Toast your roll and you’re ready for a feast.

What is your go-to lobster roll spot? Tell us in the comments.

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118 Thoughts on “Summer on a Bun: Lobster Roll Recipes and More

  1. In Beverly, MA you have to try Joe’s On a Roll on Federal St, near the Beverly Depot commuter rail station. Has overstuffed lobster rolls, along with a lot of other seafood, Fried Clams, Scallops, Shrimp, Clams Chowder, Lobster Bisque, and more. The prices are very reasonable. If you are in the area of Cape Ann,—Salem–Peabody– Gloucester, give yourself a treat and stop by. You will be glad you did.

  2. Anthony’s Seafood on Aquidneck Ave, Middletown, RI is the best! Lots of lobster and a touch of mayo on a grilled hot dog roll.

  3. I’ve been going to Legal Seafood and they are delicious! They have the choice of cold or warm. I’m from Boston and always loved them cold but lately I think I prefer the warm rolls.. Yum

  4. Copps Island Oyster Shack – New location in Stratford, Ct. I had a great Lobster roll $25, full of meat and butter on Saturday with Clams and Oysters on the Half shell. Will definitely be going back!!!

  5. For the absolute best lobster roll around, try the Green Harbor Lobster Pound, 131 Beach St. Marshfield, MA. All freshly prepared lobster from the tank in front of you. So large you’ll need a fork to start eating this one. Our all time favorite, beats them all!!

  6. Come on, peeps!
    Take it from me…Lobster “LOVER” aficionado…When it comes to “Main Lobsters” as opposed to “Spiny”…Caribbean Cousins?
    I have yet to be disappointed!

    As a NY’r…who has lived in CA, CO & FL…Lobster Rolls by any name, is still worthy of being Rolled????
    *Rolls, Baked, Boiled & or swimming in a savory broth…WORKS????

  7. I can get a lobster roll for $15 w/soda and bag of chips at a local Dartmouth Grange “fundraiser” and I can get one for $30+ w/fries at your tourist traps like Flo’s in R.I.. The only real difference is the price and believe me the $15 is the best because I can get two to your one!

  8. You gotta try Jack’s Lobster Shack in Edgewater and Cresskill NJ where both Warm and Cold varieties are served and they’re darn good.

  9. Quincy’s Original Lobster Rolls, 806 North Bay Ave, Long Beach Island, NJ. 5 others in Cape May County. Delicious lobster on a buttered toasted roll.

  10. For Central MA people, Howard’s in Brookfield have huge awesome rolls! It’s on Rt. 9, they are a walk up outdoor season, casual spot. Picnic tables to eat on. But if you’re in the area…

  11. Try Fords in Noank , CT, they have a Lobster Bomb (pricey) but definitely a hungry person’s delight! They have other reasonably prepared priced lobster rolls or salad or dinners – as you sit on the dock and enjoy the boats arriving and passing by – it’s a delight!

  12. There are many places to get a good cold Maine style lobster roll however, I must point out from a pure New Englander view point,the lobster salad MUST be served in a (toasted on the grill with butter) New England style white bread hot dog roll!

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