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Summer on a Bun: Lobster Roll Recipes and More

Maine- or Connecticut-style, nothing says summer in the Northeast like a fresh lobster roll.

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.

Blue Lobster Grille
Rockport, Mass.

If you’re looking for a classic New England seaside town, Rockport is the place you want to go. Blue Lobster Grille is right in the middle of it all. After walking around town and checking out the homemade candy shop, you can get your roll cold or hot, or try the lobster BLT.

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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.

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 Sea’s Restaurant and Pub
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 try it Maine-style, try this simple, user-friendly recipe from Bon Appetit. 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.

Comments
  • ROBERT J.

    Stowe’s seafood West Haven CT on the water Very reasonable styles of the lobster including hot rolls. Bj

    Reply
    • Maggie M.

      Hi Robert! Great suggestion for a CT style lobster roll. -MM

      Reply
    • Catherine L.

      The Lazy Lobster in East Rockaway Long Island, great either way.

      Reply
      • nora L.

        Absolutely Love Abbot’s! My family has been boating over there, from Montauk, for the delicious lobster rolls for many years!

        Reply
    • Deanna V.

      The Lobster Stop in Quincy MA. They have both kinds with fresh lobster brought in daily.

      Reply
    • Nancy

      I live in upstate NY. Salmon Run Fish House in Lee MA has a great lobster roll and is only 2 hrs away.

      Reply
      • Yup, my local go to place for sea food. Esp. the lobster roll. Also give the whole fried clams roll at try.

        Reply
      • James T.

        Best atmosphere and lobster roll is at Fresh Salt or the Saybrook Point Inn

        Reply
    • Richard

      Lunch Lobster Roll in Montauk where the series the Affair was filmed. Been eating there for 30 yrs and have traveled all over and have never had a better lobster roll

      Reply
    • bob j.

      Also try Flanders Fish Market-Right off 95 in Flanders Ct Fresh seafood market and Restaurant Tell them TINY sent u

      Reply
  • TATIANA L.

    The Lobster Shack in East Haven, CT. These folks have run this seasonal bust for years but have recently located to a new location right on the shoreline. Enjoy your CT-style lobster rolls and enjoy the view at the same time. As a bonus, they have a small non-Lobster menu for meat lovers and they take credit cards which not all places do.

    Reply
    • Maggie M.

      Hi Tatiana! Thank you for your recommendation, helps out-of-towners find the right spot! Anyone else have a hidden gem?- MM

      Reply
      • Knot Norm’s in Norwalk Ct and Newport RI, hands down the best I’ve ever had.

        Reply
        • Cheryl D.

          Knot Norms. Truly the best in Newport RI and Norwalk CT.

          Reply
        • Claus

          If I told you then everyone would crowd the place so badly that I would have to wait and get in for my one pound of lobster meat on a foot-long split-top butter toasted hot dog roll for the same price as you all pay at those prima donna shacks in surf-and-turf towns! $23 w/fries!

          Reply
          • Patti

            Pls, pls,pls tell me. I promise not to give away ur secret! My grown up kids are coming in from out of town n August for their birthdays. We would love to go there for lobster rolls!

          • Arlene

            Where is those 1lb lobster rolls located

      • Alden

        Try Salty’s Lobster, Dogs and More near the information booth in Rockport, MA. Pleasant owner and best priced rolls around. Yum.

        Reply
      • Judy m.

        Yes I do have a place. The Bookstore restaurant Wellfleet MA . You can get it either hot or cold

        Reply
  • WILLIAM G.

    Thanks for this article. My family members are huge lobster roll fans and we will visit some of the spots suggested.

    Reply
    • Carolyn

      We are originally from Maine and have visited Rockland/Camden, Maine many times over the past 40 years. We visited McLoon’s for the first time ever when we traveled to Maine this June. It did not disappoint. Lobster roll was great.

      Reply
  • JEAN D.

    Jeannie
    Anthony’s Seafood
    Middletown RI
    Great lobster roll

    Reply
    • Brian T.

      I was about to add Anthony’s but you beat me. I grew up in Middletown and they are my favorites for lobster rolls, steamers, and clam cakes. I don’t care if it’s not near the beach!

      Reply
  • BARBARA A.

    Always used to go to Woodmans in Rockport on my birthdays growing up and got a whole lobster. , and sailed on the Maine Windjammers with lobster bakes, so the buttered rolls were always my favorite

    Reply
  • MICHAEL S.

    The Haflinger Haus in Adams MA in the Berkshires. Checkout the picture on their FB page

    Reply
  • PHILIP Y.

    I’ve tried lobster rolls in various states and the best I’ve ever had is at a local spot called the Quahog Republic. It’s located in downtown New Bedford, MA and it’s the only place that I go to for my lobster rolls. They pile perfectly seasoned lobster meat that has NO MAYO and it is absolutely incredible. I strongly urge you to check them out as they really should be on your list of “go to” spots for a lobster roll!!

    Reply
    • Just looked at their menu and it does not list a lobster roll. Sigh.

      Reply
      • They definitely have them on the menu, but it’s New Bedford, so we spell it “lobstah” ????. They actually have 2 different sizes.

        Reply
        • MARIA Q.

          Yes, I can attest that Quahog Republic in New Bedford is the best! They have 2 sizes– small and big. Most people can only eat the small one because it is packed with so much lobster! The lobster is full of flavor. Butter and mayo comes on the side. Best lobster roll I’ve had in my life!!

          Reply
  • K2gr8kids@aol.com

    Burger & Lobster on W43rd NYC. Sans water view but won’t disappoint.

    Reply
  • SANDRA C.

    Try Tommy’s Lobster Shack in Warwick, Rhode Island. It’s huge. Not on a hot dog roll. Much bigger. You can also get the Trio; a cup of chiefs, 3 clam cakes and 3/4 of a lobster roll at a reasonable price.

    Reply
    • Maggie M.

      Hi Sandra! Sounds like a great spot to visit! Thank you! -MM

      Reply
      • Tommy’s is great! I’ve been a few times for the Trio. Love it.

        Reply
  • MICHAEL M.

    One of the best lobster rolls can be found throughout New England at a reasonable price a D’Angelos Restaurants. The best for less!!!

    Reply
  • battoncon@hotmail.com

    We had great hot lobster rolls, served with fries and cole slaw, at the Danbury , CT “99” Restaurant. I believe they offered cold lobster rolls as well. Strictly a special limited time summer menu item and who knows this crazy covid year? Would check first.

    Reply
    • Sandy

      Eventide in Portland ME hands down best lobster roll you will ever have!

      Reply
      • If that’s the place with the brown butter lobster rolls, I agree!

        Reply
    • Sandy S.

      All the 99 restaurants have their lobster rolls now. I agree that it’s among the best I’ve had lately. The price has gone up. $29 for the butter only and 28 for the lister salad ( both with fries and cole slaw. )

      Reply
  • Peter L.

    I love lobster rolls. Who doesn’t? For me, the best I hve had so far is at the Friendly Fisherman in Eastham MA. They are consistently specacular.

    Reply
  • Brian C.

    Barnacle Billy’s in Ogunquit, ME have very unique lobster rolls, haven’t changed in 40 years and delish, served with chips, ideal with a lemonade!

    Reply
    • Jeff L.

      Clam box in New Britain, CT
      Best lobster roll ever had (huge)
      The owner worked at the original Clam Box in Wethersfield, CT when he was a teen 50+ years ago

      Reply
  • Brenda

    Fox’s Lobster House
    On the Nubble in York Maine
    Best Lobstah Roll Evah!

    Reply
  • Henry T.

    Is there a Kosher style Lobster Roll available? I know there is faux- coldlobster sold around town, and would like to try it if it exists.

    Reply
  • James B.

    The Raw Bar in New Seabury. Huge, fresh and all lobster meat.

    Reply
  • Patti G.

    The Barking Crab in the Seaport in Boston! Hot or cold, the best! Great tunes and worth the wait to get in.

    Reply
  • Michael W.

    We love getting them at Anthony’s on the Green in Holliston MA when they have them. Reasonable price, great quality, and a nice location

    Reply
  • Richard b.

    Wharf Tavern in Warren, R.I. Choose either New England or Connecticut. Can’t go wrong with either.

    Reply
  • John Z.

    The Beach Plum in Portsmouth, NH. Great lobster rolls and great fried clams!

    Reply
  • Denis S.

    Capt Jack’s Roadside Shack in Easthampton, MA. Mounds of lobster meat, best we’ve ever had. Onion rings to die for too.

    Reply
    • Jennie O.

      Was just about to add that. Such a delicious lobster roll and onion rings were outstanding.

      Reply
  • Joel K.

    Red’s Lobster Shack in Wiscasset, Maine. Nothing else comes close.

    Reply
    • Sandy S.

      Lobster landing in Clinton, CT, has awesome lobster rolls. Good size and rolls are toasted in an old fashioned toaster oven. Not sure of prices this season, but Wednesdays are “senior days” with a $2 discount per roll for everyone in your party As long as one is a senior. ????

      Reply
  • Susan M.

    While I love Arnold’s in Eastham, I adore the lobster rolls and golden fries at Sesuit Harbor Cafe in Dennis, MA. Oh my goodness, chunks of lobster! Yum!!

    Reply
  • Stephen M.

    Nothing beats the Lobster Rolls at the Green Harbor Lobster Pound in Marshfield, MA. You can make 2 meals from one and they are unbelievable.

    Reply
  • Jim B.

    The KING of Lobster Rolls is “The Clam Shack” in Kennebunkport,Maine

    Reply
  • Carla C.

    Cape Cod Lobster Rolls in Onset, MA is the absolute best! They have other options like lobster grilled cheese, lobster BLT too! Yum with a capital Y!

    Reply
  • David G.

    J P’s Restaurant Pub in Westborough, MA. The lobster roll is piled with chunks of lobster meat, not the shredded kind you may get at other places. It’s the best I’ve ever had.

    Reply
    • Love the lobster rolls at JP’s. And their other seafood ???? dishes are also delicious. ????????

      Reply
    • JP’s is definitely the best. Lobster rolls are large and fresh.

      Reply
  • Donna

    Seafood Shack in Sagamore along the canal. The lobster roll is so full they give you a fork because it is to full to pick up.

    Reply
  • Fast Eddie’s in Brattleboro VT….generous portion, super great price.

    Reply
  • Jay K.

    Green Harbor Lobster pound on Marshfield, MA, is by far the best lobster roll around !! All of their seafood is spectacular!!

    Reply
    • I agree! Best I have ever had, and they will prepare your lobster roll any way you like! Great chowder too! Onion rings are the best!

      Reply
  • Deborah L.

    Glenwood Drive – in located in Hamden CT has a very good lobster roll for a good price.

    Reply
  • Bob M.

    Good references all around. But… Anthony’s Italian Delicacies in Stoneham Center offers a lobster sub, on Fridays only, that is incomparable. Friday’s only! Get there before noon to be safe or order by phone to reserve. It is absolutely fresh, mixed prudently with mayo, and is offered on a sub roll or braided bread or a smaller one on a bulkie. No one could eat the sub alone… must be shared. That big. That good. Also the best Italian subs in the world, each custom made and very generous. Family owned and opped for two generations.

    Reply
  • Lisa D.

    Ford’s Lobster in Noank, CT. Between Mystic & Groton. Lobster Rolls & Lobster Bisque. Classic!

    Reply
  • Annie

    Cousin’s Maine Lobster Trucks are really one of the only ways ” New Jerseyians” can get true Lobster Rolls. And boy are they GOOD! You just have to get their app on your phone and they will let you know when they will be in your town or area.

    Reply
  • Teresa

    Shain’s of Maine in Sanford, Maine! So reasonably priced and the lobster is piled high.

    Reply
  • Debbie G.

    Any of the Beach Plum restaurants in ME or NH. Lobster roll is great with sweet potato fries!

    Reply
  • Truchas

    Bob Lobster in Newbury, MA – Best Lobster Rolls on the east coast!

    Reply
  • Carol F.

    The Best Lobster Rolls in my opinion, are at the Popponesset Inn, and at the Popponesset Market Place….. On Cape Cod in Mashpee, MA. Not a lot of mayo, can request drawn butter, can have either way. Also, their Lobster salad is equally huge and delicious!!!

    Reply
  • Anne M.

    Just had a lobster roll no Mayo from Cousins Maine Lobster Truck in Glen cove NY The trucks change locations but. The lobster is just delicious and I have had them in Maine on the Port Clyde Penninsula so good too.

    Reply
  • Carol L.

    Any of the Kimball’s Farm ice cream locations. Westford, Ma., Lancaster
    Ma. Jaffrey, NH Biggest lobster roll Delicious not a lot of Mayo but a lot of Lobstah

    Reply
  • Karen F.

    Having eaten steamed or boiled lobster since I could walk, I have to say I don’t like lobster rolls. But! I’ve only had them cold with mayo. I think the hot buttered one would be perfect. I’ll look for that style from now on. Thank you for the list of places, many which I know.

    Reply
  • Susan H.

    Can name a few in CT. The Lobster Pound at the Guilford Dock and it’s BYOB Lenny and Joes in Madison back yard tables allow you to BYOB The Lobster Shack in Clinton eat outside by the water very good too

    Reply
  • Jeff B.

    When anywhere near Wellfleet on the Cape, get over to the Bookstore at the harbor and have the hot lobster roll with the melted butter on the side for dipping. It converted my family over from Maine-style rolls.

    Reply
  • Bryan

    Being a true Cape Codah, born and raised, Arnolds (used to be Thompsons Clam Bar) is really good if you head down Cape. For the Upper Cape, The Raw Bar at Popponsesset has the most ginormous lobstah rolls I have ever witnessed!! Gotta check it out. One correction, Arnolds is located ON Cape Cod, not in it!!

    Reply
  • Mary Y.

    Rye Harbor Lobster Pound in Rye, NH as the best! Both styles available!

    Reply
  • Jo M.

    Brax’ Landing in Harwichport has huge delicious lobster rolls and a gorgeous view.

    Reply
  • best lobster roll anywhere and plenty of just lobster meat (1 LB AT LEAST), NO MAYO.

    Reply
  • Terri

    Skippers – Northport LI, NY
    Sesuit Harbor cafe- Dennis Cape Cod

    Reply
  • Rosemary

    I’ve been to abt 15-20 lobster roll places in ME & all served buttery w no mayo which is my fav! Shaw’s, Happy Clam, McLoon’s, Claws are among my favorites. In MA, Roy Moore’s, Woodmans & JT Farnhams. Unfortunately I’m disabled now & unable to travel that far. OH HOW I MISS THOSE BUTTERY LUSCIOUS NEW ENGLAND LOBSTER ROLLS. Enjoy them you lucky folks having them.

    Reply
  • Peter

    Taste of Maine food truck in Arunde,l ME.
    The BEST Lobster Roll and Lobster Mac & Cheese.

    Reply
  • Bonnie J.

    2 favorite lobster roll spots: Southold Fish Market in Southold, LI, NY (the roll is grilled and toasty) and Scottie’s in New London, CT.

    Reply
  • DJ’s Clam Bar,
    NY Ave., Huntington, (L.I.) N.Y.
    Delicious Maine style Lobster Roll for $18!
    Some indoor, but mostly outdoor dining.

    Reply
  • Mercy D.

    Salty’s lobster, dogs and more in Rockport MA! Hot with butter or cold with very light Mayo and house seasoning! They butter and grill the buns too! Yum!! Or try the lobster and cheese panini or Rockport BLT – bacon, lobster, tomato, and cheddar!! Triple yummy!!!

    Reply
  • Used to go to Cape Cod every year on vacation and we saved our last day for the lobster roll at Arnold’s – our lunch as we were leaving the Cape. Loved it – great memories ????

    Reply
  • Robert B.

    I recommend Kelly’s on Revere Beach MA. Expensive but worth it.

    Reply
  • Craig H.

    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!

    Reply
  • Donna

    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!

    Reply
  • CindyLou

    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…

    Reply
  • 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.

    Reply
  • Erwin D.

    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.

    Reply
  • 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!

    Reply
  • 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????

    Reply

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