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. 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 ????

  2. 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!!!

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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!!

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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!!!

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