11 Insanely Good NYC Lobster Rolls
While you can get lobster rolls year-round, we’re of the firm belief that it’s not officially summer until you sink your teeth into the iconic crustacean-and-hot-dog-bun combo. And as it turns out, you don’t have to travel to Maine to get your hands on some great ones, thanks to these local spots dishing out their own delicious takes.
Littleneck and Littleneck Outpost
This rustic Gowanus eatery gives off serious New England vibes. We like to start off brunch or dinner here with briny oysters or salmon crudo from the raw bar, before moving on to the lobster roll, which comes with spicy Old Bay–seasoned fries. The wine list offers a handful of crisp muscadets, easy-drinking Basque Txakolis, and pét-nat wines and ciders that are perfect for accompanying your seafood. And if you find yourself at Littleneck for brunch, don’t miss the Bloody Murder, a Bloody Mary riff topped with a piece of fried chicken. (You’ll also find the lobster roll at the daytime café Littleneck Outpost in Greenpoint—but not the booze.)
288 Third Ave., Brooklyn; littleneckbrooklyn.
Mary’s Fish Camp
This West Village mainstay has been dishing out its famous lobster rolls for almost two decades. Full disclosure: This rendition is extra heavy on the mayo, so proceed with caution if that’s not your jam. Piled onto a toasted bun and topped with fresh chives, it’s served with a side of shoestring fries or a mixed greens salad…but we all know there’s only one correct order.
64 Charles St.; marysfishcamp.com
With locations on the Upper East Side and the East Village (both with coveted outdoor seating) and the Oyster Bar in Greenwich Village, the Mermaid is quintessential NYC summer dining. Whenever we walk by, we find ourselves craving the “nearly famous” lobster roll, served on a buttered brioche bun with Old Bay–seasoned fries. If you’re looking for one of the best deals in town, Mermaid Inn offers a happy hour every night of the week with cheap cocktails, $1.25 oysters and other bites including $9 mini lobster rolls.
Multiple locations; themermaidnyc.com
Cull & Pistol
If you’ve ever wandered through Chelsea Market, you’ve probably stumbled upon the sprawling seafood market called the Lobster Place. But you may not have noticed the sit-down oyster bar located right next door. The menu offers two classic lobster rolls: the Maine-style roll, made with chilled lobster salad dressed in mayo and scallions, and the Connecticut-style roll, with warm buttered lobster meat tossed in lemon and cult-favorite Kewpie mayo.
75 Ninth Ave.; lobsterplace.com
Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.
This Brooklyn storefront isn’t just a restaurant—it’s a full-service fish market specializing in sustainable and local seafood, so you know its LR is bound to be good. Heaped high with fresh-picked lobster (including a consistently generous amount of claw meat), this version is punched up with just a touch of mayo, plus lemon, celery salt and tarragon. It’s served with some nicely crisped fries, citrus-cabbage slaw and an Old Bay pickle.
114 Nassau Ave., Brooklyn; greenpointfish.com
It is an indisputable fact that a lobster roll tastes better when eaten in close proximity to a large body of water. And at Grand Banks, the Instagram-primed schooner docked at Hudson River Park’s Pier 25, you can enjoy your high-end lobster roll, garnished with fennel, lemon and pickled cucumber, on the water. There’s also a long list of fresh, summery drinks that make this a very easy place to spend an entire Saturday afternoon.
Pier 25, Hudson River Park; grandbanks.nyc
We’ll admit we’re usually lobster roll purists: Just give us a simple toasted hot dog bun brimming with claw meat. But then we tried this unconventional lobster slider from the Clam, which is served on a hamburger bun, of all things, and topped with delightfully greasy fried clam strips. The result is absolute bliss. Order these sliders as an appetizer to share with the table—or better yet, make it your main dish and hoard them for yourself.
420 Hudson St.; theclamnyc.com
We can’t help but frequent this New Orleans-by-way-of-Williamsburg oyster bar. On breezy nights, the lush backyard garden is our favorite spot in town. Stop by during happy hour for dollar oysters, craft cocktails and, of course, the butter-drenched lobster roll. If you really want to feel like you’re on vacation, order the Maison piña colada, which is served in a coconut (what else?).
298 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn; maisonpremiere.com
If you notice a slight green tint to your lobster roll, don’t be alarmed: It’s just the inclusion of avocado aioli in the mix. Unorthodox? Yes. Surprisingly tasty? Also yes. The lobster gets tossed with pureed avocado, serrano pepper, lime juice, garlic and Dijon, then topped with chives, celery salt and a drizzle of warm butter. Available only during weekday lunch at the midtown location, this one’s worth leaving the office for.
945 Second Ave.; cravefishbar.com
Pearl Oyster Bar
If there’s one neighborhood that can claim to be the lobster roll capital of NYC, it’s probably the West Village, and Pearl Oyster Bar is one of the best spots around to indulge in the summer favorite. We’d normally say lobster rolls are strictly a finger food and that forks should be avoided at all costs, but you really need utensils to get started on this generously stuffed, heavily dressed creation, which is served hot with a side of shoestring fries. Just be warned: Like most things in the West Village, this baby will cost you a pretty penny.
18 Cornelia St.; pearloysterbar.com
With locations in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Lobster Joint is the closest thing you’ll find to a New England–style seafood shack without leaving the city. If a lobster roll is your prerogative, make your way to the Greenpoint location, where you can choose from five variations: the mayo-based New England roll; the buttery Connecticut roll; the lobster club served with avocado and bacon; the lobster BLT; and a Mexican roll that comes garnished with chipotle mayo, pico de gallo and guac.
1073 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn; lobsterjoint.com