Let’s be honest: It’s difficult to make a bad lobster roll. What could be bad about hearty chunks of lobster meat on buttery bread? But making an excellent lobster roll--that’s a whole different story. Here, the 24 most incredible interpretations of the classic New England sandwich from around the country.
The 24 Best Lobster Rolls in America, Ranked
Will travel for lobstah
24. Smack Shack; Minneapolis, Mn & Chicago, Il
It may be the Midwest, but Smack Shack’s signature sandwich is a solid interpretation of the New England classic: chilled lobster salad, cucumber and tarragon served between Texas Toast.
23. 20 Feet Seafood Joint; Dallas, Tx
Turns out, Dallas’s food scene is more than Tex-Mex and BBQ. 20 Feet’s Maine-style lobster roll, served with touch of mayo and hint of lemon, is enough to satisfy homesick Yankees.
22. Thames Street Oyster House; Baltimore, Md
We know, you’re in Maryland for the crabs, but give the butter-doused lobster roll from this Fells Point tavern a try. It comes with a side of vinegar cucumber salad, and it’s all pretty spectacular.
21. Ironside Fish And Oyster Bar; San Diego, Ca
Purists may have some qualms with Ironside’s decadent roll, garnished with brown butter, mayo and chives and crispy fried onions. But once you try one, you’ll there is absolutely nothing to complain about.
20. Beetlecat; Atlanta, Ga
BeetleCat is a newcomer to Atlanta’s culinary scene, but its lobster roll--poached in butter and served on a toasted, round bun--might just fool you into thinking you’ve stepped into a lively Boston oyster bar.
19. Knuckle And Claw; Los Angeles, Ca
These buns are smeared with mayo and filled with a quarter-pound of buttered whole claw and knuckle meat. But the key to these bad boys is a generous sprinkle of secret spice mix.
18. Red Hook Lobster Pound; Brooklyn, Ny
Choose between the Maine- and Connecticut-style rolls at this cult-favorite New York establishment. Word on the street is it sells up to 5,000 rolls on a good summer day.
17. Acadia; Chicago, Il
It may be positioned on a lake, but the name gives it away: This place is all about Maine. Chef Ryan McCaskey spent his childhood summers there, where he learned a thing or two. P.S: The buns are shipped straight from Maine.
16. Champlin's Seafood; Narragansett, Ri
At this authentic New England establishment in the summer town of Narragansett, the sandwiches overflow with just-caught lobster meat. Do yourself a favor and save room for the fried clams.
15. Mary's Fish Camp; New York, Ny
Mary’s Fish Camp is a West Village spot with a beach-shack vibe. The lobster roll is minimalist, but it’s flawlessly executed…assuming you don’t mind a plentiful serving of mayo.
14. The Ordinary; Charleston, Sc
This upscale, stylish seafood restaurant on King Street is a far cry from your typical beach shack. But hey, the lobster is flown in straight off the boat from Maine, and it’s served with a tangy hint of Tabasco, chives and Old Bay. We want to go to there.
13. New England Lobster Company; Burlingame, Ca
Hands down the best lobster roll in the Bay Area. Formerly a food truck, New England Lobster Co. evolved into a full-fledged fish market. Of the three types of lobster rolls, stick with the wildly fresh and tender naked version, which comes with butter and lemon on the side.
12. Matunuck Oyster Bar; South Kingstown, Ri
Dinner and a show, anyone? Watch fishermen collect oysters they’ve farmed from Potter Pond as you take down a giant lobster sandwich on a split-top roll.
11. Pearl Oyster Bar; New York, Ny
The famous lobster roll at this West Village oyster bar is heavy on the lemony mayonnaise (and the price tag). But, made with huge chunks of fresh lobster meat and paired with shoestring fries, we might just splurge just this once. Or twice.
10. Lunch (lobster Roll); Amagansett, Ny
The best Lobster roll in the Hamptons is easily one of the best in the country. Should you find yourself summering there, treat yourself to a giant, cold-water lobster roll at this retro-style, roadside eatery.
9. Red's Eats; Wiscasset, Me
Red’s hot-dog bun is far too small to contain the heaping pieces of fresh meat that overflow onto the tinfoil wrapping (it’s a whole lobster’s worth, by the way). But no matter--we’ll happily work our way in with a fork, dipping generously into our side of melted butter.
8. Hinoki And The Bird; Los Angeles, Ca
The lobster roll at this Japanese-American eatery is far from traditional: The meat gets a twist with a hint of citrus, green curry and basil, and it’s served on a black, charcoal bun. But it’s pretty damn special.
7. Eventide Oyster Co.; Portland, Me
Welcome to the big leagues, aka Maine. Eventide Oyster Co. boasts Portland’s best lobster roll. The intensely tasty and innovative brown butter lobster rolls are more like sliders, so be wise and order two.
6. Offshore Ale House; Oak Bluffs, Ma
When you order a lobster roll at this Martha’s Vineyard mainstay, you get your money’s worth. These colossal sandwiches are available all year long, even when most of the island heads home for summer.
5. Neptune Oyster; Boston, Ma
This tiny oyster bar in Boston’s North End draws crazy lines for its hot, buttered rolls served on brioche buns. You may need to start off with a fork before you can bite into these giant creations.
4. Abbott's Lobster In The Rough; Noank, Ct
This Mystic, Connecticut, seaside shack offers two seriously delicious lobster rolls. Choose wisely between hot or cold sandwiches: the traditional lobster salad roll, garnished with mayo and celery on a hot dog bun, or Abbott’s famous hot lobster roll, buttered and served on a round roll.
3. B&g Oysters; Boston, Ma
No trip to Boston is complete without a stop at this South End staple. Don’t let the $29 price tag deter you--this meaty roll, topped with lemon and chive-spiked mayo and a touch of celery, is well worth every penny.
2. The Lobster Shack; Cape Elizabeth, Me
Come for the lobster and stay for the views. Each buttered roll is filled with large chunks of soft-shell lobster meat and a dollop of mayo. Plus, lobster rolls taste infinitely better when you’re looking at the ocean.
1. The Clam Shack; Kennebunkport, Me
This is the gold standard of lobster rolls. Each sandwich gets a mix of claw, tail and knuckle meat, a light spread of mayo and a drizzle of butter and is served on a white, round bun. Each bite brings you a little closer to heaven.