The rocky Maine coastline seems remote, but that doesn’t stop hordes of visitors from descending on The Pine Tree State each year. Luring them in is the siren call of the lobster roll. With chunks of fresh lobster meal, spices, a swipe of mayo or butter, and a toasted bun, the lobster roll is the quintessential New England sandwich. We’ve found six of the best places to chow down on this cherished treat – just don’t get the locals started on the mayo versus butter debate.
(The featured image Lobster roll is © Neil Conway)
Five Islands Lobster Co in Georgetown, Maine serves up some of the freshest crustaceans that it’s possible to find.
Fished from the waters behind the shack and boiled in seawater, the lobster is dismantled and then dressed in mayo before being plopped into a lettuce-lined, griddled hot dog bun. Bliss.
Kennebunk’s Clam Shack has been in the lobster business since 1968, and while the little shack isn’t much to look at, the crowds it attracts are no joke.
The lobster rolls are set apart by their round buns, as well as the use of soft-shell lobster when it’s available – these lobsters offer sweeter and even more tender meat than their hard shell compatriots.
Red’s Eats is downright legendary. So legendary, in fact, that you will almost never wait for less than an hour to get a lobster roll in hand.
While the long lines might be close to torturous, the end result makes them worthwhile: massive chunks of meat (Red’s brags that each roll contains a full lobster) piled high, with cups of butter and mayo that diners can use to dress each roll to their liking.
Located on a jagged peninsula south of Rockland, Waterman’s Beach Lobster serves generous lobster dinners in addition to lobster rolls, crab rolls, and tuna melts.
With rainbow-hued picnic tables on the shore, it’s the perfect seaside eating experience. Get there soon! The season ends on September 22.
The tiny town of New Harbor is home to Shaw’s, a lobster shack that primarily draws in local fishermen.
Still, renown of the roll has spread: Shaw’s turns out more than 10,000 rolls a year, made from lobsters that are dropped off by fishermen at its front door. Talk about fresh.
The two-story Thurston’s, lined in screen panels and jutting into the water, is widely regarded as the best lobster shack on Mount Desert Island.
From lobster rolls to lobster stews and whole lobster, this is a crustacean lover’s dream.
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to… whose guides cover all the best hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, sights, shops and spas