It’s high time to dive into your summer lobster roll, if you haven’t already. Did you know there are two distinct schools of lobster-roll preparation? Connecticut style is served warm and soaked with butter. Maine style is served cold with a little mayo.
Lobster is served at fine urban restaurants and at shacks located right next to the docks and marinas where fishermen are landing the catch you might eat 20 minutes later. At a classic lobster shack you order at a window and eat at rustic picnic tables overlooking the water. Many shacks do not serve side dishes or desserts or alcoholic beverages, but invite you to BYOB. Lobster shacks do not take reservations.
For a summer expedition, visit the restaurants below and and many more listed here.
Maine. The Maine Diner at Route 1 in Wells. 207-646-4441.
The Maine Diner is famous as a classic diner and is also some of the best lobster rolls in the state (note, however, that it is not sitting aside a dock or wharf).
Maine. Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier at 16 Chauncey Creek Road, Kittery, 207-439-1030.
Located directly on Chauncey Creek River, this shack has been serving the Maine classic since 1948. Many families have been eating lobster here for generations.
Maine. Morse’s Cribstone Grill at 1945 Harpswell Islands Road on Bailey Island. 207-833-7775.
Another beautiful Maine location, aside the bridge going out to Bailey’s Island. Watch lobster boats pull up to the dock as the restaurant owner heads out with his scales to weight and purchase your lobster.
Massachusetts (Cape Cod). Chatham Pier Fish Market, 45 Barcliff Avenue in Chatham. 508-945-3474.
This is more of a market than restaurant; you order from the counter and seating is at picnic tables outdoors, where you can watch the action at the pier.
Massachusetts. Neptune Oyster Bar at 63 Salem Street in Boston. 617-742-3474.
Show up early to dine at this high-brow, popular, and small North End establishment. The lobster roll is served hot, with a heavy load of lobster meat and butter.
Rhode Island. Midtown Oyster Bar at 345 Thames Street in Newport. 401-536-9985.
The Bar has a rooftop deck with umbrella-shaded seating looking over the busy harbor and wharves below. The lobster roll is perfect, and there are many more seafood choices.
Connecticut. Abbott’s Lobster Shack at 117 Pearl Street in Noank. 860-536-7719.
This is an authentic lobster shack: you order at a window and take a seat at a picnic table on a grassy space overlooking a beautiful harbor. The lobster roll is quarter-pound of meat.
Connecticut. Lobster Landing at 152 Commerce Street in Clinton. 860-669-2005
Celebrate simplicity at this tiny lobster shack on the Clinton Town Marina, where you eat at chairs and table on the dock, overlooking the water. Bring your own sides and desserts.
New Hampshire. The Beach Plum at Route 1 in Portsmouth (603-433-3339).
This popular place brags about its foot-long lobster roll with 20 ounces of lobster meat, no fillers, just a touch of mayo. Lots of other seafood choices, too, indoor and outdoor seating.