15 Best Lobster Rolls In The Northeast

Whether you like it hot or you like it cold, there's just something about a bun (or toasted bread) jammed full and overflowing with delicious lobster meat. Few meals are as decadent and mouth-watering as the succulent lobster meat blended with either a mayo spice mix or simply with melted butter. The combination is simple yet truly delicious.

And if you want fresh, succulent lobster rolls, your best option is to go directly to the source. Cold water New England lobsters totally bring the flavor as if they have been chilled to perfection on the ocean floor, simply for you to enjoy. It doesn't matter if you hail from the Northeastern United States or you're taking a vacation with the family, from Cape Cod to the coastline of Maine, these are some of the best lobster roll joints, shacks, and restaurants, you're going to find in the Northeastern United States.

Mantunuck Oyster Bar (Wakefield, Rhode Island)

The entire name just sounds like a place you'd stumble past while visiting the New England area. It's simple, to the point, and about as perfect as it can get. However, unlike many of the other restaurants on the list, this isn't a smaller dive or shack. It is a large restaurant located right on the water with some incredible views, even during the winter. Many of the vegetables and herbs are grown on-site, which adds to the freshness of the seafood that's coming directly out of the water you're sitting next to.

The Mantunuck Oyster Bar is popular enough that it is recommended to make a reservation before heading out. The lobster rolls might be the most unassuming dish on the menu, which is great when others in your party whine about fine dining, and you'd rather shovel copious amounts of lobster into your mouth. We're not huge fans of that dainty leaf of lettuce that's placed onto the roll (we have yet to find a lobster roll that is improved on with lettuce). So disregard the lettuce, and you're ready for one of the best lobster roll experiences around.

Bite Into Maine (Three locations in Maine)

There are three fantastic destinations for this lobster food truck that might have fallen to earth from food heaven. Whether you visit its Cape Elizabeth location, The Commissary spot in Scarborough, or (and our personal favorite) stop by the Allagash Brewing Company in Portland for the Bite Into Main food truck parked right on the property, you can enjoy one of six flavors of lobster rolls. Hot, cold, drenched in butter, knocked up with secret spices, or a combination of it all, few spots can compete with these food trucks.

There isn't necessarily anything special about the establishment itself. It's basically a nice food truck (although if you go to the Portland Allagash Brewing Company location, you have some of the best beer in the world at your disposal). It's all about the lobster rolls. These rolls are actually massive pieces of Texas toast, buttered and toasted to golden goodness. The salty, buttery taste of the bread only enhances whichever flavor of lobster roll you decide to go with. The rolls are served with potato chips, although there are other sides, like soups, chowders, and grilled lobster and cheese sandwiches, that are well worth grabbing.

McLoons Lobster Shack (Spruce Head Island, Maine)

For some reason, the words lobster and shack just go magically together. Probably because you can picture Maine fishermen bringing in their catches and dropping crates of fresh lobster right at the shack, just off the dock. At McLoons Lobster Shack you are perched on the water, looking over the island in South Thomaston. If you're a mayonnaise fan (without going overboard), this is the spot.

McLoons Lobster Shack has been open since 2012 and offers up so much more goodness than just lobster rolls. You'll also discover grilled clams, New England-style clam chowder, lobster stew, and other seafood offerings. Your lobster roll is a quarter pound of tail, knuckle, and claw meat. Want something bigger? There's the Lobster Rolls Royce. This is a half pound of lobster, served on an 8-inch roll.

One of the reasons we love this restaurant so much is because it is so out of the way. You'll want to travel north from Portland on U.S. 1. Eventually, you'll cut off and take state highway 73 through Spruce Head onto Spruce Head Island. McLoons Lobster Shack is on the southern edge, overlooking the small bridge out to Burnt Island.

Petey's Summertime Seafood and Bar (Rye, New Hampshire)

Located on Ocean Blvd, Petey's Summertime Seafood and Bar destination is all in the name. It's also been a local favorite since 1990, so it has its established sealegs to prove just how much people love it. When sinking your teeth into a lobster roll during the summertime months, you're in food heaven. There's also a pretty impressive seafood menu, so not feeling the lobster roll? Try out the coleslaw or chowder.

The restaurant is nestled right onto the coastline of New Hampshire, with fantastic views almost as good as its menu. There are land-based options on the menu, including onion rings and burgers, but you're there for the seafood. If everything sounds good, you can opt for the Seafood Platter, which includes whole clams, baby shrimp, sea scallops, and haddock as well as a fried lobster tail (or fried jumbo shrimp). And if you're looking to wash it down with something, you have to try Petey's Punch, the restaurant's signature cocktail.

The Popponesset Raw Bar (Mashpee, Massachusetts)

Have you found yourself falling in love with a mystical mermaid holding a tray of seafood and beer? But don't worry, you're not seeing things because of scurvy setting in, it's because you've arrived at the Popponesset Raw Bar, and this logo is plastered on the menu and throughout the bar. It has the weathered-down look you expect from a New England establishment, and it also has some of the best views in Mashpee.

When you visit, you're going to receive one of the largest lobster rolls you've ever seen at The Popponesset Raw Bar. The roll is literally called the Colossal Lobster Roll. It's overflowing with lobster meat. Plus, there's no lettuce, which makes us happy (aka we're not picking through the lobster meat to pull it off), so it's a win-win. This is a seasonal restaurant though, and it opens in early April. The closing date changes a bit annually, but it's typically after Labor Day.

Captain Scott's Lobster Dock (New London, Connecticut)

Yes, you'll be enjoying Connecticut-style lobster rolls, and, yes, you'll be doing so on a dock. It's an unassuming little shack that, if you didn't know any better, you could swear it looked like a small-town ice cream stand (Surprise! There is an ice cream ordering window for some tasty summer desserts built into the shack).

The rolls aren't as toasted as we'd like, but if you like your lobster rolls on more fluff than toast, you will fall very quickly for Captain Scott's Lobster Dock. Picnic tables on the dock are a great touch, and just about everything you order comes with fantastic cuts of lemon, as well.

The view is one of the best parts of this location. It is right on an active pier, so you can watch boats coming and going. There's something peaceful and relaxing, smelling the salty sea air, watching the boats, enjoying a mouth full of lobster. Every bite might just be a perfect moment.

Day's Crabmeat and Lobster Pound (Yarmouth, Maine)

This is a classic destination that's been slinging food since the 1920s. There are no thrills about the spot, which is exactly what you want. It uses a sweet meat lobster roll, and you can even grab some fantastic crab rolls as well (which, honestly, might be better than the lobster rolls).

Day's Crabmeat and Lobster Pound is another seasonal restaurant. You're probably not driving up to Yarmouth in the middle of the winter for some dockside seafood, so go instead during the middle of spring through the summer (annual hours change, so check out the website for the most up-to-date hours when you decide to visit).

Both crabmeat and lobster are some of the best around. There's even a nice grab-bag takeout option that includes french fries, fried crab, and other notes of deliciousness, all in a single container. It's worth just grabbing that and hitting the road if you have other destinations to get to, because who doesn't like seafood finger food?

Thurston's Lobster Pound (Mount Desert Island)

Visit Mount Desert Island for the lobster rolls, and stay for Acadia National Park. You can watch the lobsters come in off the boat and be brought into the restaurant — hard to get fresher than that.

Acadia National Park is a true wonder. It's not like the other parks you'll go to out West. Its breathtaking locations off of Bar Harbor in Maine, and, in terms of truly beautiful destinations, this might be the top spot on our list (you can very literally plan an entire vacation trip around visiting Acadia). Thurston's Lobster Pound is a highlight when you visit. The restaurant takes up its own deck, and it has two floors of waterside tables, so there's always a great table to take in the harbor views. Whether you want a full lobster all to yourself, or all the hiking and sightseeing in Bar Harbor has you craving as many lobster rolls as your stomach can handle, Thurston's Lobster Pound is a true delight.

Dune Brothers Seafood (Providence, Rhode Island)

You have to hunt a bit for this location, but that's when you know it's a good restaurant. And by hunt, we mean that it is tucked away on the street side of the Providence Innovation District in Providence, Rhode Island. It's not a large building. Really, it looks like a shack that was transplanted from a pier somewhere and then mysteriously fell off the back of a truck somewhere and landed in its current location. But that in itself is some of the restaurant's charm (there are even picnic tables and umbrellas set up outside of the little red shack). There's everything from amazing lobster rolls to fresh clam chowder, plus fish fries if you're not feeling like lobsters.

The lobster roll at Dune Brothers Seafood is served warm, with buttered tail and claw meat, served alongside fries coated in Old Bay seasoning. The original sandwich is also worth grabbing, along with some of the exceptionally crafted clam chowders.

BG's Boat House Restaurant & Marina (Portsmouth, New Hampshire)

You can actually dock your boat and head on up to BG's Boat House for a lobster roll, fried clams, or a frosty cold beer. It's also been slinging the good stuff for over 46 years, so it's obviously doing it right.

The restaurant is especially popular, and locals flock to it, which is one reason it is a first-come, first-serve destination. If you want your lobster roll, you're going to have to wait for your table. The restaurant itself has a long, interior, with dockside seating curving around the restaurant. The opening date for BG's Boat House Restaurant & Marina is April 20 for 2023, which means it's about time for you to stop by and grab your own lobster roll. The lobster roll is made to order using fresh lobster meat. It is served cold, so keep that in mind when ordering. If you're new to the world of lobster rolls, that's one of the first questions you should ask. Because while it doesn't always state as much on the menu, restaurants either serve up their rolls hot (with loads of melted butter) or cold.

Red's Eats (Wiscasset, Maine)

If you want an iconic jumbo, oversized lobster roll, head to Red's Eats. It's a little pricier than the other destinations due to the size, and the spot only takes cash, so bring the green with you. However, you're on vacation, so you might as well splurge a little.

This is one of the few lobster destinations on this list that offers gluten-free bread rolls. So if you can't consume gluten but you absolutely want to consume lobster rolls, Red's Eats in Wiscasset, Maine is an appointment destination. The bread comes from a local bakery, and just about all the ingredients are locally grown or harvested when possible. Red's Lobster Roll is served alongside Kate's Maine Butter (a local farm that is family owned and operated). There is also the Red's Crabmeat Roll, which uses fresh crabmeat and is served in a grilled bun. Red's knows what is up because you can request lettuce on your rolls, but otherwise, it's not included. We fully applaud that lettuce-optional take.

Chatham Pier Fish Market (Chatham, Massachusetts)

There are always bonus points involved when you can watch the lobster brought in from the docks. You get exactly that at Chatham Pier Fish Market. The only downside to this roll is the random lettuce placed at the bottom of the sandwich (it is our humble opinion that lettuce has no place on a lobster roll).

Chatham Pier Fish Market is one of the most picturesque destinations on this list. As you stand in line to make your order, the water is just to your right, with an extended sandy outlet jutting out a few hundred yards further away. If you are a Breaking Bad fan, the entire scene looks remarkably similar to the hotel painting Walter White finds himself staring into while secluded in a hotel room (the same painting was also in a hospital).

As the name suggests, it's both a restaurant and a fish market. Fish markets offer some of the best kitchen food around because the seafood is guaranteed fresh, it is turned over faster, which means the seafood is always coming in, and you can see the food you're about to eat in the restaurant. The restaurant is closed seasonally, so you'll want to check out the Chatham Pier Fish Market website for updates on the late spring and summer hours.

The Clam Shack (Kennebunkport, Maine)

This is an interesting take on the lobster roll — it's served in a hamburger bun. So it's almost like a tuna fish sandwich (gasp) but with lobster meat. Thankfully, it's loaded with lobster meat. Claws, tails, and everything. So if you're visiting Kennebunkport, stop by.

Even if eating a lobster roll in a hamburger bun is a bit unusual to you, it's okay, because after serving the staple menu item since 1968, it's obvious it's not the shape of the roll that matters, it's about the taste of the lobster. The Clam Shack has received a good amount of outside attention over the years, with write-ups and mentions in such publications as The New York Times and Travel+Leisure. The restaurant is seasonal, so you'll want to double-check its website for the official opening and closing dates of its season. When they do open, you can chow down on the lobster roll, as well as clams, scallops, and entire boiled lobster dinners.

The Lobster Hut (Plymouth, Massachusetts)

This has been one of the go-to destinations for lobster rolls in Massachusetts for over 50 years. And while the lobster rolls are fantastic (with super chunky meat), the clam chowder shouldn't be missed either. The Lobster Hut has a fantastic view of the water in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It's also a comfortable little drive from Boston, so if you want to get out of the city and take in some fantastic seafood while visiting, the Lobster Hut is a must-try destination.

The lobster rolls are a little pricey here, with a hot butter lobster roll running $30.95 (as of April 2023), but if you're on vacation, you might as well live a little, right? And if you're not feeling that price point, don't worry, the clam strip roll is a third of the price, and the crab salad roll, which is one of the best in the region, costs under $15, so there are other options. You also can take advantage of all kinds of side orders, ranging from calamari and crab cakes to whole clams, coconut shrimp, and chicken tenders. So if you have that one picky eater who will only eat chicken tenders and fries, the Lobster Hut has everyone covered.

Nordic Fish - Seafood and Fresh Fish Market (Fairfield, Connecticut)

This spot in Fairfield isn't technically a restaurant. It is a fresh fish market that just happens to offer some of the best seafood you're going to find. Where else can you go and get freshly crafted sushi and lobster rolls, all in the same destination? So whether you just want a roll, or you want some finely crafted oysters made fresh, just for you, head on out to this fish market.

Let's face it, there will be days when you just don't want to sit at a restaurant. It's after a long day of work and, instead, you're hungry for some food and want to get back to the house. With Nordic Fish, that's an option. Plus, only many of the other lobster roll joints listed here, this isn't seasonal. It is a full-time seafood market, which also means some of the sushi selections will change based on what is in season. So if you're around Fairfield, give Nordic Fish – Seafood and Fresh Fish Market a visit.