Mike Urban is a food and travel writer for New England Magazine and the author of Lobster Shacks: A Road-Trip Guide to New England’s Best Lobster Joints.
These credentials and a refined palate for all things lobster make Urban the perfect choice to identify the top 10 lobster rolls in New England.
1. Red's Eats, Wicasset, ME
This unassuming roadside shack located along busy U.S. Route 1 often sees super-long lines and hour-long waits. Made with tail, claw, and knuckle meat plus mayo and warm butter - or hold the mayo and butter for an au naturale seafood experience.
2. Five Islands Lobster Company, Georgetown, ME
With its perfect dockside location, Five Island Lobster Company always has their pick of the freshest choice Maine lobsters from Sheepscot Bay. Their simple, but delicious rolls are served cold with a bit of mayo on a toasted, buttered, split-top bun.
3. The Clam Shack, Kennebunk, ME
Urban refers to The Clam Shack's chilled soft shell lobster roll as "the best lobster roll in the six-state region." Served with mayo or warm butter on toasted, buttered hamburger-style buns.
4. The Lobster Pool, Rockport, MA
Each roll at the Lobster Pool is made to order with generous chunks of fresh caught lobster from Gloucester harbor mixed with mayo or butter and served in a toasted, buttered split-top bun.
5. Lobster Landing, Clinton, CT
Lobster Landing features hot, buttered lobster rolls with an Italian twist - the meat is packed into toasted Italian grinder rolls!
6. Rye Harbor Lobster Pound, Rye Harbor, NH
This small Rye Harbor shack is located down by the docks. They feature innovative lobster dishes such as Lobster Gazpacho and Lobster Pizza, but their hot lobster rolls are an absolute must! The meat is topped with warm butter-and-sherry sauce and served on a buttered split-top bun. You can also opt for a cold roll with mayo, a touch of celery, and a hint of lemon.
7. The Friendly Fisherman, North Eastham, MA
Along U.S. Route 6 about 20 miles south of Provincetown is the Friendly Fisherman, a seafood market serving five-ounce cold lobster rolls. Made with just a touch of mayo, they are served on split-top, buttered hot dog buns and topped with massive chunks of claw meat.
8. Anthony's Seafood, Middletown, RI
Located just north of seafood-laden Newport, Rhode Island, Anthony's features massive six-ounce lobster rolls made from fresh daily catch tossed with mayo and sprinkled with white pepper.
9. Quoddy Bay Lobster, Eastport, ME
Quoddy Bay Lobster is owned by an authentic lobstering family along the northernmost waters of the United States' Eastern seaboard. They specialize in cold lobster rolls with mayo, Miracle Whip, drizzled butter or just as nature made them! QBL recently added a jumbo 8-ounce lobster roll on an 8-inch bun to their menu.
10. Abbott's Lobster in the Rough, Noank, CT
In addition to Abbott's famous hot buttered lobster rolls and cold lobster rolls, a new item has recently hit the menu. The OMG Lobster Roll is seven ounces of fresh lobster meat served warm, buttered and stacked four inches high between two toasted hamburger buns!
H/T to NewEngland.com