Nothing evokes the feel of summer quite like a sweet and buttery lobster roll that melts in your mouth. So grab your keys and load the car, because what better way to close out the season than an East Coast lobster tour?
1. The Clam Shack (Kennebunkport, Maine)
Some say The Clam Shack serves up the best lobster roll in the state, but that's a debate unlikely to be settled anytime soon. Still, there's nothing more classically Maine than sitting beside the water on a wooden bench while devouring a pure, uncomplicated lobster roll. The lobsters are caught locally, just off the coast, and boiled in salt water. And the meat is tossed with butter; heaved into a delicately toasted, lightly mayo'd roll from a local bakery; and topped with a slice of lemon. Wash it all down with a beverage from the shack's very own lemonade stand.
2. Neptune Oyster (Boston, Massachusetts)
At Neptune Oyster in Boston's North End, you can choose between hot lobster with butter or cold lobster with mayo, both served on perfectly toasted brioche. Whatever you decide, you'll be sinking your teeth into flawlessly cooked chunks of meat and probably hoping the experience never ends. This one's big enough to share — if you can bear to part with any of it.
3. The Lobster Pot (Provincetown, Massachusetts)
When you're wandering quaint Provincetown Harbor and the hunger pangs strike, follow the magnetic lure of the neon lobster sign toward The Lobster Pot. About as close to classic as it gets, its lobster roll is filled with knuckle, tail, and claw meat mixed with scallion, celery, and mayo, and then piled into a toasted bun.
4. Matunuck Oyster Bar (South Kingstown, Rhode Island)
This spot's lobster roll is lightly dressed in mayo and celery, and served on a buttered and grilled split-top roll. Choose between fries or salad on the side — if you go for the greens, it's likely they were grown right on the restaurant's farm. Before chowing down on your roll, start with oysters harvested just off the restaurant's waterfront patio.
5. Captain Scott's Lobster Dock (New London, Connecticut)
Although we really can't imagine not wanting all the lobster, all the time, Captain Scott's Lobster Dock offers two sizes — small or large — of its toasted roll, which is filled with buttery hot lobster. With the take-out window and no-frills picnic tables overlooking the water, this is a quintessentially New England summer experience.
6. Luke's Lobster (New York, New York)
There's no skimping on size at Luke's, where a split-top bun hosts a swipe of mayo topped with a quarter pound of wild-caught lobster, melted lemon butter, and the seasoning that's become a somewhat-polarizing issue among Luke's devotees. There are 10 outposts across New York City, and you'll also find Luke's in Maine, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Miami, — oh, and Tokyo.
7. Shore Fresh Seafood Market & Restaurant (Point Pleasant, New Jersey)
Shore Fresh keeps it simple with its classic lobster roll — heaps of lobster salad, lettuce, and tomato on a roll, with coleslaw and fries on the side. And at less than $15 a roll, it's a tasty bargain.
8. Mason's Famous Lobster Rolls (Annapolis, Maryland)
In a state known mostly for its crabs and oysters, Mason's Famous Lobster Rolls is a real standout, with a menu of a few different styles that's designed to mimic the traditions of Maine's lobster rolls. In addition to its Annapolis location, you'll also find Mason's in National Harbor, Belvedere Square, and Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.
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