The Best Lobster Rolls in the Northeast

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The Best Lobster Rolls in the Northeast
If you drive through the U.S. Northeast this time of year, you can practically smell the griddling hot-dog rolls and the freshly steamed lobster from the road. Yep, it’s lobster roll season, and in this part of the country, nearly every seafood-serving spot has a take on this summertime classic. Of course, there are plenty of reasons to visit the states of Maine, New York, and Massachusetts (you know, nice beaches, historical sites, etc.), but here are 10 lobster rolls that are worth the flight alone.

Photo by @dchaussee
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    Neptune Oyster

    Neptune has been racking up accolades since it opened in 2005 for its cozy, old-school vibes and its fresher-than-fresh seafood offerings. The famous Maine lobster roll is served hot with butter or cold with mayonnaise, along with a heavenly pile of dark, crispy fries.

    Photo by @hungryintaipei

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    New York City

    Pearl Oyster Bar

    You yourself might feel like a lobster roll after indulging in the sandwich served at this classic NYC joint. Here, chef Rebecca Charles serves up almost a pound of lobster meat (in a mayo dressing, of course), atop a buttery toasted hot-dog bun. Oh, and a tower-tall pile of shoestring fries.

    Photo by Nosher Hungryman/Flickr

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    Multiple locations
    Luke's Lobster

    While the lobster roll has long had an old-school connotation, Luke’s, which opened its first location in the East Village in 2009, has aimed to freshen things up. At all 25 (!) locations, ingredients are locally and sustainably sourced for ultimate freshness, as well good conscience for seafood-hungry diners. The lobster is the true star in these rolls—the meat is tossed in butter and herbs, and then stuffed into a buttery New England style bun with a smear of mayo.

    Photo by Garrett Ziegler/Flickr
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    Portland, Maine
    Eventide Oyster Co.

    It may not be in the hipster haven of Portland, Oregon, but Eventide Oyster Co. certainly lives up to its sister city’s legacy with its take on the lobster roll. Purists might scoff at the Chinese steamed bun in lieu of a plain roll, and the brown butter vinaigrette (gasp!), but the innovation and update are undeniably delicious.

    Photo by @ginthings
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    Wiscasset, Maine
    Red's Eats

    Red’s Eats is no white tablecloth kind of joint. In fact, there aren’t even tables. Red’s is just a brightly adorned shack that serves one of the most highly praised lobster rolls in the country. Here, it’s a simple but decadent affair. The lobster comes unadorned and piled high atop a toasted bun, with melted butter, mayo, and lemon on the side.

    Photo by @mattbruck
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    South Kingstown, Rhode Island
    Matunuck Oyster Bar

    Matunuck is a local favorite for its waterfront views, its ultra-fresh seafood (much of which comes from said waterfront), and, of course, its lobster roll. The star of the show is lightly tossed with a mayo-and-celery dressing then packed into—what else—a buttery split-top bun.

    Photo by @katherine_mook
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    Kennebunkport, Maine
    The Clam Shack

    Local pride is a key ingredient in the Clam Shack’s sandwich: The bakery-fresh buns and creamy butter are both made in town, and the lobsters are caught just five minutes away from the kitchen. For hungry folks who are unable to make the trip to Maine, the Clam Shack sells lobster roll kits online with guaranteed next-day delivery.

    Photo by @dchaussee
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    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Sesuit Harbor Café

    It doesn’t get more quintessentially Northeast than Cape Cod, and the all-knowing locals swear by the lobster roll at Sesuit Harbor. Those who prefer their protein unadorned might take issue with the addition of sliced tomato beneath the mayo-and-celery-dressed lobster, but everything else about this dish is a classic—from the harbor views to the scoop of creamy coleslaw on the side.

    Photo by @despinacolada11
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    Multiple locations, Maine
    Bite Into Maine

    Bite into Maine is a lobster-roll lover’s mobile heaven. This Maine-based food truck serves up its sandwiches both Maine- and Connecticut-style (the former served cold with mayo, the latter warm with butter), but also appeals to the adventurous crowd with funky additions like wasabi, curry, and chipotle. No matter the toppings, the base remains a classic—buttered split top, hot off the grill.

    Photo by fiftynightshades/Flickr
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    Amagansett, New York
    The Lobster Roll Restaurant

    With a name like The Lobster Roll Restaurant, it’s not hard to guess what the specialty is at this East Hampton spot. Locals and visitors flock here for its namesake dish, which is served both hot with butter or cold with mayo.

    Photo by @izzyhobbib
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