The 16 Absolute Best Lobster Rolls In The US

When you think of classic American foods, lobster rolls should be at the top of your list. The first documented lobster roll was served at Perry's in Milford, Connecticut in 1929. Since then, the sandwich took the East Coast by storm until it became the cultural icon that it is today. Several distinct styles emerged over time, and some lobster roll enthusiasts stay loyal to their favorite type. Connecticut lobster rolls feature warm lobster soaked in butter on a steamy bun. 

Up in Maine, lobster rolls are often served chilled meat with mayonnaise on a grilled bun. And in some parts of New England, lobster is tossed with celery, mayonnaise, and chives. No matter what your favorite type is, lobster rolls are the perfect summer sandwich. That's why we rounded up the best lobster rolls in the country to take out the guesswork next time you're craving this iconic dish. 

Mama's on the Half Shell - Baltimore

Baltimore may be known for its blue crab, but Mama's on the Half Shell in the Canton neighborhood makes a very convincing case for the lobster. This seafood spot first opened its doors in 2003 and Baltimoreans have flocked to Mama's on the Half Shell for quality renditions of classic fish dishes. 

Lobster is featured throughout the menu, but their lobster roll alone is worth a stop. Their Maine-style lobster roll is tossed in mayonnaise and piled high on a split top brioche bun. Customers rave about how Mama's on the Half Shell includes a hearty serving of lobster tails and claws, making it well worth the $30 price tag. This sandwich is best enjoyed with crispy french fries and one of their signature crushes, an iconic cocktail native to Maryland. And with the laidback, friendly ambiance at Mama's on the Half Shell, it's bound to be one of your favorite lobster rolls.

The Ordinary - Charleston, South Carolina

Lobster rolls are often limited to the warmer seasons, but this one is only available once a week! At The Ordinary in Charleston, South Carolina, Chef Mike Lata serves up a decadent lobster roll as a special every Tuesday. The restaurant serves upscale, elevated seafood dishes and their lobster roll is no exception. Locals flock to this James Beard-nominated spot for a bite of his freshly baked bread and half a pound of tender lobster. The flavor is amped up with Tabasco, celery, shallots, lemon, chives, and Old Bay to pack an even bigger punch. Lobster, however, is still the star of this sandwich. Reviewers say this sandwich is light and creamy, perfect for hot South Carolina days.

The Ordinary's lobster roll has caught the attention of Food NetworkBon Appétit, and foodies throughout the Charleston area for its noteworthy flavors and limited availability. With all of the buzz for this off-menu meal, The Ordinary's lobster roll is anything but ordinary. 

GT Fish and Oyster - Chicago

GT Fish and Oyster has been a fixture in the Chicago food scene since 2011 for its chef-driven takes on classic seafood dishes. Chef Giuseppe Tentori has racked up several accolades for taking seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and highlighting the best seafood in the country. Their lobster roll is no different: the lobster is tossed in a hint of homemade mayonnaise so its natural flavor can really shine. 

Crisp pickled seasonal vegetables are piled on top for a boost of brightness to complement the freshly baked buttery bun. The sandwich is topped with an unexpected crunch from crispy fried onions, which are soaked in buttermilk and add another layer of savoriness. GT Fish and Oyster is one of the nation's hottest seafood spots and their lobster roll is one of their main attractions. Next time you're in Chicago and craving a taste of New England, make sure to give this lobster roll a try.

McLoon's Lobster Shack - Spruce Head Island, Maine

The quintessential lobster roll is often associated with New England waterfront seafood shacks. At McLoon's Lobster Shack off the coast of Maine, they embody tradition and make some of the most authentic lobster rolls you can find in the United States. Their Fresh Lobster Roll is not kidding when they say it's fresh: they pluck the lobsters fresh out of the Atlantic Ocean every morning before stuffing these sandwiches. With your choice of mayo or warm butter, the meat is served on a grilled roll complete with coleslaw, potato chips, and the necessary pickle.

The trip to Spruce Head Island may be too ambitious for some, but that doesn't mean you need to forgo their delicious lobster rolls. McLoon's Lobster Shack offers Lobster Roll Kits with all of the necessary materials that you can order through Goldbelly, so you can get a taste of Maine from anywhere in the nation.

Red Hook Lobster Pound - Brooklyn, New York

Red Hook Lobster Pound is the brainchild of two East Coast natives: one from Maine and one from Boston. They combined their mutual love for lobster and opened up shop in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood. At Red Hook Lobster Pound, they work directly with fishermen in Maine to import fresh lobster to the Big Apple. Along with other classic lobster dishes, they have an entire section dedicated to their various renditions of the lobster roll.

One offering that makes Red Hook Lobster Pound special is the Fried Lobster Roll. Rather than the steamed meat you'd normally find in a lobster roll, the tails and claws are battered and fried for optimal crispiness. To amplify the lobster flavor, they make a caramel with the rest of the lobster. It sounds strange (caramel? with lobster?) but it highlights the natural sweetness in the shellfish. Topped with ultra-rich Japanese mayonnaise, this lobster roll builds upon a classic for something even more spectacular.

Chatham Pier Fish Market - Chatham, Massachusetts

Located in the heart of Cape Cod, Chatham Pier Fish Market is a classic outpost for fresh, locally caught fish and seafood. This shack is situated right on the water with picnic tables to enjoy the best of the sea while you watch fishermen unloading their daily catch. Founded over 50 years ago by Willard Nickerson, known locally as "The Codfather," Chatham Pier Fish Market is a landmark spot known for the Cape's freshest fish and tastiest seafood sandwiches. Most notably, their lobster rolls are some of the most popular dishes on the menu.

They offer lobster rolls served in the style of both Maine and Connecticut, and while both are delicious, the Buttered Lobster Roll is especially worth the trip. The sweet, tender locally caught lobster meat is tossed in warm butter and stuffed into a toasted brioche bun. Served alongside coleslaw and fries, this lobster roll represents everything a lobster roll should be: bright, buttery, and flavorful. 

Bar Harbor - Seattle

The East Coast normally gets all of the credit for making the nation's best lobster rolls, but one spot in Seattle is making waves for their Pacific Northwest spin on a classic. Bar Harbor in the heart of the city serves classic seafood dishes with their own culinary twists. The best example? Their lobster roll.

Bar Harbor offers four different types of lobster rolls: Maine style with mayonnaise, Connecticut style with warm butter, New England style with mayonnaise, celery, and chive, and their signature Seattle style lobster roll. This lobster roll diverges from their more classic preparations by tossing the meat in tarragon aioli and serving it with buttery Bibb lettuce. Bar Harbor's Seattle version of the lobster roll brings a fresh West Coast flair to the sandwich we know and love. This special sandwich alone is worth a trip to Seattle to try a lobster roll unlike any you've ever had. 

Found Oyster - Los Angeles

What happens when you combine two of the greatest lobster dishes: lobster rolls and lobster bisque? At Found Oyster in Los Angeles, California, you get one of the greatest lobster rolls on Earth. Chef Ari Kolender gives you the best of both worlds with all of the classic fixings for a lobster roll with some added excitement. In this sandwich, homemade lobster bisque is reduced into a creamy flavor bomb. When it's mixed with Japanese mayonnaise and lemon juice, you get a punch of lobster flavor that only adds to the hearty chunks of fresh lobster meat. Once it's stuffed into a toasted potato roll and finished with a healthy dusting of chives, this sandwich perfectly satisfies your shellfish craving.

To top it all off, this lobster roll is served with homemade French fries and some fresh lemon to squeeze over the top. Found Oyster's lobster roll is the perfect solution if you still want to enjoy the flavors of lobster bisque in the California heat. 

Sam's Chowder House - Half Moon Bay, California

Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon Bay, California opened in 2006 on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, but the scenic views are only part of its appeal. They're better known for their fresh, simply prepared seafood dishes — most notably, their lobster roll. Sam's Chowder House works alongside the Surfrider Foundation to ensure that your lobster roll has the freshest, most sustainable shellfish around. 

Their Dressed Lobster Roll takes inspiration from the classic Maine style but adds a more modern touch. Sam's Chowder House swaps the traditional mayo for homemade lemon aioli and adds some celery and chives for some crunch. Alongside potato chips and coleslaw, it's the perfect bite to enjoy while watching the Northern California sunset. It's no wonder "The Today Show" named it one of the best sandwiches in the country, it's the perfect balance of traditional and modern. 

The Lobster Shack - Westport, Connecticut

The Lobster Shack in Westport, Connecticut is an outpost of Rizzuto's Oyster Bar on the Long Island Sound. Their menu is completely dedicated to lobster rolls, so their sandwich recipe has been perfected. The Lobster Shack sources lobster only from the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island so the lobster never has to travel far to make it to your plate. Each sandwich has over a quarter pound of tail and claw meat packed into a toasted brioche bun. 

While all of The Lobster Shack's offerings are impressive, the Angry Roll stands out. Rather than slathering the lobster in butter or mayonnaise, The Lobster Shack takes an unconventional approach. They coat warmed lobster meat in a spicy tomato arrabbiata sauce and serve it with Boston lettuce. The added spice departs from the classic lobster roll and transforms it into something new and exciting. Next time you're in Connecticut and want a lobster roll unlike any other, make sure to order an Angry Roll.

The Highroller Lobster Co. - Portland, Maine

What once started as a hot dog cart in the heart of Portland, Maine has transformed into a brick-and-mortar spot that draws crowds with its iconic lobster rolls. The Highroller Lobster Company first began in 2015 slinging sandwiches at local breweries, but now serves as a destination for foodies wanting to try some of the city's best lobster rolls. 

What makes The Highroller Lobster Company's lobster roll so special is its ability to customize it to your taste. Every sandwich is served chilled in classic Maine fashion, but you can choose from over a dozen different sauces to choose your own lobster roll adventure. You can lean into tradition with Old Bay, mayonnaise, or butter. Or, if you want to try something new, you can slather your sandwich in lobster-infused butter or charred pineapple mayo. Whatever sauce you choose, this lobster roll is sure to impress everybody who tries it. 

Saltie Girl - Boston

This seafood bar in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts highlights all things fish. Their New England location makes Saltie Girl bona fide experts on seafood. They're known for curating a wide variety of tinned fish, but the hidden gem on their menu is their Gloucester Lobster Roll. If you're craving a lobster roll, their recipe will not only meet your expectations but surpass them. 

Served either warm or chilled, Saltie Girl sticks to the classic lobster roll and does it well. Lobster meat is packed into a buttery bun and piled high with your choice of mayonnaise or warm butter. Their lobster roll is rich, sweet, and bursting with lobster flavor. Saltie Girl also takes it up a notch by serving its sandwich with its signature salt and vinegar chips. It adds a tasty tang to accompany the buttery lobster roll and makes it the perfect meal when you're in the mood for shellfish. 

Dune Brothers Seafood - Providence, Rhode Island

Situated in the middle of Rhode Island's capital of Providence, Dune Brothers Seafood is a small shack that delivers big flavors. Two friends paired up to open a seafood spot with a "dock-to-dish" approach. Dune Brothers Seafood works with local fishermen and farmers to bring the freshest ingredients to your plate, and the proof is in their signature lobster roll. 

Their lobster roll combines the best parts of Maine and Connecticut-style rolls by using warm butter and mayonnaise. The sandwich is buttery and rich, but not excessively so. To sweeten the deal even more, Dune Brothers Seafood serves the lobster roll with homemade French fries fried in beef fat and tossed in Old Bay for maximum flavor and crispiness. If you're looking to add even more creaminess to your lobster roll, order a side of their housemade Piri Mayo or their Special Sauce for even more decadence.

The Boardwalk Grill - Madeira Beach, Florida

Florida may not be known for its lobster rolls, but The Boardwalk Grill in Madeira Beach serves a lobster roll that transports you straight to New England. This local joint is situated right on the boardwalk so beachgoers can stop by for high-quality seafood while they spend a day in the sun. The Boardwalk Grill ensures their lobster roll is on par with the best of New England by keeping things simple and traditional. 

The foundation of the sandwich lies in the bread, which is slathered in a healthy serving of butter and griddled until it's golden brown. Then, Boardwalk Grill serves up a heaping mound of high-quality lobster meat. It's a hearty sandwich that doesn't need any bells or whistles for it to taste good: the lobster speaks for itself. For the best bang for your buck and a taste of Maine down in Florida, The Boardwalk Grill's Lobster Roll is the perfect place to visit.

Peacemaker Lobster and Crab's - St. Louis

It may seem hard to find a delicious lobster roll in the landlocked state of Missouri, but Peacemaker Lobster and Crab in St. Louis has established itself as one of the best spots to grab a lobster roll west of the Mississippi. James Beard-nominated chef Kevin Nashan serves up a Connecticut-style lobster roll that rivals its more authentic competitors. Lobster is flown in almost daily to ensure that your sandwich is the freshest around. Peacemaker Lobster and Crab also sources its bread from the nearby Companion Bakery, which bakes French-style buns exactly to the restaurant's specifications. To boost the flavor, even more, they slather the bread in butter and griddle it until it's golden.

Inside these fluffy yet sturdy buns are mountains of fresh lobster tossed in warm clarified butter. Served alongside house-made potato chips, this lobster roll is one of the best in the country and definitely worth a stop in St. Louis.

Steuben's - Denver

Steuben's in Denver, Colorado is reinventing the American diner by serving traditional dishes with a modern flair. Their menu spans from classic Southwestern plates to Southern comfort food to New England staples. Their lobster roll is a prime example of their contemporary version of iconic American food. 

Selected by Eater Denver as one of the best lobster rolls in the city, Steuben's imports live lobsters from Seaview Farms in Kittery, Maine to ensure that their sandwiches are of the highest quality. Although they offer both Maine and Connecticut-style lobster rolls, their Maine Lobster Roll is especially delicious. Each sandwich is piled high with nearly a quarter pound of meat from the tail, knuckle, and claw of the lobster. They're tossed in a mayonnaise dressing and stuffed into a buttery, toasty split top roll. Of course, it wouldn't be complete without their house-made pickles and potato chips. Even if you can't travel out to New England, you can still get a top-tier Lobster Roll on the other side of the country.