Quantcast

Best Lobster Rolls in Maine

Where do you go to get the best lobster rolls in Maine? We break it down for you with this list of our favorites.

4.08 avg. rating (81% score) - 25 votes

A lobster roll is a simple thing: basically, cold lobster meat stuffed into a warm bun. It’s the street food of the rocky Maine coast–a vernacular masterpiece served high and low, at lobster pounds, cookhouses, and seafood shacks, at supermarkets and gas stations, at fast-food chains and in home kitchens.

Best Lobster Rolls in Maine

Red’s lobster roll comes unadorned, served with mayo and/or butter on the side, so you can customize the roll to your preferences. | Best Lobster Rolls in Maine

Brenda Darroch

But for a lobster roll to be a lobster roll, and not a lobster salad or some other concoction, it shouldn’t stray too far from the classic archetype; you can bend the lobster-roll rules, but you shouldn’t break them. For example, the bun can be any shape as long as it’s brushed with butter and slapped on the griddle to cook to a golden-brown; stale buns, freezer-burned buns, and ungrilled buns will ruin the roll. The meat, ideally a mix of knuckle and claw, with maybe a little bit of tail, must be picked from the bright red shells of freshly cooked lobsters, not leftover or dead ones. It’s best chilled but not quite cold; tossed with salt, black pepper, and a little bit of mayonnaise; and packed tightly and neatly into the bun.

Most Maine lobster rolls fit some variation of this description. Some are better than others, some are a lot worse, but at their best, lobster rolls in Maine are an edible excuse to drive down some long road to some big view and to take it all in with seagull sounds and a side of onion rings. Read on for our list of the best lobster rolls in Maine, then let us know your picks for the best lobster rolls in Maine in the comments.

BEST LOBSTER ROLLS IN MAINE

Red’s Eats
A list of the best lobster rolls in Maine would not be complete without a mention of Red’s. Anyone driving up Route 1 through Wiscasset, Maine, will have noticed the small white and red shack with the endless line out front. The crowd is so large and the number of visitors looking for parking so substantial, it tends to slow traffic to a crawl. Which begets the inevitable question: Is Red’s really worth the wait? Yes, actually, it is. First, there’s the quality of the lobster meat, whose freshness and sweetness is matched only by its abundance. Then there are the fixings, or lack thereof. Red’s lobster roll comes unadorned, served with mayo and/or butter on the side, so you can customize the roll to your preferences. What may seem like a cheat is actually its strong suit. By not being mixed in with sauce ahead of time, the lobster retains its pure flavor. The buns, meanwhile, are tender, buttery, and perfectly griddled. With all this delicious customizability, butter lovers can sit down with mayo aficionados in peace and enjoy the water view and the salt air at one of the outdoor picnic tables. 41 Water St, Wiscasset. (207) 882-6128

Bagaduce Lunch
For 60 years folks have been slinging seafood, fried and steamed, from a little red-and-white shack perched on a hilltop overlooking the tidal Bagaduce River. Watch for eagles fishing in the falls. 145 Franks Flat, Penobscot. 207-326-4729, 207-326-4197

The Clam Shack
Fresh-daily, soft shell lobsters creates a freshness of flavor unmatched anywhere. Served on toasted, buttered hamburger-style buns from a local bakery, the Clam Shack’s cold-meat rolls may be had with mayonnaise or warm butter. 2 Western Avenue, Kennebunk, ME. 207-967-3321; theclamshack.net

Five Islands Lobster Company This shack is perfectly positioned on the town dock to receive a steady flow of super-fresh lobster from the nearby Sheepscot Bay. The lobster is fresh-picked throughout the day, tossed with a bit of mayo, and served in a toasted, buttered, split-top bun lined with a leafy piece of lettuce. Georgetown, ME. 207-371-2990; fiveislandslobster.com

J’s Oyster
J’s may be the last of Portland’s salty, divey seafood houses. Casco Bay and the urban working waterfront are right outside the door: condos, cruise ships, and bait houses. 5 Portland Pier, Portland. 207-772-4828; jsoyster.com

Thurston’s Lobster Pound
End of the road, end of the earth: Look for mountain views, bluebloods, bluehairs, and swarms of fishing boats. Steamboat Wharf Road, Bernard. 207-244-7600; thurstonslobster.com

Quoddy Bay Lobster Quoddy Bay Lobster is blessed with its location astride the deepest, coldest port and waters on the Eastern seaboard, perfect for propagating big, tasty lobsters. Their cold-only lobster roll comes plain or with mayo, Miracle Whip, or drizzled butter. Eastport, ME. (207) 853-6640

Where do you go for the best lobster rolls in Maine?

Comments
  • Can’t believe you left Richard’Seafood Resturant route 109 Wells Maine off the list. Simply outstandin lobster roll. Onlymayo and no fillers.

    Reply
    • Red Barn is not mentioned. You want great seafood? OMG lobster rolls…the best fried clams you can get in Maine. The owner is an incredible person too.

      Reply
  • Margaret’s little road side place in Northport. Nice mix of hard and softshell meat. Very good….and close to me.

    Reply
  • Go to Tracy’s Seafood in Sullivan , Maine!! Twin lobster rolls are only $16 !!! You will not be disappointed !!!

    Reply
  • Relieved to hear Helen’s is back up & running.
    Had great strawberry pie back in the college days!
    My heart is still in Maine!

    Reply
  • Dolores

    I just had the best one at Waterman’s Beach outside of Thomaston, ME! They are closing at the end of this season after 30 years! We will miss it. Have eaten here the last five times we have visited East Wind Inn in Tenant’s Harbor, ME just down the road.

    Reply
  • Vicki

    Please don’t forget the lobster shack on new berry neck in surry maine it gorgeous very fresh …and u see daily the fishermen bringing in there catch of the day ….

    Reply
  • Richard

    Let them think Red’s is good. Just less of a line at all the other good places. :) Been driving by Red’s for 40 years. Stopped once completely disappointed. No flavor at all. Tasted frozen. Who knows. Keep going to Red’s!

    Reply
  • Libby’s is BY FAR the BEST QUALITY AND QUANTITY with excellent service and great prices. Deliciously sweet lobster ever time and a smile for everyone who walks in the door. Not a local at all but they still remember me and boyfriend as if we were there every day

    Reply
  • Have you had a lobster roll from Highroller lobster company? I highly recommend you try one….then judge…

    Reply
  • cynthia,

    I found a lobster market in englewood fl that imports maine lobster on a daily basis. The name of the market is Twin Lobsters. I depend on them every New Years Eve. They also have fresh swordfish.

    If you are in that area give them a try.

    Steve Freddo

    Reply
  • My wife and I frequent the York, Me region on a frequent basis. We love the area and the area restaurants are the best. We have eaten lobster rolls from several of area restaurants. I have to say that the Bull and Claw in Wells, by far, has the best lobster rolls and serve a very generous portion.

    Yankee Magazine is usually our source for seeking out the best restaurants and for recipes. I just printed Classic Lobster Chowder by Dick Bridges and will be on my way shortly to go get the lobsters.

    I wish all a Safe and Happy Labor Day.

    Steve Freddo
    Connecticut

    Reply
  • 3 Buoys Seafood Shanty in Portland. At $ 15.99 and 3 times the size of most of the aforementioned in comments. Their chowdas and soups are among the best in all of NEngland.

    Reply
  • you must try The Dolphin Marina Restaurant in South Harpswell.

    Reply
  • Lucille

    There was a place in Auburn Sims and they had the best lobster rolls. Lobster with mayo,then toasted so it was warm lobster….to die for.

    Reply
  • Patti

    Jackie’s Too in Ogunquit has absolutely delicious lobster rolls and lobster bisque. The best.

    Reply
  • by the way, helen’s is rebuilding and nearly ready to reopen….check them out on facebook….helens restaurant of machias….and their lobster roll is good too

    Reply
  • plenty of places serve a good fresh lobster roll….toasted frankfurter bun, fresh salty lobster and a bit of mayo with salt and pepper…no lettuce, no celery or anything else. reds is good but so are a lot of other places for a much shorter wait time. red barn in augusta is good if you tell them no lettuce. ken’s seafood in scarborough and a host of other places…it isn’t rocket science…just the toasted roll, fresh lobster and a bit of mayo with salt and pepper…period.

    Reply
  • Fox’s by Nubble Light House York Maine. Oh I wish I had one right now

    Reply
  • Eagles Nest on Brewer has to be one of the best places I’ve been for aLobster Roll!!!

    Reply
  • The Red Barn in Augusta and Graffams Shack in Rockport are a toss up for me

    Reply
  • Greet’s Eats on Vinalhaven. The owner gets the lobster from her son fresh off of his boat. It’s inexpensive and the roll is packed tight with lobster and nothing else. It doesn’t get any better than that.

    Reply
  • Stumbled across Red’s on our way down to E. Boothbay and have to say they deliver the knock ou! Have lived in New England my whole life and have had many ‘the best in New England’ lobster rolls that didn’t even come close. Am suspicious of any claims that a chain restaurant would have the best of anything. C’mon, really now

    Reply
  • Huot’s has incredible lobster rolls. They’re served basically unadorned, with warm lobster meat and butter, on a toasted bun.

    Reply
  • i have alwys gone to Susans Fish and Chips for all my seafood,be it lob,haddock,clams etc. no she has no view but it could be the best .chowdas,dinners,lunch.All fresh and inexpensive.Check them out.

    Reply
  • William

    Bay Heaven
    Lobster pound 2
    Cornish Maine

    Has a lobster roll, lobster salad roll and a fried lobster sandwich.

    Reply
  • I have had a lot of lobster rolls and the best one for me is at Youngs Lobster Pound in Belfast Maine.

    Reply
  • Claudia

    Reds does not use frozen lobster and half the line is locals.

    I also love Fisherman’s Grill in Portland as well as J’s.

    Reply
  • Try the Eagle’s Nest in Brewer, ME. The lobster roll is yummy as well as their other menu delights!!!

    Reply
  • The best is all fresh lobster at Young ‘ s Lobster Pound in Belfast. Mound of lobster. We get one every time we go to Belfast.

    Reply
  • Catherine

    Chase’s Restaurant in Winter Harbor makes the best. I hope they still exist. Have not had the pleasure of getting to Maine for several years.

    Reply
  • Marilyn

    Red’s Eats, you got to be kidding. As far as I am concerned their’s is frozen meat as well. If you want a really good lobster roll, try Shaw’s in New Harbor. Think that is the best I have ever had. A little more expensive, but well worth it. Do ask for it without the lettuce though they do not use much.

    Reply
  • Michele

    Helen’s burned down this summer, but I hear they are going to rebuild. We come every summer.

    Reply
  • Richard

    Bob’s seafood restaurant on 302 in north Windham. Make sure you ask to have the roll grilled. Packed with very fresh knuckle and claw only. For those that know, this is the secret. Yummmmmmmmm

    Reply
  • You must be kidding? 99 uses frozen lobster meat and the presentation is horrible along with a serious lack of flavor! Go to a real fish restaurant and get fresh lobster.

    Reply
  • Please don’t say sarah’s cafe… frozen lobster meat with mayo celery and way to much pepper, yack!!!

    At least at reds you get fresh maine lobster.

    Reply
  • shawn

    mac’s downeast seafood in auburn has the best lobster rolls. especially for the price

    Reply
  • Resident

    Those people you see standing in line at Red’s? Tourists. Because locals know better places with shorter lines and killer views. Soooo over-rated.

    Reply
  • Charles

    I don’t know anything about the places listed here,except for Thurston’s. I’m from MDI, But if your ever in this area, I would recommend a visit to Saywer’s Lobster Pound in Seawall!

    Reply
  • Love Reds Eats! Missing New England and suffering through the heat I. Atlanta, Ga!

    Reply
  • Pine tree seafood in Scarborough and OOB has the best lobster rolls in New England.

    Reply
  • Yes, there are many amazing lobster rolls and lobster shacks to be found all across Maine….but you have to give kudos to Red’s Eats for giving the people what they want: lobster, lobster and more lobster on their roll. Pure and unadorned. And that’s a good thing, ayuh!

    Reply
  • Maureen

    My husband and I go to Red’s Eats (drive up from Portland) every few weeks. We love it. Just FYI, Bailey’s on Pine Point in Scarboro puts together a good lobster roll at a good price (really good shrimp roll too).

    Reply
  • Linda

    OMG I want to fly up there right now and get me some/ none down here in Mobile, AL. We used to go to a place in Rockland ME.

    Reply
  • the small lobster shack at porpoise point,past the Bush compound……………….my favorite lobster rolls

    Reply
  • Sprague’s across the street from Reds is just as good! They pack it with fresh lobster from the same boat as reds! Cheaper, line not as long! Just as good!

    Reply
  • Doreen

    Now that is a Lobster Roll…so many restaurants I went to served the ones with Mayo and celery etc and called them Lobster Rolls. I used to smirk and say No Way Jose ‘ these are Lobster Salad Rolls. These were restaurants in New England and I couldn’t understand just how a New Englander didn’t know the difference. Oh to have a real Lobster Roll now! Not heard of here in TN. I miss New England. :)

    Reply
  • You forgot the Lobster Shack in Kennebunkport…just saying!

    Reply
  • Cynthia

    I lived in Maine for 21 years , and I loved Lobster in any fashion. I still have the Lobster pots, but have no use for them down here in Florida. I know all the places for lobster. There was a restaurant in Gorham that had a lobster dinner ( 2 -1 lb lobsters) and corn on the cob for $6.00! I miss the strawberry , blueberry, and apple picking when the weather was just right. Autumn is a postcard in color. The coastline is dramatic. the rural towns with their antique stores have much to offer. But the winters after all the years were too much for me… Too long and too severe. A beautiful state, nonetheless.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Enter Your Log In Credentials