Once warm temperature kicks in, I usually go on automatic seafood hunt mode – lobster rolls, clam strips, steamed lobsters, Maryland crabs and crabcakes beware! Lobster rolls are typically the toughest to find.
What’s more, a lobster roll isn’t as simple as it sounds. There’s the Maine lobster roll, then there’s the Connecticut lobster roll. The difference? If it’s cold with mayonnaise, it’s Maine-style. If it’s hot with butter, yay, it’s Connecticut-style! As a Connecticut resident, I’m crazy over the Connecticut-style lobster roll. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t eat Maine-style, especially if we’re in Maine. Hey, a lobster roll is still a lobster roll. Check out this Food Network blog post “The Great Lobster Roll Debate: Maine Style Versus Connecticut Style“.
By the way, Abbotts Lobster in the Rough in Noank, CT and Lobster Landing in Clinton, CT did not make the list simply because I haven’t tried the lobster rolls yet! When we go to Abbotts, we always order their lobster dinners, so I can’t report on their Famous Hot Lobster Roll. For some weird reason, we could never catch Lobster Landing open. I’d rather try their lobster rolls first, then I’ll blog about it separately.
Anyway, here’s the result of my quest – four places in Maine and four in Connecticut that will surely satisfy your lobster roll craving. This list is based on places we’ve been to.
1. The Clam Shack | Kennebunk, ME
This Maine lobster roll was love at first bite for me. While it’s smaller than your typical lobster rolls, they use fresh-caught Maine lobster boiled in salt water then placed in between specially made bakery yeast roll.
2. Gilbert’s Chowder House | Portland, Maine
By the name itself, Gilbert’s Chowder House is more of a chowder place. We did order chowder, but I also tried their Maine Lobster Roll, which tasted great. It came with chips on the side.
3. Fox’s Lobster House | York Beach, ME
Eating Fox’s Favorite Lobster Roll (described as “Fresh lobster tail and claw meat gently tossed with mayonnaise, served in a toasted New England style sandwich roll”) on their outside patio with a view of the famous Nubble Lighthouse was something else.
4. Benny’s Seafood | Portland, ME
We were driving along Route 1A in Portland when we saw the sign for Benny’s and stopped. This no-frills casual seafood joint that caught our attention had a 1/4 lb. Lobster Roll for only $16.15. What a great deal!
5. Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock | New London, CT
Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock’s lobster rolls came in two sizes – one small, one regular. It’s the only place I know that does that. I wondered why anyone would order a small lobster roll when it’s so easy to chow down a regular-sized one. Then I realized not everyone might be into lobster rolls, so they might simply want a bite or two or three.
6. Lobster Shack | Branford, CT
This one isn’t a shack in the true sense of the word. It’s a maroon-colored food truck with water views and plenty of picnic tables around. I blogged about it before.
7. Westfair Fish & Chips | Westport, CT
Tucked behind a shopping center of sorts, Westfair Fish & Chips is your typical hole-in-the-wall joint, very low-key and unobtrusive. It tries to give you the seafood shack vibe, which was a cute effort. Honestly, I was there for the seafood. I blogged about it before.
8. Denmo’s Snack & Dairy Bar | Southbury, CT
While Denmo’s is best known for their split and charred hot dogs and their ice cream, it’s an inland source of hot lobster rolls if you’re nowhere near the Connecticut coastline.
Here’s their Rocky Point Amazing Lobster Roll sauteed in real Cabot butter. . .
. . . and their Rocky Point Amazing Lobster Roll tossed in Hellman’s Mayo.
I still have other spots to hit before summer ends, so here’s me crossing my fingers! What’s not to love about lobster rolls? Whether it’s Maine-style or Connecticut-style, as long as it’s coupled with an ice-cold beverage of your choice, you’ve got a perfect meal all around!
If your favorite isn’t on this list, leave a comment. I’d love to check it out!