We called up some of the lobster-loving SE'rs to help create this list. Our criteria for tracking down the best lobster rolls? To quote Kenji from last week's Food Lab:
A lobster roll consists of chunks of tender, sweet, cooked lobster meat barely napped in a thin coating of mayonnaise, all stuffed into a top-split, white-bread hot dog bun lightly toasted in butter. A warm, butter-coated lobster salad is an acceptable variation on the classic, and in some cases, either version may contain a few additional textural or flavor elements applied very sparingly--celery, onions, chives--but like any good pizza is built on a crust, a lobster roll that misses these basics has no chance of earning its claws.
This round-up includes both the Maine-style rolls with a light swipe of mayo (no globster rolls, please) and the Connecticut-style approach with warm, buttered lobster meat. As for the roll varieties, we've seen them on potato bread, brioche-like concoctions, and even slider buns, which can be tasty but makes the purists in us cringe a bit. We stuck (mostly) to the toasted top-split bun here; no funny business.
While we tried to include as many of the detour-worthy spots as we could, there are still plenty of fantastic seaside shacks and other worthy establishments that aren't on this list. Please chime in with other favorites we missed.
And even if you don't live near Lobster Roll Territory, it's pretty mesmerizing looking at all 17 of these photos. (Warning: NSFShellfish-allergic)
Red's Eats in Wiscasset, ME »
Fishermen's Net in Gray, ME »
Fisherman's Catch in Wells, ME »
Day's Crabmeat and Lobster in Yarmouth, ME »
Offshore Ale in Oak Bluffs, MA »
Belle Isle Seafood in Boston, MA »
Neptune Oyster Bar in Boston, MA »
Korner Store in Oakland, ME »
Chatham Pier Fish Market in Chatham, MA »
Abbott's Lobster Shack in Noank, CT »
Lobster Landing in Clinton, CT »
Jim's Dock in Jerusalem, RI »
Matunuck Oyster Bar in East Matunuck, RI »
Champlin's Seafood in Narragansett, RI »
Red Hook Lobster Pound in NYC »
Luke's Lobster in NYC »
Pearl Oyster Bar in NYC »