Searching for The Best and Biggest Lobster Rolls in New England
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The combination of a big and delicious lobster roll
is key. How many times have we tasted a tasty lobster roll, only to
find that it is gone in just a few bites? Or, how many of you
have tried a huge lobster roll with the taste of cardboard? What about
those chain restaurants that pride themselves on using real lobster
meat? Those lobsters must have come from the Bland and Tasteless
Additionally, some mainstream media and travel guides often choose the
same places over and over again for best lobster rolls in New England.
Sure, we include some of those places on the "best of" list here -- no
need to deny the greatness of some of these lobster rolls -- but also
recognize other dining spots that rarely make the list...
Here are our top five picks for best and biggest lobster roll in New
Red's Eats, Wiscasset Maine
Red's Eats lobster roll. Photo credit: Red's Eats.
This seasonal seafood stand not only packs in a lot of lobster in its
lobster roll, but also the crowds on Route 1 -- sometimes up to two
hours. The pound and a half lobster roll includes the tail, claw and
knuckle meat, further enhanced by warm butter and mayo. When best
lobster rolls in New England come up in local conversation, Red's
almost always finds a way into the heated debates and casual
discussions. Red's Eats, 41 Water St., Wiscasset, ME. Tel. (207)
Beach Plum, North Hampton, Portsmouth, Epping, N.H.
Lobster roll and lemonade from the Beach Plum.
Bob Lee, co-owner of the Beach Plum
with wife Nancy Lee, is a coastal New Hampshire native who knows a good
lobster roll when he sees and tastes one, as well as having an uncanny
knack of knowing what the customer wants. Lee prefers sourcing hard
shell lobster as he firmly believes this version yields a better
tasting, more developed lobster that is richer in protein. The
result: a spectacular, mouthwatering lobster roll with tender lobster
-- overflowing out of the lightly toasted, buttered bun -- that I feel
is the best lobster roll in New England. The Beach Plum puts more
lobster in its lobster roll than any other we've experienced, to date,
so no matter what size -- five, six, eight or 10 oz. -- customers are
definitely getting their money's worth (there's just a touch of mayo,
and no fillers). Add a cup of delicious New England clam chowder or
lobster bisque, choose from one of the 78 ice cream flavors, and you
have one of the great, local summertime meals! The good news, however,
is that the Epping and Portsmouth locations are open year-round. The
seasonal 800 sq. ft., flagship North Hampton Beach Plum stand at 17
Ocean Blvd. (Tel. 603-964-7451) -- with ocean-view picnic tables right
across from the state beach -- is open from April 1 to Nov. 15 and is
part of the fabric that makes summer by the sea in New Hampshire so
special. The Beach Plum seafood restaurant in Epping is located in the
Brickyard Square shopping center at 24 NH-125 (Tel. 603-679-3200) and
the Portsmouth restaurant at 2800 Lafayette Rd., Route 1 (Tel.
603-433-3339). Full length feature story on the Beach Plum coming soon!
Captain's Den/Quahog Republic, Plymouth, Mass.
Quahog Republic lobster roll.
Quahog Republic owners Erik Bevans and Tom Hughes grew up on Cape Cod
digging for quahogs, fishing and boating as a major part of their
upbringing. To no surprise, veteran restauranteur Bevans and
businessman Hughes offer many seafood gems at Quahog Republic,
including a small lobster roll that comes across as large and a large
lobster roll -- called the "Monsta Lobster Roll" -- that looks extra
large. Served with separate warm butter and Parmesan truffle fries on
the side, the lobster roll is an absolute culinary masterpiece that
most likely, for many, requires a take-home box for either size. I
tried the lobster roll at the Captain's Den/Quahog Republic at 35 Main
St. in Plymouth (Tel. 508-591-7589), but you can experience the same at
the Quahog Republic Dive Bar in Falmouth (97 Spring Bars Rd., Tel.
508-540-4111), Whalers Tavern in New Bedford (24 North Water St., Tel.
774-206-6303) and seasonal Waterfront Eatery in Onset (Wareham) at 197
Onset Ave. Tel. 508-295-9300.
Kelly's Roast Beef, Revere Beach,
Kelly's Roast Beef lobster roll.
This legendary year-round seaside roast beef and seafood stand has a
great local reputation for serving delicious lobster rolls, but somehow
often gets left off the lists for the "best of" New England. The
lobster meat is about as tender and flavorful as it gets with not a lot
of filler. What's more, Kelly's offers a huge portion of lobster meat
that even the heartiest appetite might have trouble finishing. Kelly's
proves that just because a dining spot is popular amongst the working
class doesn't mean that it can't rank amongst the elite when it comes
to lobster rolls. The populist's taste buds know this to be true in the
real world. Kelly's Roast Beef, 410 Revere Beach Blvd., Revere MA. Tel.
Warren's Lobster House, Kittery, Maine
Lobster roll from Warren's Lobster House. Photo credit: Warren's
Warren's is much like Kelly's in that crowds of people from all walks
of life come to this long-time large waterfront restaurant for lobster.
Because many tourists vacationing on the southern New Hampshire and
Maine seacoast comes here in droves, elitists and other garden variety
snobs have the tendency to ignore Warren's for its delicious lobster
rolls and lobster dishes, as well as a phenomenal 60-plus item salad
bar. The lobster is served on a 12-inch sub roll with lobster meat
piled high. Warren's perhaps uses even less filler than Kelly's, so the
overall taste is a tad better. Warren's also has an advantage over many
other lobster restaurants with its own on-site lobster pound capable of
holding 28 tons of lobsters! No wonder the lobster in the rolls taste
so fresh! Warren’s Lobster House, 11 Water St./U.S. Route 1, Kittery,
Maine. Tel. (207) 439-1630
Abbott's Lobster in the Rough,
Lobster roll from Abbott's Lobster in the Rough.
Photo credit: Abbott's Lobster in the Rough web site.
Abbott's frequently makes the "best of lists" and it's easy to
understand why. When it comes to warm, buttered lobster on a toasted
roll, the Abbott's OMG Lobster Roll might just the the best we've
tasted in New England -- piled high in a block-like shape. Plus, the
indoor and outdoor waterfront dining views are, on its own, worth the
visit. Note: Abbott's is a seasonal operation. Abbott's Lobster in the
Rough, 117 Pearl St., Noank, CT . Tel. (860) 536-7719
Lobster Pot Wareham, Mass.
Lobster Pot lobster roll with New England clam chowder.
Located on a highway that looks like it has been hit with the ugly
stick too many times, this fast food restaurant with a fish market
delivers on the promise of its well-known, appetizing local TV
ads. The lobster roll is deceiving, being a lot bigger than it
actually looks. Chunks of lobster meat with a touch of mayo overflow
from the basic but tasty roll that results in a classic New England
lobster roll. The Lobster Pot is open most of the year; call ahead to
make sure they are open. The Lobster Pot, 3155 Cranberry Highway,
Wareham MA. Tel. (508) 759-3876
Woodman's, Essex, Mass.
Woodman's lobster roll. Photo credit: Woodman's.
As the birthplace of the fried clam, Woodman's is best known for
serving some of the best fried clams in New England. The same can be
said about the lobster roll, too, at this classic New England seafood
shack located on the North Shore of Massachusetts. With emphasis on a
large quantity of absolutely delectable lobster meat overflowing from a
perfectly toasted standard size roll, this lobster roll is to be
savored with every bite. Once finished, the next thought is typically,
"When can we come back here for more?" Woodman's, 121 Main St., Essex
MA. Tel. (978) 768-6057. Open year-round.
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