With spring [allegedly] on the horizon, we’re already craving quintessential summer food and nothing says summer like tucking into a substantial lobster roll. As far as we’re concerned, a lobster roll served with a side of ocean view ups the ante … big time.
- The Landing – Newport, RI: Grab a seat on the South Deck for epic views of the harbor and take your pick of either the Hot Lobster Roll, which is braised in butter and herbs, or the more traditional Lobster Salad Roll. Like many New Englanders, we’re fans of tradition, so the choice is a no-brainer. A touch of fresh dill gives the Lobster Salad Roll an unexpected kick. Open year-round; 30 Bowen’s Wharf, Newport
- Bite into Maine – Cape Elizabeth, ME: When a humble food truck has been featured on Food & Wine, the Food Network and Maxim, it’s safe to assume they’re doing something right. Such is the case with Bite into Maine. You’ll find the truck perched atop a hill in Fort Williams Park with views of the water and Portland Head Light. The lobster roll is pure classic; a buttered roll fresh off the griddle filled with lightly-dressed fresh lobster meat. A sprinkle of chives adds subtle spice. Open from April through October-ish; 1000 Shore Rd., Cape Elizabeth
- James Hook & Co. – Boston, MA: The very opposite of a hidden secret, James Hook & Co. has been an institution on the Boston waterfront for nearly a century. Those expecting a swanky dining experience will be sorely disappointed with the picnic table set outside this working fish warehouse. Those looking for a reasonably-priced classic lobster roll brimming with fresh meat and flavor won’t. Open year-round; 15-17 Northern Ave., Boston
- Black Cat Tavern – Hyannis, MA: Overlooking happening Hyannis Harbor, the Black Cat positively jams in the summer months. Try going on an off-hour – between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. – in July and August or expect a wait. Enjoying their Giant Lobster Roll on the patio while watching the ferries headed to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard is pure summertime fun. The chowder, winner of multiple awards, is the perfect opening act. Open year-round; 165 Ocean St., Hyannis
- Lobster Landing – Clinton, CT: Park a weather-beaten shack on the waterfront, toss some lobster traps near the front door, and add a Jerry Garcia lookalike for an owner and you’ve got Lobster Landing. There is absolutely no pomp or circumstance associated with this Connecticut seafood shanty. Owner Enea Bacci serves his lobster rolls warm with the meat bathed in butter and lightly seasoned. Enea’s confidence in his lobster rolls runs so deep that they’re the only thing on the menu. Open from mid-April through December 31; 152 Commerce St. Clinton