Maine’s 17 Best Lobster Rolls

Sun. Water. Lobster Rolls. Perfection.

Lobster Rolls
flickr/ fortes
The lobster roll at Red's in Wiscasset is nothing short of legendary, and with good reason.

There’s something about eating a lobster roll that almost feels wrong. As lobster is one of the most gourmet and expensive food items out there, piling it up on bread and eating it with your hands almost feels like cheating — the right way to eat a lobster is in a fancy restaurant, with a bib, a shell-cracker, and a little pot of clarified butter, right? Well up in Maine, they’ll tell you that the right way to eat a lobster is in a roll.

Click Here for the Maine’s 17 Best Lobster Rolls Slideshow

According to John Mariani’s The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, the lobster roll as we know it first appeared on a menu in 1929, at a restaurant in New Milford, Conn., called Perry’s. Its popularity spread, and today the lobster roll is one of the Northeast’s signature culinary creations.

The lobster roll comes in a few different varieties. A Connecticut-style lobster roll is served warm and soaked (in the best way possible) with butter. In Maine, the lobster is cold and usually mixed with a little mayo. From there, the possibilities are endless. Some like to gussy it up with some celery salt, paprika, diced celery, or lemon. Others keep it as simple as possible, with the lightest touch of butter or mayo, or in some cases nothing at all.

Whatever augmentation the lobster gets, one thing must always take priority when it comes to the lobster roll, however: the lobster, obviously. It should be super-fresh, and generously portioned. Lobster rolls don’t come cheap, and after eating one you should feel like you got your money’s worth.

In order to assemble our list of the best lobster rolls in Maine, we consulted with several native authorities on the subject, as well as major publications and other trusted lists. While everyone who lives in Maine has their favorite lobster roll place, we believe that the spots on our list really stand apart from the pack. Not only have they reached a level of renown (some among locals, some nationally), they hit that Platonic ideal of the lobster roll and the lobster roll-eating experience: a perfect balance of lobster meat to condiments to bun, eaten in a setting that you’ll later dream about, a relaxed place, preferably overlooking the water, or at least close enough that you can smell the briny sea that your meal emerged from. A sunny patio also helps.

Click here for Maine’s Best Lobster Rolls.

Dan Myers is the Eat/Dine Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @sirmyers. Additional reporting by Arthur Bovino and Jeff Bauer. 



Be a Part of the Conversation

Have something to say?
Add a comment (or see what others think).

Comments 10

Like this story? Get updates by email, facebook and twitter
Get daily food and wine coverage

Latest from The Daily Meal

The Daily Meal Video Network
Strawberry Brie Grilled Cheese



I lived in Maine and traveled all over the state for a year and truthfully never had a bad Lobster Roll or Boiled dinner any place. That also applies for Cape Breton Island , and Prince Edwards island


Best Lobster Roll for 2014 is Clarks Kitchen Sink in Guilford, Maine 9.95 with fries and slaw


I make my own, too. Good thing, since I don't live closer than two hours to any of these establishments. I wish people who write about Maine would actually take the time to travel further than Waldoboro.


It would be hard to beat the environment at your third choice...Five Islands. The view is sublime. A real piece of Maine. The wait and environment at Red's Eats totally puts me off...their lobster roll is not anything special either...I don't understand the hype about that place.


Umm, you didn't list any from the REAL Maine! Only places in Northern Mass.


wasn't a single one from Northern Mass


Best way is off fresh lobsta off the dock in Harpswell, and make your own. Boil the Lobster and clean, and real mayo not whip or salad mayo. set overnight in refrigerator. Use hotdog rolls with the flat sides. Stuff with lobster, can toast on grill or eat cold. salt and pepper to taste. from Harpswell Maine.


what a crock of shit! spragues, reds eats and trevette store all get their sea food from the same place! mill cove lobster.
mill cove lobster actually ownes trevette store!
whoever wrote this review is a moron and did not do their research!


Try Bite Into Maine in Fort Williams, an Amazing little food truck with great lobster rolls.


Actually, I make the best lobster roll right here in my kitchen.

Add a Comment

Upload a picture of yourself no larger than 3MB, please see Terms for details
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human