Anytime our weather app calls for a day above 60 degrees, we immediately start craving a lobster roll. That’s either a Pavlovian response triggered by the lifelong propaganda schemes of the New England Association of Lobstermen (previously known as the Society for Prison Wardens), or inherent nostalgia for summer nights on the Cape. We haven’t figured out which one it is yet, but we have figured out 21 spots where you can get lobster rolls right now.
In Moonrise Kingdom, when Sam and Suzy finally reach their safe place, away from the harsh realities of the world, they shed some clothes and do a carefree dance. That’s pretty much what happens with us after we have a Saltie Girl lobster roll. It’s good on its own, but when paired with the homemade salt and vinegar chips, the immediacy of pantsless hip circles is truly shocking. They’re open at 11am on weekdays and 10am on the weekends - check their website for details on how to order.
Row 34’s lobster rolls are usually of the hot butter variety, but since they’ve got a new takeout window, they’ve also added a new cold lobster roll as well. Pre-orders can be placed on their website for pick up after 4pm, Thurs-Sun.
Belle Isle Seafood is a little out of the way, and even during these times they still only take cash. But if you can get past all that, you’ll be able to get both a great view of the city skyline and a lobster roll that’s larger than the Prudential Tower. While that second part might only be true thanks to perspective - a friend we all need right now - it’s not that much of an exaggeration. Their rolls are topped with so much lobster meat that you almost forget about the nicely toasted bun, but on our list of things to complain about, that definitely isn’t one of them.
Summer Shack Cambridge
We’re not sure what it takes to be nominated for a “Best New Restaurant” award on the national level - as Summer Shack was in 2000 - but serving a great lobster roll must be a baseline requirement. The one at Summer Shack comes with cucumber, something we didn’t think we needed, but actually, really enjoy - just like bourbon in our Negronis. Visit their website to place a takeout order. Delivery is also available on Uber Eats.
Avenue Kitchen + Bar
Avenue is offering two lobster rolls and a side for $24, which is a pretty good deal even if the lobster rolls are significantly smaller than the ones at Belle Isle Seafood. But then again, so is every other lobster roll on this list. Order takeout or delivery on their website from 4-9pm.
Anytime we say “Lobstah On A Roll” out loud, we feel like we’re either in a t-shirt shop on the Freedom Trail or a John Krasinki commercial. It’s a strange name - we wouldn’t call our imaginary athleisure company “Tights On Legs” - but at least they serve some decent lobster rolls. You even get to decide how much lobster meat you want on your toasted brioche bun, which is a nice touch. Delivery is available on a host of different platforms.
Ah yes, the barking crab, the squealing lobster - both sweet sounds that signal seafood is being prepared for our enjoyment. Before any animal lovers get upset, we just want to set the record straight - we love dogs, some cats, and all crustaceans, but it just so happens that we prefer the latter in cooked form. Lobster rolls to go are available every day.
OK, so Alive & Kicking doesn’t exactly sell lobster rolls. They sell lobster sandwiches, and you should get one - unless you’re a purist who also believes that the world would be a better place without the hot buttered version of lobster rolls (cue lengthy exposé). While you’re certainly entitled to your opinions, we’re of the belief that the more types of lobster-on-bread forms there are, the better.
North Street Grille
While we’re on the philosophical debate of what the essence of a lobster roll is, we might as well add some more fuel to the fire. North Street Grille is primarily a brunch spot, and they also serve lobster sandwiches. It’s lobster and mayo on a burger bun - is that substantially different from the two pieces of white bread at Alive & Kicking? What if you substitute the burger bun for an English muffin, or two waffles? Are those lobster rolls? This is all getting too complicated - just order the sandwich.
Brown butter lobster on a steamed bao - seven words that may signal that there’s a glitch in the New England matrix. The Fenway branch of this popular Maine restaurant is back open, and the lobster rolls are available for takeout and delivery. If a simulation can taste this good, we may not want to go back to reality.
Perhaps you’re someone who has a psychological allergy to mayo. That’s unfortunate, and we highly recommend condiment therapy, but in the meantime, there’s still Yankee Lobster. They not only have a hot butter lobster roll but a fried lobster version as well.
The North End aims to fulfill the needs of every tourist, from cello tunes to cobblestone streets to overpriced pastas, so it only makes sense that there’s a lobster roll spot there too. Pauli’s has gigantic lobster rolls with an outrageous amount of meat, so much so that a certain celebrity chef with bad hair and a questionable goatee gave it the two thumbs up. Place an order on their website.
Luke’s Lobster in Back Bay is currently open for takeout and delivery, and for $65 you can get a family pack of four lobster rolls with some chips and slaw, making it one of the more affordable options on this list. Visit their website to place your order.
In the alternative, New England version of Hook, Peter Pan would’ve been taken to a tribe of Lost Fishermen who chanted “Lobster Roll! Lobster Roll!” anytime their well-seasoned leader showed up. That version never made it past the drawing board, but there’s no reason not to practice the chant anyway as you wait for a mayo-heavy roll from James Hook & Company.
Select Oyster Bar
Select is now back to its seafood ways, offering a variety of different options both for dine-in and takeout. Of course, that includes the hot and cold lobster roll as well. It’s a little pricey at $40 each, but hey, you’re dining in Back Bay in the 21st century, where inflation is certainly a tangible concept.
Too often in life, the world forces you to choose sides - Democrat or Republican, Harvard or Yale, Jim or Dwight. Bennett’s seems to like the idea of bipartisan agreements, dousing their lobster rolls with both drawn butter and mayo. It really tastes more like a mayo roll, but the butter does come through, just like Jim’s pranks. Visit their website for takeout and delivery orders.
When a farm-to-table spot that normally serves things like smoked green tomatoes and goat milk gelato with green strawberry meringue starts selling lobster rolls, you would probably guess that they would take things in a different direction - and you’re right. There’s no liquified tarragon or powdered mayo on Bondir’s version, but the lobster is dressed with herby ramp mayo and sits on top of a marbled brioche stolen from the set of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Get your golden ticket lobster roll by pre-ordering on their website.
Olde Magoun's Saloon
We don’t remember the last time we saw a lobster roll on the menu at an Irish pub. Then again, we also can’t recall when Twitter became a news channel, but here we are. Olde Magoun’s in Somerville, a spot more well-known for burgers, is offering a lobster roll for $18. No word on how long that will last, or when people will realize 280 words isn’t quite sufficient.
Going to Neptune Oyster and just getting the lobster roll is like buying a Ferrari and only driving it downtown. At least that’s what we imagine it’s like, since we’ve never bought a Ferrari before. What we do know is that the lobster roll at Neptune is our favorite, and that you also don’t want to miss out on the rest of the excellent menu here. Maybe it’s best to think of the lobster roll as an appetizer to a truly fantastic meal, available every day for takeout.
This summer, you might actually be able to enjoy a leisurely stroll around Harvard without being run over by a tour group or students who don’t believe in bike rules. And once you’ve had enough of that, head over to The Red House. They’ve set up a summer shack, complete with fish and chips, burgers, and, naturally, lobster rolls. There are even some interesting takes on the classic roll, like the one topped with Sriracha and fried avocados, or the one with hollandaise-dressed lobster. Delivery is available too on Uber Eats.
The thought of a takeout window in Back Bay conjures up an image of hedge fund managers grabbing designer bags behind the Four Seasons Hotel. Or maybe that was a scene from The Town. Either way, Cusser’s is serving some slightly more affordable options at their takeout window, including hot or cold lobster rolls for $25.