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Best Lobster Roll on the Northshore

My boyfriend and I will be visiting my hometown of Swampscott in June. He's never spent much time on the Northshore. On Sunday I thought it would be nice to drive somewhere for lunch and take him to a typical New England restaurant...and I personally LOVE LOVE LOVE a well-done lobster roll (not too much mayo, nice chunks of lobster meat, perfectly toasted roll).

It would be great if the place is near the water--overlooking or if its a walk up spot, somewhere we can take the food. If the other food is good at the place as well all the better so in case he doesn't want a lobster roll he can get something else.

I would love to go to Gloucester, Rockville, or Ipswitch or something. But in all honesty I'm looking for the tastiest food. If you could also comment on how crowded it gets on Sunday that would be very helpful!

Thanks Boston Hounds!

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  1. Well, right in Swampscott is the Red Rock Bistro. Great lobster roll, wonderful views right on the water. In Newburyport, right over the bridge on Rte. 1 is a spot called Stripers. The place itself is nothing to write home about, but the restaurant, which is upstairs has water views, outside dining, and one of the best lobster rolls around. Not too much mayo or filler; lots of meat, toasted roll. Plus the potato salad is home-made.

    5 Replies
    1. re: BillieJean

      I'm not that thrilled with the Red Rock's prices considering the attitude you sometimes get. Plus we might be going there Friday night when we fly in if it's too late to go elsewhere.

      I was hoping for more of a drive...to show him another area of the Northshore.

      1. re: Elyssa

        I agree, I wouldn't got to Red Rock for a classic lobster roll.
        Go to the Lobster Pool in Ipswich. You order at the counter, they call your number, and then you can either eat inside in the very informal eating area or outside on picnic tables overlooking the ocean. Doesn't get more New England than that. We went last summer and though I can't remember if I got the lobster roll, I do remember that what I did have was good. If you do a search on chowhound you should be able to find more specific reviews of this restaurant as well as other North Shore clam shacks.....It's also nice to walk around Halibut Park in Ipswich --gorgeous ocean views and very close to the Lobster Pool. Enjoy.
        FYI, here's a link their web site --

        http://www.lobsterpoolrestaurant.com/...

        1. re: twentyoystahs

          Just a quick correction--the Lobster Pool is in Rockport (as is Halibut Point). They both overlook Ipswich Bay. Definitely one of my favorite seafood joints in the area.

          1. re: hiddenboston

            Yikes, sorry, meant to say Rockport. I don't know what I was thinking. Maybe it was the Ipswich Bay overlook that confused me. Thanks HB.

          2. re: twentyoystahs

            my man and I went to the Lobster Pool last weekend, and we were pretty disappointed with the food. The setting is outstanding, but the breading on the fried bits was completely flavorless and a bit soggy, while the steamed mussels were past their prime (understatement). Prices were high, though portions were large.

            I hope our experience was an anomoly, given the great reviews from others, but we just didn't like it.

      2. Rockville? I hear that's where REM gets their lobster rolls. :-b (God, what a lame joke...my bad)

        The Village Restaurant in Essex has lobster rolls as well as nearly every other seafood entree you can think of. I've had about everything but that item up there, and judging by what I've had, I'm thinking it will be pretty good. It's about 1 block up from Woodman's.

        The Clam Box in Ipswich is said to have excellent lobster rolls.

        And of course, there's always Kelly's at Revere Beach...

        1. No question - The Barnacle in Marblehead. Great lobster rolls. Toasted bun, LOTS of lobster, a little bit of mayo and that's it. Plus great fries. However, not sure how the rest of the food is as all I ever get there is the lobster roll. There is some seating out on a patio right on the water. If it's nice out it might get crowded.

          1 Reply
          1. re: emc

            It will not get that crowded since the Three Cod Tavern opened over a week ago on Pleasant Street In Marblehead. Everyone has been trying it out since it is the new kid on the block so to speak!
            Speaking of lobsta rolls.... I really love Kelly's in Revere. Michaels in Newburyport is decent too and the deck there may be kinda fun if it is nice out.

          2. May I also ask, since just finding this thread, is there a great place for a perfect lobstah roll near Boston Commons, that's where my hotel is and other than a taxi or bus or subway/train thing, it's better if it's close to where I'm staying... TIA

            6 Replies
            1. re: iL Divo

              You could walk to B & G Oysters in the South End from Boston Common. It's probably about a 10 minute walk, all the way down Tremont Street. Definitely one of Boston's best (and most expensive) lobster rolls.

              1. re: twentyoystahs

                The Lobster Pool in Rockport has the fabulous view but not the quality of food to match it. It is very over priced and less than inspiring. Farnhams is the best in Essex. Great lobster rolls and onion rings. (...and fried clams and chowder...) and a stunning view of the salt marsh. Another thought is to go to Roy Moore Lobster Company on Bearskin Neck in Rockport. It is a wholsale lobster company that cooks lobsters served with real drawn butter for the best price anywhere. The lobsters are the best around and Bearskin Neck is a fun place to walk out to the water.

                1. re: twentyoystahs

                  I'm worth the price of a pricey lobster roll. how much could it be after all? $30?

                  1. re: iL Divo

                    Actually, a couple of weeks ago it was $31.00

                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/395635

                    1. re: Rubee

                      oh my gosh, well, I thought at the price I stated, I was stretching it a bit. Guess not...

                    2. re: iL Divo

                      We walked by on Monday, may 14th and it was $26.

                2. I second the Barnacle in Marblehead. My husband and I sat out on their deck/dock last fall and I ate the lobster roll and a cup of clam chowder! I loved watching the boats, the view of the neck across the bay, and the sounds of the water.
                  In Boston, I like the lobster rolls at Jasper White's Summer Shack. Toasted perfectly and tender lobster. moist. YYUUUUM!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: shellie

                    The Studio on Rocky Neck in Gloucester -- all meat, almost no mayo, celery or miscellaneous other filler. (based on last season)

                    1. re: resipsaloquitor

                      That sounds perfect! What is the Studio like? Can you sit down or is it just carryout? Other good options besides lobster rolls? Is there a view?

                      1. re: Elyssa

                        They have a lovely deck overlooking the harbor. I happen to like the whole menu. Some people here complain, but I think they have not been there in a while.

                    2. re: shellie

                      How much is the roll at Summer Shack these days?

                    3. So Elyssa, is this your monthly request for North Shore recommendations? {I thought it sounded familiar.)

                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/390217

                      Anyway, I have tried the lobster roll at Red Rock and in my most humble opinion it is not great. Go North! Go way North!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Boatrocker

                        I may get flamed for this but Choate Bridge Pub in Ipswich. Its on 1A and you can drive down to 'the neck' before/after lunch. No views but....great lobster rolls.

                        1. re: ipsofatso

                          Why ipsofatso, should you get flamed? The Choate Bridge does make a serious roll.The problem is that tons of people, Hounds included, have no clue as to where it is. Wait, maybe that's not a bad thing! I can't believe I'm answering yet another Lobstah Roll post.

                          Harp00n

                        2. re: Boatrocker

                          Having, umm, let's say a pretty good knowledge of the kitchen at Red Rock , I have to say that the lobster rolls are adequate, Four ounces, buttered toasted bun, the same tub-o-lobster meat that most other high volume restaurants use. You get the sysco type mayo on the side so you can control that aspect. Good view, sit outside unless it is low tide.