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Best lobster roll in the city?

Summertime & i'm looking for the best lobster roll in town, any ideas?

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  1. Pearl Oyster Bar -- hands down.

    4 Replies
    1. re: kiworan79

      I agree. Pearl without question and we've eaten them all. But as Ed Levine pointed out this week on seriouseats.com (and as I have on this site) if you eat Mary's or Ed's lobster roll, you are really eating Pearl's. They both worked at Pearl before leaving and ripping off the Mothership.

      1. re: whit565

        Although I ate at Ed's last weekend, and while it's a good try, it is no way better or even equal to Pearl's.

        It was actually sort of bland, had to shake some sea salt on it.

      2. re: kiworan79

        I just tried the Pearl Oyster Bar lobster roll and I was disappointed. The lobster was overcooked (i.e. tough). Many restaurants seem to be obsessed with overcooking lobster but I thought such a specialized place would be more cautious. All of that mayo didn't really do anything for me either.

        1. re: MichaelK

          I'm a huge POB fan - we were there this week, and I did think that the lobster meat was a bit chewy this time. Don't mind the mayo though - I dip the fries in the "extra".

      3. Pearl Oyster Bar--hands down.

        1. Just tried Black Pearl, which they claim is the best lobster roll in the city, sorry folks far from! Hard to choose between Mary's Fish Camp and Pearl's. I may have to go back for another round of testing!

          1. I am a Mary's Fish Camp loyalist (as I live in the neighborhood) but last night committed adultery and went to the new Ed's Lobster Bar on Lafayette. I have to say, the lobster roll there was phenomenal and even more generously-sized than Mary's or Pearl's. Sides were very tasty too. And at least for now, there was no wait for a table at 7:45pm, though the place was full by 8:30.

            1. For lobster rolls: Pearl.
              For grilled lobster: Mary's.


              NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

              1. My vote goes to Pearl, based on customer service (I once had a bad experience at Mary's which I have written about)

                1. While I enjoy the lobster roll at Pearl's, I actually have had very good lobster roll at Fresh in Tribeca. It was on par, if not better, then Pearl's. The price was higher mainly because (i believe) the decor and the restaurant sitting. Service was definitely much much better than Pearl's.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kobetobiko

                    I also prefer the lobster roll at Fresh over the rolls at Pearls. I think the owners of Fresh actually own a seafood distribution company that provides seafood to all of Manhattan premier 4 star restaurants, so at least you know that their selection of lobster as well as anything else, is as fresh as it can get!

                  2. I'm a big fan of lobster rolls, and I've got to say that Ed's Lobster Bar has an extremely kick-ass version.

                    Surprisingly, Lure Fishbar also made a damn good one as well.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: randymac88

                      Lure Fishbar was my NYC lobster roll initiation, and I wasn't too impressed given that it's priced higher than the other spots. Not to mention the service, the staff seems to resent you as soon as you fail to order wine.

                      Actually, it was fine except that the meat was too chewy, and ice cold to boot. I couldn't pinpoint what was wrong with it except that when we walked out, my companion said "the lobster salad was pretty cold" - that's what had been bothering me all night long. Cold is fine, Cool is better, but Ice cold kind of ruined it for me.

                    2. Just out of curiosity, I heard tides made a great one but have heard no love thus far. Anyone care to comment?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: tpigeon

                        I had one there - not particularly thrilled with it - had dill - though I like dill, I didn't like it with the lobster. Can't remember the other details, but have no desire to return there. Pearl's lobster roll is still my favorite, but those are the only two I've tried in Manhattan - as opposed to on the East End.

                        1. re: tpigeon

                          I think Tides is a fantastic restaurant, but the lobster roll is a peculiar item at Tides. I like my lobster roll to just be lobster and mayo on a bun ,but that is not the Tides way. The menu changes seasonally and they pick a region/cuisine that they use as an accent to many dishes.This winter it was a Norwegian theme and the lobster roll had horseradish and dill. Now the accent is "Americana" and it has diced cucumbers.One time it was Greek, but i don't remember what the extra ingredient was. So, it is not your average lobster roll. The second problem with the version at Tides is that it is served with yucca chips, nothing beats great fries. My favorite, by far, is Pearl.

                          1. re: tpigeon

                            I liked mine at Tides. I can't remember what extra ingredient they incorporated into the mix, but I do recall that instead of that conventional roll, they used something akin to brioche - which actually worked for me. Loved the sweet potato chips accompaniment.

                            1. re: kayonyc

                              At Tides, the lobster roll is somewhat unusual. The mayo mix always includes an herb -- during the summer it was basil, right now, it's tarragon -- as well as finely-diced cucumber, lemon juice, and black pepper. I like these additions though I'm sure there are many who would view them as "sacriligeous." lol

                          2. I had one at only one place in the city, so I can't talk about the other ones, and I loved it...it was at BLT fish. Everyhting was excellent, the fries, the cheese bun they bring you first, the coleslaw. I could not eat a thing when I got out of there. It was around 20$ at lunch time, but you get a lot for it.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: cricri7

                              I like most of them but the one at Chelsea Market's Fish Place is cheaper and I think seasoned better. It's not a restaurant, more like having a picnic indoors. The chowder is good too.

                            2. NYT dining section had an article maybe 2-3 years ago about a very good "secret" lobster roll stand set up in the back of a nondescript sportsbar or something.... does anyone remember what this place is/was called?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Yaqo Homo

                                Black Pearl. It's now reopened in Chelsea. I haven't been.

                              2. The original lobster roll was at nathan's coney island, cheap and good and hot. Cyril's in east hampton has good lobster roll at half the price of Mary's,, Mary's lobster roll is good but $28 bucks for a lobster roll is as big a rip off as ive seen . You can get a nice big lobster at francisco's on 23 rd st. forget the lobster roll.

                                1. hey i've been eating 3-4x/week @ ED's Lobster Bar - on lafayette its bangin!
                                  Ed McFarland the old sioux chef from P>O>B is the head chef there. Lobster roll is on point but even better is the softshell crab sandwich. Check it-

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: wheretherearewolves

                                    Haven't had the softshell crab sandwich yet, but I second Ed's for its delicious lobster roll.

                                    1. re: wlark

                                      i actually went to pearl oyster for the first time in nearly 7 years on friday evening...and while the lobster roll was enjoyable...it was way heavy on the mayonaise. it seemed straight from a bucket to be honest.

                                      for me to be impressed with a good lobster roll, i need hunks of meat, some mayo and butter on a great toasted roll with butter...i think ill stick with reds in maine.

                                  2. While Pearl is great it is also pretty expensive.

                                    Jordan's Lobster Dock (way out in Sheapeshead Bay) has them a lot cheaper...about $15 a roll of fresh lobster. You add your own butter or mayo to taste. It's worth the trip...last summer they had 3 one and a quater pound lobsters for $30. I'd get them cooked and make my own salad at home. It's worth the trip.

                                    And I know I'll get pooh-poohed for saying it I love the super cheap lobster at Fairway in Red Hook.

                                    Look, if it's not Lunch in Montauk- you take what you can get.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: pastoralia

                                      I had the lobster roll at Lunch this weekend, and I thought it was pretty bland compared to those I've had in the city. BLT Fish is still my favorite, if only for the brioche roll.

                                    2. There's an article in the Post about this topic... http://www.nypost.com/seven/06032007/...

                                      1. just want to mention Mermaid Inn on Second.

                                        1. Best lobster roll in the city is a matter of taste, so if you like lots of Mayo Pearl Oyster is the best. If you like a classic lobster roll then its hands down Ed's Lobster bar. i have done my due diligence and research, and most NYC lobster rolls use TOO MUCH MAYO...

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: iheartlobster

                                            totally ageree on the too much mayo most places. I just tried BLT Fish's roll and found that too "wet" as well, & it had an interesting flavor I didn't care for. It's one I wouldn't order again, though I enjoyed everything else I ate there.

                                            LUNCH is my favorite on earth, and way cheaper than anything in the city, but I can't go out there often enough ;) I really like Mermaid Inn, but right now I'd say Ed's is my winner in the city. Now I wish I'd gone there for lunch today.

                                            1. re: iheartlobster

                                              totally agree with you...and im a huge ed's fan.

                                            2. We were in Manhattan for only one day wanted to try as many lobster rolls as we could. Mary's Fish Camp was indeed very good, a bit more mayo style than I care for but good fresh chuncks of lobster and soft roll, loved this place over all.
                                              We wanted to compare it to Pearl's but they were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, sadly did not try the roll from here.

                                              We catched the last train to Chappaqua where we were staying for the holiday and got a lobster roll to go from the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station. Not sure if I would say it was better than Mary's only because it was late evening and it was a bit chewy but I would imagine earlier in the day it would of been fresher. The lobster roll from the Oyster Bar in Grand Central had less mayo which I give points to And they were able to accommodate getting us a roll together in less than 15 min. so we would not miss our train.

                                              1. I'm surprised not to see Ditch Plains mentioned here. For my money (and lobster rolls require a lot of it), their lobster roll is better than all the rest because of the lobster-to-mayo ratio (high), and also because of the buttered hot dog roll. You should try it before making your final judgment. (Caveat: it comes on a bed of dismal sweet potato chips, requiring you to buy a side of pretty decent fries.)

                                                1. I liked Mermaid Inn's, much less mayo than others that I have had. Would like to try Ditch Plains though.

                                                  1. was wondering... are lobster rolls seasonal at all?

                                                    i'm coming from the west coast and will be out there in feb; would be thrilled to try my first lobster roll!!!

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: so_hungry

                                                      Lobsters don't really have a season, but winter is the worst because the harsh conditions during the winter weather, is the most challenging to catch and harvest and they are smaller. I am a lobster roll crazy and I hate to tell you this my friend but your fist lobster roll should not be had in Manhattan or maybe that is a good thing. Getting out to Portland or Martha's Vineyard, Edgartown and other New England coastal spots will ruin it for you because there is nothing like it.

                                                      I did like Mary's Fish Camp but still the mayo thing bothers me.

                                                      1. re: Lori SF

                                                        ok, got it. i'll pass until i can do it right, then.

                                                        thank you!!

                                                    2. I can't fathom the overwhelming support of Pearl's. Maybe I just had their lobster roll on a bad day, I don't know, but I found it to be terribly mediocre-, bland, too much mayo, the lobster meat was tough. For me Mary's and Mermaid Inn are way better.

                                                      1. I will second the Lure Lobster Roll
                                                        Its very good