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Best Lobster Rolls in NYC


How much?

What makes it the BEST?

Thanks, Chowhounds...

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  1. I think there was a thread on this recently. I like the lobster roll at Oyster Bar at Grand Central Terminal--big, fresh, with nice sized chunks of lobster. It's a good bit larger than the usual lobster rolls you find at the places along Maine's southern coast, but of course not quite as fresh as "just caught."

    Mary's Fish Camp is said to have an excellent lobster roll, but I haven't tried it yet.

    1. Ed's Lobster Bar in Soho has the best lobster roll. Very light on the mayo and a very generous serving of lobster meat. The fries are also excellent.

      1 Reply
      1. re: foodlife

        Ed's wins this contest, hands down. He has perfected the lobster to mayo ratio, and gets the whole "butter the bun" concept that many fancy lobster roll creators neglect. The homemade pickles that come on the side are mouth-puckeringly vinegary, and superb.

      2. Pearl Oyster Bar, hands down !

        1. Luke's Lobster on the northeast corner of E. 7th Street and 1st Ave, in Manhattan (between the two Caracas places), is brand new and has quite tasty lobster rolls for 14 bucks! No tails, like Pearl's, just claw meat and knuckle meat, but a very generous helping, with a bit of mayo and butter or plain or however you want it. They also have crab rolls and shrimp rolls at modest prices. And the bun is great!

          I've gone off Mermaid Inn for lobster rolls since the last couple times---they've been godawful: all mashed up shreds of lobster in a very nasty mayo-based mix.

          Pearl's and Mary's Fish Camp still the best, but the prices are twice what Luke's charges. Still, you get almost a whole lobster. These days, I prefer to go to either the Lobster Pound and buy a container of cooked meat and make the roll myself, or go to Chinatown and buy a whole lobster, since prices are way down.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Miss Rennie

            I second Luke's. It's a good-size roll for one person and the best thing about it (apart from the price) is the seasoning -- light on the mayo, and i think.. celery salt? Anyway - I shared bites with two other friends and we all really liked it.

            1. re: Miss Rennie

              I don't get why there isn't any tail meat in their lobster rolls. If you cook up a lobster, like they say they do, what do they do with the tail meat? That's a lot of meat to toss in the garbage unless they buy pre packaged or frozen meat which usually comes as claw and knuckle. I prefer the real deal. Eds, Pearl's, Mary's and MTK chowder House. The price is higher but you get what you pay for---Fresh Lobster!

            2. People keep talking about Pearl's and I was excited at finally having a chance to try theirs, and I was horribly disappointed. Looking forward to go to Luke's.

              1. I agree with Miss Rennie, avoid the lobster rolls at Mermaid Inn if at all possible. The oysters there were good though. My only other data point is Mary's Fish Camp; that was an excellent roll. The lobster chunks were nice and big and the roll itself was pretty darn good too.

                1. Very good lobster roll today at Brooklyn Flea -- indoors, in the old vault of the former Williamsburgh Savings Bank -- from Red Hook Lobster Pound. They offer the mayo version, but I had mine Connecticut style, warm, with melted butter. Pix TK on my website and Flickr photostream, once I sort through today's photos.

                  1 Reply
                  1. My wife and I have been trying to answer this question since last summer. While I have not tried Luke's yet (but have heard first hand of it's amazingness...), I can honestly say that Mary's is much better than any of the others that we've found. In order, with 10 being our favorite (Mary's) and 1 being our least favorite (Mermaid Inn), below is my rough analogous rating scale -

                    Mary's - 10
                    Ed's - 7
                    The Lobster Place - 6
                    Mermaid Inn -1

                    1. LOBSTER ROLL TIP:

                      Do not spend $24-$30 on a lobster roll at even the best restaurants(which are amazingly wonderful, and Pearl Oyster Bar is a standout).

                      Instead go to the amazing, Lobster Pound in Red Hook on Van Brunt Street. The owner, Ray, heads up to Maine once a week and gets fresh lobters straight from the fishermen. Here you can get Maine lobster meat on a roll ready to go, for a lot less. Last time I think it was $14.

                      Or better still, buy a pound of the fresh shelled meat. They also sell these perfect New England baked buns ready for grilling. Then, head home, melt the butter, fry the buns, stir some mayonnaise and lemon juice into the lobster meat or add what you like) and you will make 6-8 fresh lobster rolls for a total of $35lb for meat and $4/bag of bread about. Our family is now officaily spoiled and addicted.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: mirandabrooklyn

                        For one prepared lobster roll, $14 is also the price you'll pay at Brooklyn Flea, which from many locations is easier to get to than Red Hook...


                        ...though that's no match for the cost-effectiveness of your DIY rolls, mirandabrooklyn.

                        1. At Stop and Shop, they sell lobster rolls -- 3 for $11.99 on sale -- and one for $3.99 to $4.49.

                          There's a big Stop and Shop on Union Turnpike in Queens where I get them. The Northern Boulevard Stop and Shop has them too, that's easier to reach via subway. Here's the link to the outer borough's post.

                          1. Ecstasy! First...a moment to say thank you to all chowhound contributors! You are the best! I just stopped by Lukes and based on a tip from here, bought the Seafood Schooner which was the lobster roll, maine soda and chips to go for 17.00 and change. The plan was to drive home and enjoy it later for lunch. You stand on line, place your order, are asked for here or to go, and then are given a number. When my number was called, I glimpsed a glorious view of luscious pink and white plumpness. As my brain is registering the clearly definable claw shape, I remind them my order is to go. Laughing, nobody moved, because I was too busy staring hungrily at the fresh lobster on top of the buttered, toasted bun. Yes, I was going to take it home and enjoy it later...that was an hour ago. I tried...I put the bag in the back seat, reminded myself that it would taste so good later. Yet, the minute I dropped my friend off, I had to open up the sandwich, served in a lunchbox, and 'just look'...at least three, tender,juicy, fresh claws later I was home. When I looked at what survived the ride, I saw I had eaten most of the lobster out of my sandwich. I shrugged, opened the chips, the divine orange soda, and moved some of the lobster from one corner to the other surprised to see enough lobster left to completely fill the roll and it was the perfect size to bite, savor the flavor of the lobster seasoned with a bit of celery salt and butter, the toasted yet soft buttered bun and allow the sensation of pure pleasure to escape in a sigh and toast to chowhound!

                            1 Reply
                            1. Really good one at Walter Foods in Williamsburg.

                              1. Apartment 138 on Smith St. has a great Lobster Roll. $15. Light on the mayo, but they also put somethin else it (like a celery or onion or something) that gives it a very pleasing textural "crunch" without overshadowing the flavor of the lobster in any way. They served these at the Bastille Day Street Fair last Sunday. Not sure if it's on their regular menu or not, but this restaurant is an absolutely great spot regardless.

                                2 Replies
                                  1. re: nooyawka

                                    Well, that link provides pretty much the definitive report. At the very least it lists a LOT of places to try the lobster roll. Thanks for posting it.

                                1. I live on the UES and had to travel downtown to get good lobster rolls. MY favorites are Pearl Oyster bar and Ed's. we were recently at a new place, MTK Chowder House on the UES. My wife and I no longer have to go down town. Fresh Lobster with a bit of mayo, a touch of celery salt and a few drops of fresh squeezed lemon packed on a classic top loader that's buttered and toasted. The owner was happy to share his recipe. The price was listed as MP which was $20.00 and well worth it. we rank this as our best yet.

                                  MTK Chowder House
                                  1471 1st Ave, New York, NY 10075

                                  1. You should also try the lobster rolls at the Red Hook Lobster Pound. The same price point as Luke's Lobster (I have never had) available with mayo or butter (CT style). Very delish. They also sell Maine fresh lobsters at $9.99 per pound!

                                    1. Uh, that would be Ditch Plains.