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Looking for great lobster roll places down the shore

After having a mediocre (at Best) lobster roll at Buckalew's in LBI this weekend (they call it the lobster hoagie), Im looking for some recommendations for shore joints that serve up a great lobster roll. Plan on taking the little guy to the beach as often as we can this summer, and would rather not be disappointed again.

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  1. In Cape May, Cape May Fish market makes a decent one. Surprisingly the Lobster House doesn't even have one on the menu ...

    1. Hopefully someone knows because I have yet to find a good traditional roll.

      However, there is a decent lobster dish at McCloones pierhouse. (note I use the word DISH lol)

      It's not served on a roll like the ones you get in new england. However, it is pretty darn tasty.

      People always rant and rave when you mention this place because the food is mediocre and the prices are on the higher side. I agree with this but this dish is above average on the taste scale, and yes, the price is high at 22.00.

      I get invited here for lunch outings a lot at work and this is my "go to" dish.


      Maine lobster meat sautéed with shallots,
      tarragon & mushrooms, then deglazed
      with sherry & cream in a toasted bread bowl

      Someone will probably come on and bash mcloones like usual, so just get ready and give that dish a shot if you are in the area.

      1. It's pretty much a B- Lobster Roll, but, sadly, it's the best one I know of in the Mon/OC. Red's Lobster Pot in Point Pleasant. http://redslobsterpot.com/Lunch.html

        I tend to make my own. It wasn't a popular thing in NJ (or NY, for that matter, 'til recently). I'd expect to see some better ones croppin' up soon. To that end, let's keep this thread alive for the Summer?

        1 Reply
        1. re: MGZ

          I agree about Red's, havent tried other stuff there yet.

          For people who like lobster rolls the Lobster Gal blog is fun: "one gal's quest to sample every lobster roll in New England"



        2. I was hoping the new Chowda House place in red bank would have a lobster roll on the menu but no dice.

          lets get a petition going lol

          5 Replies
            1. re: MGZ

              It serioulsy couldn't hurt to run the idea by them. Tell them there is giant void in NJ that needs to be addressed. If they could make a decent lobster roll at a price that didn't kill people, they would clean up I bet. Small places like that may actually care what their customers want.

              I could be completely wrong, but my guess is that it is rather hard to get lobster meat since you have to get it fresh. (in comparison to keeping stuff in a freezer ready to be flash fried.) Furthermore, lots of restaurants don't want to screw around with fluctuating prices.

              1. re: corvette johnny

                The fluctuating prices would definitely be a problem. Especially, if you think about what happened this winter with the moratorium. I, similarly agree that someone who could hook up with Point Lobster, get bugs cheap all Summer, perfect a recipe, and for the love of all things holy, use griddle seared, top sliced, buttered rolls, would do very well.

                I grew up at the Shore. Lobster was one of the first solid foods I ate. I pulled traps a coupla Summers for a buddy of my Dad’s to get some cash (and build upper body strength before football season started). Lobster rolls, proper, was somethin’ I never discovered ‘til one spring break in college, me and my roommate from Puerto Rico decided to see if we could surf at least once in every New England State.* I had one in a diner kinda place in some town a bit south of Kinnebunk with a pretty rocky shore line.*

                I’ve been makin’ ever since . . . .

                *For what it's worth, the stench of the wetsuits in the Jeep on the way back to school was powerful - to say the least.

              2. re: MGZ

                Hi MGZ

                how bout posting your recipe here?

                1. re: eatinman

                  OK, it's kinda like this one:


                  However, I use a bit less mayo, add chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, and tarragon (about a tablespoon each, it seems, but it depends upon what looks best in the garden, so it could vary a quarter Tbs. each).

                  Also, I use less lemon. More like a hard squeeze of one half of a big lemon than two Tbs.

                  Finally, I prefer salted butter for the buns and don't use the lettuce.

            2. Sorry, but Jersey just doesn't do lobster rolls. Sure, I'm sure most chefs know of it, have had them (in NE or even NYC) --- it's just something that you should forget about as anyone who is doing it, is doing it on a basterdized basis and not what you may have had in Maine..

              Just being honest.

              You want a delicious lobster dish? Order the lobster bisque from Harry's in Sea Bright. It's worth the $25.

              10 Replies
              1. re: JustJake

                MGZ, yes even a summer time special would be cool.

                Jake, I agree they won't compete with the fresh maine lobster, but I think a B or B- grade lobster roll could be made here if someone has a clue. There is something about the cold water maine bugs that just makes them the sweetest.

                I compare this to cheesesteaks. Yeah philly is the best but if you have decent skills you can make a half decent one in other cities.

                I was considering an email to Chowda house. I wonder if they would even reply back to me.

                25.00 for soup? Is that a joke at their prices or is that some type of entree?

                Speaking of places that would do well in red bank, imagine a rutgers style grease truck open late each night? That would clean house with the bar crowd.

                1. re: corvette johnny

                  "I agree they won't compete with the fresh maine lobster, but I think a B or B- grade lobster roll could be made here if someone has a clue. There is something about the cold water maine bugs that just makes them the sweetest."

                  CJ, I respect you as a 'hound, but I gotta say, if you can tell the difference between a Maine Lobster (Homarus americanus ) caught in the deep waters off Labrador, Maine, or New Jersey, then I will bow before you. Not many Maine Lobsters around here come from Maine - it's a generic name folks use to describe the species. Local fisherman pull 'em from deep waters that are very fuckin' cold. Personally, I'd rather have one that's only been in the tank a day or so than one that spent a coupla days comin' here from Canada.

                  And, by the way, if you e-mail Chowda House, include a link to this thread. It might help 'em see the potential. I'd guess they would have a shot of doin' a better job than Boondocks.

                  1. re: MGZ

                    To be precise, I am referring to referring to an actual lobster, not the meat in a roll.

                    Maybe that is an exaggeration but I can tell you the cold water ones that are fresh and hard definitely taste the best....better than any around here in warm waters I find. It could be my imagination but I definitely think they are better. Why, I am not sure. Maybe its the texture, flavor, or the wicked nice new england summah weatha!

                    I go to maine each year to eat these things and I grew up in belford chowing down lobsters from the Shop and Duran families (old school lobster families.) I've had my share...

                    PS, if you want a good conversation and have some time to kil, find an old salt in Maine. Ask him why maine lobsters are better and you will find some interesting topics.

                    1. re: corvette johnny

                      Sometimes the magic in the air touches our tongues. As always, hat's off, Brother.

                      1. re: MGZ

                        I agree. Another factor which I forgot about is the maine saltwater. A lot of places I go to cook them in tidal saltwater. Anyway, let's just agree that lobster meat rules : )

                        1. re: corvette johnny

                          I'm a steam/boil in Atlantic water guy myself. Kinda sucks to fill the jugs for Christmas Eve. But for lobster, frozen toes are worth it!

                          Besides, you still gotta tell Chris Carton that Z said "thumbs up" on the brewery, and "Do you still have that bad fake ID we made at your folk's house?"

                          1. re: MGZ

                            I saw him the other night at Copper Canyon. He was with a buddy at a table so I didn't want to bombard him.

                            I will ask him about the Z man next time I see him. Maybe he can tell me some stories of glory over a beer LOL

                            1. re: corvette johnny

                              If he's uncertain, just remind him that he used to date Butthole's sister.

                              1. re: MGZ

                                My mom is one thing, but now your bringing my sister into things?

                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                  She was a lovely girl and one of my top three favorite prom dates. Besides, Mom paid me off for that long ago. Moreover, if you're not careful, I'm gonna let your kids know how to get booze underage in Red Bank

              2. Not Down the Shore, but a nice day trip anyway. Drive to Jersey City and take the water taxi over to the World Financial Center. There is cart there that sells the best lobster rolls you can find in NY or NJ. I believe they sell for around 23 bucks, but they are worth it. Your little guy will enjoy the water taxi ride and you can site see in the area of the World Financial Center. I don't know if they are there on weekends and I don't know the name of the cart.

                1. Define lobster roll. I hate those mayo heavy, celery, lettuce "salad" rolls. Only give me toasted bun, warmed fresh lobster with butter.

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: Sdenred

                    CT style?

                    Do you know anywhere at the Shore that makes 'em?

                    1. re: MGZ

                      I know this isn't particularly helpful, but at Jersey Shore Food Truck wars at Monmouth Park last weekend, the Red Hook Lobster Truck had various lobster rolls - Maine style and CT style. I thought they were both pretty great at about $17 a pop. Wish they had a regular presence down the shore.

                      1. re: jsfein

                        I wish they did too - or that somebody local figured out how the trend is workin' and picked up on the idea. Lobster rolls are a pretty simple thing to make and the guys who started offerin' 'em in the City are getting rich and famous. You'd think some smart hipster in AP woulda figured this out by now, no?

                        1. re: MGZ

                          I emailed them this morning and they quickly replied. They said they have gotten other requests too.

                          "I am sure we will be adding it as a special soon."

                          I am pulling for them and I told them to leave off the mayo ; )

                          This could be big. The red hook lobster pound is practically celebrity status now. Like MGZ, I figured some one who have cashed in on this around here.

                          1. re: corvette johnny

                            Yep. Offer 'em both ways. Perfect the mayo version. Griddle the sides of top split buns. Get a cheap deal for local bugs from a place like Point Lobster or that place in the Highlands. Oh, and issue me a card for one free one every time I come by in return for the idea and instructions?

                            1. re: MGZ

                              Always workin an angle. I remember on a trip to Maine the Mc Donald's up there carried lobster rolls. I'm thinking of stopping on my way home and picking a few of them bugs up again to "snack" on this weekend.

                              1. re: MGZ

                                Seriously MGZ? Why don't you do it? You have great ideas! Get thyself a truck! Work it all summer, take the winter off.

                                1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                  You, Jerseygirl, just thrilled me with all your charms. Someday, maybe I'll work it out, but wouldn't it be better to work the winters and take the summers off?

                                  1. re: MGZ

                                    Speaking of trucks, does anyone know what those two trucks are that park in the galleria (red bank) on the sundays? the other day I saw two and Gus was not there? Did Gus retire?

                                    1. re: MGZ

                                      Funny, I was at La Griglia last night chatting it up with my buddy Vincenzo, the bartender. His GF started a truck this year, she was at the Monmouth Park "Truck Wars" and he was telling me what a great success it's been. Got my wheel's turning!

                                      This is her.


                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                        yeah the food trucks seem to be gaining popularity (mainly due to the TV exposure I think.)

                                        If someone could open up a Rutgers style "grease truck" in red bank that thing would dominate. I doubt the town would let it happen but if there was a way, lots of drunk bar people would flock to it.

                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                          There was a long line at this truck when I was there, but I didn't get to try it ... too full!

                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                            I heard there is a pork roll truck that's going to be stationed at "Little" Monmouth Beach Club this Summer.

                                          2. re: MGZ

                                            Think anybody else got that?

                            2. Point Lobster Company in Point Pleasant is great! Very generous with the lobster! :)

                              1. Good question - we get delicious lobsters, but it seems we don't know what to do with them!
                                I had a lousey $16 "lobster roll" (actually a tiny lobster salad roll) at an Asbury joint right on the boardwalk - and a lousey $18 "lobster po' boy" (also lobster salad) at a high-falootin' water-front joint in Highlands - it's a travesty.

                                To make a luscious lobster roll is so simple! Not a lot of ingredients... not complicated... can't figure out why no one has mastered it yet. Next time I'm on LBI I will ask my favorite seafood house what gives... maybe they'll make one up special and we can get something started!

                                1. not down the shore, but in Piermont NY had a great "seafood" roll at Cornetta's yesterday. ate outdoors next to the dock as Sandy destroyed the indoor restaurant which they are renovating. Nice view of the Tappan Zee and Hudson. Tasty roll with lobster and shrimp on a long skinny bun (like a double hot dog bun). nice touch of basil inside the bun - delicious and fresh tasting came with a good portion side of tasty fries. well worth the $18 IMO. washed down with a few blue moons and relaxed in the nice weather. perfect.

                                  1. The folks at Langosta Lounge opened a place called Libby's (I think this weekend) on the AP Boardwalk adjacent to Langosta. A dozen or so items on the menu, including a lobster roll ($14), steamers, clam chowder, etc. Was on the boardwalk yesterday but didn't get to try (or even see) their lobster roll.

                                      1. re: equal_Mark

                                        Nice! Maybe my email paid off lol

                                        I will be there in a few days.

                                          1. re: MGZ

                                            come up here tonight...

                                            I got a sneak peak and they will be doing them both styles.

                                            1. re: corvette johnny

                                              That Chowda House? Not claiming to be a lobster roll expert, however it seems the meat is whole, not chopped. Wouldn't that make for a difficult, chewy sandwich? Obviously claw is somewhat tender, but certainly not tail meat.

                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                So I went to the Chowda House last night and got a lobster roll. It's pretty darn good! I got the one with no mayo (they have two styles)

                                                First off, the amount of meat was spot on. They didn't skimp and for 20 bucks, I thought the price was fair. Considering food trucks are charging near these prices, I wasn't disappointed.

                                                Anyone who knows how much of a b*itch it is to get knuckle meat out knows what I am talking about. The meat tasted real fresh, had a good flavor and was nice and firm (no spongy garbage meat)

                                                This is as simple as it gets....a nice amount of lobster meat and some butter. It wasn't over seasoned and stacked with filler/mayo/celery etc and no lettuce.

                                                JR, they use claw and knuckle meat in rolls traditionally. its more tender, fattier, and less fibrous. I suppose tails are more valuable whole on the dinner table at restaurants.

                                                I had some stuffies, which were decent but not epic you get 3 for 5.00. I could have polished off probably ten of these LOL. The whole clams I thought were excellent! They were super tender, tasty and I wanted to order another round. They do have some raw if you are into that.

                                                My wife has a nice bowl of NE chowder. I had a little bit and it was good. Not super chunky but good texture, flavor and price.

                                                Overall, I will be back. Nex time I pass on the stuffies and double up on the fried whole clams.

                                                The bill was 58 for two rolls, 1 stuffie order, 1 clam order and 1 chowder.

                                                The lobster roll could definitely use some better bread. As MGZ mentioned, good bread is critical. It is a soft roll and not toasted. I suppose lobster rolls are like hamburgers and pizza. You can have so many variables that you will never please everyone but I thought this was overall a decent roll. For NJ where they are kind on nonexistent, that makes it even tastier. Maybe it has been so long since I have had one (last summer) that this tasted even better.

                                                My fries were kind of soggy and needed help. Maybe since this was the first night they served lobster rolls they didn't have their game on but I would have liked some nice hot and crispy fries. They are hand cut and i got some vinegar.

                                                Coleslaw was tasty and not super mayo'd up. A pickle on the side would have been cool....love good pickles with a sandwich.

                                                I wish this place well. The people are super friendly and its nice to get something a little different around here. Steak after steak after hamburger gets old sometimes ; )

                                                I hope some hounders will get over to try the lobster rolls. And I just hope bonehead kids on their iphones don't go trash this place on yelp. Its a simple menu and the place is not trying to over compensate. They serve decent seafood at fair prices. And yes its BYOB so I tanked a few brews there.

                                                1. re: corvette johnny

                                                  you had me till "soft roll and not toasted". A lobster roll needs a lightly buttered/toasted roll to put it over the top!

                                                  Regardless, great report and we look forward to a lobster roll (or two or three) here.

                                                  1. re: Foody4life

                                                    yes, again it is not a grade A roll. However, it is a nice addition to my area : )

                                                    And maybe if we ask they can toast it up.

                                                    1. re: Foody4life

                                                      This is odd. I also went last night and had a lobster roll. I had the lemon zest aoli version and it was piled high on a griddled top split bun (definitely toasted). Had it with the Raw bar appetizer which was 3 clams on the half shell and 3 oysters on the half shell for $7.95

                                                      Opted to sit out back in their new alfresco area with an outdoor raw bar that they will be using on weekends and for private parties:

                                                      1. re: equal_Mark

                                                        Interesting. I sat inside and there were a few cooks. Maybe we got different people making them. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed yours. Next time I will ask them to toast it up. cheers!

                                                        1. re: corvette johnny

                                                          Hmmm, might they be following this thread?

                                                          1. re: equal_Mark

                                                            For what it's worth my lobster roll was made with lobster meat, not a "whole lobster." :-)

                                        1. Has anyone been to even tide in sea bright? There isn't much online about it but one lady did mention lobster rolls. I might have to investigate....

                                          A short review I found....

                                          "Formerly The Dockside. COMPLETELY re-done and gorgeous after Sandy! Limited menu till 100% up and running but will definitely be returning! Po Boy and lobster roll sandwiches were great!"

                                          1 Reply