The lobster roll concept is simple: fresh lobster meat on a soft roll in the style of a hot dog bun.
Lobster rolls have become a New England tradition, but that doesn’t mean everyone agrees on how they should be prepared.
In Maine, the cold preparation with mayo reigns supreme, while Connecticut serves them warm with lots of melted butter.
Can’t decide which sounds better? Head to Boston for the best of both worlds, where mayo and butter styles are widely available.
On my latest trip, I tracked down some of the best lobster rolls in Boston.
Check out my list of favorites below!
Lobstah On A Roll has expanded to two restaurants in Boston, serving uncomplicated New England classics. I visited the location in the South End.
This spot is small but lively, with an overall homey feel.
Lobstah On A Roll serves many fried foods, like most seafood Joints, but they also have many sandwiches to choose from, including a hot and cold variation of the lobster roll.
I opted for cold since the afternoon was relatively warm. It was a great take on the classic.
Try the Mussel fra Diavalo to add a spicy appetizer to a delicious meal.
James Hook & Co
440 Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA 02210
James Hook & Co is an unassuming spot in Boston’s Downtown Waterfront.
This seafood restaurant has been in operation for nearly one hundred years.
James Hook & Co’s success may be in part to its prime location across the Evelyn Moakley Bridge from the Boston’s Children Museum, but the real draw here is the fresh seafood.
While there are many places to grab a bite right along the water, this was one of my favorite spots.
The no-frills take on food, and a small menu, allow the restaurant to make simple but tasty dishes.
My lobster roll with mayo wasn’t fancy, but it was loaded with large chunks of tender lobster, making for a great lunch.
Legal Sea Foods is a Boston favorite with multiple locations throughout the city.
I visited the Downtown Crossing location just a short walk from Boston Common.
The upscale establishment had a refined decor, combing old and new for a sleek-looking place to dine.
Legal Seafood’s food philosophy blends the old and new as well.
They serve many innovative dishes alongside some of the best lobster rolls in Boston.
A portion of their menu is new items made in their test kitchen.
In addition to a tasty half-pound lobster roll, I tried the sesame-crusted yellowfin tuna, a refreshing bite after so much lemon mayo!
63 Salem St # 1, Boston, MA 02113
Find Neptune Oyster in Boston’s North End among some of the city’s most historically significant buildings.
This restaurant is small, but they make the most of their space, displaying bottles of wine on built-in shelves around behind the counter.
Despite its small size, this restaurant’s white ceiling and countertops create a bright and welcoming space here.
Unlike other interpretations, Neptune Oyster serves their lobster on a toasted brioche roll.
I was initially skeptical, but the brioche was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
At Neptune, I ordered my lobster roll with a side salad, a nice change from typical sides like fries and chips.
65 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113
The next spot for the best lobster rolls in Boston is a few steps from Neptune Oyster.
Pauli’s is another favorite in the North End that has even been featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
Pauli’s is a much more casual place than their neighbor, serving lobster rolls in addition to Italian and American classic dishes.
Pauli’s offers three sizes of lobster rolls.
The largest is the USS Lobstitution, with 28 ounces of lobster meat.
Even though I opted for the smaller size, I still wish I had more room to try out some of the other amazing dishes served here.
My advice? Eat the lobster roll at the restaurant and order an authentic deli sandwich to go.
383 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210
The old industrial neighborhood of Fort Point has been given new life with an influx of exciting businesses in the area.
This includes Row 34, an old brick building with tall ceilings and lots of character.
A modern aesthetic adds to the location creating a sleek and contemporary place to eat.
Row 34 serves a variety of seafood with fresh, bright flavors.
When I visited the restaurant, I ordered Ethel’s Creamy Lobster Roll.
The portion of lobster was generous with the smallest amount of pickles creating a crunchy, tart surprise in the sauce.
279 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116
Saltie Girl serves seafood of all sorts a few blocks from the monument-lined Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
I loved the interior of this restaurant for its unique choice of color and accessories.
Everything here looks almost mismatched, but in a way that pulls together an eclectic look.
The lobster roll here can be ordered hot or cold; either way, I recommend getting a side of chips.
Saltie Girl’s vinegar potato chips were crisp, sharp, and salty creating a perfect balance to the tender, buttery lobster meat.
The restaurant serves more than just lobster rolls, a large variety of tinned fish is served here too!
Luke’s Lobster is another option for some of the best lobster rolls in Boston with multiple locations.
The Downtown Crossing location is steps away from the Old South Meeting House, where the Boston Tea Pary began.
Inside Luke’s Lobster provides a rustic aesthetic creating a relaxed vibe here.
Luke’s only does seafood rolls in the traditional Maine style with mayo and lemon butter.
One of my favorite aspects of Luke’s was the trios available.
The lobster roll flight, which is seasonal, has three rolls: lemon butter, truffle butter, and spicy.
This trio was a great way to sample the lobster rolls at this restaurant.
1321 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215
As the name implies, Eventide Fenway is within walking distance of the famous Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.
This part of Boston is filled with trendy spots to eat and drink, but Eventide stands out for its stylish design and counter-service style dining.
Eventide serves Japanese-inspired dishes and classic American fare creating a unique menu with something for everyone.
There’s a kid’s menu here, unlike some other places on my list, making this a great restaurant for everyone from adventurous eaters to picky ones.
As for the lobster rolls, I recommend their specialty, The Eventide Brown Butter Lobster Roll.
300 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210
The South Boston Waterfront, once a bustling seaport district, is filled with high-end restaurants.
Yankee Lobster breaks the model with a laidback attitude and minimalist storefront.
The vibe is very relaxed, and so is the food.
The interior is welcoming, with red accents that make the space pop.
Seafood is the specialty here, and there are many ways to enjoy it at Yankee Lobster.
Yankee does a little of everything from shrimp tacos to poke tuna rice bowls.
For my visit, I tried the fried lobster seasoned with Old Bay.
It was a tasty take on the classic roll!
269 Putnam Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Across the Charles River in the Riverside neighborhood of Cambridge, visitors come to Alive & Kicking Lobsters for fast favorites.
The restaurant has an uncomplicated setup: chairs and tables topped with paper towels.
Alive & Kicking doesn’t need anything fancy when it serves remarkably fresh seafood that’s consistently delicious.
Alive & Kicking Lobsters doesn’t technically have a lobster roll.
The restaurant has a lobster sandwich with a generous portion of perfectly combined lobster salad on toast.
The filling was buttery, and the lobster meat was sweet.
In addition to the lobster roll, this little spot has excellent clam chowder.
550 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116
B&G Oysters is located in Boston’s South End among the Victorian-style brick building of the area.
This part of the city is known for its trendy dining spots, and B&G ranks as one of the best.
Barbara Lynch, a James Beard Award winner, has opened many successful restaurants in the area. B&G is Lynch’s modern take on the raw bar.
While B&G has a prestigious founder, the lobster roll here is a classic take.
The accompaniment of pickles on the side makes for a crunchy, sour break from the rich and creamy lobster.
Consider leaving room for dessert when visiting B&G; the restaurant has an excellent olive oil cake served with berries and chantilly cream.
1 Main St, Winthrop, MA 02152
Part of Greater Boston, Belle Isle Sea Food is on the western edge of the city of Winthrop.
The nearby Belle Isle Marsh Reservation is a great park to explore, with 28 acres of marshy salt wetlands.
The restaurant is perfect for winding down after a long walk in a casual setting with excellent seafood.
Belle Isle serves only the cold style of lobster sandwich, but there are additional options to choose from here.
I upgraded my lobster meat for an all-tail roll.
The tail meat roll was exceptionally juicy, and my portion was coated with just the right amount of sauce.
88 Sleeper St, Boston, MA 02210
The Barking Crab’s channel side location is impossible to miss.
An open-air restaurant styled to look like a flashy circus tent covered with lights.
Though it might be over the top for some tastes, I enjoyed the chaotic feel of the outdoor eating area.
Everyone seemed to be having a fun time eating here.
The Barking Crab serves straightforward seafood with a vast number of options to choose from.
Since I was looking for the best lobster rolls in Boston, I had to try this eatery’s take on the classic.
The Barking Crab roll is very close to the original, but dijon is added to the sauce for a lightly spicy flavor that I would go back to eat again.
304 Stuart St, Boston, MA 02116
Cusser’s serves its famous roast beef and seafood a few blocks from the Boston Public Garden.
The modern take on the diner is apparent in the style of the restaurant and on the menu.
Cusser’s relaxing atmosphere makes it a great place to have an evening cocktail and eat some fantastic food.
Lobster rolls from Cusser’s are served warm with lots of melted butter and topped with chives.
The lobster rolls here were great, but the rotating cocktail menu was one of the best I’d seen while pursuing the best lobster rolls in Boston.
From seafood shacks serving lobster to unique locations putting their spin on things, there are many places to try some of the best lobster rolls in Boston.
So many of these well-known were hidden gems. I’m curious if there’s anything out there I missed.
Lobster rolls aren’t the only sandwich Boston knows. Check out these burger joints around the city for an incredible experience!
Do you have a recommendation for a great lobster roll in Boston I haven’t tried yet? Let me know in the comments!