Whether you prefer your lobster roll cold and mayo-dressed or bathed in warm butter, the Boston area has a lobster roll for you. (Just pronounce it lobstah, please.) Locals have weighed in, and these are their top seven rolls in the greater Boston area – one for every day of the week (aka the perfect week!). Read on to discover the most popular Boston-area lobster rolls on Caviar.
1. Saltie Girl
Kathy Sidell’s Back Bay spot dedicated to all things seafood opened in 2016, and the lobster rolls have been legendary ever since. Sidell, who owns the Metropolitan Restaurant group, is legendary among Bostonians due, in large part, to her curated selection of tinned fishes (check out the seemingly endless tinned fish menu!). The so-called Gloucester Lobster Roll is available either cold with mayo (that’s the New England way, in case you were wondering) or warm with butter; either way the gorgeous, local meat is stuffed into a griddled, split-top roll with salt-and-vinegar chips on the side.
Legal Sea Foods is a Bay State benchmark. The original opened more than 50 years ago and now there are outposts all over the state and beyond. The locations remain popular on Caviar, and the top order (at presstime) is the Half Pound Maine Lobster Roll. The hulking roll can be prepared in myriad ways: on a gluten-free roll, poached in warm butter, or served traditional-style in lemony mayo.
This Cambridge icon opened in 1975 and remains one of the most popular spots for snagging a tried-and-true New England-style lobster roll. If you’re looking for local, this roll is where it’s at: Scituate, Mass. lobster is mixed with just enough mayo and is layered on top of a perfectly buttered and griddled roll. (The Plymouth County town of Scituate is home to 33 commercial fishermen and lands over 600,000 pounds of lobster annually.) House-made chips and a crunchy pickle are an added bonus. (Market prices fluctuate, so note that the price of this roll may change from day to day.)
Overstuffed sandwiches have been the name of the game at Pauli’s, a North End Bostonian favorite for its hearty sandwiches and salads since it opened in 2011. There are technically two versions of a lobster roll served at Pauli’s. The classic is the cold lobster roll, made with chunks of fresh lobster meat dressed in mayo and served in a grilled New England-style hot dog bun and accompanied by a bag of Utz potato chips (for $2 extra, you can add a side of hot butter). Non-traditionalists may opt for the lobster grilled cheese with American cheese and white bread.
With outposts on Newbury Street and Atlantic Avenue, Joe’s American Bar & Grill goes big on comfort food. That might be spinach and artichoke dip or clam chowder in a bread bowl or seven-layer chocolate cake or their sublime lobster roll teeming with fresh, sweet Maine lobster meat. The lobster comes tossed in a lemon-chive mayo and sits nestled in an extra-buttery brioche bun. On the side, choose between the steak fries or the chips. (Get the fries!)
Harvard Square’s Red House Restaurant opened in 2000 in a historic building, adding a botanical-inspired bar and a four-season patio, specializing in seafood.They have not one but two of the city’s most popular rolls. The classic New England-style lobster roll comes tossed in mayonnaise seasoned with lemon or melted butter. The Sriracha mayo and avocado lobster roll is a sleeper hit.
The original Kelly’s Roast Beef opened in Revere Beach in 1951, and the larger Saugus outpost has occupied prime real estate on Route 1 for decades. Although most come for the North Shore–style roast beef sandwiches, the lobster salad roll is a perennial favorite. It comes packed with the meat from two pounds of cold-water lobster dressed with mayo and celery, and served atop a grilled, split-top bun. It also comes with chips and a pickle and costs less than $30, making it one of the most affordable lobster rolls in the Boston area.