There's absolutely nothing wrong with a classic lobster roll, but seafood spots from Maine to L.A. are putting terrific spins on the beach-shack favorite.

By Christine Quinlan
Updated May 23, 2017
© Christine Quinlan
  • I’m a lobster roll purist. I don’t like celery or other filler, and I don’t like too much mayo. I prefer a bit of lettuce and plenty of lobster on a toasted, split-top bun. My favorite classic-style roll comes from The Bayside in Westport, Massachusetts and it has piles of fresh lobster meat—some might even say too much. (But not me. Picture squeezing into a pair of skinny jeans two sizes too small, but in the best way possible.) The Bayside’s roll is served with mayo or melted butter on the side, so I can get the ratio just the way I like it. And the restaurant overlooks Buzzards Bay, which doesn’t hurt, since ocean or bay views always make seafood taste better. That said, restaurants across the country are putting delicious spins on this classic dish. Here, five lobster roll upgrades at seafood spots from Maine to L.A.
  • Brown butter: The mini roll at Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, Maine is served on a squishy steamed bun and the lobster is dressed with brown butter vinaigrette. (To make your own vinaigrette: cook unsalted butter over low heat for 3 or 4 minutes, then stir in vinegar. We like a 2:1 ratio of butter to vinegar.)
  • Bacon:B&G Oyster in Boston offers an amazing BLT with lobster. It's served on crusty bread and gets a salty crunch from thick-cut bacon.
  • Lemon: At MC Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, Maine, chefs Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier mix lobster with tangy housemade lemon mayo and herbs to give a classic roll a little more punch.
  • Green curry spices: At Hinoki & The Bird in Los Angeles, lobster meat is flavored with Vietnamese green curry aioli and fresh Thai basil. It’s served on a black roll that’s toasted with charcoal powder.
  • Spicy coleslaw: Near a historic lighthouse in Portland, Maine's Fort Williams Park, you'll find a tiny food truck called Bite Into Maine. Its Picnic Style roll includes a layer of coleslaw, seasoned with wasabi, curry and chipotle.