clock menu more-arrow no yes
A lobster roll sits atop a white plate, and is topped with shockingly green minced chives.
The beautiful lobster roll from B & G Oysters.
Bill Addison/Eater

Where to Eat Lobster Rolls in Boston

The northeast is full of lobster rolls — here’s where to find a good one in the Hub

View as Map
The beautiful lobster roll from B & G Oysters.
| Bill Addison/Eater

The lobster roll — which is absolutely not a sandwich — might be the most polarizing of all polarizing New England fare. Some eaters favor their bug meat served cold, dressed heavily with mayonnaise, and stuffed between a hot dog bun with lettuce and tomato; others eschew excessive accoutrement, preferring their lobster served hot, dressed simply with butter, and packed into a warm, buttered New England-style hot dog bun. Mostly everyone agrees on the hot dog bun; the hot dog bun is universal. Honestly, though: There’s no wrong way to eat a lobster roll (fast food versions notwithstanding).

Because lobster fishers in Maine haul in up to 75 million pounds of lobster each year, lobster rolls are ubiquitous on menus at seafood shacks up and down the New England coast. Boston’s dining scene is no exception. Here are 12 essential lobster rolls to snack on when in or near the city.

This map was originally published on October 4, 2017; it is updated periodically, and the date of the most recent update appears above.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
If you book a reservation through an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

1. Pauli's

Copy Link
65 Salem St
Boston, MA 02113
(857) 284-7064
Visit Website

This North End sandwich shop serves its lobster rolls “classic cold” or “hot in butter,” but mayo haters should note that even the buttered version includes mayo. There are three different sizes, including the 28-ounce “Lobstitution.” The smallest size comes on the traditional New England-style hot dog bun, while the others come on sub rolls. Want to send an out-of-town friend a taste of Boston? Pauli’s ships lobster roll kits and whoopie pies nationwide.

2. Neptune Oyster

Copy Link
63 Salem St # 1
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 742-3474
Visit Website

Neptune’s lobster roll is regarded as perhaps the best lobster roll in the city; the restaurant serves around 125 to 150 of them a day. Served on a toasted brioche roll, it’s available hot and buttered as well as cold with mayo. Neptune’s roll is massive, not one of those four- or five-bite situations. (Carb-averse folks are welcome to order without the bun.) Expect to wait in line — Neptune doesn’t take reservations.

The Maine lobster roll at Neptune Oyster is served on a grilled hot dog bun atop a white plate, and is accompanied by French fries and a ramekin of ketchup.
Maine lobster roll at Neptune Oyster.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

3. Alive & Kicking Lobsters

Copy Link
269 Putnam Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 876-0451

Okay, so this thing is more of a sandwich than a roll. But does anyone really care? Alive & Kicking piles a lot of lobster meat between two pieces of buttered Scali bread toast. The lobster is also lightly dressed with mayonnaise, so if it’s the hot buttered variety on a buttered hot dog roll you’re after, Alive & Kicking isn’t your joint. Definition aside, this is a great way to consume lobster.

4. James Hook & Co.

Copy Link
15-17 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02110
(617) 423-5501
Visit Website

These cats have been in business since 1925. It would be difficult to find a roll made with fresher lobster in the city because James Hook & Co. traps its own. An iconic roll in an iconic waterfront dining room. One of the best in town, no doubt.

Lobster meat is piled into a hot dog bun, which sits on aluminum foil in a red and white paper holder. It sits on an aged picnic table outdoors, with more tables and chairs, as well as some greenery, visible in the background.
A lobster roll on the patio at James Hook.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

5. Woods Hill Pier 4

Copy Link
300 Pier Four Blvd
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 981-4577
Visit Website

Like Alive & Kicking (see above), Woods Hill Pier 4’s lobster roll is also a bit of an iconoclast in that it is not served on the more traditional New England-style hot dog bun. Instead, Woods Hill Pier 4 packs loads of lobster meat into a split-open popover. Traditions be damned. Find it on the weekend brunch menu.

A popover is split open to reveal a lobster salad filling.
A lobster-stuffed popover at Woods Hill Pier 4.
Woods Hill Pier 4

6. Saltie Girl

Copy Link
279 Dartmouth St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 267-0691
Visit Website

Saltie Girl’s Gloucester lobster roll is an homage to the lobster fishers pulling bugs out of the waters off Cape Ann, which is about half an hour north of the city. It is served both hot and cold alongside a helping of house-made sea salt and vinegar potato chips.

7. Cusser's Roast Beef & Seafood

Copy Link
304 Stuart St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 917-5193
Visit Website

Cusser’s is best known for its take on a North Shore-style roast beef sandwich, but its cold lobster roll — dressed with tarragon mayonnaise and served on a potato bun — is very much worth a try, too. Served with a side of fries. Find satellite locations at two Boston food halls, Time Out Market in Fenway and Hub Hall in the West End.

A hand holds a lobster roll in front of a sign with prices printed in black ink on white background.
Cusser’s lobster roll.
Cusser’s

8. Row 34

Copy Link
383 Congress St
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 553-5900
Visit Website

This trendy oyster and beer bar in Fort Point is co-owned by Jeremy Sewall, whose cousin Mark catches the lobsters in York Harbor, Maine. Row 34 is best known for its hot buttered option, but it also offers a version dressed with mayonnaise and creme fraiche. Save room for Row 34’s best dessert, butterscotch pudding. Find other locations in Burlington, Massachusetts, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire; it’s also expanding to Cambridge’s Kendall Square soon.

Lobster is served on a buttered and griddled hot dog bun, and is accompanied by chips, slaw, and a slice of lemon.
Lobster roll at Row 34.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

9. Legal Harborside

Copy Link
270 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 477-2900
Visit Website

It may be a chain, but it’s a chain serving a pretty damn good lobster roll. The restaurant offers both traditional mayo-dressed and hot buttered, both of which are worth trying. In nice weather, eat it on the deck for an excellent view of the Atlantic.

A lobster roll sits on a white plate adjacent french fries
The Legal lobster roll.
Legal Sea Foods

10. Yankee Lobster

Copy Link
300 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 345-9799
Visit Website

There’s almost always a line at this classic Seaport spot, but it’s worth the wait. Yankee offers hot and cold versions — as well as a fried lobster roll, if you’re into that.

11. Eventide Fenway

Copy Link
1321 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 545-1060
Visit Website

This casual joint over by Fenway Park brought its acclaimed brown butter lobster roll down from Portland, Maine, and made it bigger. Unlike most other lobster rolls around here, Eventide’s is served on a fluffy steamed bun.

Overhead view of a lobster roll on a blue tray.
Eventide Fenway’s lobster roll.
Eventide Fenway

12. B&G Oysters

Copy Link
550 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 423-0550
Visit Website

B & G’s lobster roll is the prettiest lobster roll in the city. It’s lightly dressed with mayonnaise and spiked with celery, garlic, and lemon. It’s filled with both claw and tail meat, and it is elegantly garnished with minced chives, which give it a “delicate onion nip,” according to former Eater restaurant editor Bill Addison.

A lobster roll sits atop a white plate, and is topped with shockingly green minced chives.
The lobster roll at B&G Oysters.
Bill Addison/Eater

1. Pauli's

65 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113

This North End sandwich shop serves its lobster rolls “classic cold” or “hot in butter,” but mayo haters should note that even the buttered version includes mayo. There are three different sizes, including the 28-ounce “Lobstitution.” The smallest size comes on the traditional New England-style hot dog bun, while the others come on sub rolls. Want to send an out-of-town friend a taste of Boston? Pauli’s ships lobster roll kits and whoopie pies nationwide.

65 Salem St
Boston, MA 02113

2. Neptune Oyster

63 Salem St # 1, Boston, MA 02113
The Maine lobster roll at Neptune Oyster is served on a grilled hot dog bun atop a white plate, and is accompanied by French fries and a ramekin of ketchup.
Maine lobster roll at Neptune Oyster.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Neptune’s lobster roll is regarded as perhaps the best lobster roll in the city; the restaurant serves around 125 to 150 of them a day. Served on a toasted brioche roll, it’s available hot and buttered as well as cold with mayo. Neptune’s roll is massive, not one of those four- or five-bite situations. (Carb-averse folks are welcome to order without the bun.) Expect to wait in line — Neptune doesn’t take reservations.

63 Salem St # 1
Boston, MA 02113

3. Alive & Kicking Lobsters

269 Putnam Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

Okay, so this thing is more of a sandwich than a roll. But does anyone really care? Alive & Kicking piles a lot of lobster meat between two pieces of buttered Scali bread toast. The lobster is also lightly dressed with mayonnaise, so if it’s the hot buttered variety on a buttered hot dog roll you’re after, Alive & Kicking isn’t your joint. Definition aside, this is a great way to consume lobster.

269 Putnam Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139

4. James Hook & Co.

15-17 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02110
Lobster meat is piled into a hot dog bun, which sits on aluminum foil in a red and white paper holder. It sits on an aged picnic table outdoors, with more tables and chairs, as well as some greenery, visible in the background.
A lobster roll on the patio at James Hook.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

These cats have been in business since 1925. It would be difficult to find a roll made with fresher lobster in the city because James Hook & Co. traps its own. An iconic roll in an iconic waterfront dining room. One of the best in town, no doubt.

15-17 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02110

5. Woods Hill Pier 4

300 Pier Four Blvd, Boston, MA 02210
A popover is split open to reveal a lobster salad filling.
A lobster-stuffed popover at Woods Hill Pier 4.
Woods Hill Pier 4

Like Alive & Kicking (see above), Woods Hill Pier 4’s lobster roll is also a bit of an iconoclast in that it is not served on the more traditional New England-style hot dog bun. Instead, Woods Hill Pier 4 packs loads of lobster meat into a split-open popover. Traditions be damned. Find it on the weekend brunch menu.

300 Pier Four Blvd
Boston, MA 02210

6. Saltie Girl

279 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116

Saltie Girl’s Gloucester lobster roll is an homage to the lobster fishers pulling bugs out of the waters off Cape Ann, which is about half an hour north of the city. It is served both hot and cold alongside a helping of house-made sea salt and vinegar potato chips.

279 Dartmouth St
Boston, MA 02116

7. Cusser's Roast Beef & Seafood

304 Stuart St, Boston, MA 02116
A hand holds a lobster roll in front of a sign with prices printed in black ink on white background.
Cusser’s lobster roll.
Cusser’s

Cusser’s is best known for its take on a North Shore-style roast beef sandwich, but its cold lobster roll — dressed with tarragon mayonnaise and served on a potato bun — is very much worth a try, too. Served with a side of fries. Find satellite locations at two Boston food halls, Time Out Market in Fenway and Hub Hall in the West End.

304 Stuart St
Boston, MA 02116

8. Row 34

383 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210
Lobster is served on a buttered and griddled hot dog bun, and is accompanied by chips, slaw, and a slice of lemon.
Lobster roll at Row 34.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

This trendy oyster and beer bar in Fort Point is co-owned by Jeremy Sewall, whose cousin Mark catches the lobsters in York Harbor, Maine. Row 34 is best known for its hot buttered option, but it also offers a version dressed with mayonnaise and creme fraiche. Save room for Row 34’s best dessert, butterscotch pudding. Find other locations in Burlington, Massachusetts, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire; it’s also expanding to Cambridge’s Kendall Square soon.

383 Congress St
Boston, MA 02210

9. Legal Harborside

270 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210
A lobster roll sits on a white plate adjacent french fries
The Legal lobster roll.
Legal Sea Foods

It may be a chain, but it’s a chain serving a pretty damn good lobster roll. The restaurant offers both traditional mayo-dressed and hot buttered, both of which are worth trying. In nice weather, eat it on the deck for an excellent view of the Atlantic.

270 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02210

10. Yankee Lobster

300 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

There’s almost always a line at this classic Seaport spot, but it’s worth the wait. Yankee offers hot and cold versions — as well as a fried lobster roll, if you’re into that.

300 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02210

11. Eventide Fenway

1321 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215
Overhead view of a lobster roll on a blue tray.
Eventide Fenway’s lobster roll.
Eventide Fenway

This casual joint over by Fenway Park brought its acclaimed brown butter lobster roll down from Portland, Maine, and made it bigger. Unlike most other lobster rolls around here, Eventide’s is served on a fluffy steamed bun.

1321 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215

12. B&G Oysters

550 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116
A lobster roll sits atop a white plate, and is topped with shockingly green minced chives.
The lobster roll at B&G Oysters.
Bill Addison/Eater

B & G’s lobster roll is the prettiest lobster roll in the city. It’s lightly dressed with mayonnaise and spiked with celery, garlic, and lemon. It’s filled with both claw and tail meat, and it is elegantly garnished with minced chives, which give it a “delicate onion nip,” according to former Eater restaurant editor Bill Addison.

550 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116

Related Maps