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The lobster roll at B&G Oysters 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 lousy with lobster rolls — here’s where to find a good one in the Hub

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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 (and perhaps even chide) 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 — pronounced lobstah rolls, kehd — to snack on when in the Hub.

Please note that a number of Boston-area restaurants have resumed dine-in service, and the level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: For updated information on coronavirus cases in the area, please visit the Massachusetts coronavirus website.

Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

Further reading: Essential Maine Lobster Rolls; Shack Food: Casual Summer Dining in New England

For all the latest Boston dining intel, subscribe to Eater Boston’s newsletter.

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

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Pauli's

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65 Salem St
Boston, MA 02113
(857) 284-7064
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This North End eatery serves its lobster rolls both ways (charging an extra $2 for the hot buttered preparation) and in three different sizes: seven ounces, 14 ounces, and 28 ounces (“the Lobstitution”). The smallest size comes on the traditional New England-style hot dog bun, while the others come on sub rolls. All come with Utz chips. Pauli’s charges market price, and fair warning: 28 ounces of lobster meat can be pretty expensive.

Pauli’s is open for takeout and delivery.

2. Neptune Oyster

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63 Salem St # 1
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 742-3474
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Regarded as perhaps the best lobster roll in the city. Expect to wait in line for this one — Neptune is first come, first served only. Served on a toasted brioche roll, it’s available hot and buttered as well as cold with mayo. Market price. Unlike most lobster rolls, Neptune’s is massive and might be tough to finish — it’s not one of these four or five bite situations. (Carb-averse folks are welcome to order without the roll.) The restaurant serves around 125 to 150 lobster rolls a day; in the winter, 85% to 95% of orders are for the hot version.

Neptune is open for indoor dining and takeout.

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

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

Alive & Kicking is open for outdoor dining (heated patio) and takeout.

4. James Hook & Co.

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15-17 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02110
(617) 423-5501
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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.

James Hook & Co. is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

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

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300 Pier Four Blvd
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 981-4577
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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.

Woods Hill Pier 4 is currently open for indoor and outdoor (in igloos, no less) dining, with takeout available via Toast.

A lobster-stuffed popover at Woods Hill Pier 4 Courtesy Woods Hill Pier 4

6. Saltie Girl

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281 Dartmouth St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 267-0691
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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 potato chips, and it is an excellent addition to the city’s already great lobster roll scene.

Saltie Girl is open for indoor dining (reserve here), takeout, and delivery.

7. Cusser's Roast Beef & Seafood

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304 Stuart St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 917-5193
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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 — isn’t half bad either.

Cusser’s is open for takeout and delivery.

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

8. Row 34

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383 Congress St
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 553-5900
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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.

Row 34 is open for takeout and delivery.

The lobster roll at Row 34 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

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270 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 477-2900
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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. (Market price, served with chips and slaw.) Whenever it is again safe to do so, eat it on the deck for an excellent view of the Atlantic.

Legal Harborside is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

A lobster roll sits on a white plate adjacent french fries
The Legal lobster roll
Legal Sea Foods/Official Photo

10. Yankee Lobster

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300 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 345-9799
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There’s almost always a line at this classic Seaport spot, but it’s worth the wait. Pricing ranges from $24.99 for a “traditional” roll to $25.99 for the hot version; in between, there’s a fried lobster roll for $25.99, if you’re into that.

Yankee Lobster is open for takeout and delivery.

11. Eventide Fenway

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1321 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 545-1060
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This “continued service” joint (think fast-casual, but with a little more service) over by Fenway Park brought its acclaimed brown butter lobster roll down from Portland and made it bigger. It’s gaining iconic status in the Hub.

Eventide is open for takeout and delivery.

12. B&G Oysters

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550 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 423-0550
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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. Market price, served with fries and pickles.

B & G is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

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

1. Pauli's

65 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113

This North End eatery serves its lobster rolls both ways (charging an extra $2 for the hot buttered preparation) and in three different sizes: seven ounces, 14 ounces, and 28 ounces (“the Lobstitution”). The smallest size comes on the traditional New England-style hot dog bun, while the others come on sub rolls. All come with Utz chips. Pauli’s charges market price, and fair warning: 28 ounces of lobster meat can be pretty expensive.

Pauli’s is open for takeout and delivery.

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

Regarded as perhaps the best lobster roll in the city. Expect to wait in line for this one — Neptune is first come, first served only. Served on a toasted brioche roll, it’s available hot and buttered as well as cold with mayo. Market price. Unlike most lobster rolls, Neptune’s is massive and might be tough to finish — it’s not one of these four or five bite situations. (Carb-averse folks are welcome to order without the roll.) The restaurant serves around 125 to 150 lobster rolls a day; in the winter, 85% to 95% of orders are for the hot version.

Neptune is open for indoor dining and takeout.

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.

Alive & Kicking is open for outdoor dining (heated patio) and takeout.

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.

James Hook & Co. is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

15-17 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02110

5. Woods Hill Pier 4

300 Pier Four Blvd, Boston, MA 02210
A lobster-stuffed popover at Woods Hill Pier 4 Courtesy 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.

Woods Hill Pier 4 is currently open for indoor and outdoor (in igloos, no less) dining, with takeout available via Toast.

300 Pier Four Blvd
Boston, MA 02210

6. Saltie Girl

281 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 potato chips, and it is an excellent addition to the city’s already great lobster roll scene.

Saltie Girl is open for indoor dining (reserve here), takeout, and delivery.

281 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/Official 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 — isn’t half bad either.

Cusser’s is open for takeout and delivery.

304 Stuart St
Boston, MA 02116

8. Row 34

383 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210
The lobster roll at Row 34 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.

Row 34 is open for takeout and delivery.

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/Official Photo

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. (Market price, served with chips and slaw.) Whenever it is again safe to do so, eat it on the deck for an excellent view of the Atlantic.

Legal Harborside is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

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. Pricing ranges from $24.99 for a “traditional” roll to $25.99 for the hot version; in between, there’s a fried lobster roll for $25.99, if you’re into that.

Yankee Lobster is open for takeout and delivery.

300 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02210

11. Eventide Fenway

1321 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215

This “continued service” joint (think fast-casual, but with a little more service) over by Fenway Park brought its acclaimed brown butter lobster roll down from Portland and made it bigger. It’s gaining iconic status in the Hub.

Eventide is open for takeout and delivery.

1321 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215

12. B&G Oysters

550 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116
The lobster roll at B&G Oysters sits atop a white plate, and is topped with shockingly green minced chives.
B&G Oysters’ lobster roll
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. Market price, served with fries and pickles.

B & G is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

550 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116

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