The Best Lobster Rolls in Portland
The best way to prepare a lobster roll is wholly subjective and highly disputed. (Only mayo? A touch of butter? Steamed or grilled buns?) But no matter how you prefer it, Portland has the perfect lobster roll for you.
The Highroller Lobster Company | 104 Exchange St.
This food cart turned restaurant has elevated Portland’s lobster roll scene to another level. The Highroller Lobster Company serves them on brioche rolls baked daily from Southside Bakery with a choice of sauce–from the traditional butter to lime or jalapeño mayo to lobster ghee. You can even stray further from tradition with Highroller’s lobster grilled cheese or the cheese crisp lobster taco featured on Thrillist or a Lobby Pop—a lobster tail on a stick.
Portland Lobster Company | 180 Commercial St.
Located on Chandlers Wharf, Portland Lobster Company (PLC) is an idyllic location for enjoying a lobster roll. PLC’s lobster roll is robust, sweet, and buttery. It is refreshingly simple with tail and claw meat, sourced only from local markets, and complemented by just a touch of butter, a bed of romaine lettuce, and mayonnaise and lemon on the side. Enjoying this lobster roll right on the pier satisfies every dream of summer in Portland.
Susan’s Fish-n-Chips | 1135 Forest Ave.
Do not be misled by the lack of a seaside location. Susan’s Fish-n-Chips is a local seafood treasure. Susan’s serves up a classic and infinitely satisfying lobster roll, listed on the menu as a “lobstah roll.” It is served on a grilled hot dog bun heaped with an assortment of lobster meat with a thin layer of mayo and iceberg lettuce. If the standard roll doesn’t satisfy your crustacean cravings, you may want to try the deep-fried lobster tail on a stick (if you’re lucky enough to show up when they’re available).
J’s Oyster | 5 Portland Pier
In a 2013 interview with Maine magazine, Cindy Brown, co-owner of J’s Oyster, described her clientele as “an ex-con sitting next to the lawyer who put him in jail, talking with the fisherman who caught the haddock in their sandwiches.” And that is why we love it. J’s serves a lobster roll overflowing with cool meat on a hot dog roll and a side of mayo. It’s simple, sweet, and satisfying in one of Portland’s saltiest restaurants.
Eventide Oyster Company | 86 Middle St.
Eventide’s brown butter lobster roll has become synonymous with a trip to Portland for the culinary crown. With national recognition and James Beard Award–winning chefs Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor, Eventide usually has a crowd camped out on Middle Street waiting to savor this now-classic sandwich. The mouthwatering little lobster roll is served on a homemade split-top steamed bun loaded with freshly picked lobster and topped with nutty brown butter.
Becky’s Diner | 390 Commercial St.
In the middle of Portland’s working waterfront, Becky’s Diner is a local institution. You can trust that when you order a lobster roll, you’re getting a genuine Maine lobster roll. A quarter pound of fresh-picked lobster meat lightly dressed in mayo sits atop a little lettuce and comes with a side of crunchy, salty fries. If you’re not a mayo lover, you can get a side of melted butter instead.
Gilbert’s Chowder House | 92 Commercial St.
Known for chowder, Gilbert’s offers a no-frills dining experience. Don’t let the plastic flatware deter you; Gilbert’s is serving up some hearty and delicious food. Grab a seat inside or lounge on the patio overlooking Custom House Wharf. The lobster roll consists of big chunks of sweet lobster tossed in just the right amount of mayo, and is served with French fries that have all the best qualities: crispy, salty, light, and fluffy.