If you’re heading Down East to Maine this summer, take this story with you. It’s a great list of the best lobster rolls you can buy in the state of Maine, stretching from the border with New Hampshire to the border with Canada. Put together by Coastal Living, the list has 17 spots where you’ll find Maine’s best lobster rolls; most are along the water, in one way or another, but all of them serve fresh lobster almost right off the lobster boat.
Number one on the list is The Clam Shack in Kennebunk, which features locally caught lobsters on custom, round, yeast rolls. The most famous, as you can see for yourself by the traffic jams on Route 1 and the long line of people waiting on the sidewalk, is Red’s in Wiscasset. Red’s specializes in large chilled lobster rolls, with lots of meat, on a toasted split-top bun. It’s worth the wait. But you also won’t go wrong by heading across the street to Sprague’s, where the lobster rolls also are delicious, and you can eat them sitting on the deck overlooking the Sheepscott River, where Samuel de Champlain landed in 1605 and, according to the story, exchanged gifts with the Abenaki Indians.
At the bottom of the state, Bob’s Clam Hut in Kittery, just across the border from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, serves its lobster roll tossed lightly in mayo on a toasted bun. At the top, Quoddy Bay Lobster in Eastport, on the border with Canada, has a monster eight-inch roll with lobster fresh from the frigid waters of Passamaquoddy Bay.
And if you’re heading for L.L. Bean, try Harraseeket Lunch, with terrific cold lobster on the dock overlooking the South Freeport harbor. (I’ve been there and want to go back.) The list has one spot that’s relatively new, McLoons Lobster Shack in South Thomaston. I haven’t been there yet but I have it on my list for the Maine Boat & Home Show next door in Rockland starting Aug. 10. McLoons overlooks Tenants Harbor, one of the better places. For the entire list, read more: