From Manhattan to Montauk: The Best Lobster Rolls

By R.J. Huneke

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Credit: Luke’s Lobster c/o newyork.seriouseats.com

Though far from Maine, for many generations the lower New York islands have been offering up some of the world’s best lobster rolls, from Manhattan all the way to “The End” of Long Island in Montauk.

Crustacean cravers traveling “the city” or “the island” have a supreme center of famous lobster rolls at every stop along the way.

I have eaten freshly caught seafood from Boston Harbor and even traversed the emerald hills of Maine and had their perfected lobster, but these three rolls hold up to the standards set by the Maine claw cracking gods of yore.

Touring these famous lobster joints, even for New Englanders, will offer up a joyous meal.

A lobster roll needs to be comprised of a delicious balance of freshly caught champion lobster, cut into large chunks (not torn to tiny shreds devoid of taste) and sporting the tastiest of bun vessels to hoist the roll in.

The lobster roll should be sweet, but not too sweet, with an infinite array of flavors and should never be drenched in palate killing dressing or mayonnaise.

Prepare to be amazed at these rolls.


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Luke’s Lobster | Manhattan (over 12 locations)

Head downtown, uptown, or in midtown, all of the Luke’s Lobster locales offer an extraordinary lobster roll for an unbelievable price.

The walk-in restaurants do not have much in terms of seating, with only a few stools, but their menu of soups and rolls take the city cake.

Using only claw and knuckle meat to be more sweet and tender, the rolls come on a griddled bun with a shake of special seasoning, a thin layer of mayo, and a dab of lemon butter.

The combination is tremendous in taste, and at $15 for four ounces of lobster, it is 25-50% less than many of their competitors in the city.

Credit: steamroomrestaurant.com

The Steamroom | 4 East Broadway, Port Jefferson, NY 11777

Taking a turn out east of the city isle, The Steamroom Restaurant is located dead center in the heart of Long Island, known by the inhabitants as Port Jeff, and its lobster roll rocks!

The tiny sailor’s town hosts the Bridgeport Ferry, and for over thirty-five years The Steamroom has been open right across the water and the docks.

You cannot get any fresher caught lobster or get a better deal than the $13.95 lobster roll.

Take in the gorgeous view of the Long Island Sound while washing it down with an array of fine wines or craft beer on tap, like those from the Port Jefferson Brewery and Blue Point Brewery.

There is house wine available at five dollars a glass, as well as premium champagne and wine by the bottle.

This roll is BIG and oh so tasty, served on a New England-style hot dog bun.

Credit: gosmans.com

Gosman’s Clam Bar | 484 West Lake Drive, Montauk, NY 11954

You cannot go any further east before striking the Atlantic when you land in Montauk for a trip to Gosman’s Clam Bar.

Though Gosman’s Dock restaurant is world-famous for its fresh and scintillating seafood, its lesser-known twin, the Gosman’s Clam Bar, is a bit smaller and down on the inlet with an open table, self-serve model that is far more cost-effective than its bigger brother, though the food is every bit as great.

Get the same Gosman’s fare for astounding lobster rolls or home-made lobster bisque chowder.

The Clam Bar’s roll price is market value, but far, far cheaper than many of the surrounding spots, and you do not have to wait to get a table.

The Gosman lobster roll’s flavor is striking, simplistic yet bold, folks. Enjoy!



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