Imagine biting into a soft, buttery roll filled with succulent, fresh lobster meat, lightly dressed with mayonnaise, and seasoned with a hint of lemon and chives. This is the quintessential Maine lobster roll, a culinary delight that has become synonymous with the coastal town of Bar Harbor. This picturesque seaside town, nestled on Mount Desert Island, is not just known for its stunning landscapes and vibrant wildlife, but also for its mouthwatering seafood, particularly its lobster rolls. Let’s embark on a gastronomic journey to discover the delights of Maine and unravel the essence of Bar Harbor’s scrumptious lobster rolls.

The History of the Lobster Roll

The lobster roll is a New England classic, but its exact origins are a subject of debate. Some food historians believe that the first lobster roll was served in Connecticut in the 1920s. However, Maine, with its abundant lobster population, quickly adopted this delicious sandwich and made it its own. Today, the Maine lobster roll is renowned worldwide for its simplicity and the freshness of its ingredients.

What Makes a Maine Lobber Roll Unique?

Maine lobster rolls stand out from their New England counterparts in several ways. The most significant difference lies in the dressing. While other versions often use a heavy mix of mayonnaise and other ingredients, Maine lobster rolls typically feature a light dressing, allowing the fresh lobster meat to shine. Additionally, the lobster used in Maine rolls is always fresh, usually caught the same day it’s served.

Bar Harbor: The Lobster Capital of Maine

Bar Harbor, located on Mount Desert Island, is one of the best places in Maine to enjoy a lobster roll. This charming town is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, providing local restaurants with a constant supply of fresh lobsters. The result is a lobster roll that is unparalleled in freshness and flavor.

Where to Find the Best Lobster Rolls in Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is home to numerous restaurants and food shacks that serve lobster rolls. Here are a few places that are renowned for their delicious offerings:

  • Thurston’s Lobster Pound: This family-owned restaurant in Bernard has been serving fresh lobster for over 40 years. Their lobster roll is simple and traditional, featuring fresh lobster meat, a touch of mayo, and a side of coleslaw.
  • Beal’s Lobster Pier: Located in Southwest Harbor, Beal’s offers a lobster roll served on a toasted, buttered bun with a side of fries. The lobster meat is lightly dressed with mayo and perfectly seasoned.
  • Side Street Café: This casual eatery in downtown Bar Harbor is known for its generous lobster roll, which is filled with large chunks of fresh lobster meat.

How to Enjoy a Lobber Roll

Enjoying a lobster roll in Bar Harbor is an experience in itself. Here are a few tips to make the most of it:

  • Pair it with a local brew: Maine is known for its craft beer scene. Pair your lobster roll with a local IPA or a refreshing lager to enhance the flavors.
  • Enjoy it with a view: Many restaurants in Bar Harbor offer outdoor seating with stunning views of the harbor. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a lobster roll while watching the boats go by.
  • Take your time: A lobster roll is not fast food. Take your time to savor each bite and appreciate the freshness of the lobster.


Bar Harbor’s lobster rolls are a culinary delight that every food lover should experience. The combination of fresh, succulent lobster meat, a light dressing, and a soft, buttery roll creates a symphony of flavors that is hard to resist. So, if you find yourself in Maine, make sure to head to Bar Harbor and indulge in this delicious treat.

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