There’s something about the salty sea air, the gentle lapping of waves against the shore, and the promise of a fresh, succulent lobster roll that makes a trip to Southern Maine an absolute must for any seafood lover. This picturesque region is renowned for its lobster rolls, a delectable treat that combines the freshest lobster meat with a light dressing, all nestled within a perfectly toasted bun. Whether you’re a seasoned lobster roll connoisseur or a curious first-timer, this guide will take you on a culinary journey through Southern Maine’s best lobster roll spots, ensuring you don’t miss out on this quintessential New England experience.

Understanding the Maine Lobster Roll

Before we dive into our list of must-visit spots, it’s important to understand what sets a Maine lobster roll apart. Unlike other variations, a traditional Maine lobster roll is all about simplicity and letting the fresh lobster shine. The lobster meat is lightly dressed with mayonnaise, served cold, and piled onto a buttered and toasted split-top hot dog bun. Some places might add a sprinkle of chives or a squeeze of lemon, but the focus is always on the lobster.

Red’s Eats, Wiscasset

Any discussion about lobster rolls in Maine would be incomplete without mentioning Red’s Eats. This iconic roadside shack in Wiscasset has been serving up what many consider the state’s best lobster roll for over 80 years. The roll here is generously filled with over a pound of lobster meat, including whole claws and tails, and comes with a side of drawn butter and fries.

The Clam Shack, Kennebunkport

Located on the Kennebunk River, The Clam Shack offers a unique take on the lobster roll. Instead of the traditional hot dog bun, they use a round roll and give you the option of having your lobster dressed with mayo, warm butter, or both. The result is a mouthwatering roll that has won numerous awards and keeps locals and tourists coming back for more.

Bite into Maine, Cape Elizabeth

Bite into Maine offers a variety of lobster rolls, including the traditional Maine style, as well as rolls with chipotle mayo, curry mayo, or wasabi. Their food truck is located in Fort Williams Park, so you can enjoy your roll with a view of the iconic Portland Head Light.

Five Islands Lobster Co., Georgetown

Five Islands Lobster Co. is a bit off the beaten path, but well worth the trip. This lobster shack is located on a working fishing wharf, so you know the lobster is as fresh as it gets. Their lobster roll is simple and classic, served with a side of chips and pickle.

Eventide Oyster Co., Portland

For a more gourmet take on the lobster roll, head to Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland. Their brown butter lobster roll is served on a steamed bun and has a rich, nutty flavor that sets it apart from the traditional roll.

Final Thoughts

While these are some of the most popular spots for lobster rolls in Southern Maine, there are countless other shacks, restaurants, and food trucks serving up their own delicious versions. The best way to find your favorite is to try as many as you can. After all, part of the fun is in the journey!

So, whether you’re planning a trip to Southern Maine or just daydreaming about your next lobster roll, we hope this guide has given you a taste of what’s out there. Happy eating!

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