Imagine biting into a soft, buttery roll filled with succulent, fresh lobster meat, lightly dressed with mayonnaise, and sprinkled with a hint of lemon juice. This is the quintessential Maine lobster roll, a culinary delight that has been tantalizing taste buds for decades. And where better to enjoy this seafood delicacy than in the heart of coastal Maine, in the charming town of Wells. Known for its picturesque beaches and vibrant wildlife, Wells is also a gastronomic paradise for seafood lovers, with the lobster roll reigning supreme.

The History of the Lobster Roll

The lobster roll, as we know it today, has its roots in Connecticut, where it was first served at a restaurant named Perry’s in the 1920s. However, it was in Maine that the lobster roll found its true home. The Maine version of the lobster roll, distinct with its light dressing of mayonnaise, became a staple at roadside stands and has since become synonymous with the state’s culinary identity.

Wells: A Seafood Lover’s Paradise

Located in the southern part of Maine, Wells is a coastal town that is part of the Portland-South Portland-Biddeford metropolitan area. Known for its beautiful beaches, Wells is also famous for its seafood, particularly lobsters. The town’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean ensures a steady supply of fresh lobsters, making it a hotspot for seafood enthusiasts.

Where to Find the Best Lobster Rolls in Wells

Wells is home to several eateries that serve mouth-watering lobster rolls. Here are a few places you should not miss:

  • Billy’s Chowder House: This waterfront restaurant is known for its generous portions and fresh seafood. Their lobster roll is a crowd favorite, served with a side of coleslaw and fries.
  • Mike’s Clam Shack: This family-owned restaurant serves a classic Maine lobster roll, filled with fresh, succulent lobster meat and lightly dressed with mayo.
  • The Steakhouse: Don’t let the name fool you. The Steakhouse serves one of the best lobster rolls in town, with a unique twist – it’s served on a toasted brioche bun.

What Makes a Great Lobster Roll?

A great lobster roll is more than just a sandwich; it’s an experience. Here are a few elements that make a lobster roll truly stand out:

  • Freshness: The lobster meat should be fresh, ideally cooked the same day it was caught. This ensures the meat is sweet and succulent.
  • The Roll: The roll should be soft and slightly buttery, providing a perfect contrast to the lobster meat. In Maine, a split-top hot dog bun is traditionally used.
  • The Dressing: A light dressing of mayonnaise is preferred, allowing the natural flavors of the lobster to shine through. Some places also add a sprinkle of lemon juice for a hint of acidity.


Whether you’re a seafood lover or a foodie in search of your next culinary adventure, a visit to Wells, Maine, would be incomplete without trying a lobster roll. This simple yet delicious sandwich is a testament to Maine’s rich seafood heritage and is sure to delight your taste buds. So, the next time you find yourself in the heart of coastal Maine, remember to indulge in a lobster roll – it’s an experience you won’t forget.

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