Sinking your teeth into a delicious lobster roll, with its mayo-laden meat tucked generously into a buttery bun, is a surefire way to transport yourself to parts further north. And who needs to make the trek all the way up to Maine when you’ve got the good stuff right in your backyard? New Yorkers have an abundance of stellar rolls to dig into, and the Hudson River can certainly serve as a good enough replacement for the crashing Atlantic. Herewith, our recommendations for some of the best options in town.
Getting to Greenpoint’s Lobster Joint from Manhattan is admittedly a bit of a journey (pro-tip, take the scenic route and grab the ferry from the Financial District to India Street; it’s just a short walk from there). But once you’ve got your hands on one of their lobster rolls, you’ll have already forgotten the trip. Here, they do their rolls three ways. Choose between the New England (celery, herb mayo), the Connecticut (warm butter), or the Club (celery, herb mayo, bacon, avocado). And this might be a little off topic, but their tuna melts rival anyone’s.
1073 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.
Ever heard of a lobster roll crawl? Neither have we, but that shouldn’t stop you from walking through the neighborhood to Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. after a trip to the aforementioned Lobster Joint and sampling another. This spot’s all about sustainably sourced goods, which means you can eat in good conscience. Their lobster rolls go big on meat and light on mayo, with celery, lemon, tarragon, and a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt, naturally. You are in Brooklyn, after all. They practically and you a box of Maldon as a welcome gift when you get off the subway at Bedford Ave.
114 Nassau Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Closer to home (but oh-so-difficult to get into) is Grand Banks, a ship-turned-restaurant that docks at Pier 25 once the weather warms up. This place, unsurprisingly, gets packed post-work; the only way you’ll get to enjoy their lobster roll is if you’re able to go in the off-hours when the line is nil and there are seats to be had. So get thee there at a strange time, and order their pickle-forward roll, made on-boat with crunchy fennel and umami dulse. It is, not so strangely, delicious.
Hudson River Park, Pier 25, New York, NY 10013
The John Dory Oyster Bar
If you want to be transported to Maine via a glorified seafood sandwich, it’s probably best that the seafood in question is from that very place. And so it’s a very good thing that Maine lobster is the base for John Dory Oyster Bar’s roll. The meat is warmed in lobster roe butter and then tossed with celery seed mayo, celery, dill, vinegar, and red onion. The whole mix gets plopped into a roll made by Orwasher’s Bakery, specifically for them.
1196 Broadway, New York, NY 10001
Ed’s Lobster Bar
Ignore the siren song that is the patio of Cafe Select, filled as it is with the lithe and local, and pour yourself into the narrow galley of Ed’s Lobster Bar, located just up the street. Ed’s will reward your people-watching resistance with one New England-style roll that’s been perfected to a tee. Not too little, not too much, these guys do mayo just right. The pickles ain’t bad either.
222 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012
Pearl Oyster Bar
Just north of SIXTY Soho, you’ll find Pearl Oyster Bar–and their lobster roll. A giant heap of mayo-y lobster gets piled into a roll that barely looks like it can sustain its weight. No matter. You’ll be polishing it off quickly, before any structural failings begin to take hold. Do you need the shoestring fries? Probably not. But they’re damn delicious.
18 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014
Photo courtesy of Rich701 via Flickr