North River Lobster Company

Restaurants , Seafood Hell's Kitchen
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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
North River Lobster Co.
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Once summer reaches its peak, Hudson-docked boat bars drown in a bustling sea of bros and watery beer. At Pier 81, North River Lobster Company, a former Florida gambling ship rejiggered with New England charm, offers a calm alternative to those stormy waters with fast-casual cruises. Bid farewell to overcrowded decks and deafening top-40 tunes—smooth sailing lies ahead.

ORDER THIS: Though the quality of seafood is surprisingly inconsistent—fresh Maine lobster scooped into a sublimely buttered bun is zipped with yuzu aioli while the fish tacos are dry to the core—the nautical cocktails are better balanced. The vodka-spiked High Tide ($12) is an amped-up Arnold Palmer, swirled with a hint of sweet peach in bitter black tea.

GOOD FOR: Escaping the city grind to impress your out-of-town, New-York-hating relatives. Sit at blond-wood picnic tables on one of three decks to admire the West Side skyline, and watch the river stretch under the George Washington Bridge and disappear beyond upper Manhattan.

THE CLINCHER: Undocking for 30-minute jaunts on the Hudson, the ship sets sail on a ride that feels leagues away from the city, making it easy to lose track of time—and your cocktail count.

Venue name: North River Lobster Company
Address: Pier 81, 12th Ave at 41st St
New York
Opening hours: Mon–Thurs 11:30am–11pm; Fri, Sat 11:30am–midnight; Sun 11:30am–11pm
Transport: Subway: A, C, E to Port Authority 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, S to Times Square
Price: Average entree: $14. AmEx, DC, Disc, M, V
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4 / 5

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Alexis G

A delicious, reasonably price lobster roll aboard a gratis boat ride with delicious libations to boot? It's a city steal. Get there earlier than you intend to eat to compensate for the wait to get on the boat.