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The best lobster in Boston

From whole and classic versions to creative dishes, these are the best ways to enjoy the iconic New England crustacean

By Gerrish Lopez, Time Out Boston Staff and Eric Grossman

Back in the day, most Bostonians with a hankering for lobster had to make do with one of the best lobster rolls in Boston, or perhaps a steamed lobster at a local seafood shack. But in recent years more and more Boston chefs have come up with a range of new ways to prepare the beloved crustacean. From noodle dishes and delicate sushi creations to baked or fried, here are the best Boston lobster dishes, all of which highlight the sweet, delicious meat. For a sampling of different takes on another local specialty, check out best clam chowders in Boston, and be sure to visit some of the best seafood restaurants in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

Best lobster dishes in Boston

Neptune Oyster lobster roll
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Martin S.

1. Lobster roll at Neptune Oyster

Restaurants Seafood North End

Since 2004, Neptune Oyster has been one of the city’s most in-demand options for fresh local seafood. Neptune’s lobster roll—available hot with butter or cold with mayo, and served on a toasted brioche roll—is one of the city’s most lauded. Given Neptune’s popularity and petite size, be prepared to wait in line for one of the marble-topped tables or a seat at the bar.

Lobster B.L.T. at B&G Oyster
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Richard K.

2. Lobster B.L.T. B&G Oysters

Restaurants Seafood South End

Head to this subterranean South End eatery for Barbara Lynch’s signature lobster creation. Fresh, tender lobster meat is sandwiched between slices of ciabatta with bacon, tomato, lettuce, and lemon-mayo. The sandwich comes with bread and butter pickles and hand-cut fries. Try one in the spring or summer when the backyard patio is open.

Boiled lobster at The Barking Crab
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Erin E.

3. Traditional New England clambake at The Barking Crab

Restaurants Seafood Seaport District

The clambake is a quintessential New England experience that showcases sea-kissed goodies without the frills. At the Barking Crab, you can get in on the fun with this massive dish, which includes a 1.25-pound ruby-red lobster plus a gaggle of tender clams, corn on the cob and potato salad. Secure your bib and prepare to get your hands dirty.

Lobster B.L.T. roll at Uni
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Lauren T.

4. Lobster B.L.T. roll at Uni

Restaurants Japanese Back Bay

Tony Messina and Ken Oringer have been wowing diners with their innovative izakaya fare for years. Uni’s sushi always impresses, and this surf-and-turf roll is no exception. Chunks of lobster and brown butter mayonnaise are mixed with crisp bacon and pickled celery, then wrapped in rice and seaweed. The only downside is that you’ll wish you’d ordered seconds.

Photograph: Courtesy Scampo

5. Lobster pizza at Scampo

Restaurants Italian West End

Chef Lydia Shire is the culinary mastermind behind many successful restaurants and dishes, but her most notable contribution to the Boston dining scene might just be her lobster pizza, a version of which she currently serves at Scampo in the Liberty Hotel. The thin-crust pie is coated with cream sauce and piled high with caramelized shallots and garlic, plenty of lobster, fresh ricotta and Parmesan. Pair it with a bottle of French rosé for a seriously decadent splurge.

Lobster and waffles at Saltie Girl
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Stella L.

6. Lobster and waffles at Saltie Girl

Restaurants Seafood Back Bay

The flagship location of Saltie Girl is renowned for its take on the chicken and waffles trend; here they swap in big chunks of fried lobster tail, which mingles with spicy maple syrup and sweet corn butter atop tasty waffles. Or keep it simple and enjoy one of their gourmet lobster rolls.

Lobster popover at Loyal Nine
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Siu C.

7. Lobster popover at Loyal Nine

Restaurants Contemporary American East Cambridge

Loyal Nine focuses on maintaining New England culinary traditions and highlighting local farmers and artisans. Try dishes like crispy fried soldier beans, brown bread topped with soused bluefish, and crispy steel cut oats tossed with spinach, kohlrabi ribbons, and confit garlic. During brunch service, the lobster popover is a must: the traditional popover is stuffed with lobster and topped with a smoked pork-fat hollandaise and a poached egg.

Legal Harborside
Photograph: Courtesy Legal Harborside/Heath Robbins

8. Lobster Bake at Legal Sea Foods

Restaurants Seafood Seaport District

The traditional lobster bake at Legal Sea Foods includes chowder, steamers, mussels, sausage, and corn alongside a 1.25 pound lobster. Enjoy it at any location, but at Legal Harborside you'll get the added bonus of sweeping views of the Boston Harbor.

Three-pound lobster at Ostra
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Philip T.

9. Three-pound lobster at Ostra

Restaurants Seafood Back Bay

Located at the bustling intersection where the Back Bay meets the Theatre District, Ostra serves sophisticated seafood with a Mediterranean flare. There are plenty of big-ticket items on offer, making it a great place for special occasions and celebratory business dinners. Go all out with Ostra’s three-pound lobster, served with roasted cauliflower, baby carrots, romanesco, and an herbed butter sauce.

Island Creek Oyster Bar
Photograph: Courtesy Island Creek Oyster Bar/Michael Harlan Turkell

10. Lobster roe noodles at Island Creek Oyster Bar

Restaurants Seafood Fenway/Kenmore

One of the city’s best seafood-focused eateries, Island Creek Oyster Bar serves ultra-fresh lobster that comes straight from Maine’s York Harbor via Chef Jeremy Sewall’s Cousin Mark. The lobster roe noodles feature grilled lobster, braised short rib, oyster mushrooms, roe, and pecorino. This is one rich lobster dish that could be a meal in itself, though you can’t go to ICOB without getting fresh oysters first.

Ginger scallion lobster at Peach Farm
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Shashu B.

11. Ginger scallion lobster at Peach Farm

Restaurants Chinese Chinatown

Pick your own seafood from a tank at this Hong Kong-style seafood joint. Your selections are cooked to your liking, but a top choice is the lobster stir-fried with fresh ginger and scallions. The intense flavors match the tender lobster perfectly for a delicious lobster dish.

Pan-roasted lobster at Summer Shack
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Summer Shack-Boston

12. Pan-roasted lobster at Summer Shack

Restaurants Seafood Back Bay

This friendly seafood spot has a laid-back vibe and colorful decor reminiscent of coastal seafood shacks. There are plenty of lobster items on the menu—many patrons opt for traditional steamed—but the pan-roasted lobster is a celebration-worthy standout. The lobster is roasted with butter, bourbon-flambéed, and seasoned with chives and chervil.

Lobster mashed potatoes at Mastro’s Ocean Club
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Lonnie H.

13. Lobster mashed potatoes at Mastro’s Ocean Club

Restaurants Steakhouse Seaport District

Mastro’s offers a luxurious surf-and-turf dining experience with stunning views of Boston Harbor. Sizzling steaks and fresh seafood dishes are decadent enough, but there’s no harm in getting a side of lobster mashed potatoes. Chunks of delicious lobster meat melded with rich gravy and creamy mashed potatoes will take any meal over the top.


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