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The Oceanaire Seafood Room fried lobster on a plate
Photograph: Courtesy The Oceanaire Seafood Room

The best lobster in Boston

Some of Boston’s best restaurants and seafood spots get creative with New England’s favorite crustacean

Written by
Gina McCreadie
Contributors
Eric Grossman
&
Gerrish Lopez
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Seafood sticklers may still swear by the best lobster rolls in Boston—or perhaps a steamed lobster from a local seafood shack—when it comes to this cherished New England shellfish. But some of our city's best eateries prove that lobster has range, showcasing this clawed delicacy in fun and unique new ways—well beyond the boils and buns. We've rounded up the best lobster dishes in Boston, which place this prized ingredient on everything from pizza and pasta, to mashed potatoes and BLTs. With this guide in hand, the only question you’ll have is which dish to try first. For a sampling of different takes on another regional fishy favorite, 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

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • West End
  • price 3 of 4

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.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • South End
  • price 3 of 4

Head to this subterranean South End eatery for Barbara Lynch’s signature lobster creation. Fresh, tender lobster meat is sandwiched between slices of ciabatta alongside slices of bacon, tomato and lettuce, as well as a schmear of 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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Fenway/Kenmore
  • price 2 of 4

Established in Portland, Maine, Eventide’s Fenway location brings its signature brown butter lobster roll to Boston. Rather than weighing the lobster down with mayo or regular, run of the mill butter, this spot uses browned butter to add a depth of caramelly, nutty flavor without overwhelming the delicate sweetness of the shellfish. Served in a bao-style, split-top bun, this roll will leave you wanting more than just one.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Back Bay
  • price 4 of 4

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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Seaport District
  • price 3 of 4

Row 34 offers the perfect duo of lobster rolls: Ethel’s creamy lobster roll and the warm buttered lobster roll. Named after chef-owner Jeremy Sewalls’ grandmother, Ethel, Row 34’s cold lobster roll offers an amazing balance between succulent lobster meat and a zesty crunch, thanks to the addition of pickles. For guests seeking a warm rendition of this shellfish sandwich, fear not. Row 34 also offers a melt-in-your mouth, buttered lobster roll that’s served hot and is equally delicious.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Back Bay
  • price 3 of 4

Alongside its extensive collection of smoked fish and tinned seafood, Saltie Girl is renowned for its hot take on the chicken and waffles trend. Here, the kitchen perches big chunks of fried lobster tail (in lieu of the customary poultry) atop tastry waffles, before completing its masterpiece with spicy maple syrup and sweet corn butter. Other shellfish highlights include gourmet lobster rolls (hot and cold), ginger scallion lobster and a two-pound, baked stuffed lobster. 

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • North End
  • price 3 of 4

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 celebrated. 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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Seaport District
  • price 4 of 4

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

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Downtown

Located within Boston's political epicenter right by State Street, The Oceanaire Seafood Room unites the North and the South with its must-try chicken fried lobster. There is something so homey and satisfying about these tender pieces of lobster, which feature a light and crispy coating, and are served on a bed of cheesy grits with truffled honey and house hot sauce. Other lobster options at this upscale, downtown establishment include a divine surf and turf, lobster fried rice and lobster mac and cheese.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Back Bay
  • price 3 of 4

This friendly seafood spot has a laid-back vibe and colorful decor reminiscent of the coastal shellfish shacks that dot our shorelines. There are plenty of lobster items on the menu—in fact, there's an entire section dedicated to them. Many patrons may opt for the traditional steamed crustacean, but the pan-roasted lobster is a celebration-worthy standout here. Get the latter dish and you'll be served this shellfish after it's been roasted in butter, flambéed with bourbon and seasoned with chives and chervil.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Back Bay
  • price 4 of 4

Located at the bustling intersection between the Back Bay Theatre District, Ostra serves sophisticated seafood with a Mediterranean spin. There are plenty of big-ticket items available at this white-tableclothed establishment, making it a great place for special occasions and celebratory business dinners. Amongst those splurge-worthy dishes: Ostra’s three-pound lobster, which is served with seasonal vegetables, fines herbes, drawn butter and lemon. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Seaport District
  • price 2 of 4

For a decadent lobster dish, head to Yankee Lobster in the Seaport for its baked lobster mac and cheese. It’s comfort food at its finest, with chunks of chopped lobster, elbow macaroni and oven-roasted tomatoes that add a little punch to its white cheddar and parmesan sauce—and it’s all finished off with a crunchy panko topping. If you’re not quite in the mood for mac and cheese, there are plenty of other lobster choices on the menu (hence the name of this place).

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Chinatown
  • price 2 of 4

Pick your own seafood from a tank at this Hong Kong-style joint located in Boston's Chinatown. The kitchen will then cook your fishy selections just to your liking—with a top choice being its lobster stir-fried with fresh ginger and scallions. The wonderful aromatics pair perfectly with the tender chunks of lobster, making for a delicious bite after bite.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Seaport District
  • price 3 of 4

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 traditional hodgepodge of tender clams, corn on the cob and potato salad. Secure your bib and prepare to get your hands dirty.

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