Last year, we went on a quest.
The Quest to Find the Best Connecticut Lobster Roll
Our introduction to the Connecticut style lobster roll happened before we even relocated out here. We spent a summer in New England during the glorious months of June, July, and August a few years back before the move. Topher had clients out here and we decided instead of flying him back and forth all summer long, we would just tag along and rent an executive apartment. That New England summer did a couple of things. It sold us on the idea of relocating out to Connecticut for one. It also introduced us to the most splendid of coastal summer meals—the lobster roll. Our first lobster roll experience was after a day at the beach, and we headed to Abbott’s after a few people had recommended it to us. At first taste of that hot, buttery goodness with tender lobster meat packed in a toasted bun—it became our favorite summer food.
We soon learned though, that not all lobster rolls are created equal. We’ve sampled some that did not meet our expectations—the lobster meat was too tough or the bun fell apart right away because they used too much butter. If you are a Mainer, chances are you only like a cold mayo lobster roll, but here in Connecticut we know better. I kid, but not really. Hot buttered is the way to go in my opinion. I prefer it, but both are good honestly. I would never turn down a Maine style lobster roll, but if I have the choice and option— butter, butter, butter!
So, fast forward to our move here and this quest to find the perfect Connecticut lobster roll. I started this blog after having my @kristynewengland Instagram account for a little over a year. It seemed like the logical next step in sharing my love for everything New England. Now having a blog at my fingertips that I could share New England more in depth, I started brainstorming ideas on things to write—basically things I wanted to know myself. Finding the best CT lobster roll was one of them.
So, after a LONG, EXTENSIVE study and HOURS of consuming lobster rolls up and down the Connecticut shoreline we have our picks. Sometimes research is hard work, ha,ha!
#1 Lobster Landing Clinton, CT
#2 Ford’s Lobster Noank, CT
#3 Lobster Shack East Haven, CT
#4 Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough Noank, CT
#5 Guilford Lobster Pound Guilford, CT
The truth is you can’t go wrong grabbing a roll at any of this 5 places. For quality assurance, we went multiple times to make sure they were consistent…as I said hard work 😉
I’ll share more details after a few photos of some of the places we found that reigned supreme AND opening dates for our top lobster shacks. I like to see the setting of places so I thought you might too. Some I didn’t snap photos at because of people everywhere. With our COVID-19 restrictions some of them, if not most of them, will be take out only until further notice, but we can still enjoy them.
Opening Day May 21 Take Out Only
This is our #1 ALWAYS. When Topher or I say, let’s grab a lobster roll it means Lobster Landing. I don’t know what Enea Bacci does differently, I can’t quite put my taste buds on it, but—man, it’s the best lobster roll. I love the old, wonky lobster shack with the “O” in lobster hanging crooked on the sign and that rollercoaster of a roofline that has survived many coastal storms. Every single time we have visited, and there have been many, Bacci comes out in his usual fisherman attire and thanks us for coming. It’s the kind of place that makes you feel like you’ve been let in on secret. A really good secret!
Open Now Carside Pick-up Only
Ford’s is a treat. The deck on the water is a great way to cool off on a summer day and boat watch. The lobster roll is delish as is the lobster bisque. The wait can be long, but they have cornhole to play and a hillside view of the water to enjoy.
East Haven, CT
Opening Day May 20 Take Out Only
It started as a food truck. It might not be well known or on your radar unless you are a local, but it deserves a place in our top 5 because it is so good! Buttery goodness and a good selection of lobster meat. You might want to add it to your lobster roll list. Nick, one of the owners, used to be a lobsterman so he knows is lobster!
Open Now for Take Out Only
Abbott’s as I said was our first lobster roll we ever stuffed in our mouths. It’s an idyllic, old school setting with a large mural of a lobster and hand-painted signs and buoys everywhere. The shoreline is dotted with docks everywhere. It’s known near and far, so it is very popular and lines can be long. The lobster roll is served on a hamburger bun which is different. Eat it with a bag of Abbott’s potato chips.
Open Now for Take Out Only
Ran by lobsterman, Capt. Bart Mansi, it’s a delicious lobster roll. The clear broth chowder is amazing as well. You’ll love the setting in the harbor and the wood shingled shack. Boat tours head out of the harbor here too, so you could make a fun day excursion out of it.
Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock New London, CT
S&P Oyster Mystic, CT
Do you have a favorite place in Connecticut for your lobster roll not on this list? If so, mention it in the comments below and we’d love to try it. These are our favorites that stood out to us on our lobster roll quest last year.
We may not be able to grab a table at these places just yet, but we can grab a to-go roll and enjoy one of our favorite Connecticut pastimes—getting a roll on the shore!
Once we can travel again, come to Connecticut—your taste buds will thank you!