Over-fishing in Maine has, surprisingly, led to a lobster boom here in New York—the critters have less competition than in previous days. All the better for New York City. Here are our picks for the 7 best lobster rolls in the Big Apple. By Valerie Stivers.
Ed’s Lobster Bar
Ed’s lobster roll was voted best by Iron Chef Michael Symon on Food Network’s Food Feud. It’s no surprise, as Ed uses fresh lobsters from Maine and cooks on premises. Unlike Luke’s Lobster, which only uses the crustacean’s claws and knuckles, Ed uses the whole lobster—knuckles, claws and tail, and adds celery, mayo and a bit of lemon. Ed is serious about his lobster—in fact, he loves lobster so much he has one tattooed on his arm.
Fairway Café, Red Hook
480 Van Brunt Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
The Fairway café in Red Hook has two claims to being a dining destination: its waterside location with close-up views of the passing container ships and its wonderful, inexpensive ($11) lobster roll. Cool chunks of premium seafood come tossed in a dressing so light it’s barely mayo, speckled with cracked black peppercorns, and wrapped in a sweet, puffy roll. Plus coleslaw and chips.
This old-fashioned tile floors and buoys in the window tosses its fresh Maine lobster with a small amount of Hellman’s mayonnaise, adds a dash of celery salt, oregano and thyme, and slaps it in a white-bread bun. Have it alone for $14 or with a Maine Root soda and chips for $16. Luke’s Lobster recently opened a new location in the Financial District, to supplement their UWS, UES and East Village locations.
Mary’s Fish Camp, Brooklyn Fish Camp
162 Fifth Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217
These two playful, happening dining rooms, one in Park Slope, the other in the West Village sometimes serve a wonderful lobster roll. It’s lobster tossed with a little mayo, diced celery, lemon, salt and pepper, and served on a Pepperidge Farm hot dog bun, with shoestring fries. If you see it on the menu, seize the day.
Mermaid Oyster Bar
This Mermaid Inn spinoff has an unusually large lobster roll served on a buttered toasted Amy’s Bread brioche. The Monday special offers it for $26 accompanied by crackers, old Bay spiced fries, a beer and chocolate pudding for dessert. Pearl
Pearl Oyster Bar
18 Cornelia St
New York, NY 10014
Pearl’s cheerful, blond-wood space in the West Village serves the gold standard for a traditional lobster roll. Chef Rebecca Charles whips up a creamy concotion of lobster, celery and Hellmann’s, served on a Pepperidge Farm bun and accompanied by a toothsome thatch of shoestring fries.
Red Hook Lobster Pound
284 Van Brunt Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(646) 326 7650
Couple Ralph Gorman and Susan Povich started this seat-of-the-pants operation in an unused storefront on Van Brunt street in 2009. He drives what they say are the city’s freshest lobsters down from Maine, she makes the mix—blushing-red whole-claw chunks, homemade mayo, paprika, scallions, celery, all stuffed into a J.J Nissen bun. The Lobster Pound also recently rolled out a Lobster Truck.