The Boston Globe recently compiled a pretty exhaustive list of New England Clam and Lobster Shacks, which we read hungrily here at Union Park Press. Like most “best of” lists, this one left off some of our all-time favorites. Instead of leaving nasty comments on Boston.com, a few of us decided to take the opportunity to share them here.
Shelby’s Pick: Sesuit Harbor Café, East Dennis, MA
Those who know me know that my heart and soul lie with the state of Maine. I adore the rocky views and crinkle fries that come along with the lobster rolls at the Lobster Shack at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth. I am always pleasantly surprised at how different Harraseeket Lobster and Lunch Company in South Freeport is from the neighboring outlet haven of Freeport. I think that Shaw’s Fish and Lobster Wharf in New Harbor, Maine is as close to heaven as I have ever seen. However, it is a small café in the middle of an active shipyard on Cape Cod that I think is home to the world’s best lobster roll.
The lobster roll at Sesuit Harbor Café hits all of the marks: buttery, lightly grilled hot dog roll. Succulent, fresh lobster, piled up high with plenty of rich claw meat. A light touch of mayonnaise holds it all together without overwhelming the lobster. A tomato slice and a few leafs of lettuce create a nice cool contrast against the warm bun and creamy lobster salad. The rolls were served up side of crispy French fries and better-than-average cole slaw. The views of the boats coming and going into Cape Cod Bay make for an entertaining parade and the comfortable picnic tables by the water offer up great sunset views. The only thing that would make this more perfect? If I actually remember to BYOB next time: bring along a nice cold bottle of white wine or your favorite summer beer to round out your meal!
Sesuit Harbor Café • 357 Sesuit Neck Rd, Dennis, MA 02638 • (508) 386-5473 / (508) 280-6134
Jane’s Pick: Lobster Shack, Ogunquit, ME
A recent visit from a friend of mine from Minnesota inspired a culinary road trip of sorts- my friend had never had a lobster roll, and my mother and I decided to fix that right away. We hopped in the car and drove northward towards the Lobster Shack, a small, quaint place in Ogunquit’s Perkins Cove. After a brief stop at the outlet malls in Kittery and a few trips around the cove searching for parking, we made it to the shack.
We started off with a round of steamers – a New England specialty and my mother’s favorite. Next course was the lobster roll. We explained to my mid-west friend how it worked: a New England-style hot dog roll (also called a “split-top” roll, its flat sides are perfect for grilling), lightly buttered and toasted, filled to the brim with chilled lobster meat and (ideally) just enough mayo to keep it together. This one lived up to its many 5-star reviews, with the perfect lobster to mayo ratio and fresh, tasty lobster meat.
We finished off this culinary road trip with a final stop next door at Perkins Cove Candies for some saltwater taffy, where peanut butter was instantly deemed the favorite flavor.
Lobster Shack • 110 Perkins Cove Road, Ogunquit, ME 03907 • 207-646-2921
So tell us, what’s your favorite lobster or clam shack in New England? And what is it that makes it #1 for you? Leave us a note in the comments, we’d love to make a culinary road trip to YOUR favorite shack!