Do not ask me to choose a favorite lobster roll on Long Island. That is an impossible task. What I can offer, however, is a primer on this roll. As a New Englander, I’m equipped with natural-born lobster roll expertise. Here is my treatise.
There are two different kinds of lobster rolls: New England (or Maine) and Connecticut. The New England lobster roll is a lobster salad that involves mayonnaise, chopped lobster meat, and, occasionally, celery and/or lettuce. When tradition holds, this roll is served on a gently buttered and toasted top-split hot dog bun. A Connecticut-style roll is served warm, bathed in butter—and, importantly, without mayo.
This is the definitive guide to lobster rolls on Long Island (please note: rolls that are a little “different” will be featured in a separate article, coming soon). Choose a category, and then choose your roll. And there’s plenty to choose from.
For New England-Style Rolls
Despite a reinvention in recent years, this is still a tried-and-true place to enjoy a Montauk roll—and on the water, no less. If the price feels off-putting ($35), just remember that you get what you pay for.
5460, 65 Tuthill Road, Montauk, (631) 668.2410.
One leaf of lettuce will do on this roll, which is practically overflowing with a lot of claw meat. You will find the obligatory celery and the right amount of mayo, too. Depending on the season, lobster is either cold water (hailing from Canada and Maine) or local.
64755 NY-25, Greenport, (631) 765-3200.
An Amagansett landmark, this restaurant is known, naturally, for its lobster rolls. This is a traditional lobster salad roll, with celery and mayo on a toasted bun. Yum!
1980 Montauk Highway, Amagansett, (631) 267.3740.
For $15-$20 (the roll is market-dependent), the crustacean-crazed can be treated to this overstuffed top-split bun, with a lot of really fresh, really sweet lobster meat. Meat is largely from the claw and is dressed traditionally, with a little mayonnaise and chopped celery.
356 Montauk Highway, Wainscott, (631) 537-0633.
The water view is an added bonus at Bay Vue, where lobster rolls, which arrive on the menu each May, boast lots of fresh lobster, a little mayo, and some celery.
854 S. Wellwood Avenue, Lindenhurst, (631) 991.3370.
Old Bay is the name of the game with this roll, which is served on brioche and dressed with an appropriate-but-not-outrageous amount of mayonnaise.
157 Forest Avenue, Massapequa, (516) 798.6000.
Don’t forget to bring cash to this cash-only establishment, where you can enjoy a lobster-packed roll that’s enhanced by mayo, celery, and chopped onion.
2025 Montauk Highway, Amagansett, (631) 267.6348.
Overstuffed with fresh, moist lobster meat, the roll here is served with chips and coleslaw.
1810 Merrick Road, Merrick, (516) 868.5338.
Nothing short of iconic, this Greenport waterfront restaurant serves a benchmark lobster roll. Period.
111 Main Street, Greenport (631) 477.0627.
At this former Blue Canoe space, you’ll find a lobster-rich sandwich stuffed with knuckle, tail, and claw meat, lightly dressed and served in a thoroughly toasted bun.
104 Third Street, Greenport, (631) 333-2501
An abundant roll that comes with a fork (the ample filling requires it), this is a super traditional roll for the traditional-minded lobster lover.
277 Pantigo Road, East Hampton. (631) 324-1111.
Mixed with chopped celery and a little mayonnaise, this lobster roll is an symphony of meat, piled into a toasted hot-dog bun (and served with potato chips). Part of the sheer joy of Kerber’s lies in the atmosphere. Enjoy the roll while watching the chickens roam the property.
309 W. Pulaski Road, Cold Spring Harbor, (631) 423.4400.
Seasoned with tarragon and celery, this is an elegant roll, served on brioche and accompanied with homemade chips.
519 N. Broadway, Jericho, (516) 513.1487.
A casual take on lobster rolling, this spot lets you order and then choose your seat—and, if you’re lucky, you’ll score a water view. Lobster meat, mayo, lemon juice, scallion, and celery marry on a warm hot dog bun.
1 Petit Place, Island Park, (516) 889.3314.
This super under-the-radar spot is all outdoors, save for a small canopy. This is a very traditional roll, with a little onion, for punch. The restaurant is so discrete you might miss it.
40 Ludlam Avenue, Bayville, (516) 628.8688.
A tall, thick bun made of brioche is the perfect buttery complement to the lobster in this roll. Paired with a view of the sea, you can’t go wrong.
The Inlet Seafood Restaurant, 541 East Lake Drive, Montauk. (631) 668-4272. Open daily in season, 12 to 8 p.m.
Holy moly, this is a two-fer. For $28, you get twin lobster rolls, dressed in mayo and served in grilled, buttered, top-split buns. It’s the deal of the century!
43 Greene Street, Huntington, (631) 351.3446.
Claudia Fleming serves up a wild-caught lobster served on Blue Duck Bakery brioche. The roll is toasted, the lobster is generous, and the mayonnaise component is restrained (call it a lemon-tarragon aioli, if you like).
57225 Main Road, Southold, (631) 765-0177.
The lobster roll here is “market price,” which could mean practically anything, depending on the day. Meat is Maine lobster (the very best), mixed with an ample-but-not-too-ample amount of mayonnaise, celery, and romaine hearts. Bread is buttered and toasted. This is a heaping sandwich, and that’s a good thing.
240 Love Lane, Mattituck, (631) 298-8989.
For the Butter Lover
You won’t find any mayonnaise in this superlative roll. This is a purist’s dream, a roll focused entirely on the meat.
135 Maple Avenue, Bay Shore, (631) 666.0995.
Apparently Bay Shore is the unofficial home of the Connecticut roll. This warm roll is filled with butter-poached lobster, along with a little celery, for good measure. On the side? Salt and vinegar chips.
61 W. Main Street, Bay Shore, (631) 647.8818.
For the Ones Who Can’t Decide
Harbor’s lobster meat is simple and sweet: fresh lobster poached in butter and served on a charred bun (top-split, of course). Because of the swath of mayonnaise, this is categorically both a Connecticut-style and New England-style roll.
Harbor Market & Kitchen, 184 Division Street, Sag Harbor. (631) 725-4433. Open daily, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
This waterside seafood spot offers two kinds of lobster rolls, for the ambivalent diner. There’s a classic lobster salad with mayonnaise and celery, served on brioche, as well as a warm, butter bathed version.
1 Main Street, East Rockaway, (516) 341.7222.
This unassuming Mineola haunt will make your roll your way—either cold and in mayo or warm and in butter. The rolls are teeming with claw, tail, and knuckle meat, so no matter what you choose, you won’t leave disappointed.
524 Jericho Turnpike, Mineola, (516) 739.2747.
Knuckle and claw meat abound at this Wantagh favorite. Get your roll warm and butter-dressed or cold and assisted by celery and tarragon mayo. Rolls have a full quarter pound of meat, but diners can also opt for an “overstuffed” roll, with twice the filling.
3255 Sunrise Highway, Wantagh, (516) 900.1400.
In addition to their traditional “The Original West Sayville” lobster roll, Claw’s also serves the Naked Roll (just lobster and drawn butter), so everyone can stop arguing over what roll is best already.
20 Montauk Highway, Sayville, (631) 256.5900.