Updated: Aug 3
You gotta love the Lobster Roll. The regal and nostalgic grace of eating one is what you crave. From the cold chill of the fresh Lobster meat, the soft lightly toasted texture of the buns, and the warm buttery goodness in every bite brings us joy. So much Joy, let's make one, or let's buy one locally!
If you are reading this then I'm sure you've had a few Lobster rolls in your day. Each New Jersey restaurant prides itself on how they make a roll. Let's talk about why we crave them, how they're made, what should I pay for them, and where we can get them!
Why do we crave the Lobster Roll?
A lobster roll is considered delicious for several reasons:
Fresh lobster meat: The lobster meat used in a lobster roll is typically fresh, sweet, and succulent, making it the star ingredient in the dish.
Quality ingredients: A good lobster roll is made with high-quality ingredients, including fresh, soft, and buttery buns that complement the lobster meat.
Simple preparation: A classic lobster roll is typically made with just a few ingredients and requires minimal preparation, allowing the natural flavor of the lobster to shine through.
Classic flavor combination: The combination of buttery, succulent lobster meat and a soft, toasted bun is a classic flavor combination that never goes out of style.
Regional and Restaurant Variations: Different regions along the East Coast of the United States have their own take on the lobster roll, which adds to its versatility and appeal.
Nostalgia factor: Lobster rolls often evoke feelings of nostalgia for many people, reminding them of summer vacations, family gatherings, and special moments spent by the shore.
How do you make a good Lobster Roll?
The basic ingredients for a classic lobster roll are:
Fresh lobster meat: The main ingredient in a lobster roll is fresh lobster meat, usually boiled or steamed and chilled.
Buns: Soft, toasted hot dog buns are typically used for lobster rolls.
Butter: A generous amount of butter is used to toast the buns and add richness to the dish.
Mayonnaise: A small amount of mayonnaise is often added to the lobster meat to help bind the ingredients and add flavor.
Lemon juice: A squeeze of lemon juice brightens the flavor of the lobster meat and helps to balance the richness of the mayonnaise and butter.
Seasonings: Salt, pepper, and other seasonings can be added to taste. Some variations may also include herbs such as parsley, chives, or tarragon.
Optional ingredients: Some variations of the lobster roll may include celery, scallions, or other ingredients to add texture and flavor.
These are the basic ingredients for a classic lobster roll, but there are many regional variations that may include different ingredients or preparation methods.
Lobster rolls are typically served cold. The lobster meat is usually boiled or steamed and chilled before being mixed with mayonnaise and other ingredients and served on a toasted bun. The cold temperature of the lobster meat contrasts with the warm, toasted bun, creating a delicious and satisfying flavor and texture. However, some people prefer to enjoy their lobster rolls warm, either by lightly sauteing the lobster meat or by serving the lobster mixture on a warm, toasted bun.
My wife likes the Lobster cold, I like mine warm and buttery with some spicy flair. In the end, whether a lobster roll should be eaten warm or cold is a matter of personal preference and there is no right or wrong way to enjoy this classic dish.
Classic Lobster Roll Recipe
Here's a simple recipe for a classic lobster roll:
1 lb cooked lobster meat, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
Salt and pepper to taste
4 hot dog buns
4 tbsp butter, softened
Optional: lettuce leaves, chopped celery, steamed onion
In a mixing bowl, combine the chopped lobster meat, mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
If desired, add chopped celery to the mixture for extra crunch and flavor.
Cool to the desired chilled temperature or slightly heat in a tablespoon of butter depending on if you like a cold or hot Lobster roll
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Spread the softened butter on the inside of each hot dog bun, then place the buns butter-side down on the skillet. Toast until lightly browned and crispy.
To assemble the lobster rolls, place a lettuce leaf on the bottom of each bun. Spoon the lobster mixture into the buns, dividing it evenly among them.
Serve the lobster rolls immediately, while the buns are still warm and toasty. Enjoy!
What Should I Pay for a Lobster Roll in New Jersey?
The price of a lobster roll in New Jersey can vary depending on several factors, including the location, the type of restaurant, and the quality of the ingredients. On average, a lobster roll in New Jersey can cost anywhere from $15 to $30 or more. Higher-end restaurants and those located in tourist areas or near the beach tend to have higher prices, while more casual and family-friendly restaurants may have lower prices.
It's important to keep in mind that a lobster roll made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and generous portions of lobster meat will likely cost more than one made with lower-quality ingredients and smaller portions. "You usually get what you pay for".
When shopping for a lobster roll in New Jersey, it's always a good idea to compare prices and read reviews to ensure that you're getting the best value for your money.
Jersey Shore Restaurants with great Lobster Rolls
There are several ways to find restaurants in New Jersey that serve lobster rolls:
Online search engines: Use a search engine such as Google to search for "lobster rolls in New Jersey" or "best lobster rolls in New Jersey" to find lists of popular restaurants that serve lobster rolls in the state.
Food and restaurant websites: Websites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and OpenTable can provide information about restaurants that serve lobster rolls, including customer reviews and ratings, menu items, and photos.
Social media: Follow local food bloggers, food critics, and foodie groups on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to get recommendations for the best lobster rolls in New Jersey.
Word of mouth: Ask friends, family, and coworkers for their favorite seafood restaurants in New Jersey and whether they serve lobster rolls.
Local tourism websites: Visit the websites of local tourist boards, such as the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism, to find recommendations for the best seafood restaurants and lobster rolls in the state.
Using a combination of these methods can help you find the best lobster rolls in New Jersey. Here's a head start to the New Jersey Shore restaurants, ordered by Jersey Shore County, that serve up Lobster Rolls:
Trama's at One Willow Highlands NJ, NJ American
Moby's Lobster Deck, Highlands NJ, American Cuisine
Inlet Café, Highlands NJ, American Cuisine
Bahrs Landing Seafood Restaurant, Highlands NJ, American/Seafood Cuisine
Avenue Le Club, Long Branch NJ French Cuisine
McLoone's Pier House, Long Branch NJ, American Cuisine
SeaGrass Restaurant, Ocean Grove NJ, American Cuisine
Marina Grille, Belmar NJ, American Cuisine
The Salty Whale & Guesthouse, Manasquan NJ, Seafood Cuisine
Beach Tavern, Monmouth Beach NJ, American Cuisine
Toast, Asbury Park NJ, American Cuisine
Cross & Orange, Asbury Park NJ, American Cuisine
The Bonney Read, Asbury Park NJ, American Cuisine
The Robinson Ale House, Asbury Park NJ, American Cuisine
Eventide Grille, Sea Bright NJ, American Cuisine
Second Jetty, Sea Bright NJ, American Cuisine
Bareli's By The Sea, Spring Lake NJ, Italian Cuisine
Klein's Fish Market and Waterside Cafe, Belmar NJ, Seafood Cuisine
The Marina at Oceanport, Oceanport NJ, American Cuisine
Atlantic Offshore Fishery, Point Pleasant NJ, Seafood Cuisine
Point Lobster Company, Point Pleasant NJ, Seafood
Shore Fresh Seafood Market & Restaurant, Point Pleasant NJ, American Cuisine
Shore Fresh Seafood Market, Point Pleasant NJ, Seafood Cuisine
The Wharfside Seafood & Patio Bar, Point Pleasant NJ, American Seafood Cuisine
Red's Lobster Pot Restaurant Point Pleasant, NJ, American Cuisine
Spikes Fish Market, Point Pleasant NJ, Seafood Cuisine
Point Lobster Bar & Grill, Point Pleasant NJ, American, Seafood Cuisine
Martell's Tiki Bar, Point Pleasant NJ, American Cuisine
Boardwalk Bar & Grill, Point Pleasant NJ, American Cuisine
Bum Rogers Crabhouse, Seaside Park NJ, Seafood
The Ocean Club Restaurant, Seaside Heights NJ, Seafood
Hooks, Seaside Heights NJ, American Cuisine
PJ's Place, Seaside Heights NJ Seafood
Park Seafood, Seaside Park NJ, Seafood Cuisine
Mystic Lobster Roll, Toms River NJ, Seafood
Martell’s Waters Edge, Bayville NJ, American Cuisine
Charlies of Bay Head, Bay Head NJ, American Cuisine
Old Causeway Steak & Oyster House, Manahawkin NJ, Seafood, American
Great American Lobster Roll Company, Long Beach Island NJ, American Cuisine
Boulevard Clams, Long Beach Island NJ, Seafood
Pearl Street Market, Long Beach sland NJ American Cuisine
Buckalew's Restaurant & Tavern, Long Beach Island, American Cuisine
The Arlington, Long Beach Island NJ, American Cuisine
Mystic Lobster Roll, Long Beach Island NJ, American Cuisine
Daymark, Long Beach Island NJ, American Cuisine
Terrace Tavern & Crab Shack, Long Beach Island, American
Black Whale Bar & Fish House Long Beach Island, American Seafood Cuisine
Blue Water Cafe, Long Beach Island, American Cuisine
Ship Bottom Shellfish, Ship Bottom NJ, Seafood
Beach Haven Fishery, Beach Haven NJ, Seafood
Chickie's & Pete's, Atlantic City, NJ American Cuisine
Coastal Craft Kitchen & Bar, Atlantic City NJ, American Cuisine
Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, American Cuisine Atlantic City
Chickie's & Pete's, Egg Harbor Township, American Cuisine
Laguna Grill And Rum Bar, Brigatine NJ, American Cuisine
The Crab Shack, Brigatine NJ, Seafood Cuisine
Cape May County
Quincy's Original Lobster Rolls, Cape May NJ, Seafood Cuisine
Cape May Fish Market Cape May NJ, Seafood Cuisine
Fins Bar & Grille, Cape May NJ, Seafood Cuisine
The Eat Well, North Cape May NJ, American Cuisine
The Lobster House, Cape May NJ, American Seafood Cuisine
Delaney's Irish Pub, Cape May NJ, American/Irish Cuisine
Harpoons on the Bay, North Cape May NJ, American Cusine
La La Lobster, Cape May NJ, Seafood Cuisine
Dogtooth Bar & Grill, Wildwood NJ American Cuisine
Coastal Blue Oceanside Bar & Grill, Wildwood Crest NJ American
Sandwich Bar, Ocean City NJ, Casual Cusine
Sea Avalon Seafood & Produce Market, Avalon NJ, Seafood
Harbor View Restaurant, Cape May NJ, Scottish Cuisine
Ugly Mug, Cape May NJ, American
Salty Mermaid Bar & Grille, North Wildwood NJ, American Cuisine
Crab and Seafood Shack Wildwood, NJ Seafood Cuisine
The Rusty Nail Cape May, American Cuisine
The Chatterbox OC, Ocean City NJ, Seafood Cuisine
Jack's Shack, Stone Harbor, American Cuisine
Quahog's Seafood Shack and Bar, Stone Harbor, American Cuisine
Chill, Stone Harbor NJ, American Cusine
Quincy's Original Lobster Rolls, Ocean City nj, Casual Cusine
Back Bay Ale House, Atlantic City, American Cuisine
The Columns, Avon by the Sea, American Cuisine
Mike's Seafood & Dock Restaurant, Sea Isle City NJ, American Seafood Cuisine
Quincy’s Original Lobster Rolls Sea Isle City, Seafood Cuisine
Mikes Seafood of Ocean City NJ, Ocean City NJ, Seafood Cuisine
Crabby Jack's Deck Bar, Somers Point NJ, American Seafood Cuisine