Sunny skies, salty hair, sandy toes, and fresh seafood are the stuff that New England summer magic is made out of and nothing is quintessentially more New England than a lobster shack. Lobster Shacks are traditionally casual and serve up some of the best seafood in the country. While you are debating between a hot and cold lobster roll, your kids can pick from a variety of childhood favorites at each of these spots. We’ve compiled this list of the best lobster shacks in New England from reader recommendations and contributor favorites. Each of these spots serves something for everyone – including landlubbers, so your entire family can enjoy a meal together.
Best Lobster Shacks in New England: Massachusetts
1. Chatham Pier Fish Market – Chatham
We’ve all heard of farm to table cuisine, but as far as seafood goes – it doesn’t get much fresher than the Kitchen at the Chatham Pier Fish Market. Enjoy your lobster roll while sitting outside on one of the seven picnic tables. Kids will love watching the fisherman unload their catch, or head up to the pier and see how many seals you can spot. In addition to traditional New England seafood, this spot also offers grilled cheese sandwiches, french fries, and onion rings for the kids.
2. Sesuit Harbor Cafe – Dennis
Tucked into the Northside Marina, this traditional clam shack offers a large menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Watch the boats come in while the sun sets in the sky, the Sesuit Harbor Cafe offers outdoor seating on picnic tables.
3.The Lobster Pool – Rockport
This self-service restaurant offers some of the best food and views on the Cape Ann peninsula – especially at sunset. All the seafood is cooked fresh to order. Families will also enjoy the casual atmosphere, and full kids menu featuring tenders, hotdogs, and hamburgers.
Best Lobster Shacks in New England: Connecticut
Connecticut-style warm lobter rolls hit the spot on a summer day. Photo courtesy of Lobster Landing
4. Lobster Landing – Clinton
Lobster Landing not only gets rave reviews for providing a picturesque background full of classic New England, but the food is also a fan favorite. Lobster Landing’s menu isn’t huge, but it is made up of simple ingredients crafted into delicious warm lobster rolls, hot dogs, and Italian sausage. Guests are free to bring with them anything that isn’t on the menu – so picky eaters can rejoice!
5. Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough – Noank
Just a quick drive out of downtown Mystic, Abbott’s is located directly on the Mystic River. Steamers, stuffed clams, chowder, lobster rolls, and more are all on the menu here. And, for those that do not enjoy shellfish, you can order oven roasted chicken, classic grilled cheese, hot dogs, and more. Make sure to ask for some extra oyster crackers to feed the fish under the dock.
6. Knot Norms – Norwalk Ct. & Newport R.I.
Knot Norms puts a modern spin on classic New England eats. Locally sourced clams, lobster and fried chicken served on toasted buns are the stars of the show at this spot. If you stop by the Norwalk location, make sure to save room to grab a cone at Mr. Frosty’s conveniently located next store.
7. Clam Castle – Madison
Clam Castle’s menu features classic New England clam shack favorites in addition to fish tacos, hot dogs, and hamburgers. Conveniently located near Hammonasset Beach, Clam Castle is the perfect place to hit up after a day on the beach.
Lobster rolls and fries complete any New England summer menu. Hallmark Drive-In photo by Ally Noel
8. Hallmark Drive-In -Old Lyme
Lobster Rolls (check), fried seafood (check), chicken fingers (check), fresh ice cream (check), and a beautiful view (check), the Hallmark Drive-In really has it all. With outdoor tables overlooking Long Island sound you can’t get much better than this Connecticut favorite.
Best Lobster Shacks in New England: Maine
9. The Clam Shack – Kennebunkport
The Clam Shack has been serving up fresh fried seafood since 1986, and it shows. The Clam Shack’s lobster roll has won many awards throughout the years which is no easy feat in Lobster Land. Little landlubbers will enjoy a full kids menu offering staples such as hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and hot dogs.
The best lobster shacks in Maine have menus loaded with fabulous fare. Red’s Eats photo courtesy of Pinterest
10. Red’s Eats- Wiscasset
When a spot is recommended to us by more than one Mommy Poppins reader, it MUST be good. Red’s has been voted Maine’s #1 Lobster Roll in countless best lists over the years. This menu is fully stocked with over 70 items, so you are bound to find something to tickle your taste buds.
11. High Roller– Portland Maine
What started as a food truck has now become a Portland institution. Lobster grilled cheese, lobster tacos, lobster Rangoon, fried lobster, and “build your own” lobster rolls. Customize yours with a wide variety of sauces and add-ons. Yum!
12. Thurston for Lobster – Bernard
Located on Mount Desert Island, grab a table at Thurston’s and watch the lobster boat return with today’s catch. Sometimes you can even watch them put the lobsters right into Thurston’s lobster tank – you can’t get much fresher than that! Seafood and non-seafood lovers will find something on the menu at this spot.