In my countless visits to Cape Cod over the years, the one food I have eaten the most of is lobster rolls. Okay, well, maybe ice cream, too, but this post is going to be all about where you can find the absolute best lobster rolls on Cape Cod & the Islands 🙂 While I haven’t had every single lobster roll available in the area, I’ve had quite a few, and can definitely point you in the right direction.
If you’re not from New England and you’re planning your first ever visit, a lobster roll is an absolute must if you enjoy seafood, and Cape Cod is one of the best places to try one. But just be warned, once you have one, it may be hard to stop!
What Are The Two Kinds Of Lobster Rolls?
The two kinds of lobster rolls are Maine and Connecticut, and as I’m sure you’ve gathered, they’re named after the state they originated in.
The Maine style lobster roll is the most popular and most common, and is likely what you’ve seen in photos online. This style starts with a toasted, often buttered hot dog bun, and is filled with cold lobster salad that’s very lightly dressed in mayo. Sometimes, it can come with a bed of lettuce between the bun and lobster meat for an added crunch.
A sign of a good lobster roll is a mix of big chunks of lobster meat (usually from the knuckle and claw), as well as some shredded lobster meat. Sometimes places will add in a crunchy element like celery, but most of the time, Maine lobster rolls really just let the meat shine without any additional ingredients.
Sometimes, the Maine style lobster rolls can be referred to as the New England style roll because they’re now served pretty much all over coastal New England. But its true name is Maine style.
The Connecticut style lobster rolls is also served in a toasted, sometimes buttered, hot dog bun, and is filled with warm lobster meat that’s been lightly coated in melted butter. This style lobster roll doesn’t often come with anything else like lettuce, since it would wilt against the warmth of the lobster meat.
Pro Tip: My personal preference is the Maine style lobster roll, but if you’ve never had either style, definitely try both to see which you like better! Who knows, you may end up loving them both equally.
Does Cape Cod Have Its Own Kind Of Lobster Roll?
Contrary to common belief, the answer is no. While you can find a pretty epic lobster roll on Cape Cod, this region doesn’t have its own style. You’re most likely to find the Maine style lobster roll on Cape Cod, and some places will also offer up the Connecticut style (often times, they’re just listed as hot or cold lobster rolls on the menu).
Best Lobster Rolls On Cape Cod
1. Sesuit Harbor Cafe – Dennis
My personal pick for the best lobster roll on Cape Cod is Sesuit Harbor Cafe, and this is a pretty popular choice among locals and visitors alike. Not only is the location perfect, sitting right on the water with views of the marina and Cape Cod Bay, they also serve up a perfect lobster roll. If you’re in the area, this is one of the best things to do in Dennis, but it’s so worth going out of your way for, too.
Sesuit’s lobster roll is perfectly dressed with the right amount of mayo, and is packed with the freshest chunks of meat. It’s also served with really good fries and a small side of cole slaw. As popular as this lobster roll has gotten over the years, it continues to be worth it. I find the size to also be ideal – it’s fairly large, but not too big, so you definitely get your money’s worth.
Pro Tip: The Sesuit Harbor Cafe became so famous for their lobster rolls that they offer lobster roll cruises aboard the SS Lobster Roll! And this is actually a really fun way to try their food, and take in beautiful views of Cape Cod Bay.
Tips For Visiting Sesuit Harbor Cafe:
- This is one of the most popular places to eat on Cape Cod, especially in peak season (July & August). The wait times to order can often be around 30-45 minutes during prime times, sometimes going over an hour. You’ll want to plan accordingly.
- When visiting, you’ll wait in line to order at the counter inside the building, and then go find a picnic table outside while you wait for your food. All the tables are all open seating. You’ll be given a number, and a server will bring your food to your table.
- Only outdoor seating is available.
- If you’re a party of 1-2 people, you may end up sharing a picnic table with another group or couple. It’s definitely okay to ask if you can share if all other tables are taken!
- Sesuit is BYOB, so feel free to bring some nice beers or a bottle of wine. This is what I always do.
- Not only does Sesuit have great lobster rolls, all their seafood is awesome. You should also try their chowder and raw bar while visiting.
- Cash only!
2. Mac’s Shack – Wellfleet
Mac’s Seafood has a few locations around Cape Cod with different variations of their name, but my favorite lobster roll is at Mac’s Shack in Wellfleet (not to be confused by Mac’s on the Pier, which is also great, but I prefer the lobster roll at Mac’s Shack).
The roll at Mac’s Shack is packed with fresh meat, tossed with the lightest amount of mayo, served with lettuce, and sprinkled with just a hint of seasonings on top. It also comes with fries.
Not only is the lobster roll at Mac’s Shack awesome, all the food at this restaurant is wonderful. There’s indoor dining available, as well as a covered outdoor raw bar that’s a fun atmosphere.
3. Chatham Fish Pier Market – Chatham
The Chatham Fish Pier Market is a really fun experience, and topping it off with one of their lobster rolls will seal the deal on making this stop worth it. Located right on the water at the Chatham Pier, you’ll often spot the local fisherman coming in with their fresh catches, and also the seals swimming around the boats, waiting for a little snack. This is actually one of the best places to see seals up close without going to the beach!
But the lobster roll here is killer, and is also served on a bed of lettuce and topped with some seasonings for extra flavor. This is probably the most seasoned lobster roll I’ve had on the Cape, so this may not be your thing, but I happen to enjoy it. The roll is also served with delicious fries.
When visiting the fish pier in the summer season, keep in mind that parking is limited and fills up fast. There are also not a ton of tables for eating your food, so I sometimes have to just eat while standing or walking around, or in the car. Sometimes, you can also plop down on the staircase that leads to the parking area. It’s very casual here.
4. The Lobster Pot – Provincetown
A Cape Cod staple restaurant is the Lobster Pot in Provincetown, and this place is absolutely worth the hype (and the wait to get in!). They serve a fresh and delicious roll here that’s packed with big chunks of lobster meat, and they also have great entrees and cocktails.
Most the seating here is indoors, but they do have a small deck that overlooks the ocean if you happen to get lucky.
Pro Tip: I often find there’s not a wait around 3:30-4:30p, which is a great time to snatch up a table!
5. The Friendly Fisherman – North Eastham
Yankee Magazine even named the lobster roll at the Friendly Fisherman one of the best in all of New England, so you know you’re in for a treat during your visit! The lobster roll here is filled with huge chunks of fresh meat with the perfect amount of mayo over a bed of lettuce, and is also served with your choice of fries, cole slaw or Cape Cod potato chips.
Not only is the food at the restaurant wonderful, they also have a little market where you can pick up fresh lobsters (which they will prepare for you to your liking at no additional cost!), homemade pies, produce and their own stews and chowders.
6. The Skipper Chowder House – Yarmouth
One of my favorite restaurants that I have to visit every time I’m on the Cape is The Skipper Chowder House, and not only do they serve one of my favorite cups of chowder, but also one of the best lobster rolls on Cape Cod!
Every time I take someone to The Skipper, they always rave about the chowder and the food – especially the lobster roll. I even converted my mom into their biggest fan, and she recently went twice during a visit to the Cape.
The Skipper offers a combination of indoor seating and a covered upper deck, which offers partial views of the ocean across the street. They also have an ice cream shack for dessert after dinner. After your lobster roll, I recommend heading to the beach across the street for a walk on the shoreline to bask in your post-roll experience.
Pro Tip: The clam chowder at The Skipper has won all kinds of awards, so I highly recommend getting a cup to pair with your lobster roll. They also offer fried clam chowder, but I find their traditional chowder to be much better.
7. Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar – Eastham
Another great lobster roll in Eastham is at Arnold’s, which is a casual eatery with the cutest little indoor ordering window. And their lobster roll is piled high with incredibly fresh chunks of lobster meat, and is served with a side of cole slaw, and your choice of fries or Cape Cod potato chips.
Before heading to your table at Arnold’s, you’ll want to head to the ordering counter first, and then take your seat. They offer both indoor and outdoor seating to suit either preference.
8. Captain Parker’s Pub – West Yarmouth
Another restaurant that also serves one of my all-time favorite cups of chowder and one of the best lobster rolls in the area is Captain Parker’s Pub. The chowder here has also won awards, so you’ll want to be sure to add that to your order. But the lobster roll here is also fantastic!
Captain Parker’s Pub offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and if you want a special souvenir to remember your experience by, you can order your chowder in a mug, which they will wash out for you when you’re done so you can take it home.
9. Quahog Republic Dive Bar – Falmouth
My favorite lobster roll in Falmouth goes to the Quahog Republic Dive Bar. This cool little place is located in a small, unassuming strip plaza and doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the inside is a really fun vibe with awesome drinks, and, you guessed it … a great lobster roll!
Not to take away attention from their lobster roll, but they also serve a pretty mean lobster grilled cheese that’s super comforting and insanely delicious. But their lobster roll is absolutely worth checking out.
Best Lobster Rolls On Martha’s Vineyard
10. Menemsha Or Larsen’s Fish Markets
For the freshest, most amazing seafood in a casual setting, you’ll want to make the drive to the quiet fishing village of Menemsha on Martha’s Vineyard, and it’s absolutely worth the drive for the lobster rolls!
Both Larsen’s and Menemsha Fish Markets serve up an equally amazing lobster roll, and they’re also right down the street from one another – so there’s nothing stopping you from trying both 😉 Located within walking distance of Menemsha Public Beach, I recommend a dinner here and taking your food to-go to enjoy sunset on the beach (which also happens to be one of the best spots on the island for a sunset!).
But a lunch here is also perfect, and both places have seating that overlooks the water.
11. Offshore Ale Company – Oak Bluffs
One of the biggest lobster rolls I’ve personally had can be found at the Offshore Ale Company in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard. Easily walkable from the ferry terminal, this cozy little nautical pub’s lobster roll is just loaded with delicious and fresh meat, and is served with amazing homemade potato chips.
And, since it’s a brewpub, you’re going to find some great beers to pair with your lobster roll, so you get the best of both worlds during your visit.
Offshore offers both indoor and outdoor seating, depending on your preference.
12. Among The Flowers Cafe – Edgartown
My personal favorite lobster roll on Martha’s Vineyard is at Among The Flowers Cafe in Edgartown. This was the first lobster roll I ever had on the island, and it’s been hard for others to beat it! Huge chunks of lobster meat are piled on top of lettuce and the bun, and it’s just absolutely delicious.
Not only that, the atmosphere at the cafe is really lovely. Outdoor seating is available in the shaded courtyard, and they have custom vases of fresh flowers at each table for a special touch. If you’re with anyone who doesn’t feel like having a lobster roll, they offer all kinds of salads and sandwiches, too.
Pro Tip: Among The Flowers Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch only, and generally closes by 2-3p.
Honorable Mention – Seafood Shanty in Edgartown
Seafood Shanty offers some of the best views in Edgartown, and I happen to also love their lobster roll! If you have the time to wait for a table on their upper deck, you can enjoy views of Chappaquiddick Island, and watch the ferry go back and forth from Edgartown while you savor your amazingly fresh lobster roll.
This place tends to be pretty busy during the summer season, so you’ll want to expect a wait when you arrive – especially if you want to sit on the deck.
Here are some Martha’s Vineyard posts you may find helpful:
- How To See Martha’s Vineyard Without A Car
- Is Nantucket Or Martha’s Vineyard Better For A Day Trip?
- The Ultimate Martha’s Vineyard Day Trip Guide
Best Lobster Rolls On Nantucket
13. Sayles Seafood
Probably the best lobster roll on Nantucket can be found at Sayles Seafood. It’s an unassuming little seafood shack & market located about a half mile from Straight Wharf in downtown Nantucket, and serves an incredibly fresh lobster roll that’s just 👌🏻.
There are a few tables for indoor and outdoor dining at Sayles, but they mostly cater to takeout foods. You can also buy super fresh live and cooked whole lobsters, and all kinds of seafood here, too!
14. The Charlie Noble
My favorite lobster roll on Nantucket that can be found at a traditional restaurant is at The Charlie Noble. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had anything disappointing here, and their lobster roll is awesome. They toss their lobster meat with a lemon aioli, so it’s a bit untraditional, but totally works.
If you’re with a group, they also offer a footlong lobster roll that you can share for a fun appetizer. I’ve also had the lobster quesadillas, which are so delicious.
The Charlie Noble offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and their back outdoor patio overlooks the wharf.
15. Walter’s Deli
A great option for lobster rolls to-go on Nantucket is the cute little Walter’s Deli on Broad Street downtown. This hole-in-the-wall actually serves up pretty great food, and their lobster roll is delicious! Their lobster meat is tossed with celery for an added crunch (which I enjoy), and is packed into a perfect bun. This is a great option if you’re heading to the beach and want to pack a roll for lunch.
How Much Do Lobster Rolls On Cape Cod Cost?
Prices for lobster rolls vary based on location and market price. You’ll often see MP next to the menu listing for lobster rolls, which signifies Market Price (meaning the average price fishermen are charging for their catches). If lobster is being harvested in abundance, that will usually bring the price down. If it’s a harder catch than normal, that drives the price up.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to expect to pay anywhere from $25-$35 for a lobster roll on Cape Cod. The most common price range I’ve found in 2022-2023 is right around $30.
Pro Tip: Sometimes, lobster rolls come with a side (like fries or chips) and sometimes, they’re sold a la carte. If you want a side with your roll, you’ll want to be sure to add it on if it’s a la carte.
Where Is The Largest Lobster Roll On Cape Cod?
The largest lobster roll I’ve personally had was at Offshore Ale Company on Martha’s Vineyard. The largest one I’ve seen, however, is the lobster bomb at Original Seafood. My sister and mom ordered this to share during a past trip to the Cape, and this thing was absolutely enormous, and they couldn’t finish it between the two of them.
You may also find these posts helpful:
- Best Time Of Year To Visit Cape Cod
- 15 Things You Must See & Do For Cape Cod First Timers
- Best Towns To Stay In On Cape Cod
- What To Pack For Cape Cod
- Best Things To Do On Cape Cod For Adults
- Unique Things To Do On Cape Cod
- Best Sunsets On Cape Cod
- Best Beach Towns In New England
- Best Waterfront Restaurants On Cape Cod
- Things To Know When Visiting Cahoon Hollow Beach
And here are some guides to Cape Cod towns you may enjoy:
- Best Things To Do In Wellfleet, MA
- Best Things To Do In Harwich, MA
- Best Things To Do In Dennis, MA
- Best Things To Do In Falmouth, MA
- Best Things To Do In Brewster, MA
- Best Things To Do In Provincetown, MA
- Best Things To Do In Chatham, MA
- Best Things To Do In Sandwich, MA
That’s A Wrap On The Best Lobster Rolls On Cape Cod
And there you have it, my picks for the best lobster rolls on Cape Cod and the Islands. Now you know where to head to first for the perfect lobster roll experience on the Cape, and decide for yourself which you think is the absolute best.