With all the great options for Cape Cod lobster rolls, picking the right place to go for one can be a daunting task. Yankee contributor and seafood expert Mike Urban, the author of Lobster Shacks (Countryman Press, 2016), takes some of the guesswork out of the selection process with his top seven picks. Where are the best Cape Cod lobster rolls? Read on to find out!
This is the best, most honest lobster roll on the Cape. Made from fresh-daily, picked-on-the-premises lobster meat, the Fisherman’s roll never disappoints. You’ll almost always find one or two gorgeous chunks of whole claw meat on top, always a good sign when seeking out a top-notch lobster roll. The rest is made up of generous pieces of tail and knuckle meat, lightly tossed with mayo and served on a leaf of lettuce tucked into a split-top bun.
More lobster bowl than lobster roll, this immense sandwich, which clocks in at about $30, is more than enough lobster for two hungry people. The lobster is likely fresh-picked and is lightly bathed in mayo and not much else, making a feast for those who seek both quantity and quality. The original location is pretty tough to find, so pay close attention to your GPS as you navigate the winding country club roads that lead to its hidden spot.
This super-busy, touristy shack with a miniature golf course and crowded ice cream stand shouldn’t be overlooked, especially when it comes to its lobster rolls. One of the few places on the Cape to serve both hot and cold rolls, Arnold’s fresh-picks its lobster meat throughout the day and serves up standard four-ounce rolls and jumbo versions with twice the lobster meat. Arnold’s is one of those rare places that leverages its large, high-volume size to the customer’s advantage in preparing high-quality seafood quickly.
Hidden deep within the boat racks and repair shops of Sesuit Harbor, this gem of a seafood shack with a hefty lobster roll and a waterside location near Cape Cod Bay is well worth seeking out. The roll, which usually weighs in with five to six ounces of lobster meat, comes with fries and coleslaw. There’s also a very nice raw bar inside the low-slung, shingled shack.
Equal parts seafood market, shack, and working fish pier, this place, located at the “elbow” of the Cape has legions of fans, primarily due to its legendary lobster roll. Made with fresh-picked meat from the seafood market, this roll is prettied up with a generous dash of paprika over the top, giving it a distinctive reddish hue. Served atop a broad leaf of lettuce and nestled into a toasted, split-top bun, this is the roll of choice in the mid-Cape region.
This bustling seafood shack and market on the town dock in Wellfleet serves up a very nice lobster roll in a very scenic setting. Owner Mac Hay has personal relationships with all his lobstermen and fishermen, so you’re guaranteed a quality, hand-picked, super-fresh product every time. Try the Lazy Man’s Lobster Roll, five ounces of lobster sautéed in butter and piled into a toasted, split-top bun.
Located on Route 6 on the mainland side of the Cape Cod Canal, this roadside stand serves up an immense lobster roll for the truly famished. Made from tail, claw, and knuckle meat, there’s plenty to enjoy in this sandwich, especially if you find yourself stuck in traffic on your way to or from the Cape.
Which spot tops your list for the best Cape Cod lobster rolls? Let us know in the comments!
This post was first published in 2016 and has been updated.