When you think of Martha’s Vineyard and summer foods, lobster rolls always come at the top of the list. Granted, we love clam chowder as much as the next person, but on a hot summer day, we want a seafood sandwich that’s packed with flavor that will make us smile! We’ve compiled a list of just some of the places on island with delicious lobster rolls (it’s tough to list all the places, as every shop, market, and restaurant serves up their own version).
Before getting into a list of places, let’s discuss lobster rolls, their components, and what makes them so good. A classic lobster roll can either be cold (Connecticut style) - a cold lobster salad typically made with mayonnaise, served inside a toasted roll; or hot (Maine style) - hot buttered lobster chucks in the same toasted roll, drenched in more melted butter. According to the “Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink”, the lobster roll originated as a hot dish at a restaurant called Petty’s in Milford, Connecticut in 1929. Quite popular in the state at the time, it’s popularity didn’t gain any momentum until the 70’s, when chopped lobster meat warmed with butter started being served roadside in Maine. It’s traditional to barely season a lobster roll, no matter if hot or cold, so most places pride themselves in just adding a touch of mayonnaise to the lobster meat for prime freshness.
In Vineyard Haven
John’s Fish Market
This family-owned fish market prides itself in using fresh lobster meat that’s served cold with a dollop of mayonnaise, and that’s it. Their cold lobster salad is served atop a buttered and toasted brioche roll.
One of the island's most popular seafood take-out joints (and super fresh fish market), Net result serves hot and cold lobster rolls - both of which are to die for. They also have a great outside seating area to host large crowds and messy kids.
Grace Episcopal Church
Known all over the island, these lobster rolls sell out fast! During the summer season, you can find them being sold from 4pm to 7pm, but get there earlier rather than later because they sell out every Friday!
Right Fork Diner
Watch the biplanes depart and land on the Katama Airfield as you enjoy one of their lobster rolls - they serve them both hot or cold, so you have your pick and their herb aioli on both add great flavor.
Behind the Bookstore
Tucked quite literally being the Edgartown bookstore, BTB is a great spot for cocktails and a lobster roll snack mid-day. Their roll is served in a classic ballpark hot dog bun with freshly shelled lobster meat and a brown butter caper sauce drizzled on top.
The Seafood Shanty
Known as the largest roll in town, this lobster roll is 6.5 ounces of cold lobster salad served in a “torpedo” roll. Enjoy this roll while watching the Chappy Ferry come and go in Edgartown Harbor.
Henry’s at the Harbor View Hotel
Inside the majestic Harbor View Hotel, Henry’s Bar is the happening spot for after work drinks, dinner, and dessert. But try their lobster roll and you’ll fall in love with lobster all over again. Served with a sprinkling of fried capers, this cold lobster roll stands regally overlooking Edgartown Lighthouse.
In Oak Bluffs
Sand Bar & Grille
Wiggle your toes in the sand and enjoy the happenings of Oak Bluffs Harbor while enjoying either a hot or cold lobster roll. The hot roll is drenched in butter in the best way possible and is best enjoyed with one of their popular beach drinks.
The Lookout Tavern
Another spot where you can try both a hot and a cold lobster roll on Martha’s Vineyard, the 7- ounces served in this roll is impressive. Using only claw and knuckle meat only, it’s a good looking roll and definitely “Instagram worthy”.
Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company
This half pound lobster roll (that’s a whole 8 ounces!) of hot buttered lobster is served in a grilled brioche bun and topped with chopped bacon, parsley, preserved lemon, and served with fries.
Larsen’s Fish Market
Started in 1969, Larsen’s has been a family run business since then. Their lobster rolls are island-known and are the best food to bring to a sunset beach picnic.
Menemsha Fish Market
Another family owned fish market, their lobster rolls are served both hot or cold in a hot dog bun and the cold are made and ready to grab and go if you’re rushing to catch that Menemsha sunset!
Thanks to Marnely Murray of Cooking With Books for the amazing photos! Be sure to check her out here.
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