Food News

Celebrate the end of Lobster season

Here are the best spots to find lobster in Boston.

While they serve up lobster steamed, wood grilled, or stuffed, or in the form of rolls or mac and cheese, Summer Shack’s best dish might be their pan-roasted lobster smothered in a delicious blend of bourbon, chervil, and chives.

As summer comes to a close, so does lobster season in Massachusetts.

Maine Senators Susan Collins and Angus King recently spearheaded a resolution celebrating the beloved crustacean, saying in a joint statement that “Maine’s lobster fishery is a cornerstone of our state’s economy, supporting thousands of jobs and playing a central role in our coastal communities.”

Although Maine continues to out-lobster all other states, lobster shapes Massachusetts’ fishing economy and culture, too. And it’s been a tough year for lobster — after last year’s drop in demand, this summer’s increased demand caused prices to soar. “It’s definitely been a trying year to say the least,” said Frank Zanti, general manager of Yankee Lobster in the seaport district, “but what else is new?” 

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Boston has no shortage of spots to find lobster dishes, from classic rolls to creative entrees to whole three-pound lobsters.

Here are a few local favorites.

Yankee Lobster, 300 Northern Ave., Boston

All the way at the end of the seaport sits Yankee Lobster, a mom-and-pop counter service seafood joint that feels a bit more like Cape Cod than downtown Boston. While they have a fish market and a wholesale side, Zanti says the real focus is the restaurant. Their lobster roll, which is the official lobster roll of the Red Sox, comes three ways: cold with mayo, hot and buttered, or fried with Old Bay. “We do all local beers,” added Zanti, “and we try to bring in all local and sustainable seafood.”

Neptune Oyster, 63 Salem St., Boston

In a recent poll of Boston.com readers, Neptune Oyster in the North End took the cake for best lobster roll in the state. It’s a weighty claim, but the typically packed dining room speaks for itself. While Neptune is known nationally for its super-fresh oysters, locals know it as the spot to get one of the best lobster rolls in town, either hot and buttered or cold with mayo, served on a brioche bun.

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James Hook & Co., 440 Atlantic Ave., Boston

Since 1925, James Hook has sold fresh Maine lobster daily from their storefront in Boston’s seaport, at the corner of Atlantic Ave. and Northern Ave. Customers can pick up fresh lobster meat or other seafood to prepare at home — including live lobsters. Or, folks can stay for the views and salty air and order dine-in lobster classics like rolls (hot or cold), bisque, or whole lobsters. 

Scampo, 215 Charles St., Boston

Another spot doing lobster right — but a little different — is Scampo. Chef Lydia Shire cooks up a buttered lobster pizza, topped with the meat of a two-pound lobster, a ricotta salata, heavy cream, caramelized shallots and garlic, and Parmesan. 

Ostra, 1 Charles St. S, Boston

This upscale Mediterranean restaurant in Back Bay does seafood right — if it’s a splurge kind of night. Ostra is the Portuguese word for oyster, but their lobster is one of their most impressive options. The broiled three-pound Maine lobster comes with baby zucchini, potatoes, roasted corn, and drawn butter. 

Sullivan’s Castle Island, 2080 William J. Day Blvd, South Boston

The Castle Island shack has served up quick, casual eats for the past 70 years. The fourth-generation business sells a lobster roll for just $17.95, and the views and fresh air of Castle Island can’t be beat, either.

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Summer Shack, 50 Dalton St., Boston

While they serve up lobster steamed, wood-grilled, or stuffed, or in the form of rolls or mac and cheese, Summer Shack’s best dish might be their pan-roasted lobster smothered in a delicious blend of bourbon, chervil, and chives.

Row 34, 383 Congress St., Boston

Another seaport location, Row 34 recently won the lobster roll category for Boston magazine’s annual Best of Boston awards. The trendy Fort Point eatery serves hot and cold rolls, or a lobster fettuccine if diners want to scratch the lobster itch sans brioche.

Alive & Kicking, 269 Putnam Ave., Cambridge

Located in Cambridgeport, this no-frills joint is known for its lobster salad sandwich. The unassuming spot across the Charles ditches the traditional roll for buttered Scali bread toast, and the lobster salad piled on top has just a little bit of mayo.

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