It’s an age-old debate: hot lobster rolls or cold? Here in Connecticut, we’re a bit biased since we’re home to the original lobster roll (which is hot, not cold), but biases aside, there is still much contention when it comes to this discussion over which is better. One of my favorite pastimes in the summer is heading to the coast on a sunny afternoon to enjoy a warm and buttery lobster roll, and this year I decided to share my top three locations for the best lobster rolls in Connecticut.
Lobster Landing (Clinton, CT)
Lobster Landing is a favorite for both locals and visitors alike. The restaurant is a humble, 100-year-old shack situated right on the water in Clinton Marina, and it’s not uncommon to see its outdoor deck packed with people in the summer months. What makes Lobster Landing’s rolls a bit more unique is the owners’ Italian flair they add; the lobster is served on a hefty sub roll (or grinder roll, as Nutmeggers call them) and doused with plenty of butter and lemon juice.
Pro tip:Spend a couple hours shopping at the outlets at Clinton Crossing (just a 7-minute drive from the restaurant) and stop by for a lobster roll afterward!
Ford’s Lobster (Noank, CT)
Ford’s is another great option if you’re in the mood for a superb lobster roll. Located in Noank, a charming seaside village in the town of Groton, Ford’s boasts an impressive menu for seafood lovers. What I love about Ford’s (in addition to their excellent lobster rolls), is the fact that they have a wide variety of food options if you are in the mood to eat something other than lobster. Additionally, their location can’t be beat — you can take in gorgeous water views while enjoying your meal. A word of caution, though — this a very popular spot in the summer, and on any given Saturday or Sunday during the season, there can be up to a 2-hour wait! I’d highly recommend going on the much earlier or later side if you want to be sure that you’ll get a seat.
Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough (Noank, CT)
Abbott’s – just a 2-minute drive down the road from Ford’s, is certainly a mecca for any true lobster lover and has attracted big names like Bobby Flay and President Jimmy Carter. In addition to their “Famous Lobster Roll,” which has been repeatedly voted as one of the best in Connecticut and New England, their “OMG Hot Lobster Roll,” which is twice the size, and “LOL Lobster Roll,” which is triple the size, are each stuffed with fresh, heaping piles of flavorful meat. If you’re with a large group and want to go right for the meat without the buns, customers have the option of buying full lobster meals which go up to 10 pounds! Like Ford’s, you can take in the stunning view of the Mystic River, with both Fisher’s Island and Long Island in the distance. And, it’s just 10 minutes away from downtown Mystic, making it the perfect spot to get a quick bite in before exploring one of the state’s hottest tourist spots.
Whether you prefer Maine-style lobster rolls or Connecticut-style lobster rolls, I highly recommend that everyone check out these three spots for a perfect slice of fine New England scenes and cuisine. I can assure that at least one of them is bound to become a new favorite!
One of our favorite parts of this particular vacation was the day on the water we spent with Captain Rich and his crew aboard the Schooner Eleanor. Our boys had sailed before, but never in Maine. They were up bright and early that morning eager to see what the ride would be like.