Chow down at one of New York City’s locally owned and operated lobster outposts in all five boroughs, and eat better and cheaper than at the national seafood chains.
Whether you prefer your lobster steamed or in tucked in a roll, here’s where to find your lobster :
Now a mini-chain with several locations around town, Luke’s prides itself on sustainable seafood practices. Maybe that’s why their lobster rolls taste so good. Or maybe its their proprietary secret seasoning. Or both. Their rolls ($17) include both butter and mayo, and they’ve recently added lobster tails to the menu, served cold with lemon butter dipping.
- Luke’s Lobster also has locations in Boston, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and in Japan, where lobster sushi is a favorite.
Red Hook Lobster Pound
Lobster rolls range from $16 to $20, served with house-made mayo.
- Three restaurant locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, including at the South Street Seaport, plus food trucks and stalls at Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea on weekends.
Burger & Lobster
There are only three things on the menu: lobster, lobster rolls and burgers, plus an extensive micro-beer and wine list. Each of the dishes costs $20 and is served with a hefty helping of fries and a salad. The lobster is a generous one-pound-plus, the lobster rolls are stuffed to the brim with meaty chunks, and the burger is prime hand-cut Nebraska beef that my German butcher father would approve of.
- In addition to the original location in Flatiiron, at 39 W. 19th St., Burger & Lobster has opened two Times Square locations, at 132 W. 43rd St. and One Bryant Park.
North River Lobster Co.
Lobster rolls, lobster tacos ($21.95 each) and more at the only floating lobster house in NYC, operated by Circle Line. Take your pick of eating on the top deck when the boat is moored, or during a dinner cruise in warm weather season. Our vote goes to the top deck, especially at sunset.
Locations in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and Rockaway Beach, Queens, serve up lobster a dozen ways, including for brunch as lobster huevos rancheros, even lobster mac ‘n’ cheese. Choose the classic clambake with corn ($31.95), warm Connecticut-style lobster roll or traditional New England style ($17).
- There’s a more limited menu at the food truck. Lobster Joint website.
Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.
This is a combo fish market and restaurant/raw bar makes sourcing sustainable seafood its main mission, so your lobster is ethically caught. It’s wholesale division supplies many top NYC restaurants with the freshest catch for their menus. They serve 1 1/2 pound lobster simply with lemon and drawn butter.
- 114 Nassau Avenue, Greenpoint, 718-349-0400, greenpointfish.com
City Island Lobster House
Famous for its enormous menu of fish seafood dishes, its fresh-caught selections, and waterfront views. Choose your lobster size, starting at 1 1/4 pounds for $24.95, steamed or broiled, adding crabmeat for another $9.95.
- Open year-round at 691 Bridge Street, City Island, 718-885-1459; cilobsterhouse.com
Lobster House Joe’s
With two locations on Staten Island, this seafood-centric restaurant serves up whole lobsters steamed or boiled, lobster tails, and even stuffed lobsters. The Lobster Dinner (MP) is served simply with lemon and plenty of butter. Add crab meat and bread crumbs stuffing for an extra $5.99.
- 1898 Hylan Boulevard, 718-667-0003 and 4707 Arthur Kill Road, 718-227-0003, lobsterhousesi.com
The Poissonnerie section of this giant French food hall in Brookfield Place offers lobster rolls for $18. The market also sells whole fresh lobsters ($14.95/pound) for you to try your hand at steaming or baking the crustaceans at home.
- 225 Liberty Street, Battery Park, 212-981-8588; ledistrict.com
Ed’s Lobster Bar
Lobster rolls are stuffed to the brim with chucks of claw meat, but it’s up to you to decide whether that’s worth the hefty $30 pricetag. But, then, everything around the High Line is extra pricey these days.
- Ed’s Lobster Bar is at 222 Lafayette St. in the Gansevoort Market.
McCarren Hotel & Pool
This hotel serves up Maine Lobster Roll ($17) made up of lobster, celery leaves and truffle aioli on a Balthazar bun. Have one while you chill poolside for the day. A pool day pass for a weekday is $55 for non-hotel guests.
- 160 North 12th Street, Williamsburg, 718-218-7500; mccarrenhotel.com
Get a front row seat on Jamaica Bay at this waterfront bar and restaurant. Big appetites can chow down on The Lobster Boil, which includes 1 1/4 lb. lobster, mussels, clams, corn the cob, boiled potatoes, and drawn butter for $35, or a classic Lobster Roll and slaw for $20. If you’re with a group, share one of the seafood towers, The Dock ($54) or The Pier ($95), featuring lobster, shrimp, clams, mussels, oysters and crab.
This article was posted originally in 2016 and is updated annually.