Quest for the perfect Lobster Roll on Cape Cod

Cape Cod Lobster Roll

Cape Cod Lobster Roll

I have always loved Lobster Rolls and frequently order them when we go out for lunch. I decided that this summer would be a perfect time to begin a scavenger hunt of sorts looking for the best Lobster Roll on Cape Cod and will update this particular blog with my travels. I am a purest of sorts when it comes to lobster rolls. I don’t like a lot of spices or fancy presentation. I just like fresh lobster mixed with a little mayonnaise on a freshly grilled hot dog bun…..sounds pretty simple you might say. My experience in the past has been only a small handful of restauranteurs really know how to make that perfect roll!

Before the hunt begins, just a little information about lobsters! Many of our guests staying at our Bed and Breakfast, Brewster by the Sea and Captain Freeman ask us where they can get the freshest lobster. We usually recommend the Lobster Pot in P’town which has tanks holding the live lobster. You can have an old fashion Lobster experience where you have to work hard or you can choose the lazy lobster option of the famed lobster roll. Funny thing about lobster rolls is that every clam shack and summer restaurants have this item on their menu.

So you might ask, what makes a perfect lobster roll? Here is the classic definition described by food editor, Laura Brody. “Fresh lobster in chunks, lightly held together with Hellmann’s mayonnaise, piled on a lettuce leaf pressed inside a split top, white bread, hotdog roll grilled in butter. No fillers, no fancy spices.”

Perhaps its invention was born of American necessity of instant gratification, a way to get a solid measure of lobster without wasting time and work. But that sounds too utilitarian. Truth is , a really good lobster roll, a world class lobster roll is a rich, extravagant experience to be savored and repeated often in the summer months on Cape Cod when the lobster is so fresh!

So let the quest begin with frequent updates to follow.

1. Lobster Roll #1 of the season was appropriately at our favorite lunch spot in Brewster just a mile up the road, Cafe Alfresco. We always recommend this place when guests first arrive to get a good bite for lunch. My favorites are their homemade soups, scallop sandwich and their LOBSTER ROLLS. They sometimes don’t have the lobster rolls during the quiet season,  and I was thrilled and delighted when we decided to go there this past weekend and the rolls were available. I decided to rate my summer hunt on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best. Todays experience was a 9.5……hard to give a 10 on the first one although this roll was really good. Here is what stood out for me:

Lobster roll at the Cafe Alfresco- The roll was overflowing with fresh lobster, so much that I had to start eating it with a fork .The meat was definitely fresh as there were many pieces of the tender claws. The lobster was cold with the right amount of mayonnaise (it was Helmans) and the roll was freshly grilled with some delicious crispy bib lettuce. There was just a few sprinkles of fresh chives on the top. I enjoyed every single bite. The price at Cafe Alfresco was $21. Seemed a little expensive but as I told my husband I would rather go out once a month for lunch and get something really good then eat out once a week at a cheap fast food restaurant.  More too come!

Lobster Roll #2 was at the Sesuit Harbor Cafe in Dennis. We send many of our guests here as it is a true Cape Cod experience to enjoy “clam shack” type food on the harbor. You can relax picnic style with your own bottle of wine or beer and enjoy the picturesqe views of the water as well as watching the boats come and go.

Sesuit Harbor Cafe

Sesuit Harbor Cafe

Now on to my critique…..plenty of lobster, a little too much mayonnaise and the butter on the roll left a greasy feeling in my mouth. French fries were also a little greasy. So as for the lobster roll rate I would give it a 6 but for the location a definite 10!

Lobster roll at Sesuit Harbor

Lobster Roll at Sesuit Harbor Cafe

3 thoughts on “Quest for the perfect Lobster Roll on Cape Cod


  2. I, too, have gone on a quest for the perfect lobster roll and have found many a lobster roll disappointing! Brax Landing in Harwich used to have one that was excellent…yes, that’s past tense…last fall I took my aunt, my cousin (both Cape Codders), my husband and myself to Brax for a special treat…their lobster roll…The only thing I can say: it was big… the lobster didn’t look or taste fresh, the roll was NOT the standare New England hot dog roll and the taste of the mixture (what ever it was) was not at all pleasing to the palate. I have resorted to making my own lobster rolls at home and have had “lobster roll parties” @ my house for dozens of guests! They all leave raving about the lobster rolls as “the best they have ever eaten. Here’s my recipe: I clean my own lobsters, chunk chunk cut the lobster, mix it with Hellman’s REAL mayonnaise add some finely chopped celery, put it in the toasted New England Hotdog Roll (butter your pan, not your roll when toasting) on top of some shredded lettuce… YUMMY! “-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *