Where to get a lobster roll in Tampa Bay (2022)

Published Aug. 10|Updated Aug. 12

A couple of weeks ago, I took a trip out to Cape Cod to visit with friends — a summer sojourn that’s quickly becoming an annual tradition.

Each year, there are one or two more additions to our group — new friends, new babies, new dogs — but the routine stays mostly the same: reading and napping, swimming in lakes, drinking lots of rose and getting our hands on as many lobster rolls as possible.

I love my friends. But half the reason I make the trek every year is for those New England-style lobster rolls — heaps of sweet claw meat dressed with mayonnaise, maybe a little celery and a squeeze of lemon.

This year, I didn’t quite hit my lobster limit, and upon my return to Florida, I was still hankering for more. But Tampa Bay isn’t exactly known for the Northeast specialty. Stone crab? You bet. Grouper sandwiches? No problem. But cold water crustaceans stuffed into fluffy rolls, either tossed in drawn butter or slathered in mayonnaise? I hadn’t come across more than a few noteworthy ones.

Where to get a lobster roll in Tampa Bay (1)

I decided to crowdsource this conundrum, posing this question to readers in my weekly newsletter: Where can I get a good lobster roll in Tampa Bay?

The response was swift: Within minutes, my email inbox was filling up with suggestions. Turns out I’m not the only one with a fondness for the dish: There are, in fact, plenty of places to get a great lobster roll.

Guy Cote runs one of them. A former high school teacher and author, the Maine native hatched the idea for his lobster roll stand in 2012. He’s now a regular on the Tampa Bay farmers market and festival circuit, sometimes even selling out because the demand is so high.

“I’ve grown up eating lobster and it’s always been my favorite food,” he said.

At his lobster stand Maine-iacs, Cote serves Connecticut- and New England-style rolls. The former features lobster meat sauteed in butter, served on a grilled and buttered bun. The Maine-iac roll — which Cote says is the fan favorite — is modeled in the characteristic New England-style preparation, where cold hunks of lobster meat are tossed with mayonnaise, herbs, spices and lemon juice on a bun.

Though Cote is currently taking a break for the summer, he’ll be back at the markets in September. He hopes that by then the cost of lobster will have dropped a bit — lobster has always been a pricey commodity, but inflation has pushed prices higher than ever. When he started his business 10 years ago, his rolls went for $10. Now, they’re upwards of $20.

Where to get a lobster roll in Tampa Bay (2)
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“The price of lobster is higher now than I’ve ever seen it,” Cote said.

Cote’s rolls are still considerably cheaper than some others in the area, with the average price falling somewhere between $25 and $30. He says he hopes he can make up for his shrinking margins with volume.

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At more upscale restaurants, including Bon Appétit and Lucky Lobster Co. in Dunedin, lobster rolls hover around the $34 mark.

Where to get a lobster roll in Tampa Bay (3)

“They say everything fluctuates, depending on the time of year, but not this year,” said Lucky Lobster Co. owner Tom Murphy. “Lobster meat just goes up, up and up.”

But the price hikes don’t appear to be doing much to curb sales: Lobster rolls are still among the bestselling dishes at restaurants where they’re featured, including Murphy’s.

Keep in mind when looking at this list and planning your next meal that prices will likely continue to fluctuate.

16 spots to get a lobster roll in Tampa Bay

Bar Fly

The restaurant’s signature lobster roll ($19) features steamed lobster meat on a toasted New England roll with melted butter.

100 Main St., Suite 101, Safety Harbor. 727-400-4790. barflyfishingbar.com.

1026 Nebraska Ave., Palm Harbor. 727-351-5151. barflyfishingbar.com.

Bayou Bistro

The waterfront Tarpon Springs restaurant imbues plenty of Old Florida charm with a casual seafood-forward menu and a choice of either Maine-style ($18) or hot, buttered ($20) lobster rolls.

607 Island Drive, Tarpon Springs. 727-940-6120. bayoubistroandtiki.com.

400 Beach Seafood & Tap House

The New England lobster roll at this downtown St. Petersburg mainstay is served with citrus aioli and lemon on toasted brioche (market price).

400 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. 727-896-2400. 400beachseafood.com.

The Boardwalk Grill

People come to this John’s Pass boardwalk restaurant for the thick-cut fries and overstuffed lobster rolls, served New England-style with piles of claw and knuckle meat paired with celery and mayonnaise, served with lettuce on a grilled roll (market price).

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204 John’s Pass Boardwalk E, Madeira Beach. 727-391-8947 facebook.com/theboardwalkgrill.

Bon Appétit

The Dunedin restaurant’s Maine Lobster Festival menu features an open-faced lobster roll with a fresh fruit side for $34.

148 Marina Plaza, Dunedin. 727-733-2151. bonappetitrestaurant.com.

DJ’s Clam Shack

This East Coast-inspired seafood spot sits tucked away in an Indian Shores strip mall but can draw a big crowd, especially for their Maine-style lobster rolls. A regular-sized roll with coleslaw will run you $24 while the “overstuffed” jumbo version costs $39.

19705 Gulf Blvd., Suite A, Indian Shores. 727-474-7407. djsclamshack.com.

The Helm

Where to get a lobster roll in Tampa Bay (4)

The St. Pete Beach cafe and seafood market is known for lobster rolls served in cigar boxes, where hunks of lobster are tossed in a key lime aioli and served on a toasted roll for $28.

7736 Blind Pass Road, St. Pete Beach. 727-363-4356. helmtampabay.com.

Got Lobstah?

The popular food truck sources lobster from Maine and keeps a busy schedule, popping up all over the Tampa Bay area. Rolls are served with either mayonnaise or butter for $22.

gotlobstahfoodtruck.com.

LobsterCraft

A trip over the Sunshine Skyway bridge is worth the trek for the massive lobster rolls served at this Connecticut-based chain, which recently opened off St. Armands Circle. The spot serves a long list of variations beyond the classic rolls, from lobster BLTs ($31) to lobster tacos ($28) to the Heat Wave, a hot lobster roll drizzled with serrano pepper and habanero-spiced butter on a toasted bun ($30).

28A S Boulevard of the Presidents, St. Armands Circle, Sarasota. 941-346-6325. lobstercraft.com.

Lobster Haven

The East Coast-inspired seafood market and restaurant features Maine-style lobster rolls with mayonnaise, lettuce and a quarter pound of Maine lobster ($25.99). The Connecticut-style “Ucon” rolls are served warm and drenched in hot butter ($25.99).

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12807 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. 813-855-2888. lobsterhaven.net.

Lucky Lobster Co.

Where to get a lobster roll in Tampa Bay (5)

The No. 1 seller at this Dunedin restaurant is the Connecticut-style lobster roll, made with Maine lobster, served on a bun with warm, drawn butter. The New England-style version is a close second, made with mayonnaise, onions and celery. Both are $34.50.

941 Huntley Ave., Dunedin. 727-228-1222. luckylobsterco.com.

Maine-iacs

Where to get a lobster roll in Tampa Bay (6)

The popular festival and farmers markets lobster stand serves Connecticut- or New England-style versions in a 4-ounce roll for $20.50 and a large, 6-ounce version for $23.50.

facebook.com/maineiacslobster.

Sea Critters Cafe

Grab a seat in the back, right on the water, and dig into a Maine lobster roll, made with slow-poached lobster meat and paired with celery and an herbed buttermilk dressing, all on a New England-style bun ($27.99).

2007 Pass-a-Grille Way, St. Pete Beach. 727-360-3706. seacritterscafe.com.

Taste of Boston

The casual New England seafood spot in Ballast Point Park serves cold lobster meat seasoned with Old Bay and lemon juice, served on a New England roll with slaw (market price).

5314 Interbay Blvd., Tampa. 813-831-2112. tasteofbostonofsouthtampa.com.

Tropez

The trendy downtown St. Petersburg restaurant’s lobster roll features diced cucumber, shredded lettuce and lemon-tarragon aioli on a toasted Hawaiian bun (market price).

437 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-898-4300. eatintropez.com.

(Video) Lobster Roll -Taste of Boston - Tampa

Ulele

The Tampa restaurant features a roll made with poached North Atlantic lobster tossed with garlic, lemon and butter, served with a mango citrus aioli, tomatoes and lettuce on a split-topped, buttered New England-style roll ($25).

1810 N Highland Ave., Tampa. 813-999-4952. ulele.com.

Where to get a lobster roll in Tampa Bay (7)

FAQs

Is the lobster in a lobster roll hot or cold? ›

Lobster rolls come in two varieties: hot with melted butter or cold with mayonnaise (and, sometimes, celery). While the cold one is known as the “traditional” preparation, history has actually shown that the first lobster roll was served hot with drawn butter and was made in Connecticut, not Maine. Which one is better?

How much lobster is in a roll? ›

How Much Lobster Meat is in a Lobster Roll? You want to use the meat from one small (1 pound to 1 1/4 pounds) lobster per roll. This works out to be about three to four ounces of meat per roll.

What makes Connecticut lobster roll unique? ›

That's the attitude of Connecticut-style die-hards, who believe a lobster roll served warm is simply called a “lobster roll,” while a lobster roll served cold, as it is throughout most of the Northeast, is called a “lobster salad roll.” Another key trait that distinguishes a Connecticut roll from a Maine roll is the ...

How much does the world's largest lobster roll cost? ›

Given current market conditions for lobster, the daily market price for the 'world's largest lobster roll' has been between $150 and $170. Some will scoff at the price, but if you're traveling from afar just to get your hands on a Maine lobster roll, why not try the largest one?

What are the 2 different lobster rolls? ›

The two most common styles of lobster roll are known as Maine and Connecticut, based on where they originated and where each style is most popular. You may also come across a Manhattan-style lobster roll, which is less common but worth noting.

How much lobster do you need for one person? ›

With a yield of around 30 to 40%, you should plan on about on 1 1/2-pound lobster per person, giving you 6 to 8 ounces of actual meat.

Are lobster rolls healthy? ›

Nutrition Facts

Restaurant offerings for lobster rolls range from 600 to 1440 calories and 34 to 98 grams of fat per serving! Lobster certainly isn't the problem: 3 ounces of cooked lobster meat contains 83 calories, 1 gram of fat and 17 grams of protein.

How long does a lobster roll last? ›

Rolls can be refrigerated or left on the counter for one day. The lobster meat will last, refrigerated, for 2 days.

What is a true lobster roll? ›

Maine: An authentic Maine lobster roll should be: “A hot dog roll, center cut, that is toasted—preferably buttered and then toasted—filled with nothing but fresh lobster meat; big chunks, not shredded, not frozen,” Gunst says. The meat is tossed with mayo, giving it a blush hue and a creaminess.

Are warm or cold lobster rolls better? ›

It is all in the temperature of the roll itself. The warmed meat, which allows the rich flavor of lobster to really come forward, combined with the luxuriousness of the taste of hot butter that soaks the lobster meat.

What do you call a lobster roll with butter? ›

The Connecticut style lobster roll, also referred to as the New England lobster roll, features lobster meat cooked with butter and again dressed with drawn butter and lemon. The buttery lobster salad is served hot.

Will lobster prices go down in 2022? ›

However, in late spring of 2022, fortunes reversed for Maine lobsterman. Prices experienced the steepest drop in almost a half-decade when the per pound haul fell from $12.35 in April to $9.35 in May.

How much is Taste of Maine largest lobster roll? ›

They offer a great lobster dinner. And you can't come to Maine without trying this tried-and-true meal. But what we love most is the world's biggest lobster roll! Which, despite a $60+ price tag, might be one of the most popular items on the menu.

Why are lobster prices so high? ›

The supply of lobster is relatively fixed and based on what can be caught, so when demand increases, the price follows. “It's not really even low supply, it's just high demand related to what the supply is,” Tselikis said.

Why are lobster rolls so good? ›

Because lobster has such a sweet, delicate flavor, strong seasoning or sauces easily overpower it. Discerning chefs know that only a little flavor enhancement–a dash of lemon or a touch of mayonnaise–is all that's needed for a delicious lobster roll.

Which lobster roll is hot? ›

Connecticut lobster roll, also called a warm lobster roll, is served warm with tender, juicy lobster meat tossed with melted butter and piled high on a toasted hot dog bun! It's a simpler lobster roll compared to the Maine lobster roll but is just as delicious! This recipe is featured in Lobster Rolls - 2 Ways.

Which lobster roll has mayo? ›

The Case for the Maine Lobster Roll

The lobster meat is served cold and tossed in a mixture of mayonnaise, tarragon, celery, or scallions and placed on a New England style roll. The cold meat and the roll are the two hallmarks of the Maine style lobster roll.

What do you drink with lobster? ›

The Top 5 Wines for Lobster
  • Chardonnay. Chardonnay is undoubtedly the top choice when pairing a white wine with lobster. ...
  • Riesling. Riesling is high in acidity, fruits, and sweet floral notes, making it ideal for the natural sweetness in lobster meat. ...
  • Sauvignon Blanc. ...
  • Rose. ...
  • Chianti.
2 May 2019

What flavors go well with lobster? ›

You might also want to try seasoning your lobster with a subtle blend of classic spices like sage, rosemary, thyme and parsley or complement your meal with a French-inspired tarragon marinade or cream sauce. Refined flavors like mint and basil also make tasty additions.

What time of year is lobster cheapest? ›

Prices will peak in early spring, but as the weather warms, lobster fishing picks up and prices drop in May and June. May is typically one of the best month of the year to buy live lobsters. The supplies are very good as the demand from summer resorts has yet to kick in.

How old is a 2 lb lobster? ›

A lobster's age is approximately his weight multiplied by 4, plus 3 years. A lobster is approximately 7 years old before it is legal to harvest, and it will weigh about 1 pound.

What size of lobster is the best to eat? ›

While many people think that bigger is better, smaller lobsters are actually sweeter in flavor. The smallest lobster you can buy in Maine will weigh around 1 and 1/4 pound. I recommend purchasing lobsters in the 1 and 1/4 to 2 pound range to get the best tasting meat.

Is lobster good for high blood pressure? ›

Lobster Has Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Their benefits include: Preventing heart disease. Maintaining heart rhythm. Lowering blood pressure.

Is lobster healthier than shrimp? ›

Lobster calories

It's low in fat, high in protein and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce the risk of heart disease caused by inflammation and high blood pressure. While both shrimp and lobster have relatively the same amount of calories and protein in an 8-ounce serving, shrimp is higher in cholesterol.

Does lobster raise your cholesterol? ›

Lobster is considered a high-cholesterol food with 124 mg per 3 ounces of cooked meat. This amount was once considered to be almost half of the recommended daily limit for healthy people and almost two-thirds of the limit for someone at risk for heart disease.

Does Mcdonalds have a lobster roll? ›

Our Lobster Roll is made with quality ingredients, freshly prepared in our kitchens and exactly what our customers enjoy from McDonald's. This sandwich is the perfect blend of ingredients to give you a great-tasting summer sandwich from McDonald's.”

Is the green stuff in lobster edible? ›

The idea of a lobster being anything but red might sound off-putting, but according to Allrecipes, lobster with lots of green stuff on the inside is actually considered a delicacy in the culinary world. If you crack open a lobster and see a green coating on the meat, your taste buds are in for a treat.

What is green stuff in lobster? ›

The soft green mass in the body of a cooked lobster is a digestive gland, sort of like a liver and a pancreas combined. It's known to marine biologists as the hepatopancreas and to lobster fans as the tomalley.

Are lobsters healthy? ›

In fact, lobster is healthy for most diets, providing a good source of essential nutrients and protein. Lobster is a good source of phosphorous, which supports kidney function. It also provides more than 10 percent of your daily requirement for magnesium in a 3-ounce serving.

How much lobster meat is in a lobster? ›

If you average out the year, you'll get about 20% of the shell-on weight…so a 1- pound lobster will yield about 3 ¼ ounces of meat. Summer Maine lobsters, which have soft shells, yield less. You can see this as soon as you crack it open—there's lots of space between the shell and the meat.

How much meat is in a lobster claw? ›

Normally, meat is only about 20% of the lobster's weight, but hard-shell lobster can yield up to 30% meat inside with full of meat from claws to tail.

How do you eat a lobster roll? ›

Toast the Bun

A toasted bun is slightly sweet, which helps bring out the sweetness of the lobster meat, and adds a satisfying crunchy, but not overdone, contrast to the tender lobster. With split-top rolls, you can easily toast both sides to perfection.

How do you reheat a lobster roll? ›

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit. Wrap shelled lobster or tails in aluminum foil and place a couple of pats of butter over the meat. Place the wrapped lobsters on a baking pan and cook for five to ten minutes.

How many calories are in a lobster roll? ›

Calories, Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium

An 8-ounce lobster roll sandwich has 436 calories, 189 of which are from the 21 grams of fat. Approximately 8 grams of the fat is saturated and the cholesterol in the sandwich is about 173 milligrams.

What is a Connecticut style lobster roll? ›

Unlike the classic New England lobster roll (made up of cold lobster salad in a bun), the CT version is comprised of a top-split hot-dog bun stuffed with warm lobster tossed with a little melted butter. First published in Cooking Light.

Is Maine style lobster roll hot? ›

The Maine lobster roll and the Connecticut lobster roll involve different temperatures and different condiments. The Maine lobster roll is served cold, with the lobster meat gently seasoned with salt and pepper and dressed in a light coating of mayonnaise, sometimes bolstered by the addition of finely chopped celery.

What's the difference between a New England and a Connecticut lobster roll? ›

The major difference outside of roll and lobster meat temperature is whether you are going to go with mayonnaise or butter. Maine lobster rolls generally are lightly coated with mayonnaise and sometimes a small amount of finely chopped celery, while Connecticut lobster rolls are topped with warm butter.

Why is the price of lobster so low? ›

Lobster prices are trending downward slightly at a time when many grocery staples are becoming more expensive as the US copes with inflation. The price drop could reflect decreased demand amid concern about the economy at large, said John Sackton, an industry analyst and founder of SeafoodNews.com.

How much is a lobster roll in Maine? ›

Lobster lovers can expect to pay in excess of $40 for a single roll at some of the state's most popular summer eateries. The average price is closer to $30.

How much is a pound of lobster in Maine right now? ›

Average Lobster Price Per Pound – $35 – $120/lb.

Who owns the Taste of Maine? ›

Woolwich- The Gregory Family, owners of Taste Of Maine Restaurant will be offering a . this Holiday season.

How much does a 3 lb lobster cost? ›

Live Lobster – 3 lb
12-416+
$79.95$78.50$74.00

Why are lobster so expensive in Florida? ›

Perhaps the number one reason for rising lobster prices is that lobsters are much more in-demand than they were when they were more plentiful. Back when the lobsters were so over-populated that they washed up on shore, there were almost more of them than people knew what to do with.

What do you eat on a lobster? ›

How to Eat a Lobster Like a Pro | Food Skills - YouTube

Should lobster be eaten hot or cold? ›

Lobsters come in many sizes, but for a single person, a one and a half pound lobster is usually a good choice. As a matter of preference you can eat it either hot or cold.

What's better cold or warm water lobster? ›

Cold water lobster tails will almost always be more expensive than warm water lobster tails, but for good reason, they taste better. When it comes to lobster tails, don't sacrifice flavor for a few bucks.

Is South African lobster cold water? ›

Although they do not have claws or an oversized tail, South African lobsters are true cold-water lobsters with sweet meat and a muscular, steak-like tail because of their natural habitat's water temperatures and depth.

What is a warm lobster roll called? ›

A Connecticut lobster roll is served warm, dunked in butter, on a toasted bun.

What part of the lobster should not be eaten? ›

To break down a lobster, you'll want to shuck the claws, then the tail and head, then the legs. Avoid eating the shells, cartilage, and tail vein, as they're not edible and/or tasty.

Why is my lobster black inside? ›

The hard red substance is the roe or the eggs of the female lobster. It is also called the coral because of the deep red color. The roe will be black and will appear gelatin-like if your lobster is under-cooked. It is edible but can also be rinsed out.

Is half a lobster enough for one person? ›

With a yield of around 30 to 40%, you should plan on about on 1 1/2-pound lobster per person, giving you 6 to 8 ounces of actual meat.

Which type of lobster is the best? ›

Maine Lobsters

Lobsters from Maine have gained a reputation for being the best lobsters in the world. Not only they have juicy claw meat, but their tail meat is also extremely firm. If you want to enjoy “true” lobsters, you must buy this type.

What is the best lobster tail to eat? ›

Frozen Maine Lobster Tails are the Best

Full of sweet, tender lobster meat, cold water Maine tails are what every American expects lobsters to be. Their delicious taste and juicy meat, especially when fully cooked with a butter sauce, is comparable to none.

What is the best type of water to cook a lobster in? ›

A 4- to 5-gallon pot can handle 6 to 8 pounds of lobster. Put 2 inches of seawater or salted water in the bottom of a large kettle. Set a steaming rack inside the pot and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the live lobsters one at a time, cover the pot, and start timing.

What country has the best lobster? ›

West Sweden's Bohuslän Coast is known for its succulent seafood: mussels, oysters, lobsters, langoustines, crabs and prawns all thriving in the deep, cold and exceptionally clean waters.

Which is better rock lobster or Maine lobster? ›

The major difference between a Maine lobster and a rock lobster is the size of the claw and antenna, On a rock lobster, the antenna is much larger, while the claw is pretty much nonexistent. If you've ever had a Maine lobster before, the claw has the most tender meat, which is why we prefer the Maine lobster.

Is Maine lobster and Canadian lobster the same? ›

Maine lobster meat is sweet and tender, while the Canadian lobster comes in larger sizes. The true difference to keep an eye on when comparing lobsters is cold water vs. warm water lobsters. Or rather, Maine and Canadian (cold water) lobsters compared to California and Australian lobsters (warm water).

What is a true lobster roll? ›

Maine: An authentic Maine lobster roll should be: “A hot dog roll, center cut, that is toasted—preferably buttered and then toasted—filled with nothing but fresh lobster meat; big chunks, not shredded, not frozen,” Gunst says. The meat is tossed with mayo, giving it a blush hue and a creaminess.

Why are lobster rolls so good? ›

Because lobster has such a sweet, delicate flavor, strong seasoning or sauces easily overpower it. Discerning chefs know that only a little flavor enhancement–a dash of lemon or a touch of mayonnaise–is all that's needed for a delicious lobster roll.

What is butter lobster roll called? ›

The Connecticut style lobster roll, also referred to as the New England lobster roll, features lobster meat cooked with butter and again dressed with drawn butter and lemon.

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