Are you looking to try a lobster roll or 12 on an upcoming trip to Maine? If you’re visiting the Pine Tree State for the first time, you want to eat the best of the best. And if you’ve come to the place we call home before, there are still plenty of excellent lobster roll places to discover.
At Summer Feet Cycling & Walking, we have spent a lifetime living and working on the coast of Maine, so we’ve had our fair share of incredible lobster rolls!
If you’re ready to start your adventure in Maine, please feel free to get in touch with any questions about our tours.
For now, though, let’s focus on lobster rolls!
Why Maine Lobster Rolls are the Best Lobster Rolls!
Summertime in Maine and lobster rolls go hand in hand. From seaside shacks to fine dining, the American lobster (Homarus americanus) defines our state’s cuisine at every level.
Lobsters are synonymous with Maine. We catch more Homarus americanus here than anywhere else in the US. And, put simply, this is the right lobster.
When you picture a lobster, you almost certainly think of the species in our waters. This is as opposed to clawless rock lobsters found in tropical waters further south.
The lobsters in the ocean off Maine’s coast are the best in the world for numerous reasons. For example, the water is cold and clean. We also use carefully managed fishing methods to ensure sustainability.
With a plentiful supply of the world’s best lobster on our doorstep, is it any wonder that Maine has perfected the lobster roll?
The History of the Lobster Roll
The history of the lobster roll is as succulent as the food itself. There’s no doubting that the dish is native to New England’s six states — Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Numerous people have made a case for having invented the lobster roll, but there’s no single story that everyone can agree on.
We might be biased, but we think lobster rolls are as authentically Maine as a bike tour along the Gold Coast.
However, there is one widely accepted truth. Before they exploded in popularity, lobster rolls and sandwiches were made by the very same people who caught them — the lobstermen.
At the time, these light meals would have been cheap and simple. The lobstermen would put cooked lobster meat from an unsold catch in white bread to avoid waste.
The Maine lobster roll we know and love today grew from these humble beginnings.
Our Recommendations for the 5 Best Lobster Rolls in Maine
Now that we know more about the background of Maine’s famous lobster roll, let’s run through our personal picks for the best places to grab one!
Bite Into Maine
Carl and Sarah at Bite Into Maine aren’t just our good friends, they’re also partners on our 5 Lighthouse Bike Tour in Maine. But even more importantly, they make incredible lobster rolls from a food truck in Fort Williams, a spot with views of historic Portland Head Light.
Bite Into Maine offers lobster rolls in five styles, including:
- Maine — Served with mayo on a grilled bun
- Connecticut — Served with butter on a grilled bun
- Picnic — Served with butter and coleslaw on a grilled bun
The final two options are chipotle- and wasabi-flavored.
If you’re looking for more things to do in the area, check out our recommendations for things to do in Portland, Maine.
The Trevett Store
Located just west of Boothbay, the Trevett Store offers a true Maine lobster roll in an idyllic setting. This small general store has a lunch counter and they know how to make a seriously delicious bite to eat!
And you may even get a swing bridge experience while you wait! Pivoting on a central piling, swing bridges move to allow boat traffic through. The bridge here, called Barters Island Bridge, is unique as it requires manual operation.
If a boat needs to pass, the bridge keeper comes out with a metal pole, inserts it into the bridge, and then walks in a circle. When the bridge has enough momentum, it swings open.
Osier’s Wharf (Osier’s Seafood)
Located at The Gut, where Route 129 crosses into Rutherford Island, Osier’s is another corner store that serves a killer lobster roll. Osier’s also makes terrific, freshly cooked fish and chips for people who can’t or don’t want to eat shellfish.
After your lobster roll, head to Coveside for a beer on the deck and one of the best views in Maine.
The Contented Sole
Run by the same folks who own the elegant Bradley Inn, The Contented Sole sits in one of Maine’s most historic spots: the site of Fort William Henry. This colonial-era fort, now the Fort William Henry Museum, was once overrun by Native Americans in one of the French and Indian Wars, a theater of the Seven Years’ War.
You can enjoy a flavorsome lobster roll while overlooking tranquil Pemaquid Harbor. And after you’ve finished eating, visit the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse for spectacular views of the open ocean.
Tucked away in scenic Penobscot, Bagaduce Lunch provides a great lobster roll among many other delicious bites. If you make the trip, we recommend visiting the reversing Blue Hill Falls too.
You can also explore the wonderful Blue Hill Peninsula, home to some of our favorite cycling in the state.
Try Maine’s Best Lobster Rolls on a Cycling Tour!
We hope this blog has given you an appetite for lobster rolls and cycling tours in Maine! Remember, we also operate Maine walking tours too!
If you have any questions for our team before booking your tour, please don’t hesitate to contact us.