Monday, August 22, 2011

Best Lobster Rolls on Cape Cod

We all have our obsessions. Every time my brother visits New York, he and his sons take to the streets at any wee hour in search of the perfect burger. Mind you, he's been known to do this even after a holy meal at the likes of Café Boulud. We all have our quirks.

As for me, I have a bit of a tender heart for clam shacks. Of course there is virtually one in every town on Cape Cod in one form or another, but I am not alone in the relentless pursuit for the best lobster roll known to mankind and every now and then a merciless heaping of fried clams is in order. This season we summoned the Scout Cape Cod search quarters for some navigational pointers.

There is no shortage of polls on this subject - a quest that is totally subjective. Our particular criteria is without frills. Lobster rolls must be easy on the mayo and fresh mountains of lobster. Clams must be perfectly plump and crispy. The atmosphere has to ring salt water, sea air.

As we near the end of our season we've tallied the results. Liam's at Nauset Beach is the holy grail for fried clams. This shack is one of the only ones on Cape Cod that is actually at a public beach so you can snack on these crispy delicacies while you are engulfed by crashing waves on the National Seashore. Mind you, this splurge never comes without the consequences. One hour of of queasiness is a drop in the pail for the delight of your first bite.

On the other hand, if your destination is a killer lobster roll, it's so easy to get lost on a wild goose chase and tumble into sadness and disappointment when your prize finally arrives.

Cap'T Cass fits the bill in the category of perfect atmosphere, snuggled into Rock Harbor in Orleans. When I look at a place like this, I say...anything is possible, order me up.

Everything about this shanty is darling, a true throwback in time with paper plates, really friendly staff. The lobster rolls are a bit humble, mine was a bit soggy, but delicious. It's a worthy runners-up because every visitor must go to Rock Harbor. It's our little corner of old Maine. Our dining neighbors ordered two ferocious boiled lobsters and they looked so fresh they could jump off the plate . Located at 117 Rock Harbor Rd, Orleans. BYOB and bring cash. 11am - 2PM.

If you want to order take out to feast over a Rock Harbor sunset, pop over to Young's Fish Market right next store. Not to disappoint. Rock Harbor Rd., Orleans (508)255-3366As I said, it's all about atmosphere.

Scout Cape Cod sent our two Spanish Aphrodites to scout the lower cape with the sole intention of eating lobster for two days straight. Their zeal for the assignment was really adorable.

Susannah and Esther (so chic) dutifully engaged in their mission and landed at Arnolds in Eastham ordering unreasonable amounts of warm and cold lobster rolls, the works!

In fact, they gave this joint our top ranking. Sure Arnolds's may lack the romance situated right on Route 6A, but the compromise was sobered with the mountains of fresh lobster meat and authentic prep. 3580 Route 6a, Eastham, (508) 255-2575.

Mac's Shack in Wellfleet, the big brother to Mac's take-out on the pier is totally charming and fits the bill as a true contender for top ranking. Look at this. I love the boat attached to the roof with the fisherman trappings.

For an upscale lobster roll in a lively rambunctious room with copper tables and flickering candlelight, you can have an impeccable lobster roll with fines herbs, lemon aioli, celery, shack fries and tons of fun. 91 Commercial Street; 508-349-6333.

Lobster up!


  1. I love it! Next time we will need to go try all the other hidden gems! Thanks for allowing us to be part of your gastronomical team, we were honored!

  2. YUM!!! Great post - I might just need to jump on a plane and fly across the country for this :O)

    Hope you're having a fabulous week.


  3. i have the biggest craving for a lobster roll right now. great post! every mouthing watering word of it! will have to see what is on thames. that was pure delight! thanks for the inspiration!! loved it!!!

  4. Wonderful! you are so right and I needed to hear this.