What is New England's ultimate lobster dining experience? We take our lobster seriously here in New England, as I'm sure you know. The finalists for this New England Travel Readers' Choice Award ranged from the Maine Windjammer Association's famous island lobster bakes to the elegant splurge of a lobster dinner at North America's largest casino.
The winner and runners-up for Best Place to Eat Lobster in New England are...
Abbott's Lobster in the Rough in Noank, Connecticut, is known for its traditional lobster dinners and hot-buttered lobster rolls, its money-saving BYOB policy and its picturesque waterside setting on Long Island Sound. Long lines at this seasonal seafood shack are testament to its popularity. Some Connecticut residents literally count down the days until Abbott's opens each year in May. It's no wonder About.com readers named this enduring lobster shack New England's #1 place for a lobster feast.
For many travelers who venture aboard one of the historic sailing vessels that make up the Maine Windjammer Association fleet, a highlight of their voyage is an authentic Maine lobster bake. Captains treat their guests to a memorable dinner on an island featuring all-you-can-eat lobster, steamed in a pit. Take it from me: Nothing tastes fresher and more authentic than lobster prepared this way in an enchanting setting.
Intrigued but can't get to Maine? Here's a guide to hosting a do-it-yourself lobster bake in your own backyard.
Finz Seafood & Grill, located at Pickering Wharf in Salem, Massachusetts, has a hip vibe, outdoor dining waterside, reggae brunches and, of course, lobster! The menu features diverse preparations including classic steamed lobster, baked stuffed lobster, lobster roll or even a traditional New England clambake featuring lobster, red bliss potatoes, clams, mussels and chorizo. Lobster ravioli and lobster mac and cheese are options, too!
Located near Acadia National Park but a bit off the beaten path in Bernard, Maine, Thurston's is the quintessential New England lobster pound, where you can watch lobstermen unloading the day's fresh catch, choose your dinner from a tank and enjoy a memorable lobster feast overlooking the harbor. You'll find fresh-cooked lobsters surprisingly affordable in this rustic, yet incomparably scenic location, as well.
At Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, there's one table where everyone's a winner. That's a table at fine dining restaurant VUE 24 (formerly Paragon at the time of Readers' Choice voting), where you can start with local Stonington-caught lobster bisque and splurge on butter-poached Stonington lobster with mushroom thyme pudding in a lemon beurre blanc.