If you'd like to buy live Maine lobsters, here's a quick tip. The best, surprisingly inexpensive live lobsters you may ever buy are available from the Pine Point Fisherman's Co-op, also known as the Lobster Co-op, in Scarborough, Maine, a resort town on the southern coast near Old Orchard Beach.
You can't leave Maine without seeing dozens of signs advertising lobsters for sale. You can even buy live lobster at highway rest areas, but beware of the inflated prices.
You might guess this coop is serious when you see its tidy building with the word LOBSTERS emblazoned on the roof in capital letters. Cheap, sweet lobsters are their number one priority, hardly the case with other shops and roadside stands selling a variety of goods.
They say the proof is in the pudding, and you'll realize you got a great deal when you feast on the Co-op's tender and delicious 1- to 1.25-pound "chicken" lobsters. Lobsters over two pounds, while admittedly tempting, can sometimes be tough and less tasty.
You can't beat buying something straight from the supplier, and that's the Lobster Co-op's advantage—super fresh lobsters at co-op prices. Freshness has a lot to do with the high quality of the lobsters. About 25 boats participate in the co-op, which has been in operation for more than 40 years. In addition to operating a retail outlet in Scarborough, these hard-working lobstermen also sell lobsters and fresh mussels direct to consumers via the lobstercoop.com.
If you can't get to Maine and want to order lobsters live or partially cooked for delivery, you'll find the co-op's prices are low in comparison to other online lobster sellers.
It's good to know that online ordering is available. Even though it's wonderful to bring lobster home after a trip to Maine, it's easy to crave more after you down that last morsel of tender lobster meat dipped in warm butter.
What You Need to Know About the Pine Point Fisherman's Co-op
Hours: The Lobster Co-op is generally open to the public from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily. Weather conditions can affect operating hours, selection, and prices. Call ahead to confirm hours or if you need to place a large order.
Restaurant: If you're in the area, head over to the coop's restaurant, The Rising Tide, where you can order all the lobster you can eat at one sitting. The Rising Tide is located on the coast behind the Pine Point Fisherman's Co-op in Scarborough. Just sit back and take in the idyllic view of lobster boats in the harbor of this resort town while you're feasting on fresh lobsters.
Directions: The Pine Point Fisherman's Co-op is located at 96 King Street in Scarborough, three miles from the Old Orchard Beach Pier. From US Route 1 in Scarborough, turn onto Route 9 West, aka Pine Point Road. After about three miles, after passing the Clambake Restaurant (another landmark for lobster lovers), turn left, then make an immediate right onto King Street.