The Great Cape Cod Lobster Roll Debate
At some point while visiting Cape Cod, you may find yourself in a lobster roll debate. Warm or cold? Mayo or butter? Celery or no celery? This debate may become heated.
Luckily, some things can’t be argued: 1) The lobster roll is a New England summertime classic, and 2) The following are among Cape Cod’s best.
The Lobster Pot, Provincetown
The roll: All knuckle meat with mayo, scallion and celery and a side of potato salad
Why it’s a classic: It’s an iconic local restaurant with classic water views to match.
Why it’s unique: If you’re a rebel, you can put all arguments to bed and order it as a panini.
Mattakeese Wharf, Barnstable Harbor
The roll: Fresh meat tossed with mayo and celery; served with fries, potato salad, chips or slaw
Why it’s a classic: It’s Cape Cod-style surf and turf alongside harbor views.
Why it’s unique: Nothing beats a restaurant that can be reached by boat.
Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar, Eastham
The roll: Chunky meat served cold “lightly dressed with mayo on a bed of lettuce” or “warm with hot butter” with a side of Cape Cod potato chips
Why it’s a classic: Everything about Arnold’s—from the line out front to the mini golf course out back—is quintessential post-beach clam shack.
Why it’s unique: For a little extra, the “jumbo” cold or warm roll comes with twice the meat.
Lobster Roll Cruises, Sesuit Harbor, Dennis
The roll: Fresh native meat with a hint of celery and mayo on a grilled roll
Why it’s a classic: You’ll be dining aboard the S.S. Lobster Roll on a cruise out of Sesuit Harbor and around Cape Cod Bay.
Why it’s unique: As we said, you’ll be dining aboard the S.S. Lobster Roll on a cruise around scenic Cape Cod Bay!
Black Cat Tavern, Hyannis
The roll: Lobster salad tossed with mayo on an old-school hot dog bun
Why it’s a classic: With its harbor views, nautical décor and “shack out back” raw bar, Black Cat Tavern captures the essence of coastal Cape Cod.
Why it’s unique: If your lobster roll makes you feel like bursting into song (you never know), stay for the live entertainment in the piano lounge.
Quahog Republic Dive Bar, Falmouth / Quahog Republic Waterfront Eatery, Onset Village
The roll: Quahog Republic's self-proclaimed "Monsta Lobsta Roll" features a heaping pile of tail and claw meat lightly dressed with mayo on a butter-toasted brioche or a bed of greens.
Why it’s a classic: It’s huge and served with hot drawn butter. For an extra kick, pair with their signature Bloody Mary garnished with bacon.
Why it’s unique: “Monsta” is no joke; overstuffed with fresh lobster meat, you may easily have leftovers to take home.
Skipper Chowder House, South Yarmouth
The roll: You’ve got three mouthwatering choices—Skipper’s Traditional Lobster Roll (four ounces of fresh-made lobster salad on a toasted bun), the Lobster Roll Supreme (a half-pound of lobster salad on a toasted French roll) and The Wicked Awesome (a half-pound of fresh, hot lobster on grilled brioche).
Why it’s a classic: The Skipper, established in 1936, overlooks Nantucket Sound and boasts an award-winning clam chowder.
Why it’s unique: The adjoining old-fashioned Skipper Ice Cream Shack may just tempt you to begin with dessert.
Which is best, and which would you add to the list? Let the debate continue. Post your favorite Cape Cod lobster roll photos on our social media channels at @VisitCapeCod!