In Search of the Best Lobster Roll During Our Canada and New England Cruise

by Janis on July 20, 2015

We had a major mission during our recent  7-Day Canada and New England cruise  between Montreal and Boston: find the best lobster roll while in port.

The Lobster Shack, Souris, Prince Edward IslandWe searched the internet, read blogs, pinned on Pinterest, and found places of interest on Yelp. Then we set out on a mission in each of these ports:

  • Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
  • Sydney, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Bar Harbor, Maine
  • Boston, Mass.

We quickly learned the best lobster rolls are often served from small shack-like buildings, close to the water, without seating other than a few nearby picnic tables.

Our favorite lobster roll required a rental car and a drive through the east side of Prince Edward Island, which is a glorious event in itself. After climbing the island’s oldest lighthouse at Point Prim, and finding the Point Prim Chowder House  still closed for a few hours, we drove through the back roads admiring the red-soil potato fields until we came to the village of Souris.

The Lobster Shack, Souris, Prince Edward Island

We located The Lobster Shack, which only sells lobster dinners, lobster rolls and fresh oysters. The place doesn’t have a website, but does have a Facebook page, which we are linking here, because there are many, many Facebook pages named “The Lobster Shack.”

Here is the ranking of the 7 different lobster rolls that we tried during our Canada and New England cruise.

The Lobster Shack, Souris, Prince Edward Island#1 The Lobster Shack, Souris, Prince Edward Island. Fresh chunks of lobster meat, lighted dressed in mayo, are piled into a toasted bun, dusted with seasoning, and served with bread-and-butter pickles and a big handful of potato chips. We sat on a bench by the waterfront and enjoyed the view as we munched on this roll, and thanked our lucky stars that we found this place. It was the best we’ve ever had, and the least expensive at $11 Canadian. This lobster roll is worth the drive.

lobster roll, Lobster Shanty, Port of Sydney, Nova Scotia#2 Lobster Shanty, Port of Sydney, Nova Scotia. The Lobster Shanty is part of the Flavor restaurant in the Sydney cruise terminal. During lobster season, the Lobster Shanty (a shack-like building outside of the port building) makes and serves lobster rolls.  Mr. Jones watched the server expertly remove the lobster from its shell, chop it into bits, toss with mayo and a little green onion. It was superb. You barely have to leave the ship to have this delight. Be aware, it is pricey (about $18 Canadian) and there is nowhere outside to sit.  We were visiting on Canada Day and the upstairs restaurant was closed, so we used those tables to check email, and split this delight while enjoying a cold beer.

Dave's Lobster, Halifax, Nova Scotia#3 Dave’s Lobster, Halifax, Nova Scotia. From the cruise terminal in Halifax, we turned right and followed the waterfront for about a 15 minute walk to the shack at Queen’s Landing, 1707 Lower Water Street. Dave’s menu focuses on only two things: lobster rolls and grilled cheese sandwiches. We had The Local, made of big chunks of cold lobster, mayo, diced celery and herbs in a grilled, split-top roll. We wish they would leave the celery out of this lobster roll; otherwise it is the cat’s meow.

Later we learned that there is also a Dave’s Lobster near the port in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (if you aren’t up for the drive to Souris.)

lobster roll, Side Street Cafe, Bar Harbor, Maine#4 Side Street Cafe, Bar Harbor, Maine. This cafe offered terrific fresh lobster with mayo and seasoning, on a toasted bun, served with lemon, an awesome pickle spear and crispy potato chips. We walked miles on the shore path and all over the town before we came back, just so we could be really hungry for this lobster roll. This cafe offers all kinds of lobster delicacies, and also specializes in Mac & Cheese. The cafe’s menu says it is not the most expensive lobster roll in town, nor the least expensive, but is made from the freshest lobster that was swimming this morning.

The roll was great, but not quite as great as those shacks right by the water where you see the lobster cut up and tossed with mayo while you bun in toasting.

obster roll and fries, Governors Pub, Sydney, Nova Scotia#5 Governors Pub & Eatery, Sydney, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. During a very warm Canada Day visit, we walked through the downtown area of Sydney. Ready to cool off, we headed to the Governors Pub which is near the port. It is one part nice seafood restaurant, and one part lively Celtic-style pub upstairs.  We headed upstairs, grabbed two seats at the small bar, and cooled off with pints of Alexander Keith’s beer. We had read that Governors had a great lobster roll, but it wasn’t on the menu. When we asked our friendly bartender, he said, “Sure, we’ve got lobster rolls.” We split one, which came with an order of fries, and enjoyed the live music.

This wasn’t the best lobster roll but it was a great pub, with friendly service, killer fries, and a terrific Celtic vibe, and we enjoyed every bite.

Lobster Roll, Dave's Fish 'N' Chips, PEI#6 Rick’s Fish ‘N’ Chips, St. Peter’s Bay, Prince Edward Island. The lobster roll is good but is not the star of the show at this dining establishment. The curried seafood chowder, brimming with fresh mussels, shrimp and other seafood takes the prize here. We also enjoyed the coleslaw, and the appetizer portion of clam strips. And while we didn’t try it, the plate-filling slabs of fish surrounded by crispy fries appeared to be very popular, as did the mussels.  This part of Prince Edward Island- on the east end – is surrounded by mussel farms.

lobster roll, Harpoon Tap Room Post-security by gates 18-22, Boston airport#7 Harpoon Tap Room, Boston Logan Airport. It was the Fourth of July holiday, and most of the restaurants we passed in the Boston airport seemed barely open as we waited for our post-cruise flight home. But the Harpoon Tap Room, located by Southwest Airlines gates 18-22 was not only open, they served a lobster roll.  While it looked good, it was tasteless, perhaps too removed from the ocean-front. The lettuce served no purpose except to add color to the photo.  If it was the only lobster roll we had eaten during our trip, we would have considered it good. But in this competition, it just didn’t rate very high. Service was incredibly slow, but we had lots of time before our flight departure.

Are you a fan of lobster rolls? Where did you enjoy your favorite one?

If you are craving a lobster roll, and do not live near the New England Coast, here’s how you can still make lobster rolls:

4 Lobster Rolls

Lobster Rolls of New England:: Seeking Sweet Summer Delight

Get Maine Lobster – Maine Lobster Roll Kit for 6

Check out these other posts related to our Canada and New England cruise:

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