Island Creek Oyster Bar, burlington
Standout qualities: Knuckles, tails, and claws of the lobster are hand-cut and gently tossed with chopped celery, red onion, pickles, mayonnaise, and creme fraiche, finished with fresh-squeezed lemon, celery salt, and freshly cracked black pepper, and stuffed into a hand-rolled chopped-rosemary brioche bun, grilled to order.
Fun Fact: Chef Jeremy Sewall comes from a long line of lobstermen—in fact, his cousin Mark Sewall, who fishes out of York Harbor, Maine, provides the restaurant’s crustaceans.
Insider tip: The staff is well versed in wine—ask them to recommend a favorite pairing.
300 District Ave., Burlington, 781-761-6500, islandcreekoysterbar.com
Joe’s On a Roll, Beverly
Standout qualities: Generous portions of sweet, tender chunks, perfectly dressed, at a reasonable price. Good lobster-to-roll ratio.
What’s Unique: Nicole Birarelli gets the lobster for her mobile lobster roll and chowder truck from two of her sons—both lobstermen—who dock at the marina just across the street from her regular spot on Water Street.
What’s new: A brick-and-mortar location on Federal Street this summer.
978-395-6394, joesonaroll.com; follow them on Facebook for current location.
Woodman’s of Essex, Essex
Fun fact: On an average summer day, Woodman’s steams up 400 pounds of lobster.
121 Main St., Essex, 978-768-6057, woodmans.com