"Best" Lobster Rolls & Other Hyperbolic Claims in Orleans on Cape Cod

"Best Lobster Roll” & Other Hyperbolic Claims in Orleans on the Cape: A Mini Survey

OK. So first thing to know is that every restaurant on the Cape that sells lobster rolls claims, on their signage, that theirs is the “Best.” Sez who? But first, we completely understand that small restaurants HAVE to make their money during peak vacation periods. And we’re prepared to pay some moolah for a really good lobster roll. So we recently underwent a small sample tasting in Orleans and here are the results:

I had the warm lobster roll. Tough, tasteless, and the lobster itself was the furthest thing from sweet. Moreover, the place itself seemed grubby, wait staff was nearly nonexistent even though the place was nearly empty, and the thing cost $23.95. Below average all across the board. My dining companion had the cold lobster roll salad which was adequate, but nothing to write home about.

We tried our best to eat here since it was well recommended, but you’ve got to master their weird hours: 11-2 most days and 5-8 most days. Closed Monday. If you’re 5 minutes late, too bad buddy. We finally achieved sit-down. But the lobster roll (cold) was $18.95 and came with fries and cole slaw. They wouldn’t serve just the lobster roll for less money AND they only took cash. We walked out.

Located in a tiny building right on Rock Harbor, at first glance it does not inspire confidence. There are no tables, so it’s all take-out. Still, we ordered just the cold lobster roll. Price: $13. A tender classic roll absolutely stuffed with sweet, sweet tender lobster bursting from the seams. Not too much mayo and no celery filler. No fries. No frills. Just the lobster roll you’ve been craving. At that price and quality we really should have gone back every day.

Admittedly, there are a number of other Orleans spots which must be sampled. One can only eat (and finance) so many in the course of a week. I’m hoping other posters will add their two cents and look forward to their reviews.


At Young’s was it Claw and Knuckle only?

Pretty much. No little weenie pieces.

Nut sure what that means but no tailmeat?

It was good of you to take one (or several) for the cause. Should you go back Cook’s lobster roll is adequate but the best is at the Rock Harbour Grill.
I recommend the place highly, especially if you can snag a seat at the bar.

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OK. I misunderstood you. There was tail meat. Knuckle meat and claw meat.

Ah! This post is giving me some serious nostalgia! I spent 20ish summers in Orleans because my grandmother lived there. Our favorite rolls were at Sir Crickets. Personally, I always preferred the crabster rolls (half crab/half lobster). I have no idea what the price is now. I haven’t been up there in at least 5 years.


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Oh and totally agree about the lobster pound. Even as kids we didn’t get the hype.

Drive one town down Cape to Eastham. Friendly Fisherman has the best lobster roll ever!!

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I don’t care for the tarragon in the lobster salad I had at RHG. I’m a purist. I don’t even want celery and gag at onion.

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Oh that would not be good. I do not remember tarragon in the roll. Lemon and mayo, that was about it. Was yours recent? Maybe they have changed things up.
We were there a while ago, maybe longer than I realize.

It was awhile ago, so perhaps they’ve changed. Impudent Oyster in Chatham has a ginormous lobster roll but they put diced red onion in it. That’s a big no-no. Don’t gussy up candy from the sea.


I get REALLY upset with tarragon. It is not a flavor I enjoy and having it on a lobster roll is offensive!

Okay, I don’t “get” lobster rolls. My only experience is at Red’s Eats in Wiscasset Maine. Essentially lobster and mayo on a hot dog bun. As the song asks, “Is that all there is? Is that all there is? If that’s all there is, let’s just keep dancing…”

Dump the bun, just plop on some sweet lettuce. Eat with a fork. Maybe memorable.

My grandparents were Mainers. Maybe I’m just too downstream.

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Red’s lobster roll is not dressed, just the freshest lobster meat perfectly cooked. Mayo and butter are served on the side. Many people do eat that sweet meat right out of the roll with a fork. I usually eat some of straight meat to start and then finish the rest in the griddled buttered hot dog bun.

Red’s lives up to the hype.


uni, I think you speak truth. Our experience was probably with the previous owner who “Red” said he took over to make a turnaround. This was obviously 30 years ago. While we since spent a lot of time in the area, we never stopped there again. Paraphrasing the new owner from their website, you can sell anyone once. It’s the second or return purchase that shows your merit. A second generation is now in charge, apparently listening to Dad.