Red with Hunger: Luke’s Lobster in NYC

Luke's Lobster Roll

Luke's Lobster Roll, with a Half Sour Pickle

I love New York.  Why go to India when I can eat at Tamarind?  Or to Japan when I can sip udon at Haru?  If I can get better exoticisms so close to home, then it certainly isn’t worth the trip to Maine, when the best lobster roll on Earth is just a few blocks away.

I thought that I had tasted the best lobster roll on Earth.  I won’t get into it, now that I’m jostling another one ahead, but it was in Paris, and it was stirred up with lime and orange zests, and handed over with a pile of goose-fat fries.  Not too shabby.  Amazing, even.  But my new favorite lobster roll has to be Luke’s Lobster, at home in NYC.

Maine Root Soda and Mrs. Vick's Chips

Maine Root Soda and Mrs. Vick's Chips

It’s a traditional top-split hotdog bun, perfectly toasted.  Inside is a thin schmear of mayo.  And that’s what I love best—the lobster is not chopped and tossed in a thick, clumpy, creamy salad.  There is that thin, slightly salty, mellowing squidge of mayo, and then whole lobster claws, knuckles, and maybe some tail meat, piled overflowing into the hugging little roll.  Over the top is drizzled a little shower of lemon butter, and a restrained dusting of “secret” seasonings, which I think I’ve identified as dried powdered oregano and possibly celery salt.  For $17, it comes with a Maine Root soda and Mrs. Vick’s chips: may I suggest the blueberry soda (for a real taste of Maine), which is like a rich man’s Welch’s grape, and the Sea Salt & Vinegar chips, which make a nice bite against all that luscious lobster.  And a half-sour pickle.  Which is the best kind there is.

I seriously love a one-trick pony.  And I’m going to ride this one around as often as I can.

Luke's Lobster ZoomLuke’s Lobster

NYC Locations:

93 E. 7th Street 

242 E. 81st Street 

26 S. William St, near Broad 

426 Amsterdam Avenue 

And there’s a truck:

DC Location:

624 E. Street NW 

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Categories: New York, Restaurants, Voyages

4 Responses to Red with Hunger: Luke’s Lobster in NYC

  1. Katelyn says:

    I just discovered this restaurant on my last trip to New York, and it’s without a doubt the best lobster roll I’ve ever had. I love that it’s not drowned in mayonnaise.

  2. Kerry says:

    Exactly. I was up at a wedding in MA a couple of weekends ago, had the lobster rolls, and I was like, Eh, this is no Luke’s. Then I had this twice-as-expensive one at another NYC restaurant, who shall remain nameless, and it was just not nearly as good. Too much mayo, the lobster looked it was the dregs picked out of the shell after it had been served whole to someone else. I just love that the lobster at Luke’s is left pretty much whole, and that mayo is a condiment, not a preliminary ingredient.

    Did you try the blueberry soda? That stuff is phenomenal.

  3. Carin says:

    My boyfriend was recently in NYC on a business trip and stopped at Luke’s Lobster to try one for the first one. That’s ALL he could talk about afterwards. So, he was absolutely thrilled when he saw they opened a location in DC. We plan on visiting the end of July so I can enjoy the same amazing experience. It just isn’t summer without one!

  4. Katelyn says:

    I did not get a chance to try the blueberry soda! A visit is definitely on the list for the next time I go to New York or DC, so I’ll be sure to get it then. Blueberry soda sounds like something I could become addicted to… :)