If you have a seven year old child or even know a seven year old, look at their face and notice that extra glow. It’s an innocent glow that comes from not knowing a world without Luke’s Lobster in it. Since opening their doors in 2009, my world has gotten infinitely better.
Allow me to paint a clearer picture, for years now, back before I wrote about the New York City food scene I would buy tickets the minute they were available—I’m talking, setting an alarm, having the screen up and refreshing it over and over until the ticket sales went live—to Tasting Table’s Lobster Roll Rumble where something like twenty-five vendors compete for the title of best Lobster Roll. Every year, without fail, after eating twenty-five lobster rolls, jotting down some notes about each, I casted my vote for Luke’s Lobster. It was hands down a no brainier for me.
It all starts with the brilliant founders Luke Holden and Ben Conniff’s desire to make a delicious lobster roll that wasn’t buried in buckets of mayo for a reasonable price point. That’s right, there’s nothing to hide here! It’s straight up glorious lobster meat, lightly seasoned with just a touch of mayo lining their lightly toasted roll which make this lobster roll taste extra fresh, vibrant and flavorful. From their Wild Blue seasonal salad to The Noah’s Ark where you get a half a lobster roll, half of a crab roll and half of a shrimp roll you have that same elevated, thoughtful freshness.
With not only sustainably but also traceably farmed seafood coming directly from Tenants Harbor in Maine, these guys take extra care with not only the incredible lobster meat the goes in your lightly toasted lightly mayo lined roll, but they are paying extra attention to what's best for the future of their farm”lands” by causing the least amount of impact possible. The beauty of the traceability part of it all is that should there ever be an issue with a specific lobster, or they're just not up to par this season, the Luke’s Lobster team can trace that one lobster back to the farmer’s hands who farmed it and from exactly where in the water it was farmed. It's truly unheard of for a fast casual restaurant to take this much consideration with their ingredients—yet, another reason to love them!
With their white storefronts, always punny chalk art sidewalk sign, buoys and lobster crates used as baskets to carry bags of chips, I feel like I'm in a sort of humble seafood shack themed snow globe—perhaps, in this case, more aptly named “water globe”. Looking out of the windows onto a city street is the only thing that situates me as still being in the city. With nineteen locations around the United States and an additional two food trucks, if you haven’t dived into the world of Luke’s Lobster yet, it’s time! Go explore this taste of Maine in New York City—you’re welcome in advance!