The Best Lobster Roll You Will Ever Have, Hands Down

by Meghan Yost

If you grew up in New England, or spend any time here in the summer, then you know lobster rolls pretty much serve as their own food group, right alongside fruits and vegetables.

It seems like every restaurant has a lobster roll on their menu this time of year, and everyone you talk to knows where to get “the best lobster roll,” but I’m here to tell you where you can actually get the best lobster roll.

I’m what you might call an aspiring vegan. While I love eating plant-based, I can’t quite pull the trigger full time, and lobster is one of the main culprits … or should I say “Maine?” (Hehe, see what I did there?)

While summer is on its way out and the colorful foliage and crisp air is on its way in, there’s still time to get a lobster roll fresh from the dock. And one of the best places to get it is … you guessed it, Maine.

Once you taste a roll from Red’s Eats in Wiscasset, every other roll will look like a sad shadow of it.

That’s because a Red’s lobster roll is simply a whole ton of lobster piled high on a regular ol’ hotdog bun (tail meat, claw meat and all). The bun is toasted and the lobster meat is cold.

The roll is served with a side of your choice of Kate’s Homemade Butter, churned fresh in Maine, or mayo. No frills. No lobster “salad” with finely chopped celery and onion. Just pure, fresh lobster. And a whole lot of it.

Red’s is a small roadside shack, aptly painted red, located on Route 1, just before the bridge that takes you across the Sheepscot River. There’s nothing fancy about it (and that’s the way I like it), but damn will your tastebuds thank you for stopping by.

The man behind the lobster roll is Al Gagnon, who took over the stand in 1977 and introduced the massive roll. He passed away in 2008, but his children continue to carry on the tradition of creating divine deliciousness.

For the gluten-free folks, Red’s offers two options: Buttermilk bread or chick pea bread, both of which are very tasty. The gluten free rolls are served open faced with lettuce and sliced tomatoes.

A Red’s Eats lobster roll on the gluten free chick pea bread, served with lettuce and tomatoes.

If you’re craving something sweet to finish off your meal, I highly recommend the blueberry cake, which is locally made by a woman. One slice is a generous enough portion that can be shared.

Red’s Eats is so popular, you’ll be hard-pressed to find the shack without a line wrapping around it, all the way down the sidewalk. Those pictures above are a rare occurrence. The photo below shows what you’re more likely to find, especially in the height of summer.

People lined up for Red’s Eats as seen across the street from Sprague’s.

Keep in mind, the line is deceiving. If you see people queued up down the sidewalk, it’s safe to say the wait is probably going to be a couple of hours, maybe even several. So a tip for ordering is to go late at night, just before it closes (hence, the whole “golden glow” from the dining room lights you see in my Red’s Eats lobster roll pictures).

If you are feeling ambitious and decide to wait patiently, Red’s Eats is kind enough to provide umbrellas to shade their guests from the sun while waiting in line.

The standard Red’s Eats lobster roll.

If you’re too impatient to wait, there is another lobster shack located just across the street: Sprague’s. While their lobster roll isn’t as good as Red’s, it’ll do in a pinch. In my experience though, the service at Sprague’s isn’t quite the same as Red’s either (the woman who rang me and my family out during our last visit wasn’t too friendly, to say the least).

Lobster rolls from Sprague’s, located across the street from Red’s. Not a bad spot in a pinch.

If you need a little more motivation to make a special trip to Red’s Eats, the village it’s located in, Wiscasset, is also a nice draw. Aptly nicknamed “The Prettiest Village in Maine,” it’s filled with antique stores, clothing boutiques and historic homes worth wondering through.

A wonderful little antique shop in Wiscasset.

Have you ever tried a Red’s Eats lobster roll? What do you think? Love it? Not your cup of tea?

Do you think your favorite lobster roll can rival it? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave me a comment below!



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Linda September 13, 2018 - 1:14 pm

Hi Meghan! Love that place too! Maine has a special place in my heart and always will! So many memories! Always love stopping there when we go thru!

Linda Q

Meghan Yost September 13, 2018 - 6:01 pm

Such a great spot Linda! Thanks for reading. 🙂

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