For being so far from the ocean, Atlantans love their seafood. This summer, we are flocking toward the New England staple, the lobster roll. And why not? Sweet, fleshy lobster piled onto a toasted top-split bun. Sounds like heaven. As for what makes up the rest of that sandwich you're about to inhale is a bit of a debate. Mayo vs. butter; how much spice and what part of the lobster you use all come in to play when building a lobster roll. So, what makes for a perfect lobster roll? It all comes down to quality of ingredients. The seven lobster rolls below have the best of the best.
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W.H. Stiles Fish Camp
675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta.
When Anne Quatrano brought Dub's, as it's fondly known, to Ponce City Market, there was no doubt the seafood would be phenomenal. Her lobster roll more than meets expectations. A fresh baked, Parker House roll holds what seems like an entire lobster's worth of meat. It's tossed lightly in mayonnaise and celery. The tarragon that it finishes with gives a slight bite and peppery taste. Finish your meal with some Utz crab chips and a glass of rose.
Drift Oyster Bar
The Avenue East Cobb, 4475 Roswell Rd, Marietta. (770) 635-7641.
East Cobb, you don't have to drive far for great seafood. Drift, helmed by the same folks from Seed and Stem Wine Bar, has a truly delightful menu. One of the stars is found at bottom next to the burger. The lobster roll is prepared two ways. They serve it tossed cold, in a tangy, lemon mayonnaise. Also available is one done in the Connecticut style. It is served warm, with drawn butter. It lends a more decadent feel. Both versions are served with fries.
914 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta. (404) 477-6260.
Bon Appétit proclaimed the Optimist's lobster roll as so good that it 'makes even a New Englander proud.' They are certainly doing New England proud at this Ford Fry outpost. Served the traditional way with mayo, celery salt and plenty of lemon juice. Start your meal off with some garlicky baked oysters and a lightly boozy punch. This will be your new go-to lunch spot in West Midtown.
887 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta. 404-815-1399.
This West Midtown hot spot is known for their burgers and killer cocktails, but saunter in on a Saturday and you'll find 20 lobster rolls waiting for a home. Served on Holeman & Finch buns and served with a homemade mayo consisting of tarragon and lemon zest, and served with their famous fries, these babies will sell out quickly. We recommend getting there right at 5:30 for a taste.
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560 Gresham Ave SE, Atlanta.
For all the late night revelers in East Atlanta, Octopus Bar is perfect for a late night bite. It's a favorite among chefs, it even inspired a visit by Anthony Bourdain. One of the best bites is their lobster roll. The lobster roll is stuffed full of sweet flesh and tomalley mayo on a butter soaked roll. Perfect for soaking up the evening, or to keep it going.
11500 Webb Bridge Way, Alpharetta. 770-754-5500.
If you're in Alpharetta and craving a lobster roll, be sure to set your GPS to Bite. Owner Leif Johnson wasn't sure how well it would do on the menu, and locals were happy to prove he did the right thing. Starting with a Holeman & Finch bun and meat from the claw and knuckle, he mixes it with a homemade mayo that includes herbs and Sriracha. The lobster is truly the star here.
Atlanta Fish Market
265 Pharr Rd NE, Atlanta. 404-262-3165.
There's no mistaking the giant fish sculpture outside this legendary Buckhead eatery, whose building is based on a 1920s Savannah railroad station. For decades Atlanta Fish Market has been supplying hungry patrons with a ridiculously good lobster rolls, back before lobster rolls were cool. A toasted bun made by Buckhead Bread Co. is stuffed with a pound of lobster, homemade mayo, cayenne pepper, lemon and a bite of onion.
RECOMMENDED VIDEO: How to make a lobster roll
Bacchanalia chef-owner Anne Quatrano shares her simple lobster roll recipe, which is currently being served at W.H. Stiles Fish Camp in Ponce City Market.