The honour roll: Best lobster rolls in Halifax

Surprisingly, Halifax doesn’t have a lobster roll culture on par with the likes of New England. With no local standard, a lobster roll is often an afterthought, carelessly thrown on a menu. But, we have lots of fresh, local lobster and there are a few places doing it right. Some rolls will please the purist by showcasing the lobster, while others incorporate hot butter, rich cream or flavoured aioli to elevate the flavour.

Harbourstone Sea Grill & Pour House

1
1919 Upper Water St, Halifax, NS B3J 3J5

Yeah, the Harbourstone is a hotel restaurant and not particularly summery, but Avery’s Lobster Roll could very well be the best lobster roll in town. A grilled sourdough bun is stuffed with chopped lobster and celery in a tarragon sour cream. It is a good portion of lobster with solid flavours, including grill marks you can taste! This comes with house-cut fries, salad or the soup of the moment – a pretty good deal for $15.

Esquire Restaurant

2
772 Bedford Hwy, Halifax, NS B0N 1B0

The Esquire Restaurant is a Bedford Highway icon serving up all-day breakfast, pan-fried haddock and other diner fare. It is especially famous for its chowders, but the lobster roll is also excellent. It’s got big chunks of lobster dressed in mayo, sitting on a crispy bed of lettuce on a toasted bun. Simple perfection, served with coleslaw and your choice of fries or house salad for $16.99.

Halifax Farmers Market-Seaport

3
1209 Marginal Rd, Halifax, NS B3H 4P8

This is not the heftiest portion of lobster but it is only $12 and comes straight from its selfsame supplier, Goldwater Seafoods (a fishery committed to quality and sustainability). Chunks of lobster are dressed very lightly with homemade mayo and served in a lightly toasted roll from Julien’s Bakery. A side of potato chips (or salad) and a local pickle round out this meal, which is best enjoyed right at the market with a glass of wine from Blomidon Winery. Oh yeah, and you can get bacon on it. ‘Nuff said.

The Canteen

4
66 Ochterloney St, Dartmouth, NS B2Y 1C2

The Canteen is a popular gourmet sandwich shop in downtown Dartmouth with a rotating menu of creative sandwiches on freshly baked bread using local ingredients. Lobster rolls are usually served on Fridays and are one of two varieties: The Big Fish is a mixture of lobster and cold water shrimp and The Crobster is a combination of lobster and crab. Both rolls are prepared with truffle aioli, mustard seed and dill, making for quite the rich affair! This is a huge portion of seafood – you will need that fork!

McKelvie's Delishes Fishes Dishes

5
1680 Lower Water, Halifax, NS B3J 1T1

McKelvie’s is one of the three big full service seafood restaurants in Halifax and, of those three, McKelvie’s easily makes the best lobster roll. A toasted top-split bun cradles a lobster salad dressed with fresh dill mayo and lemon zest. At $19.99, this is one of the most expensive lobster rolls in town. You may as well upgrade your side to seafood chowder or lobster poutine, since you’re already splurging.

Evans Fresh Seafoods & Restaurant

6
2 Ochterloney St, Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4W1

Evan’s is the result of a father and son team of fishermen from Yarmouth who wanted to sell their catch more directly to the public. At Evan’s, you can buy freshly caught seafood or you can order from the menu - fish ‘n’ chips, fried clams, lobster poutine - this is some of the best seafood in Halifax. The lobster roll is done Acadian Shore-style; lobster is cooked in a hot, creamy sauce for a rich and hearty experience. A standalone lobster roll is $12.99, or you can get it with fries for $14.99. Pro-tip: The French fries are fantastic.

Boondocks Dining Room & Lounge

7
6 Government Wharf Rd, Halifax, NS B3Z 3P1

While Boondocks commits the soft crime of not having a toasted bun, they otherwise make a pretty decent lobster roll. It’s laced with little red onions and celery, but mostly it’s a just a nice portion of lobster with a light slap of mayo. At $15 with fries, the price is reasonable. The best part, though, is that you can enjoy this on their waterfront patio overlooking McCormack’s Beach. Lobster rolls always taste better by the water!

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