A New-Englander’s guide to St. Pete’s best lobster rolls

A New-Englander’s guide to St. Pete’s best lobster rolls

aerial shot of lobster roll with fries

Table of Contents

These are the best lobster rolls you can find in and around St. Petersburg, Florida.

Three months ago, I moved from to St. Pete from the blustery Northeast. By day two, I was notably homesick—but not for the cold weather, bare trees, or now-empty cities. As I stared at the ceiling from my bed, stomach growling, I realized what it was that my new life was nostalgically missing: a good, old-fashioned New England lobster roll.

Upon my revelation, I logged on to Facebook and asked “St. Pete’s (Socially Distanced) Supper Club” group members for advice on where to find the toastiest, buttery-est, Maine-style sandwich in the area. The response was overwhelming.

Fast forward to today, and I’ve spent the last few months chasing all of the local’s suggestions (and some word-of-mouth recommendations) from Beach Drive to Indian Shores. After an obscene amount shellfish sandwiches, I think I’ve officially tried them all.

So, without further endue, here is the result of my dedicated search: the New Englander’s guide to the Burg’s top 5.

The Runner-ups:

Fourth Street Shrimp Store's sloppy lobster roll is about a foot long, and creatively topped with parmesan cheese.

Fourth Street Shrimp Store

I like my lobster rolls sloppy. Like, meat-stains-destroying-my-new-pants level sloppy.

Sound relatable? Then 4th Street Shrimp Store is the spot for you.

This bad boy (which is probably the size of a football) was by far the messiest roll I tried. With thick cut tomatoes and mayo-covered mountains of seafood, this sandwich is literally dripping with everything that’s right about the world. Filling, indulgent, and topped with parmesan cheese, it’s pretty much the epitome of comfort food.

1006 4th St N

DJ's locally "famous" lobster roll guarantees a 1/4-lb scoop of claw meat with each order.

DJ’s Clam Shack

A bit off the beaten path, but totally worth the drive, this Indian Shores seafood shack is known by locals as the “Home of the Famous Lobster Roll.” When I asked the restaurant manager, Alicia, what makes the sandwich so special, she immediately referred to the size of the meat. Minutes later, I received my order.

She was absolutely right.

Piled high on a toasted New England bun, DJ’s lobster mixture is loaded with full-size claw chunks, and each roll is guaranteed a ¼-lb scoop. But if you’re a super lobster lover like me, they also offer a ½-lb “overstuffed” upgrade—because, you know, size matters.

19705 Gulf Blvd Suite A, Indian Shores

An innovative, carnival-style treat, Funnel Vision's "lobster corn dog" is a fun option for local palettes.

Funnel Vision Food Truck

Ok, so I know what you’re probably thinking—that isn’t a lobster roll… Well, by name, you’re technically right. It’s a lobster corn dog.

But here’s where I challenge you: a lobster roll needs butter, bread, and (of course) lobster. At Funnel Vision, Maine claw meat is doused in butter, dipped in sweet cornbread batter, and then deep fried in oil, which is essentially more butter. In other words, it’s just a super innovative lobster roll.

And, holy jumping jackal on a breadstick—it is so damn good.

Track the truck’s current location at: https://funnelvisionfoodtruck.com/

Alto Mare's lobster roll is upscale, fresh, and served with loads of thin-cut fries.

Alto Mare Fish Bar

Alto Mare is one of Beach Drive’s trendiest seafood destinations, known specifically for their high-quality raw bar offerings. Thus, when diners order Alto’s lobster roll, they can expect an elevated, upscale take on a historically casual classic.

With meat so cold and fresh, you’d almost expect it to start swimming on the plate. In fact, a focused foodie will probably even notice slight hints of ocean salt in the just-caught flavor of the lobster, which is fantastic.

Oh, and speaking of fantastic—the dish comes with delicious fries. Like, heaping fistfuls of delicious fries.

 300 Beach Dr NE #124

The Winner:

The Boardwalk Grill, located at Madeira Beach, serves lobster rolls with waterfront views.

The Boardwalk Grill

If you’ve been around St. Pete for a while, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Located on the sunny shores of Madeira Beach, The Boardwalk Grill is an unassuming culinary powerhouse known for their satiating, oceanside grub. Their lobster roll is no exception, and I owe a major shoutout to my friend, Gabe Krepper, for the recommendation. Thanks man, I owe you one.

The real kicker here is the butter-coated, golden-brown bun. Flawlessly grilled, the moist and flavorful bread is set beneath mounds of top-tier lobster filling, creating the ultimate mess of gooey perfection. Since my move, I’ve tried over 90 of the Bay’s best restaurants. After eating this sandwich (multiple times), the Boardwalk Grill is definitely in my top 10.

204 John’s Pass Boardwalk, Madeira Beach

Looking for more guides?

Are you a pizza-fiend? A grilled cheese fanatic? Wanna know where to get the best ice cream after 11pm?

Drop your cravings in the comments below, and we’ll go find them.

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