Perched 40 feet above the Hudson River with sweeping views of the surrounding landscape and Mid-Hudson Bridge, outdoor dining is a must here. Served with fries and a pickle spear, the lobster roll boasts generous pieces of fresh lobster meat, tossed in Old Bay aioli, and nestled into a lettuce-lined, butter-toasted brioche bun. Seafood lovers have plenty of other fine-dining choices, including jumbo lump crab cakes; citrusy ceviche; an extensive raw bar with Wellfleet, Blue Point, and Kumamoto oysters; and the decadent lobster Colorado, a six-ounce filet mignon with chopped, butter-poached lobster and lobster cream sauce.
Poughkeepsie — 176 Rinaldi Blvd; 845.486.9500
From the same owner as District.96 Beer Factory next door, this burger-and-beer haven specializes in house-ground burgers, smashed on the grilled for maximum caramelization and beefy flavor. Sharing menu space with the mushroom-topped, classic American, and BBQ-sauce-slathered creations, is The Burger Loft’s sleeper hit: its lobster roll. Brimming with big, generous chunks of chilled claw and knuckle meat, it’s a riff on New England tradition, featuring a mayo sauce seasoned with lemon, lime, scallions, and celery salt — all heaped into a warm, butter-toasted bun.
New City — 395 S Main St, New City; 845.499.2409
The only non-Kingston eatery in Frank Guido’s Hudson Valley restaurant empire (Front Street Tavern, Mariner’s Harbor, Frank Guido’s Little Italy), this Catskill restaurant opens each spring for picturesque waterfront dining. As befits its setting, the menu is heavy on seafood, boasting “What we do best…Lobsters fresh from the tank.” The lobster roll is straightforward — chilled with mayo and seasonings on a New England butter roll — and fans of the succulent crustacean can also indulge in chilled lobster salad, broiled or steamed whole lobsters, and the lobster bake with shrimp, clams, mussels, and corn on the cob for just $29.95 (Thurs and Fri only).
Catskill — 7 Main St; 518.943.5088
This Kingston nano-brewery is shaking up the Hudson Valley taproom formula. The beer list is light on IPAs, favoring styles like helles lagers and pale ales, and, in lieu of pub-grub favorites, the menu features elevated sourdough pizzas, fresh North Atlantic oysters, and, in summer, one luscious looking lobster roll. The latter is piled high with shredded lobster meat and simply dressed with lemon, butter, and a generous sprinkling of paprika — perfect for kicking back in the backyard-esque outdoor dining area.
Kingston — 22 Jansen Ave; 845.853.8152
Mixologist Kat Dunn, who crafted the cocktail program at Fish & Game, Backbar, and Rivertown Lodge, opened this Hudson spot in 2020. The highlight of the menu is the New England-style lobster roll — Dunn’s grandfather was a lobster man off Cape Cod — featuring a quarter-pound of fresh lobster with mayo, celery, and spices on a split-top bun. (In fall, Buttercup switches to a Connecticut-style lobster roll doused in warm butter and chives.) Non-lobster-eaters have options, as well; the menu includes Chicago-style hot dogs and a hyper-local grilled cheese with Nettle Meadow Kunik, tomato jam, and salted chilies on Breadfolks bakery pullman.
Hudson — 17 N 4th Street; 518.945.8224
Farm-to-table goes literal at this jewel of a restaurant, housed in an 18th-century home (dine on the front porch if weather and availability allow), surrounded by a terraced, five-acre farm that provides fresh produce, honey, and other products for the menu and bar program. Beyond what’s grown on-site, the focus is on ultra-fresh seafood, including Maine lobster cocktail and a classic boil with steamers, seasonal vegetables, and bliss potatoes. The lobster roll comes in two variations: chilled with a light coating of lemon aioli and slices of crunchy cucumber or Connecticut-style, bathed in warm butter.
North Salem — 100 Titicus Rd; 914.617.8380