Obsession | Abbott's Lobster in the Rough

When I think of the summertime I think of New England. Growing up my family spent a lot of time on Cape Cod and in Eastern Connecticut, close to Mystic / New London where my mother grew up. I have fond memories of those times, the music, the sun, the smells and the food. Especially the lobster. Without a doubt my all time favorite lobster place is Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough in Noank, CT. The picturesque little shack of a restaurant sits in the most beautiful little corner of New England, facing a quaint harbor of wooden sail boats. The whole thing just makes me want to buy up some land and start painting pictures.



Instead what I end up doing is getting off I-95 anytime I’m near Noank and stopping by Abbott’s for a lobster roll. I generally tend to avoid the lobster roll (the lazy man’s lobster dinner), unless I’m in sight of an ocean and Manhattan’s ocean doesn’t count. The roll at Abbott’s is simple (no mayonnaise or celery are involved which delivers a delicious roll where you can really savor the lobster), served on a perfectly toasted round-bun with cole slaw and a side of drawn butter thrown in for good measure. If there is any doubt about a roll sans mayo rest assured, the butter really does good-work and keeps the needle on tasty. If you do make it out to my pick for the world’s best lobster roll, expect a bit of a wait and the restaurant doesn’t take reservations (which I prefer anyway; planning sucks), but the line moves quick. If you are a true professional you will know to bring your beer and wine in a cooler as they don’t serve booze at Abbott’s and a man feels more like a man if he can have a bottle of suds with his lobster roll.

Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough // 117 Pearl Street Noank, Conn. // 860-536-7719

Comments on “Obsession | Abbott's Lobster in the Rough

    The Treasurer on July 8, 2009 8:39 AM:

    I’d go just for the stuck-in-time design of those potato chip bags! The yellow looks great next to the brick red lobsters.

    beaucolburn on July 8, 2009 8:58 AM:

    I grew up right down the road in Old Lyme and have never checked this out. I will need to change this.

    Jamie on July 8, 2009 9:29 AM:

    Abbott’s is legit. And provides dockspace – another prequisite for any real summer dining destination in my mind. You can just float in, tie up, unload your cooler, make your order, claim your table on the dock, tie your bib on, and count down the long minutes until your number gets called. No frills, just a feast.

    Christina on July 8, 2009 10:05 AM:

    That is just mouthwatering.

    Brian on July 8, 2009 10:07 AM:

    i love this place … a great example of CT-style lobster rolls.

    james fox on July 8, 2009 10:22 AM:


    nick on July 8, 2009 10:38 AM:

    I’m in Old Lyme all the time, and love Abbott’s. Worth being obsessed about.

    Rob B. on July 8, 2009 11:12 AM:

    We’re spoiled here in New England with great seafood and great locales, but we tend to forget places outside our general vicinity. Here in RI, that means pretty much a 10 mile radius. :)

    Eric Y. on July 8, 2009 3:15 PM:

    The Hot Lob at Abbott’s is indeed an incredible sandwich. We actually ranked it our #1 choice a while back when we did a top 10 sandwiches write-up. Awesome to see it here on ACL.

    Kevin on July 8, 2009 5:07 PM:

    This place is fantastic. Nice Shawshank Redemption reference by the way….

    Chenners on July 8, 2009 9:08 PM:

    How do people eat those things? They’re like giant orange underwater cockroaches.

    Tim on July 9, 2009 9:41 AM:

    Love abbots. Have you checked out Johnny Ad’s in Old Saybrook, CT? Worth a stop next time you roll through. Great clam strip rolls.

    The Fairway in Redhook makes a pretty mean Lobster Roll too. It’s only $10, you can sit on the water out back and get a key lime pie after.

    Kyle on July 9, 2009 9:55 AM:

    what kind of self-respecting man would ever eat anything besides a CT style lobster roll anyway?

    Beau Colburn on July 9, 2009 9:57 AM:

    @Tim—love Johnny Ads. I grew up right near there, and it’s my go-to spot. Great hot dogs too.

    David on July 9, 2009 2:10 PM:

    I’m driving to Mystic from L.A. on Saturday and will be salivating the whole way.

    Cait on July 9, 2009 7:03 PM:

    My parents are moving from CT after living there for over 30 years. I didn’t think there was anything I would really miss, but you just reminded me. We used to bring a tablecloth, silverware, candles and good beer and wine and have a feast.

    Hopefully the house will sell before Abbotts closes for the season and we can have one last feast after we pack everything up.

    Bill on July 9, 2009 10:18 PM:

    I was shocked to see Abbott’s on ACL, but only because I have been going there my entire life. There is nothing better than arriving by boat with a full cooler, and breaking bread with friends and family.

    Lauren on July 10, 2009 12:01 AM:


    Chris on July 12, 2009 1:40 PM:

    I grew up in Old Saybrook and love Johnny Ad’s. I recently found this site, and having grown up in CT and now in Brooklyn, I enjoy all the references to New England culture and locations I grew up around.

    BINK on July 13, 2009 1:08 AM:

    My family (cousins) make the I love NL tee shirts….

    I love NEW ENGLAND… let me know if you want one i will try and get you one. Email me.

    Mark on July 16, 2009 9:49 AM:

    Wow! I grew up in Mystic and had lots of friends who worked at Abbott’s. Thanks for the feature… it made me a little homesick.

    Eileen on July 16, 2009 12:52 PM:

    I grew up in Stonington and remember my first Abbott’s vividly. Another SE CT favorite is Skipper’s Dock.

    Eileen on July 16, 2009 12:52 PM:

    I grew up in Stonington and remember my first Abbott’s meal vividly. Another SE CT favorite is Skipper’s Dock.

    wyatt on August 20, 2009 8:29 PM:

    i’m from mystic, and abbott’s is the greatest, particularly because there’s a “costello’s” right across the street.

    you might know this, but try sea swirl for fried seafood next time you’re in town. it looks touristy but they really do have the best in the area (i think). it’s 50’s style with outside bench seating right on rt 1 on the stonington side of the bridge. pricey, but worth it.

    wyatt on August 21, 2009 12:05 PM:

    also, forgot to mention but of interest to you/readers: there’s a shop called Tradewind’s Gallery right in downtown Mystic that has all kinds of vintage maps, posters, artwork and prints for really reasonable prices. i recently bought a 19th century ship blueprint for $60, a late 19th century hand-colored duck print on sale for $25, and an incredible fold-out demographics map of NYC from a 1928 edition of Fortune magazine for $90.

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