Scan any menu for the highest prices, and odds are good that any lobster dish will ring in at or near the very top—a lobster entree in even a mid-priced restaurant will average between $30 and $40. Or, the menu often will simply offer the mysterious, “Market Price.” But as elusive as that may seem, there are lots of good reasons why lobster costs ring in high, and also fluctuate enough to be deemed worthy of a price that’s an ever-moving target.
Let’s start with what makes it costly. While lots of other seafood can easily be farmed, lobsters have proven to be uncooperative, and thus the vast majority are caught in the ocean. Catching lobsters is incredibly tough work, and those catches are undependable. Meanwhile, the healthiest, most delicious lobsters are cooked live, which costs more because you need to keep it cool and wet in shipping it to its final destination. So clearly, the closer you get to the waters from whence it came, the better tasting and less expensive it will be. Which may be the best argument for eating it in Maine—the country’s ultimate source for the delectable crustacean—above anywhere else.

Libby’s Market
Choose between three sizes of lobster rolls, all of them on grilled buns, and with lettuce if you request it, and uncooked and undressed fluffy buns if you don’t. More to the point, each size is generously filled with sweet chunks of meat lightly dressed with mayo. Don’t come expecting anything fancy—the picnic tables outside are as formal as Libby’s gets. But who cares? For a well-priced, well-made lobster classic, this is the place.

WHAT
Libby’s Market
WHERE
42 Jordan Ave., Brunswick
HOURS
Mon., 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tues.-Fri., 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m., closed Sunday
INFO
(207) 729-7277, @officiallibbysmarket on facebook, @libbysmarket on Twitter, @libbysmarket on Instagram

Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster
A ride down an idyllic country road brings you to the salty pier on which this lovable, no-frills neighborhood spot is perched. Order a lobster roll with fries and a slice of homemade cherry pie at the window (it’s cash only, but there’s an ATM on-site) and grab a table indoors or out—both overlooking the marina. On a sunny day, look for one of the tables upstairs on the deck, offering an even better view of the pretty harbor. All kinds of beverages are served, except alcoholic ones, so think ahead and b.y.o.b.
WHAT
Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster
WHERE
36 Main St., South Freeport
HOURS
Open last week of April-June 11, 11 a.m.-7:45 p.m. daily; from June 12-Labor Day, 11 a.m.-8:45 p.m. daily; Labor Day-Oct., 11 a.m.-7:45 p.m. (207) 865-4888, @haraseeketlunchandlobster on Facebook, harraseeketlunchandlobster.com

Dolphin Marina
Let the waterfront locale of this family-owned spot be your first guide to what’s best on the menu; ultra-fresh fish and shellfish. But while all of Maine’s coastal delicacies are fair game here, it’s the lobster that steals the show. Classic lobster dinners with all the craved-for fixings—corn on the cob, potatoes, Cole slaw, and steamed clams—come crowned with a steaming, just-caught beast, and they’re happily devoured by the crowds who come in from land and by boat. (The restaurant has a seasonal moorings and slips for the latter.) In fact, the entire setting is as much a draw as the lobster—tables and the outdoor deck look out to sunsets over Pott’s Harbor, and peer out to Casco Bay and its islands.
WHAT
Dolphin Marina
WHERE
515 Basin Point Road, Harspwell
HOURS
April-June, Wed.-Sun., 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Closed Mon.-Tues. June-Nov., open daily 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
INFO
(207) 833-6000, dolphinmarinaandrestaurant.com, @DolphinMarinaRestaurant on Facebook

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