The first time I ever ate a lobster roll was when I traveled to Cape Cod in the fall of 2014. The first time I ever enjoyed a lobster roll (and dreamt about it for days afterward) was when I visited Luke’s Lobster in Rittenhouse Square a few weeks ago.
Good lobster is hard to find fifty plus miles away from the shore but Luke’s Lobster Rittenhouse exceeded every expectation I had. Not only that, but Luke’s Lobster goes above and beyond to provide seafood that is sustainably and traceably caught — my green heart is singing.
Read ahead to learn more about my experience at Luke’s Lobster and why you shouldn’t sleep on it the next time you found yourself anywhere near Rittenhouse Square!
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 Apricots
Luke’s Lobster is nestled into the underbelly of one of Rittenhouse’s many beautiful brownstones. When you descend into it from the street level, you’ll find yourself in a small but cozy cafe-style restaurant that’s adorned from floor to ceiling in rustic but far-from-tacky sea-themed decor.
In short, the place is not very spacious. It’s great for all kinds of occasions except for ones that include large parties of people. By large, I mean that even a group of six could be pushing especially if it’s busy. There’s only about 10 or 15 tables and counter-like seating along the walls.
However, it is unbelievably charming. Bring a date here. Catch up with some friends here. Even impress the in-laws here (especially if they’re from New England). Personally, I came alone and worked remotely while I ate and it was pretty great. Though, I didn’t get as much done as I’d like because sound does travel fast in small spaces such as this.
Experience: 5 out of 5 Apricots
Let’s start by saying that my visit to Luke’s Lobster was not one of my personal shining moments in life. I came busting into this quaint little shop hangry, soaking wet from the rain, and without any money. Why yes, as a matter of fact, I did leave my wallet behind in the car which was parked seven blocks away.
Regardless, the woman working the register welcomed me with open arms and kindly assisted me in thinking of ways that I could pay for my food without walking back to my car in the rain. This fine establishment offers an app for your smartphone that lets you pay right from your phone — this truly couldn’t have been more convenient.
Did I mention that literally every single employee was a sweetheart and couldn’t have been more understanding, helpful, and nice? Luke’s Lobster is a casual, counter-service restaurant yet my food was brought right to my table even with the dinner rush picking up.
Food: 4.5 out of 5 Apricots
Luke’s Lobster offers a fairly simple menu including the most perfect little roll sampler called Luke’s Trio. This trio includes half of one of their traditional lobster rolls which is stuffed with chilled, wild-caught lobster. The bun was perfectly buttered with just the right amount of mayo and secret seasoning and the lobster was perfectly cooked.
Luke doesn’t just know his way around a lobster, though. He also knows his way around a crab and some shrimp. In fact, my favorite of the trio that I ordered was the shrimp roll. If it didn’t involve bankrupting myself, I would eat one of these shrimp rolls everyday for the rest of my life.
The only thing I wouldn’t order again (and this is nearly entirely based on personal preference alone) would be the poppy seed coleslaw. BUT I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone that enjoys thicker coleslaw — I prefer creamy, shredded coleslaw.
Overall Apricot Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Apricots
I’d recommend Luke’s Lobster Rittenhouse to anyone even strangers on the street… except for people with a shellfish allergy. That could get messy quick.