Being situated in the Atlantic (right) side of Canada as one of the three maritime provinces, Prince Edward Island is probably most well known for seafood. One of the most popular seafood offerings around the island would probably be lobster. Possibly 9 out of 10 restaurants here in offer lobster on their menus and both locals and visitors alike swear by their own favorite and go-to places for lobster in Charlottetown.
It then goes without saying that as we continued to learn more of and explore Charlottetown, it was imperative to try as much lobster as we can (budget permitting of course).
Water Prince Corner Shop
Both our landlady and the cab driver who drove us from the airport to our place suggested the same restaurant to have some lobster in Charlottetown – the Water Prince Corner Shop. It was the top rated lobster restaurant online, so it was definitely going to be our first stop. We decided to drop by the restaurant at around 11:30 in the morning on a weekday and luckily, there was just one other table occupied. If you plan to go during dinner time, I’d suggest to phone them and make a reservation as the place is almost always full for dinner. We ordered the 1.5-lb Lobster Dinner with a side of mussels, Lobster Roll with a side of potato salad, and a bowl of seafood chowder. The menu did not indicate the prices for the Lobster Dinner, which came in 1, 1.5 or 2-lb orders, and instead just said: “Market Prices” (most places will charge you the market price for a whole lobster). So we said, what the heck. We can try it just this once.
The Lobster Dinner was quite enjoyable, but we found that it did not differ from the Asian lobsters that we have tried before in terms of taste. It was just the size and the colour that really impressed me as I had never seen lobster with a smooth shell and in the perfect shade of red orange. If you’ve already had lobster in Asia or wherever you’re from, chances are the taste will be the same. Nonetheless, it was boiled to perfection with the usual butter sauce given on the side. Just prepare to get your hands dirty (and possibly smelling like lobster for the next few hours!) and your wallets considerably lighter since that 1.5-lb Lobster alone cost us around $60.
The Lobster Roll, on the other hand, was mediocre at best. I was expecting bigger chunks of lobster here and there, but all we got in our sandwich were smaller, almost shredded pieces. I also didn’t like that the bread felt airy and dry, but this may be because there wasn’t enough lobster stuffed in it. We didn’t think it was worth it for the price of $21. Did we set standards that were too high? Possibly. But only because we’ve tried Luke’s Lobster in Osaka, Japan (Luke’s is a famous lobster joint that started in New York) and that really set the bar for lobster rolls for us. But then again, this was just the first one we’ve tried and we didn’t let this experience deter us from trying lobster rolls from other places.
If you google “Best Lobster Rolls in Charlottetown”, there’s a good chance that Dave’s Lobster will come up in one of the lists. Located just across Water Prince Corner Shop inside the Founder’s Hall, the place seems so unpretentious, kind of like a fast food joint with seats and tables inside, and a few outside on its patio. Their menu mainly consists of Lobster Rolls, but served in different styles. We ordered two kinds – The Local, which is just a normal roll with cold lobster, some mayo, herbs, served on a grilled and buttered bun; and the Half and Half, which is the same with the normal roll except that it’s made with a half serving of cold lobster and a half serving of warm lobster. All Lobster Rolls were served with your choice of Covered Bridge Potato Chips.
One word: YUM! This was exactly the lobster roll that I had imagined Prince Edward Island had to offer. The perfect traditional bun stuffed to the brim with just enough huge pieces of lobster combined with shredded ones, Dave’s Lobster Roll is a good introduction to lobster rolls on the island since you have choice between hot or cold lobster while other rolls offered around PEI are mostly just cold. I believe they were priced at $20 a piece at the time if I’m not mistaken. But I think their prices change regularly over the season. It was still a bit expensive but definitely felt more justified.
The Chip Shack
After taking a short break from eating lobster in Charlottetown (budget constraints), we just recently decided to try the lobster rolls being offered by this place, just a few steps away from Dave’s Lobster, called The Chip Shack. It is this hip little place that indeed serves and cooks their food right out of a red shack, with rustic red tables and benches by the sidewalk. We’ve gone there a couple of times before to eat their famous hand-cut fries (SO GOOD! Arguably the best fries in Charlottetown), poutine, and fish and chips, so It felt like high time to finally try their version of the lobster roll.
The Chip Shack’s lobster roll was the cheapest among all the lobster rolls we tried, so I really didn’t expect that much in terms of the volume and size. But for just $12 an order, it exceeded my expectations and more (since it came with a big sized serving of fries on the side). It wasn’t as fancy nor did it have those big chunks of lobster, but they more than made up for it by filling up the bun with so much lobster meat that’s just as tasty, albeit shredded, to the point that it became difficult to take a bite without making a mess. And that’s always a good sign in my book. If you want some good old fashioned and straightforward lobster roll, The Chip Shack is the place to go! The owner is the friendly lady who is almost always there manning the shack herself. Definitely two huge thumbs up!
There are really a lot more restaurants in Charlottetown to get your lobster fix, but these three are probably the more famous ones especially for tourists. We definitely wanted to try more whole lobster dinners, but they were really just out of our budget so we had to settle for lobster rolls instead. To be honest though, the best way to enjoy lobster in Charlottetown might be to do what we did and splurge once on a full lobster dinner and just spend the rest of the time enjoying lobster rolls.
Have you guys tried having lobster in Charlottetown? Tell us more about it in the comments or hit us up on social media, we would love to hear from you!