Buying Guides

Best Lobster Delivery Services

Enjoy fresh lobsters straight from Maine to your door

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Canada, Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, Freshly cooked lobster

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We can’t all drop everything and drive to Maine, but luckily lobster delivery services step up to the plate. They offer a taste of home for displaced Mainers, and for folks who have never visited the Pine Tree State, a way to sample its most coveted export. Plus, let’s face it, live lobster direct from the coast makes a big impression for special occasions.

Lobster delivery isn’t cheap, so there’s a lot at stake (but keep in mind that you'll typically save money the more lobsters you order). Overnighting live lobster across the country isn’t as simple as Amazon fulfilling your order for a pack of socks and good communication between you and the company is key. Here are the lobster delivery services we feel you can count on—plus tips to make the process, from ordering to cracking into the claws, as smooth as possible.

Best Lobster Delivery Services of 2021

Best Overall: Get Maine Lobster

Get Maine Lobster

Get Maine Lobster

Why We Chose It: Focused on online delivery with an easy-to-use website, Get Maine Lobster simplifies ordering lobster.

What We Like
Reasonable shipping
Culls available

What We Don’t Like
The largest size of live lobster available is 1.4 to 1.6 pounds

This Portland, Maine, company shifted its emphasis from supplying restaurants to online home delivery starting in 2020. Its smartly designed website takes the intimidation out of ordering.

How-tos on shipping, preparation, and product information are easy to find and read. Get Maine Lobster also offers Maine seafood and add-ons, but they don’t distract from the main event: lobster. Get Maine Lobster sells culls—live lobsters that are missing claws after an ocean floor scrap—when available, which cost less per pound than whole lobsters. Shipping isn’t free, but it is reasonable. Keep an eye on the Buy One, Get One Free page of its website to snag some deals.

Most Relatable: The Lobster Guy

The Lobster Guy

The Lobster Guy

Why We Chose It: If you want a direct connection from the boat to you, this is the place.

What We Like
Folksy feel
Headed by a seasoned lobsterman
Options for personalization

What We Don’t Like
Dated, visually busy website

Captain Tim Handrigan is a real-deal lobsterman, having been featured on the Discovery Channel’s "Deadliest Catch: Lobstermen." He’s the person behind The Lobster Guy, a company that's been catching and shipping lobster since 1996.

The website’s a little clunky, but it’s also charming—you feel like you’re dealing with real, down-to-earth people. Your order comes even with a personalized message.

The dinner packs present lots of options, from clambakes to shellfish showcases. Lobster sizes start at 1.25 pounds and go all the way to 6 pounds or more, for those of you who want statement lobster. However, some of the frozen prepared foods, such as desserts, seem like an afterthought.

Best No-Nonsense Lobster: LobsterAnywhere

LobsterAnywhere

LobsterAnywhere

Why We Chose It: This straightforward site has plenty of choices for fresh and frozen lobster.

What We Like
Some items include free shipping
Quantity discounts

What We Don’t Like
Lacks a sense of place

LobsterAnywhere has been shipping lobsters since the early 1990s. It gets fresh lobsters from local fishermen every morning. When it’s time to ship, the company packs live lobsters in super-sturdy boxes, so they arrive safe and sound.

Planning on hosting a big feed? LobsterAnywhere offers quantity discounts. And if you’re likely to be a repeat customer, check out its Sand Dollar Rewards program. Big lobsters are an emphasis here, and LobsterAnywhere will happily accommodate requests. Some items (except live lobster) include free shipping. If you want a classy touch, opt for add-ons (like bibs and crackers) that come with gingham fabric napkins.

Best Dinner Packs: Cape Porpoise Lobster Co.

Cape Porpoise Lobster Co.

Cape Porpoise Lobster Co.

Why We Chose It: This family-run operation sources directly from lobstermen.

What We Like
Free overnight shipping
Reasonable prices

What We Don’t Like
Saturday delivery not available in all areas

Cape Porpoise Lobster is a family-run operation that buys its lobster directly from lobstermen at Cape Porpoise Pier in Kennebunkport, Maine. The company also runs a seafood processing plant, so you can expect the seafood you order from there to be consistent. To make things simple, there’s free overnight shipping on all orders. When available, Cape Porpoise Lobster packs its lobsters in seaweed.

Looking for more than just live lobster? Cape Porpoise Lobster has an enticing selection of lobster dinner and party packs, plus some delicious-looking whoopie pies.

Best Fish Market Lobster: Harbor Fish Market

Harbor Fish Market

Harbor Fish Market

Why We Chose It: Years of experience selling very fresh seafood to customers has generated legions of loyal customers.

What We Like
Interfaces with knowledgeable fishmongers

What We Don’t Like
Website is not intuitive for ordering lobster online

This institution was voted one of Portland, Maine’s best small businesses in 2018. If you want a real Down East fish market experience, Harbor Fish Market gives you the vicarious thrill of a bustling seafood retailer. With a dock right behind the shop, it receives lobster directly from lobstermen and holds them in tanks or ocean water.

Because this business is built around a lot more than lobster, the company's website is not that intuitive for those seeking to order lobster online. Another option is to call the company by phone to place an order, which has the added benefit of receiving some expert tips on cooking and serving lobster.

Best Prepared Lobster Offerings: Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co.

Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co.

Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co.

Why We Chose It: This company specializes in shipping classic, prepared lobster dishes all across the country.

What We Like
Creative and enticing dishes
Use of local ingredients

What We Don’t Like
Somewhat pricey

Founder Cal Hancock grew up in Maine, moved away for a time, and then returned to her native state to showcase its prized lobster to the entire country.

If you don't want to spend the time cooking a live lobster or cracking shells open, Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co. offers this crustacean in a different form. Lobster specialties and meal kits starring Maine seafood are nearly all the company sells.

Items are prepared fresh daily and are then shipped to customers across the country. Think lobster bisque, stew, and chowder; lobster rolls, pot pies, and mac & cheese; lobster risotto and grilled cheese; and much more. All items are sold through Goldbelly.

Final Verdict

Ordering lobster is a big splurge, and should work with companies experienced in sourcing and shipping the best lobster. The Lobster Guy, for example, is run by a longtime lobsterman who was once featured on the Discovery Channel. Others, like Get Maine Lobster and LobsterAnywhere, work to streamline the experience of ordering lobster online. Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co. sells prepared lobster dishes. All of the options on our list are worth a try.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Look for in Lobster Delivery?

All the delivery services we recommend sells freshly caught Maine lobster or dishes made with it. But the best lobster in the world is useless if it can’t get to you in good condition on the date you request. A lobster company is only as good as its customer service and shipping practices. Read delivery and refund policies carefully, and reach out to the company with questions. Companies are not liable for boxes delivered to the wrong address because of customer error.

Most companies can provide you with a tracking number and while you don’t need to be home to receive your order, but it’s best if you are as delivery drivers don’t always knock. If you are sending lobster as a gift, be sure the recipient will be around to receive it. Another option is to buy a gift card for someone so they can work the delivery date into their schedule.

What’s the Best Sized Lobster to Get?

Big lobster is impressive, but they don’t have the most tender meat. And the larger the lobster, the less meat in its tail. Some lobster aficionados swear by “chicks,” which are lobsters between 1 and 1-1/8 pounds, because their meat is succulent. Around 4 ounces of lobster meat is considered a serving, and you’ll get roughly 6.7 ounces of it from a lobster that's 1 to 1.5 pounds.

Where Does the Best Lobster Come From?

The cold north Atlantic waters are home to Homarus americanus, the lobster species with the mildest, most buttery flesh. Cold water makes for sweeter meat. Quality lobster doesn’t only come from Maine, but the combination of fishing regulations, environment, and tradition add up to a premium lobster experience.

What if Your Delivery Is Wrong, Damaged, or Missing?

If any of your lobsters appear to be dead when they arrive, they may actually be alive. Sometimes they get sluggish. Touch their eyes and see if they react. If they don't move, they are likely dead. If this occurs, take a photo of the lobster and its packaging and contact the company immediately. You may be able to cook the lobster if it's still cold, but the company will advise you on how to proceed.

What to Do When Live Lobster Arrives

If possible, cook live lobsters the day you receive them. You can chill and re-warm the meat if you weren’t planning on eating it that day. If lobsters are stored with care, they may be able to survive another 24 hours after delivery—keep them as cold as possible in a box with damp seaweed or newspaper. Never put live lobsters in tap water or on ice.

How to Cook Lobster

The two most basic ways to cook a live lobster are boiling or steaming it. if you're unfamiliar with the process, check with the company and it will provide instructions or point you in the right direction. Once they're cooked, the serving possibilities are endless: You can crack open the shells and simply eat the meat that comes out or make lobster rolls, bisque, casserole, or any number of delicious items.

How We Chose the Best Lobster Delivery Services

Operations in or near Maine that work directly with lobstermen and emphasize live lobster were our top consideration. Positive customer reviews were another, particularly when they emphasized good service and responsiveness to customer inquiries. We also considered pleasant, easy-to-navigate websites, clear policies on shipping and refunds, and value.

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