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The culinary controversy among lobster roll eaters: mayo versus no mayo. Although there are crossover eaters, true aficionados of this New England specialty are clear about their choice based either on regional tradition or flavor preference. However, the New England-style, top-split bun is sacred. Try a dine-around before you affirm your preference for this summertime favorite. Here are five great places to get you started, and don’t forget the Lido Beach concession stand, where you can get a heaped roll for $11. 

The Lazy Lobster

This roll has a presentation that makes you want to dive in right away. The top-split soft roll is open wide to resemble a rowboat. Piled high are cold lobster chunks mixed with a bit of mayonnaise, lemon juice and a few seasonings. On the side, a wire basket of hot crisp fries and a cup of crunchy cole slaw. $20.99. 

Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar

This is a creative riff on the traditional roll by serving two lobster sliders on a plate with fries and lemon wedges. The soft buns are cut in half and the lobster filling has a lot of mayonnaise, although the tender lobster is clearly discernible. On top, a little row of julienned apple for a signature touch. $13.95.  

Lobster Pot

The lobster roll here is a meal and comes on a plate with a choice of two sides from a selection of eight. Nearly everyone goes for the crispy French fries and the coleslaw. A toasted New England roll is split and flattened. On it there’s a bit of lettuce and then big luscious chunks of chilled Maine lobster tossed in a little mayo. $19.95. 

Jack Dusty

The approach here is straight up and Connecticut-traditional. Warm chunks of fresh lobster that have had a light shower of melted butter are mounded into a plain top-split bun and served with house-made potato chips and a charred grilled lemon half. On the lunch menu for $19. 

Kacey's Seafood & More

Outrageously generous with big lobster claw meat, the roll here is premier. Fresh steamed lobster meat is tumbled with a lightly seasoned mayonnaise and piled into a grilled bun. Served in a basket with skinny fries, coleslaw and a slice of dill pickle. $19. 

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Kacey's Seafood and More

$ American, Burgers, Seafood 4904 Fruitville Rd

A former hot dog joint, Kacey's still offers a varied selection of hot dogs, but now the focus is on seafood-lobster rolls, fish tacos and crab cakes, as well as burgers and chicken options.

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Jack Dusty

$$$$ Seafood 1111 Ritz Carlton Dr

High-life indulgence and relaxed elegance are what Jack Dusty at the Ritz-Carlton delivers.

The Lobster Pot

American, Seafood 5157 Ocean Blvd

At the Lobster Pot, the Medeiros family brings New England Tradition of Excellence to Sarasota. While here they hope you'll enjoy your "Old Cape Cod" and a Florida dining experience!

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Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar

$$ Seafood 5353 S. Tamiami Trail

Come by land or sea to this casual waterfront eatery and enjoy fresh seafood, burgers and sandwiches.

The Lazy Lobster

$$$ Seafood 5350 Gulf of Mexico Drive

Treat yourself to lobster any way you want it, or check out the myriad other seafood options at this casual neighborhood eatery.

Lido Beach Concession Stand

$$ American, Seafood 400 Benjamin Franklin Drive

Known for a menu that includes favorites like lobster rolls and fish tacos, the restaurant at the Lido Beach pavilion serves basics like cheeseburgers and fr...