The beaches of the Northeast might not have palm trees and fine white sand, but what they lack in tropicality, they make up for in good seafood. Scattered across all those little seaside towns are plenty of seafood shacks, where you can chase your lobster roll with a soft serve and a side of fries—all before waiting 30 minutes, as your parents probably warned you, to pop back into the frigid ocean. No matter where you stand on the issue of mayo versus butter as the best lobster roll dressing, these recipes will take you straight to the summer seafood shack, but without the worry of seagulls trying to steal your food off the picnic table. Time to crack a cold crab leg with the boys.
Just right for a hot summer day, this classic lobster roll is nice and refreshing with cold mayo and super-fresh Maine lobster, all inside a buttery brioche roll.
If you're Team Butter, this simple lobster roll is for you: nothing but chunky pieces of lobster meat drizzled with butter and a little lemon.
This take on a lobster roll comes from Matty Matheson, who goes buckwild with a topping of coleslaw for a creamy crunch.
Look at a lobster roll as a template, and you can use it for all your favorite seafood. Stuff a roll with meaty king crab legs and you'll be living large.
If you can't find lobster or just want something a little more budget-friendly, these easy shrimp rolls are just as dope.
Fried clams might be the quintessential seafood shack snack, but they're surprisingly easy to make at home—plus, helpful recipes for your own cocktail and tartar sauce.
While you're at it, you might as well fry all the seafood. Serve it up in red plastic baskets and you'll really get those shack vibes down.
An Ocean State classic, these stuffed clams are full of bread, chorizo, and butter, because Rhode Island might be small, but it sure is mighty.
These are fancier than your standard shack menu, but clams are classic. A filling of bacon, parmesan, and wine makes these rich and indulgent.
The northeast isn't the only place with good seafood, so take some cues from Maryland with a big batch of blue crabs—the most fun way to feed a crowd.
This riff on the classic fried fish sandwich gets a kick of freshness from tender lettuce, herbs, and cornichons.
A homemade roll and an ultra-crispy, potato-based batter really take this fish sandwich to the next level.
Even on hot summer days, a true seafood shack is serving up chowder. This version is quick and easy, so you can spend less time cooking and more time eating.
Because, let's be real, it's not a snack shack without some chicken tenders. Dredge these guys in cornflakes for a fun twist.
Learn to make perfectly crispy French fries, and you've got the best side for everything on this list.
Fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside, once you have one of these pups, it'll be hard to stop.
There's a reason they serve coleslaw with all this stuff: after all that rich, fried food, you need something to perk up your palate. Buttermilk gives this version a nice tang.
After you've downed a lobster roll, knocked back a few fried clams, and positively stuffed yourself with fries, it's time for something cold and sweet.