8 Great Lobster Rolls in Chicago

[Photographs: Nick Kindelsperger]

I know what you're thinking. What does Chicago, a city approximately a thousand miles from the Atlantic Ocean, have to say about the lobster roll? Up until a few years ago, the answer was not much. Sure, we've been feasting on imported lobster for a while now, but it has mostly shown up at expensive restaurants, where it has commanded high prices and pressed white tablecloths. The lobster roll, on the other hand, is a casual affair, meant to be enjoyed with the absolute minimum of fuss and pretense. It took us a long time to loosen up.

Just as oysters seemed to pop up at each new restaurant opening last year, now lobster rolls seem to be everywhere. Certainly, there has never been a better time to try one. Of course, not all lobster rolls are created equal. Though the prices have gone down recently, lobster is still expensive, and these sandwiches commonly break the $20 mark. Whenever I drop that kind of money, I like to know that it's worth it. (Some, as I sadly found, were not.)

I didn't get to try every single lobster roll in the city (I probably would have blown the whole budget doing so), but here are eight lobster rolls worth your time and money. Click through the slideshow to view them all, or check them out individually below.