Cosi Brings the Lobster “Roll” to Midtown

Limited Time Only Summer Sanwiches from CosiHaving lived in Boston for 9 years, I am very familiar with the lobster roll.  I’m also very familiar with the cheap lobster roll.  That’s because when summer rolled around, cheap lobster rolls would pop up in the unlikeliest of places.  The most well know was probably from the sub chain, D’angelos.  It has become so popular they now offer three different versions.  And then of course there is the McDonald’s lobster roll.  That’s right.  In parts of New England, you can get a lobster roll at McDonald’s for $6.  Scary. (But still better than eating a Big Mac)

Having a lobster roll at a place like McDonald’s for less than $10 can really make you wonder- “What the hell is in this thing?”.  But a real lobster roll is pretty simple.  It’s just lobster meat served in a hot dog roll.  From there, the argument will begin as to what makes the “perfect” lobster roll.  Mayo or no mayo.  Lemon juice or no lemon juice.  Celery is sometimes added, and often a layer of lettuce can be put under the lobster meat or salad.  Grilling the hot dog bun first, and brushing it with melted butter can’t hurt either.  But there is one thing that everybody can agree on- the more lobster (and the bigger the chunks), the better.  Claws always welcome!

Unfortunately, the more meat in the sandwich, the more expensive it’s going to be.  That’s why a good lobster roll will usually run you $14-18 in New England, with many fancy New York restaurants charging upwards of $25+ for their version.  While some purists would never eat a fast food lobster roll, some of us more frugal diners want to be able to experience that taste, without dropping a ton of money.  So when Cosi introduced their limited time only “Lobster Salad Sandwich”, I was pretty excited.

What it looks like, what it tastes like and the mayo filled +/- after the jump…

I hate spending $8 on a sandwich for lunch, but for some reason it doesn’t bother me at Cosi.  I don’t know if it’s the amazing bread, or their knack for introducing amazing limited time only sandwiches… but whatever the reason, it’s one of the few generic sandwich/salad chains I’ll eat at in Midtown. 


A tell-tale sign of a cheap lobster roll is tons of mayo and unfortunately Cosi’s version is no exception.  On the positive side, it tastes a little more like a lemon aoli, then straight up mayo- so it’s very tasty.  But there is no denying it, the lobster “salad” is drenched in it.  There’s no way it’s healthy, and if you are not a fan of mayo you will probably hate this sandwich.

They don’t actually call it a lobster roll, because it’s not served on a hot dog bun- but rather on Cosi’s bread, which is fine with me.  Their bread is wider and longer than a hot dog bun, making the sandwich much larger than a traditional lobster roll.  The $8.99 price tag is a bit higher than the normal Cosi sandwich, but it’s understandable for something that has lobster in it, and there are some larger chunks of meat- which is always a good thing to see.  And people seem to be into it.  The sandwich has been selling out by 1:30pm at most of the locations…



As with everything, you get what you pay for- and this Cosi sandwich falls right into that category.  If you are a lobster roll snob, there is a good chance you won’t be into the Cosi version- but if you are like me, and just want to have something that is lobster roll’ish for less than $10, you can do alot worse than Cosi.  Namely, McDonald’s.

THE + (What people who like this would say)

  • It’s the only inexpensive lobster roll option in Midtown
  • I love Cosi sandwiches
  • I love Lobster
  • I love mayo
  • It is slightly better than your average cheap lobster roll.  Lots of mayo, but the mayo has very nice lemon flavor.  And there are chunks of lobster scattered in the sandwich.

The – (What people who don’t like this would say)

  • I hate mayo
  • Too much mayo
  • Not enough chunks of lobster meat
  • I don’t like to eat seafood that is priced too cheaply, because it makes me wonder what I’m eating.
  • Most stores have been running out by 1:30pm, so get there early.

Cosi, Multiple Locations in Midtown

  • 61 W. 48th. St. (btw. 5+6th)
  • 11 W. 42nd St. btw. 5th & 6th Ave.
  • 60 E. 56th St. btw. Madison & Park Ave.
  • 38 E. 45th St. btw. Madison & Vanderbilt
  • 685 Third Ave. on 44th St.
  • 498 7th Ave. btw. 36+37th St.
  • 1633 Broadway btw. 50+51st. St.


  • There were Cosi coupons, including $2 off any sandwich/salad/pizza, in at least 2 of last week’s AMNYs. It’s worth looking for if you are gonna buy Cosi’s overpriced sandwiches.

  • I picked up AM NY this morning for that very reason. Perhaps I missed it but I do not think it is in Today’s. Sad. I wanted to try this lobster “roll” the signage when you pass by looks very enticing. And now these pics look great. mmm.

  • Mmmm, thanks…. I think I shall try to get it… sigh on the 1:30; they were out by the time I got on line at 1. Boo.

  • Argh, my comment got eaten.

  • The coupons usually run on tuesdays and thursdays in AMNY. =)

  • Just ate one of these. It was quite satisfying. Curiously, mine had much less mayo than yours did based on the photos above, and plenty of big lobster pieces. Bread was amazing as always.


    What time did you go?  I wonder if the later you get there, the more chance you have of the lobster swimming in mayo…  -zach

  • Based on those pics, it kind of looks like a Tartar Sauce sandwich.

  • So, pray tell, where can I find a good (if expensive) lobster roll midtown?


    I don’t know if it’s good, but the Grand Central Oyster Bar has one for $27. -zach

  • The pork sandwich on the sign looked interesting as well (and hopefully has a lot less mayo). But part of me still never forgave Cosi for ending the limited time Island BBQ sandwich, which was roast pork, plantains, and a sweet BBQ sauce. That thing was pure heaven. They need to resurrect it. (yes I know it was limited time only, but I had a crazy hope that they reconsider and keep it forever…).

  • “Comment from Ubu Walker
    Time: June 25, 2007, 2:06 pm

    So, pray tell, where can I find a good (if expensive) lobster roll midtown?”

    Pearl Oyster bar on west 4th has the most amazing lobster roll ever. Be prepared to wait on line. It is worth every penny though.

  • “What time did you go? I wonder if the later you get there, the more chance you have of the lobster swimming in mayo… -zach”

    Zach: I got there about 12:20, but by the time I actually reached the sandwich guy, it was probably closer to 12:40. The line was pretty long. At least two or three people in my vicinity ordered one of these. Maybe it’s location dependent, too? I visited the Cosi on 43rd and 3rd. I almost wish there were a little more mayo in mine, since it was pretty lemony and tasty.

  • I picked up an AMNY this morning (Tuesday; “Subway Sandwich” headline on the cover) after reading about the potential Cosi coupons here yesterday.

    Sure enough, on the bottom of page 10 there is a Cosi ad with the following 3 coupons:

    - Complimentary coffee with the purchase of any breakfast item
    - Save $2 on any sandwich, salad, or pizza
    - Buy one smoothie, get one free

  • As a vegetarian who cheats by eating lobster rolls, I can’t thank you enough. Thanks for the coupon alert, Kris. I’ll be at the 48th Street branch around 12:30 today if anyone wants to join me.

  • I went to Cosi’s for lunch for the first time yesterday. I never noticed there was one just around the corner from my office! I had the Asian Chicken sandwich and it was delicious! The flatbread was so tasty!! Definately going back!

  • Thanks again Zach. Delicious!!!

    Very very very expensive for a sandwhich. But so tasty. I got one yesterday at 12:01pm at 48 and 6ave. Mine was mayonaissey, but toooo overly so. Bread was tasty, but a little stale. I liked the slightly salty taste to the bread…it cuts the flavor of the sandwhich nicely.

    Maybe I will get another next Monday using the coupons from the AMNY. $8 would not be so bad.

  • how funny. Look at your picture and look at the poster picture of the sandwhich. Hilarious the difference! Their picture shows chunks of succulent lobster meat and yours look like a gooey mess. LOL

  • So I forgot to pick up AMNY this morning from my usual spot. 48th on the corner of 6th. Is there any hope later on in the day and where are their usual spots to have the paper lying around in that general area? I don’t usually see anyone handing them out…just lying in stacks different locations.

  • Just tried the roll. Not too shabby. Worth trying if you’ve got the $2 AMNY coupon. I couldn’t tell if it was real lobster meat or compressed pollock that was shaped to look like lobster.
    By the way, this web site was menitoned in an ad for Curry Dream on p. 16 of todays’ AMNY!

  • My friend found me 2 sets of coupons….thank you! Tried the lobster roll, good, very mayonaise-y but otherwise yummy. Worth it with the 2 bucks off. If you are in MA the Lobster Pool in Rockport has the best lobster roll evah. Evah. No mayo really just chunks of fresh lobster meat.

    Woodman’s also has good lobster rolls and fried seafood. better than clambox.

  • Tastes like lobster meat to me. It doesn’t have the same fake flavor that imitation crab meat types have, and it was pleasantly salty as real lobster should be. So either there’s some great seasoning going on in the Cosi kitchens (or the mayo is too lemony to tell) or it’s real lobster.

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