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9+ Types of Lobster to Try for the Ultimate Seafood Experience

9+ Types of Lobster to Try for the Ultimate Seafood Experience

The ocean offers us so many tasty treats that are healthy and delicious to eat. One of those is the highly prized lobster. But there is more than one type of lobster. The ocean provides an abundance of species of different types of lobsters for the ultimate seafood experience.

Some of the best lobsters you can eat for the ultimate seafood experience are found in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean, including the Maine and Canadian lobsters, providing sweet and juicy meat. Other lobsters that are close contenders are the South African lobster and French Blue lobster. 

There are many types of lobsters around the world, from cold water lobsters with prized claws, like the famous Maine Lobster, to warmer tropical water lobsters, like Rock lobsters, that offer different flavors and textures.

Lobster To Try For The Ultimate Seafood Experience

Lobsters were once considered trash food and fed to peasants, enslaved people, and prisoners. Early settlers of New England would find lobsters washed ashore by the hundreds, and in those tough times, the lobsters were sustenance for poor people, known as the poor man’s chicken.

Today if you found hundreds of lobsters washed ashore, you would find people have a very different approach and enthusiasm to the delicacy that lobsters have become. A unique and tasty seafood dish that offers different flavors according to where your lobster comes from.

Lobsters are fished year-round, but there are high seasons that find the prices dropping considerably, making them more affordable during certain seasons of the year.

Here are different types of lobsters to try for the ultimate seafood experience.

Maine Lobster

A live Maine lobster being pulled out of a bin of lobsters

Maine lobsters are what most people think of when they think of lobsters, known for their large round pincers that are full of juicy white meat. Also known as the American lobster, it is the largest species of lobster, apart from the Canadian lobster, and is found in the cold waters of the Northwestern regions of the Atlantic Ocean. 

Although they are caught year-round, the high season for Maine lobsters is from late June to late December.

The cold water allows the lobsters to grow more slowly, preventing the lobster’s meat from absorbing too much salt. This lobster is the top choice for many due to the sweet and slightly briny flavors that require minimal seasoning and can be the dish’s star ingredient. 

The meat has notes of sweet butter flavors with firm yet tender textured meaty that melts in your mouth. The American lobster contains the most meat, as you can use the claws, legs, and tails for the succulent, juicy meat. The best size for the most flavored meat is a lobster that weighs 1 ¼ to 2 pounds.

Canadian Lobster

Canadian lobster food

Another popular lobster is known as the Canadian lobster. Although this lobster is the same as the Maine lobster and falls under the same species, American Lobster, there is a slight difference due to the water temperatures Canadian Lobsters are fished from.

The lobsters are fished off Canada’s Atlantic Ocean coastline year-round, with the primary season from April to June and again in December. They are widespread worldwide as Canada is responsible for half of the world’s supply of lobsters, and they tend to be a bargain compared to the popularized Maine lobsters. 

Due to colder waters, Canadian lobsters have thicker shells, with the meat being marginally less sweet and tender. Still, they compensate by growing slightly larger than the Maine Lobsters. 

French Blue Lobster

Alive blue lobster after fishing in Brittany

The French blue lobster is known by many different names, such as the Bretton lobster or Petit Blue in France. This is the cousin to the American lobster and is more commonly known as the European lobster, Hormanus Gammarus.

The European lobster is aptly named due to its attractive black shell with blue highlights, but just like any other lobster turns red when cooked. They can be found in the cold waters of the Northeastern Atlantic oceans. 

Once again, the value of these lobsters drops considerably during the high seasons between April and August.

The French Blue lobster has a refined taste to it with a sweetness to the meat due to the colder waters, but the harder shells prevent the meat from absorbing too much water making the meat firmer than its American cousin.

Found in shallower water and among rocks and corals, the European lobster has a more pronounced sea flavor, making it a favorite with seafood lovers. And remember the large claws that are more rounded than the American lobster that provides succulent, tender meaty treats.

South African Lobster

Crab on the beach, South Africa

Four species of lobsters can be found in South Africa, with the West Coast Cape Rock lobster being the most popular due to its sustainable fishing management.

Found on the cold waters of the Southeastern Atlantic shores of Southern Namibia to the Eastern Cape, these lobsters are located in the rocky bottoms of shallow water up to 150ft deep. There is a closed season that forbids harvesting of these lobsters during the months of June to November.

Although these lobsters are found in cold waters, they lack the claws found in their American and European counterparts. They are commonly referred to as crayfish or kreef in South Africa.

The Cape Rock lobster is known mainly for its tail, where the meat is primarily found. These are often sold frozen and exported worldwide due to the delicious pronounced flavors of sweet meat. The tails have a firm muscular, steak-like meat consistency.

California Lobster

Lobster in the wild at Catalina Island

The California spiny lobster, Panulirus interruptus, is found in the warm waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean and located off the coast of California down to Mexico. The high season is from October to mid-March.

They are one of the largest spiny lobster species found. Reddish brown with striped legs does not have large claws like their cold water cousins. They have extra-long antennae that can reach double the length of their bodies and use their forward-pointing spines as protection against predators.

Many people from California will swear their lobsters are the best. The truth is California spiny lobsters are harvested for the firm textures of their tails. The meat is sweet for a warm water lobster but muted with a dose of saltiness and nuances of creamy nuttiness.

Tristan Lobster

This is a rare lobster that can only be found in the remote chains island chains of Tristan de Cunha in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. So remote that it is only accessible by boat trip, which takes six days to reach.

The pearl-like meat of the cold-water rock lobster found in the tails is sweet and firm yet has a delicate texture to it. 

The lobsters travel 7000 miles before reaching seafood departments. The rarity of this clawless lobster makes it challenging to find. Still, it is often served at a premium price at high-end restaurants and casinos.

Florida Spiny Lobster

Underwater lobster

The Florida spiny lobster, also known as the Caribbean lobster, is found in the Atlantic Oceans’ warmer tropical and subtropical waters through the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. They range from the continental shelf of the southeastern United States to Brazil.

They range in colors from almost white to a dark red-orange. A distinct characteristic of the Florida lobster is the two white cream spots found on the second segment of the tail. The commercial season is during the months of August to March.

The flavors of the Florida spiny lobster are described as a medium sweetness with a firm, meaty texture. Has a bit more of a briny taste due to the warm waters it resides in. 

Mediterranean Lobster

The Mediterranean lobster, Palinurus elephas, is also commonly known as the European spiny lobster. They are found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean from South Norway to Morocco, including the Azores and parts of the Mediterranean Sea.

These lobsters are the laziest of the lobster species living in rock-exposed coasts just below the foreshores in depths of 66 to 230ft. They only move around to find food, mate, or change home. They are named after Palinuro, where they were once found in abundance but are currently on the vulnerable list due to overfishing.

Suppose you are lucky enough to find Mediterranean lobsters on the menu. In that case, you will find the meat is firm with a salty nuance to the profile but not as profound as that of crab.

Eastern Rock Lobster

The eastern rock lobster from Australia is the world’s largest spiny species of lobster, living in the coastal oceans and waters from New South Wales around to the shores of South Australia, including Tasmania and New Zealand.

Easily distinguished by their green body and brownish-orange legs, they lack the claws of true lobsters. Lobster seasons for the southern parts of Australia, where the Eastern rock lobster is found, run from October to May.

The meat is firm and rich with a more profound taste of seafood. Often compared to flavors of carp and scallops but not as fishy. It’s not as sweet as the Maine and Canadian lobsters but has a nutty flavor profile.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Types Of Lobsters Are There?

Hundreds of recognized lobster species wander cold and warm ocean waters, not to mention the crawfish that inhabit freshwaters. 

Which Type Of Lobster Is The Best?

In terms of flavor, texture, and firmness, the American lobster, also known as the Maine lobster, is the best. 

It’s versatile, and you get more meat from this lobster than any other lobster. The claws are prized for the delicate white juicy meat, and the tails are firm but tender and succulent with sweet flavors.

American lobsters are the most sought-after lobster in the world. However, the South African lobster is a high contender for its delicious tails, which are found frozen.

South African lobsters are rock lobsters as they do not possess claws. Although they are classified as rock lobsters, which generally come from warm tropical waters, the South African lobster is fished from cold waters that provide the same sweet flavors as the American Lobster.

The difference is that South African lobsters are only really harvested for the meat in their tails.

What Are The Three Types Of Lobster?

Although there are hundreds of different lobsters, not all are edible. There are three different types of lobsters that you can easily distinguish, with each type having different species.

The three types of lobster you find are 

  • Clawed Lobsters 
  • Spiny Lobsters
  • Crayfish

The two easiest ways to distinguish between the three are whether or not they have claws and the type of water they live in.

Clawed Lobsters  

Clawed lobsters, also known as true lobsters, are cold-water lobsters with large claws found in the Atlantic Ocean. These can be split into two groups, the American Lobster and the European Lobster.

Clawed lobsters will reside in cold water, and three of the five pairs of legs will have claws. They have a pair of large claws for crushing shells and mollusks, while the opposite claw is smaller for tearing and ripping smaller pieces of food.

Spiny Lobster

More commonly known as rock lobsters, they are also called spiny lobsters and are found in warmer tropical oceans and do not have claws. 

Countries like New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, and the Bahamas tend to call these types of lobster crayfish, a term generally used for freshwater crayfish species.

Although they may resemble true lobsters in size and shape, they are differentiated with long spiny antennae, their bodies are covered in forward-pointing spines, and they lack large pincer claws.


Crayfish are often confused with rock lobsters in some countries. However, real crayfish are lobsters looking that are fished in freshwater and, like their cold-water counterparts, possess a set of smaller claws.

They can also be known as mudbugs, crawdads, and yabbies in America.

What Is The Most Common Type Of Lobster?

The American lobster is the most common. Known by many different names, a common name for them is also Canadian lobster, as half the world’s supply of lobsters comes from Canada.

The American lobster is fished in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the American and Canadian coastlines.

Final Thoughts

So now we know that a lobster is not just a lobster. The many different species have different textures and flavors ranging from sweet to brinier savors. The food, habitat, and water conditions the lobsters find themselves in affect the meat’s flavors and what the lobsters look like.