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

Different types of lobsters offer unique flavors and textures for a delightful seafood experience, from the sweet Maine Lobster to the briny South African Lobster.

different types of lobster 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.

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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.

More FAQs

Which lobster is the best tasting?

The best tasting lobster is definitely the Maine lobster, thanks to its distinctive taste and texture derived from its cold-water environment, which has made it a beloved delicacy worldwide.

Which lobster is the sweetest?

The sweetest lobster is the Maine lobster, known for its clean and delicate taste, unlike the rock lobster which tends to have a brinier flavor due to the warm water it inhabits. Therefore, if you are seeking a lobster with a clean, delicate, and sweet taste, there is nothing better than the Maine lobster.

Is Atlantic lobster better than Pacific?

Generally, the flavor of lobster from the Atlantic Ocean is stronger compared to that from the Pacific or other warmer waters. This is because cold water, such as the mineral-rich waters of the Gulf of Maine, enhances the taste of the meat, resulting in a more delicious experience with Maine lobster.

What is the difference between a Maine lobster and a Florida lobster?

The difference between a Maine lobster and a Florida lobster lies in their claws and antennae. Spiny lobsters, found in Florida, have smaller claws that cannot be eaten and long antennae. On the other hand, Maine lobsters have shorter antennae but larger claws with delicious meat. Additionally, these two types of lobsters vary in appearance, size, habitat, taste, and lifespan.

What makes Maine lobster different?

Maine lobster stands out due to the ideal lobster meat it offers, which is sweet and tender, thanks to the slightly warmer, yet still cold, waters of Maine. In contrast, Canadian lobster tends to be larger in size. The key distinction to consider when comparing lobsters is the temperature of the water they inhabit: cold water versus slightly warmer, yet still cold, waters of Maine.

What are the sweetest lobster tails?

The sweetest lobster tails are known worldwide as Maine lobster tails due to their delightful and delicate flavor, as well as their abundance of meat within a single shell.

What type of lobster is most popular?

The most popular type of lobster is the Maine lobster, which Red Lobster purchases live as they are typically sold. These lobsters are highly sought after due to their succulent taste, excellent texture, and flavorful qualities.

Which lobster is the most tender?

The most tender lobster is the Maine lobster, particularly the meat from its claw. This is why we prefer Maine lobster over others. Additionally, rock lobster, which is also raised in warm water, has a distinct seafood flavor.

What is the best tasting lobster tails?

The best tasting lobster tails are known worldwide for their sweet and delicate flavor, as well as their abundance of meat within a single shell.

What are Florida lobsters called?

Florida lobsters are commonly known as the Florida spiny lobster. They can be found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. These lobsters have spines on their bodies that face forward, which serve as a defense mechanism against predators.

Which lobster has the most meat?

The lobster with the most meat is the Grade-A lobster, which has the highest ratio of meat inside. These lobsters are hard-shell lobsters, known for their abundant and firm meat, as well as their delightful fragrance after being cooked. Currently, the market prices for grade-A lobsters are the highest.

What part of the lobster is most expensive?

The most expensive part of the lobster is typically the tail meat, which is often purchased by large food-service companies that supply high-end hotels and luxury cruise ships.

What are the different types of lobster meat?

The different types of lobster meat include tail (T), claw meat (C), knuckle (K), leg (L), and body meat. Additionally, lobster meat is available in various combinations such as TC (Tail/Claw), TK (Tail/Knuckle), CK (Claw/Knuckle), TCK (Tail, Claw, Knuckle), and CKL (Claw/Knuckle, Leg).

What is the sweetest lobster meat?

The sweetest lobster meat is often preferred by customers, and they tend to favor the claws for their tender and flavorful meat. There are two claws to enjoy, and the muscles in the claws, which are not used as much, are softer compared to the tail.

What is the most expensive lobster in the world?

The most expensive lobster in the world is the tropical rock lobster, also known as pearl lobsters. These vibrant crustaceans are extremely rare and highly sought after, with their value being so high that there have been instances of international smuggling attempts involving their larvae.

What is the rarest type of lobster?

The rarest type of lobster is the albino, with only one in 100 million lobsters being albino. Dorr Lobster Seafood Market in Bangor recently received a unique shipment of a 2-pound lobster with a camouflage pattern. Additionally, the New England Aquarium in Boston is now home to a rare orange lobster.

Which is rare lobster?

The rarest lobster is the albino lobster, which is the most sought-after color variation. These lobsters, which lack pigmentation due to a genetic condition called leucism, do not even turn red when cooked.

Can you eat all types of lobster?

All types of lobster cannot be eaten, but the ones that are consumed exhibit significant variations in physical characteristics such as color, size, and texture. Additionally, closely related varieties of lobster may possess subtle differences in flavor.

What is the difference between American lobster and common lobster?

The difference between American lobster and common lobster lies in their distinct characteristics. The American lobster stands out with its vibrant red coloring, while the European lobster lacks this intensity. Additionally, the American or Maine lobster boasts larger and flatter claws compared to the European lobster, highlighting another significant contrast between the two species. Lastly, the shell of the American lobster is thinner, setting it apart from its common lobster counterpart.

What is a lobster without claws called?

A lobster without claws is known as a spiny lobster (Palinuridae). These lobsters have spiny bodies and lack large claws, unlike true lobsters. The abdomen of spiny lobsters, often referred to as lobster tail, is commonly consumed by people. Additionally, spiny lobsters have long antennae.

What part of a lobster can’t you eat?

You cannot eat the hard shell of a lobster as it is indigestible and challenging to swallow, posing a risk of choking. Additionally, it is advised not to consume the black or green vein found in the center of the tail, as it is part of the lobster’s digestive system and does not have a pleasant taste.

What is the most expensive type of lobster?

The most expensive type of lobster is the tropical rock lobster, also known as pearl lobsters. These vibrant crustaceans are highly sought after and considered one of the rarest and priciest lobster varieties. Their value is so high that there have been instances of international smuggling attempts involving their larvae.

Why is it called terrible claw lobster?

The reason it is called terrible claw lobster is because of its impressive claw, which has a short, round palm and very long, spiky fingers used for catching prey. The name Dinochelus comes from the Greek words dino, meaning terrifying and intimidating, and chelus, meaning claw.

What California lobster has no claws?

The California lobster that lacks claws is the California spiny lobster. Unlike its counterpart, the American lobster found off the eastern coast, the California spiny lobster is reddish-brown in color and possesses an enlarged pair of antennae, which it uses to sense its surroundings.

What is a small lobster called?

The small lobster is called a langostino, which is the Spanish term for “little lobster.” Despite its similar taste and texture to lobster meat, langostino is not the type of crustacean that Americans commonly refer to as “lobster,” such as American or Maine lobster and spiny lobster.

What is the hard red stuff inside a lobster?

The hard red substance inside a lobster is known as the roe or eggs of the female lobster, which is often referred to as coral due to its deep red color. If the lobster is under-cooked, the roe will be black and have a gelatin-like texture. While it is edible, some people choose to rinse it out before consuming.

Why don’t Florida lobsters have claws?

Florida lobsters do not have claws because they rely on their front appendages to draw food towards their mouths and crush the shells of mollusks and snails using their mandibles. Additionally, the spiny lobster uses the spikes covering its body for defense.

What is a female lobster called?

The female lobster is called a hen.

Do lobsters have gender?

Lobsters do have gender, and one way to differentiate between male and female lobsters is by examining their first pair of swimmerets. Males possess harder swimmerets that are utilized for reproduction, whereas females have softer swimmerets. This method is widely used and straightforward for distinguishing between the two genders.

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