Rising High Cafe

Review by: Michael Stern


After three days of creamy grits and gravied biscuits, fried shrimp and firecracker flounder, neck bones and pig tails, Huguenot torte and caramel cake, we were ready for something unfried, unsweet, and unashamedly simple as we headed out to the Charleston airport for a flight home. Driving along East Bay Street, I sniffed baking yeast. Located in an unremarkable strip mall near the aquarium, the Rising High Cafe had an intriguing sign on its door promising “Natural Bread … The Much-Kneaded Alternative.”

Originally part of a small chain that began in Columbia, SC, the Charleston Rising High is a big, airy place where it would be comfortable to linger (a few customers had their computers open and appeared deeply involved; armchair seating is available). Shelves near the front door are lined with books that are part of the BookCrossing.com “read and release” program, which invites customers to take one, read it, and drop it off at another location where the next reader will find and, hopefully, enjoy it. A menu posted above the order counter lists sandwiches, salads, soup of the day, and even pizzas on a pesto crust.

It’s the homemade bread that makes sandwiches special: sweet black loaves, southern sourdough, honey whole wheat, multi-grain, rye, hoagie rolls and focaccia. We sampled two, and they were dandy: chicken salad, which is a well-pulverized white-meat mix, and thin-sliced turkey with muenster cheese. Neither was revelatory, but they exactly filled the bill of longing for lunch that was fresh, clean, and salubrious. Rising High has nice-looking cookies and brownies on its shelf, but the bag full of locally-made pralines and box of cupcakes in the car had already been slotted for dessert.

What To Eat

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Turkey Sandwich




Rising High Cafe Recipes


What do you think of Rising High Cafe?

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