Being well-versed in the art of lunchtime escapades, we at TFL have had plenty of time to ponder sandwich philosophy. We know that if there’s no bread there is no sandwich; if the bread is bad, the sandwich is bad. That’s why we take a detour to the Concord Avenue Hi-Rise—we do it for the bread. Next to the bakery’s open kitchen, we eat our sandwiches and watch bakers handily knead dough while fumes of browning loaf crusts waft through the airy space.
The guarantee of fresh loaves alone would suffice, but we also appreciate Hi-Rise’s concern for what goes in between the slices. A menu of over 25 sandwiches yields striking diversity; these are not the same few raw ingredients thrown together in different combinations. Braised short ribs, olive salad, or homemade pâté meld with a range of spiced sauces in formulas that seem painstakingly crafted—and that’s because Hi-Rise has had time to work them out. They’ve been baking here since the ’90s, when most of us were still slathering margarine on Wonder bread.
All those years of experience have lent this bakery endless expertise. There are the pastries and cakes, of course—don’t overlook the best peanut butter cookie in Boston—but also the small gift bags, the jars of homemade fruit preserves, the well-curated wine bottles, and the perfectly foamy cappuccinos. That seasoned knowledge explains why this spot remains a neighborhood institution. Hi-Rise just keeps on doing its thing, and doing it well—each time giving us a hundred reasons to keep coming back.
There are actually two locations: Concord Ave. has the open kitchen and wider sandwich selection, while Mass Ave. (near Harvard Square) features many of the same sandwiches but focuses more on coffee and grab-and-go items.
We love the sandwich menu for kids. That PB&J on fresh wheat with homemade preserves might just be the classiest in town.
Don’t overlook the (carry-out) wine selection at the Concord Ave. location. It’s limited but well-curated; each bottle is accompanied by a super-detailed description, and we love the grab-bag-style boxes of six bottles for $60.
Recognize some parallels from your trip to Sofra in that pastry display? Maura Kilpatrick, Sofra’s head pastry chef, got her start—and a hint of inspiration—here at Hi-Rise.
Tastes of Hi-Rise Bread Company
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