If the world’s longest lockdown accomplished one positive thing (which is still kind of a stretch), it gave home bakers and small businesses a chance to shine against bigger competitors. Instagram-based food businesses have skyrocketed ever since the pandemic hit, and we’ve all become their regulars at one point or another.
While there are a lot—and we mean a lot—of amazing businesses selling food online, some indie bakeries are more elusive than others. These bakers offer some of the most unique and delicious finds—with a catch, of course. For good reason, ordering on demand is next to impossible with these businesses. In order to maintain the quality of their bakes, they release a limited number of slots in a certain period of time.
In no particular order of deliciousness, here are some of the most elusive food finds that the Nolisoli team has been eyeing.
Chef Ellie Estrada’s brainchild and makeshift bakery has amassed a following of over 4,000 people on its Instagram—which is a feat considering its two-person team. Hello Stranger has a seasonal menu, but some of the highlights you’ll be racing to order are its sweet and savory bombolonis, sourdough loaves and cream puffs that look like they just stepped out of a Wes Anderson feature film.
Their order forms open weekly on Sundays (when they’re not busy developing the business), but be forewarned, all their treats get snapped up in two minutes. Believe us, we’ve timed it, tried it and sadly, failed.
All hope isn’t lost, though. Hello Stranger does flash sales, but keep in mind, we’re in the running with you.
Since Ladurée has shuddered their gilded doors, finding an excellent macaron in Manila has been a challenge. Nibble MNL creates fabulous, patisserie quality macarons with seasonal flavors that wouldn’t have been out of place in Marie Antoinette’s court. While they are delectable and customizable, you’re going to need a lot of patience if you want to enjoy a box.
Orders are unfortunately closed for the rest of the month. When it does take orders, you can expect a lead time of about a few days because quality is one of their top priorities.
If you’re at a loss on which flavors to order when they reopen, we would recommend their classic vanilla bean, salted caramel and red velvet. You should also be sure to pick up some seasonal flavors, because you can’t go wrong with that.
Baker on East
Baker on East sells donuts filled with jams and custards, but it’s not your run of the mill bavarian and strawberry flavors. The link for orders usually opens up on weekends and Mondays—but if you want a box of these treats, you’d better act lightning fast. Its donut flavors are seasonal depending on the month and weekly pre-orders get sold out before you can even click the order link.
We’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about the confections Baker on East serves up from its kitchens, which led to one of our staff members setting an alarm to make sure she scores herself (and the rest of us) a box.
The Bald Baker
Everyone can make a cookie, but not everyone can make a cookie. The Bald Baker is one of Manila’s most popular cookie dealers before becoming a cookie dealer was even a thing. Its compost cookie—loaded with ingredients like cacao nibs, potato chips and pretzels—is arguably the most popular offering on its menu.
Aside from pre-orders being snapped up in a flash, there’s another hurdle between a much needed reunion between our taste buds and the cookie. As of writing, The Bald Baker’s kitchens are currently closed.
Don’t worry too much, though. Cy Ynares—the bald baker himself—has ensured us through Instagram that a comeback is on the way.