April 17, 2024
Food Restaurants and Cafés

Abaca Baking Company in Crossroads: Why I Love It

Abaca-Baking-Company-Eggs-Benedict

If home is where the WiFi is strong (and the pastries are flaky), Abaca Baking Company in Crossroads, Cebu might be mine.

I’m not one for crowds. The endless churn of big cities, the forced small talk – it leaves me rattled. That’s why I keep coming back to Cebu. It has the energy of somewhere on the rise, the thrum of possibility, without the claustrophobia. I can get lost in the colors of the SM Seaside, then disappear into a quiet cove on some neighboring island with nothing but a good book and the rhythmic beat of the waves. I can work, tucked away on my laptop in a beachside cafe, or hit the road, chasing waterfalls and hidden temples.

I embraced the digital nomad life in my late thirties. It means untethering from one fixed address, and it means figuring out how to live lightly, and consciously. Sustainable isn’t just a buzzword for me, it’s a guiding principle. I seek experiences over possessions and businesses that have a soul beyond their bottom line.

That’s why I have a soft spot for places like Abaca Baking Company in Crossroads. It’s become a ritual – my little slice of comfort in this ever-changing world. There’s something about their approach, the quality of their ingredients, that speaks to the kind of conscious consumption that I value. I want to know where my coffee comes from, that the farmers get a fair price, and that the pastries weren’t pumped full of chemicals. It’s the little things, the choices we make every day, that add up to a life lived on our terms. And for me, sometimes that life involves a perfect cappuccino and a buttery, flaky croissant.

About Abaca Baking Company

I first stumbled upon Abaca Baking Company in Crossroads almost by accident. I was exploring Cebu City, trying to reconcile the chaos and charm that seems to be the signature of every Southeast Asian metropolis. Crossroads, this open-air mall in the Banilad neighborhood, felt like a refuge – a bit upscale, sure, but filled with that lush kind of greenery that reminds you this is still the tropics. And there, nestled amidst the shops, was Abaca Baking Company.

It’s not just a bakery, and it’s not just a cafe, though the words are in the name. It’s a full-on restaurant, somehow managing to pull off an elevated yet inviting atmosphere that immediately struck me as the perfect spot for digital nomads. They serve everything from hearty breakfasts to Cuban sandwiches, but the bakery counter, filled with tempting croissants and pastries, is what initially drew me in. Let’s face it, sometimes we need a taste of something familiar alongside our daily dose of adventure, and Abaca delivers.

Abaca Baking Company in Crossroads is strategically located – near enough to Cebu’s action to stay connected, but far enough out to offer a touch of sanctuary. You can find it in the Crossroads Mall in Banilad, Cebu City. They keep generous hours, usually open from about 7 am to 11 pm. Now, those times can fluctuate a bit, especially around holidays (something about which Filipinos know a thing or two). So, before you get your heart set on a late-night pastry binge, it might be wise to check their socials.

Where is it?

Abaca Baking Company is located in the Crossroads strip mall in Banilad, right next to IT Park.

Abaca Baking Company’s Atmosphere

Stepping into Abaca Baking Company in Crossroads feels like walking into a thoughtfully curated page from a design magazine – but with the tantalizing bonus aroma of coffee and freshly baked bread. It’s got this bright, minimalist airiness that I adore. The high ceilings and generous use of natural light create a sense of spaciousness that puts my mind at ease. There are pops of warm wood and splashes of greenery, bringing in an organic touch that’s very welcome amidst the concrete of Cebu. Everything feels clean, uncluttered, and intentionally designed – appealing to that nomadic craving for a serene workspace.

You’ll spot plenty of fellow expats here, drawn to the familiar brunch fare and comfortable atmosphere. It’s got that ‘treat yourself’ vibe, whether it’s a carefully assembled bakery benedict or a slice of something sinful from the pastry counter. However, as much as I adore their coffee and could happily spend all day nibbling on their croissants, I wouldn’t call Abaca my primary work hub. The tables are just a bit too close together for long sessions on my laptop, and there’s a certain weekend brunch energy that might be distracting if you’re chasing a deadline. 

For dedicated work sessions, there are better options than just a short jaunt away. The Company in IT Park offers that dedicated co-working feel. Or Drip and Draft in Streetscape is cozy if you prefer a more intimate cafe environment. If you’re willing to venture further, there’s Workplace Cafe Mactan and Mandaue that cater specifically to the remote working crowd. 

Menu, Coffee, and Sustainable Practices

I’m not going to pretend to be some espresso connoisseur with a palate refined enough to detect the “notes of dark chocolate and toasted hazelnut” the menu describes. My coffee order’s simple: brewed coffee, maybe a cappuccino if I’m feeling adventurous. What I love about Abaca Baking Company in Crossroads is their consistency. I know I’ll get a decent, strong cup that powers me through a morning of writing without any pretentious fuss. On especially sweltering Cebu days, their pure fruit smoothies hit the spot. I’ve even grown fond of their tea selection – a little nod towards that elusive “wellness” we digital nomads chase between continents. 

Their pastries are my guilty pleasure, and thankfully, ideal for my somewhat erratic schedule. Many mornings, I’m too immersed in edits or research to remember breakfast. Abaca’s croissants, both savory and sweet, save the day. Flaky, buttery, just the thing to grab and munch between emails or while stuck on a particularly difficult paragraph. Sustainability-wise, I appreciate that Abaca uses real ingredients. It’s a shift from the overly processed snacks I defaulted to when perpetually on the move. This feels less…transitory, and more grounded.  

Speaking of grounded, Abaca’s dedication to sourcing matters to me. It’s one thing to slap “organic” on a label – the hollow trendiness of that makes me roll my eyes like something out of a Bret Easton Ellis novel. It’s another to truly prioritize ethical suppliers, minimizing waste, the whole spiel. My work often delves into risk assessment and supply chain exploitation…it can be grim. Supporting a business actively trying to do better lightens that mental load, even in a small way.  

As for meals, I’m partial to their eggs Benedict for a late weekend brunch, and that ABC Skillet Breakfast is killer if I need serious sustenance. It’s comfort food, done well, which after years of chasing the exotic around the globe, has its unique appeal. 

Why It’s a Digital Nomad Haven

I’m not here to make friends, exactly. Cebu has been the base, the safe harbor – familiar enough to breed routine, foreign enough to still feel like an escape. I work alone. Solitude is the currency of focus, and most cafes understand this. But then there are the times when a shift, a different kind of energy, becomes necessary. You realize the internet connection is down at your apartment, or the drone of construction next door has rattled loose the last coherent thought. That’s when I find myself navigating those chaotic Mandaue streets toward Abaca Baking Company in Crossroads. 

WiFi, naturally, is paramount. The signal at Abaca is reliable, the tables wide and forgiving of notebooks, powerbanks, and tangled cords. The lack of an abundance of outlets does force a certain level of discipline – arriving with a well-charged machine becomes non-negotiable. It’s a trade-off I’m willing to make. 

It’s location, too, that makes Abaca a reliable port in a storm. Nestled within larger complexes, it offers a sanctuary from the sensory overload of the city. A quick dash for groceries, a pause to browse the carefully curated shelves of a neighboring shop – you can tick off errands and then retreat to your corner with a latte. 

Parting Thoughts

As a digital nomad who favors a good book over boisterous crowds, timing is everything. I’ve learned that Abaca Baking Company in Crossroads has its rhythms. Mornings are a delightful hum, the smell of coffee and fresh-baked bread a promise against the tropical heat. Early afternoons offer pockets of tranquility – grab a window seat if you can. But as the sun dips lower, the place transforms. Laptop warriors descend, families drop in, and the energy shifts. If solitude is your jam, avoid peak hours on the weekend and stick to the quiet charm of midweek visits.

Price-wise, Abaca isn’t your budget-friendly hole-in-the-wall. You’re paying for the ambiance, the carefully sourced ingredients, and the fact that, yes, their air conditioning reliably combats Cebu’s humidity. Plus, their portions are generous. Consider it an investment in your nomad work-life balance. 

So, who’s going to dig Abaca? If you’re the type who craves a sense of place even when you’re thousands of miles from home, this is your spot. Extroverts will thrive on the buzz, fellow introverts can find their quiet corners. Abaca attracts a diverse mix – a microcosm of the wider Cebu expat scene. There’s a comforting familiarity to it, especially if you’re a solo traveler like me. 

As for me, I’ll keep coming back. It’s become my third space – that essential in-between place that’s not quite home, not quite the office. I trust Abaca for decent coffee, tasty food made with care, and a sliver of community in my otherwise solitary life. I’ve come to appreciate the subtle textures of a place I once considered temporary. Turns out, even a digital nomad can grow roots, one croissant at a time.   

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I'm a self-proclaimed geek girl and a chronic introvert. I've spent the better part of my wandering years holed up in my Cebu apartment – a haven for bookworms and the occasional Netflix binge. I'm fueled by strong coffee, good writing, and the allure of slow travel. You won't catch me hopping from city to city. Instead, I obsess over the nuances—the local hole-in-the-wall eatery, the quiet laneway with hidden stories. I'm a firm believer that the magic lies in taking it slow, in savoring those often-overlooked details. Let's uncover the hidden gems of Cebu, one quiet corner at a time.