As it dawns on all of us that holiday season is here, the to-do lists inevitably begin to grow. Our normal day-to-day routines expand to include additional stops and shopping trips, seasonal chores and new craft attempts, and of course, baking. For some of those of us out there – like my mother – holiday baking is a joy. It is a several day event, that takes weeks of planning, and is a special, relaxing way for her to get into the holiday spirit.
For me, however, baking is a tedious task, one that takes up too much time and makes too big of a mess for the end result. Rarely are my baking adventures successful, they’re usually dry and disappointing so I typically buy my desserts already baked by someone else.
I think many of us know of the family members that rely heavily on Village Inn or Hy-Vee for their holiday baked goods – and don’t get me wrong both of those establishments provide delicious desserts at reasonable prices. I’ve been eating pies from Village Inn for years! However, I am a ‘local’ girl who loves crafty things created by Quad-Citians and I have been putting together a list of bakeries in town that you can call and order your holiday desserts from, made here in town.
We are pretty lucky in the Quad Cities, because we have a lot of places that one could visit to get a hand-crafted, tasty treat. All of these businesses have stores fronts you can walk into a buy a single serving pastry to go, however, if you are ordering for a holiday occasion, I recommend giving them a week’s notice at least.
While this list could contain many more establishments, these are my top 5 favorite places to get holiday treats for this upcoming season:
1. Oh So Sweet by Tiphanie’s, located at 314 Main Street in downtown Davenport, Iowa, (563) 345-9866. This little gem opened up in June of 2014 by Tiphanie Cannon features an array of different breakfast and dessert options. From quiches and breakfast bars to cupcakes, cakes and turnovers, one can find something here whether craving savory or sweet. On my last visit I had their Apple Pie Bar for breakfast and took half of it home because it was so big!
2. Barley & Rye Bistro at 1320 5th Avenue in Moline, Illinois, (309) 757-1557 Barley & Rye is the Quad Cities’ premiere farm to table restaurant that also happens to bake delicious rolls and desserts as well. Here is where I’d get my pies or cheesecake – try their salted caramel cheesecake with the pretzel crust, it is delightful!
3. Ganson’s Neighborhood Bakery & Café located at 3055 38th Street in Rock Island, Illinois, (309) 786-6600. This cute, little restaurant is a staple in Rock Island and has been years, from their delectable cinnamon rolls to homemade biscuits and gravy to one of the best burgers in town, you can’t go wrong with Ganson’s. They will cater your entire holiday meal too if you are looking for more than just desserts.
4. East Side Bakery & Pizza is now located at 1501 N. Harrison Street in Davenport’s Hilltop Campus Village, having relocated there in March of 2014. Owned by Nikki La Tray who is the baker and operates it with her two sons, who run the pizza side of things, the little business has a lot to offer.
My favorite sweet treat of theirs is the cream cheese danish, though their calzones are out of this world. East Side Bakery also bakes bread and sells it by the loaf, though La Tray asks for at least one day in advance for orders to ensure she has plenty of prep time. Call at (563) 323-1475.
5, Olde Town Bakery located at 1824 7th Street in Moline, Illinois, (309) 764-8421, has beautifully decorated cookies and cakes for an extra special touch to your holiday event. They have yummy doughnuts there too for breakfast.
I also have an Honorable Mention that I must include. If you like bread pudding, I highly recommend trying Sippi’s Restaurant at 406 West 2nd Street in Davenport, Iowa, (563) 323-3911. Sippi’s has the best bread pudding (after my father’s that is) I’ve ever had. They sell it in half and full slices as well as whole pans of it that can serve up to 16. It is served with a side of whiskey glaze sauce as well as butter sauce that is divine.
As the pace begins to quicken at the end of the year and our schedules seem to fill up much more quickly than they should, sometimes taking short cuts can be a source of relief. I’m letting these bakeries help me out this holiday season; it’s supporting local, saving me time, and is oh so delicious!