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Ganson’s is a neighborhood go-to restaurant in Rock Island

Ganson’s Neighborhood Bakery & Cafe is a hidden gem tucked into a renovated farm house in Rock Island.

Ganson's Neighborhood Bakery & Cafe is a hidden gem tucked into a renovated farm house at 3055 38th Street in Rock Island.

"This was actually an apple and pear orchard at one time," said owner Chris Thompson.

It's a one-of-a-kind friendly place that makes the most of its space.

"Very quaint," said customer Sarah Lage.

"It's just a nice, cozy place to come," added customer Carla Whitfield.

Thompson transitioned from a nursing career to the restaurant business.  They've been serving creative meals in Rock Island since January 2009.

"Something just a little different," Thompson said.  "You remember your experience when you leave."

That's why the kitchen is a busy place each day.

More than a dozen staffers prepare eclectic selections.

"We try to find something for everybody; home food, comfort food,"  Thompson said.

Whether visiting for breakfast, lunch or dinner, there are lots of choices.

"I always get the soup and salad," said customer Jackie Hoskins.

"I like a lentil barley burger," added customer Marcus Hail.

And don't forget about the signature homemade desserts.

"The first thing I noticed were the cakes," said customer Jack Hoskins.

Ganson's is great for regulars.  Some come several times a week.

"We were really glad to have it," said customer Dick Whitfield.

It's also popular with the business crowd and first-time visitors.

Jack Hoskins is ready to bite into the top-selling Rock Island Rocket Burger.

"I saw someone carrying one by," he said.  "I think it's going to be too much."

When the weather cooperates, Ganson's deck is a nice spot to enjoy lunch and soak up the sunshine.  It's where the neighborhood feels close to home.

"It fills you up and keeps you going for the rest of the day," Hail said.

They're not afraid to do things a little differently at Ganson's.  That includes Gluten free items that sparked a blossoming bakery business.

"We created a niche that Rock Island needed," Thompson said.

It's old-school comfort food with a twist.  It's something familiar with a new outlook.

"I'd like to have a bigger place," Thompson continued.  "But I don't want to lose the uniqueness of the house."

The nostalgic atmosphere becomes a trip back in time.  It fits right into the farm house.

"I think Ganson's is here to stay, as far as I'm concerned," Thompson concluded.

A hidden gem that continues shining, Ganson's is a neighborhood favorite in Rock Island.

Ganson's is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Tuesday-Friday.  It's also open from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  The restaurant is closed on Mondays.

Customers can also make phone orders at (309) 786-6600.

Find more of the Best Restaurants in our area - click here.