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Canteen Lunch In The Alley

Certificate of Excellence
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112 1/2 E 2nd St, Ottumwa, IA 52501-2925
+1 641-682-5320
Website
Today
10:00 - 19:00
Open now
All hours
Hours:
Mon - Sat 10:00 - 19:00
More Info
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123 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 122: English reviews
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Its a VERY odd place, stuck in an alley. It looks like a biker bar...but its a friendly family restaurant where local farmers pop in for..."a loose meat sandwich"... Its all they really serve. A semi-circular counter wraps around a mysterious alter-like pedestal on which sits the mysterious "holy meat cooker". They bring offerings in the form of 10 pound... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Enviro G
Ottumwa, Iowa
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

If you want a friendly atmosphere with outstanding loose meat sandwiches and awesome pie the Canteen is the place to go. Get there early as it is stools up to a counter and they fill up fast. Waiting is no problem as the friendly chatter makes it go fast. It is a must place to eat in Ottumwa, Iowa. Carryout... More 

Helpful?
Thank mabelskinner1223
Cypress, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is an old building. There are no booths - everyone has to sit on a bar stool. If you go during the noon hour you will usually have to wait for a seat to become available - but it is worth the short wait! Their steamed hamburgers are to die for - and people have come from all over... More 

Helpful?
Thank Debra J
Ottumwa, Iowa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2016

We eat at Canteen at least once a week, it is always delicious with excellent fast service. The pie is exceptional!

Helpful?
Thank 316conniep
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 October 2016 via mobile

I couldn't mark it back to when I was there by the date, just didn't have the option. Regardless, it was an amazing traditional maid rite sandwich, prepared impeccably. Famous place and the good reflects that. Definitely a must place to eat if you're in ottumwa. 5 stars

Helpful?
Thank Shaun S
Hedrick
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2016

Now into my late forties and having eaten (probably dozens of dozens) of these over the years, I can attest that the effort is still there even if the results have changed. It's still alright (especially if you don't want to mess with cooking loose hamburger yourself), but not as good as in previous decades. Cooking & restauranting methods have... More 

Helpful?
Thank Billy C
Ottumwa, Iowa
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 September 2016

This is a must do when you come to Ottumwa, Iowa. It is a small place with a big heart of Ottumwa. Loose meat sandwiches, pies and old fashion shakes are what people from here or traveling through need to stop and indulge and satisfy their appetite. Our kids live out of state and that is always one stop on... More 

Helpful?
Thank Pat G
Schuylerville, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 September 2016

There is no place in the world like the Canteen! The food is awesome and the atmosphere makes you feel like you are home in your grandparent's kitchen.

Helpful?
Thank Kimberly B
Springfield, Missouri, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2016

Whenever we visit our hometown of Ottumwa, Iowa, visiting the Canteen is a must! Sometimes we go everyday. The loose meat sandwiches are the best and the servers love to visit with you.

Helpful?
Thank Karlene G
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2016 via mobile

The Canteen is a local attraction that has stood virtually unchanged since the 1930's. A valued part of Ottumwa history the Canteen serves uniquely delicious loose meat hamburger sandwiches, and scrumptious pies for dessert that keeps locals and out of town visitors coming back again and again!

Helpful?
Thank William H

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    Atmosphere
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Cuisine
American, Fast food, Diner
Meals
Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Parking Available
Good for
Child-friendly, Cheap Eats, Kids
Open Hours
Monday
10:00 - 19:00
Tuesday
10:00 - 19:00
Wednesday
10:00 - 19:00
Thursday
10:00 - 19:00
Friday
10:00 - 19:00
Saturday
10:00 - 19:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 112 1/2 E 2nd St, Ottumwa, IA 52501-2925
  • Location: United States  >  Iowa (IA)  >  Ottumwa
  • Phone Number: +1 641-682-5320

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Canteen Lunch In The Alley staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?