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Canteen Lunch In The Alley

Certificate of Excellence
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112 1/2 E 2nd St, Ottumwa, IA
(641) 682-5320
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Today
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Mon - Wed 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thu - Sat 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Seating, Takeout

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 89 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 66
    Excellent
  • 16
    Very good
  • 3
    Average
  • 2
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4.5 of 5 stars
The Canteen-an Ottumwa Icon!

No trip to Ottumwa is complete without a stop to the iconic Canteen Lunch in the Alley. Loose meat sandwiches at their best and don't forget the homemade pie!

5 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
Iowa_Gypsy_Girl
,
Ottumwa, Iowa
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89 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Ottumwa, Iowa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

No trip to Ottumwa is complete without a stop to the iconic Canteen Lunch in the Alley. Loose meat sandwiches at their best and don't forget the homemade pie!

Helpful?
Thank Iowa_Gypsy_Girl
Davenport, Iowa
Level Contributor
25 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a landmark as it should be.. I know EXACTLY what I am getting every time, they have not changed in forever and that is what I expect from this place. These are loose meat sandwiches on a bun, and they are awesome. I was introduced to them in the early 90's and didn't realize what I had been... More 

Helpful?
Thank Elliott W
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

It's been there forever, so it's a landmark in Ottumwa. Loose meat burgers are OK, not that great in my opinion. If you order to go, by the time you get home they're always cold. If you go in and sit down to eat, they only let you get one sandwich at a time. So, you get your one sandwich,... More 

Helpful?
Thank AceBD
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2015

Went here last year, the sandwich consisted with minced beef, ketchup, liquid cheese and mustard, it tasted so greasy and disgusting I couldn't finish it. Won't be coming back here or Ottumwa ever again!

Helpful?
1 Thank Roxie_Tyler
Ottumwa, Iowa
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2015

Oh Wow I have lived here all my life so have access to the Canteen whenever I feel the urge. A great place but simple menu to eat

Helpful?
Thank 05Linda
Level Contributor
27 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2015 via mobile

Fast and friendly service. Love the burgers. Only complaint is over the years the size has gotten smaller as the price has gone up. I suppose that's true everywhere tho. This has always been a have to go to place when family comes back home. True icon of the town.

Helpful?
Thank Chelsea C
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2015 via mobile

Fun restaurant...totally different eating experience made possible by the three great ladies who run the establishment.

Helpful?
Thank Garner M
Ottumwa, Iowa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2015

everyone has got to go to the canteen....famous in Ottumwa, Iowa.....have had visitors from all over United States, people that have grown up here, it is the first place they go....

Helpful?
Thank Cathy A
Ottumwa, Iowa
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2015 via mobile

The canteen is always a good choice. Fun, old fashioned environment. Staff is friendly, food is fantastic, prices are great. It's a must stop in kind of place!

Helpful?
1 Thank wesmcro
Level Contributor
91 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2015 via mobile

I grew up in the area so the Canteen is a long time favorite. We recently drove from St. Louis just to have lunch and then drive back home. Now that's a testimonial !!! These are the best loose meat burgers around! You can never eat just one and the local slang is "re-order" please. The home made pies are... More 

Helpful?
Thank RLBaker8

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 112 1/2 E 2nd St, Ottumwa, IA
  • Location: United States  >  Iowa (IA)  >  Ottumwa
  • Phone Number: (641) 682-5320

Price and Cuisine

  • Cuisine: American
Open Hours
Monday
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tuesday
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Wednesday
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thursday
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Friday
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday
10:00 am - 8:00 pm

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?