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Canteen Lunch In The Alley

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112 1/2 E 2nd St, Ottumwa, IA
(641) 682-5320
Today
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Mon - Wed 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thu - Sat 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 71 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 54
    Excellent
  • 12
    Very good
  • 3
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 1
    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
Ottumwa icon

You can't pass through Ottumwa without checking this place out. It's an icon. As I'm sure the reviews of already stated this is the The restaurant that Roseanne show was a spinoff of the actual canteen in the the show. It's such an icon they build a parking lot over it. It's only steamed... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 24, 2015
JOHN S
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71 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2015 NEW

You can't pass through Ottumwa without checking this place out. It's an icon. As I'm sure the reviews of already stated this is the The restaurant that Roseanne show was a spinoff of the actual canteen in the the show. It's such an icon they build a parking lot over it. It's only steamed hamburgers but good prize. Homemade pies... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Cincinnati, Ohio
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2015

This was special! You can't get anything like this anywhere else. The sandwich was simple, yet amazing! The raisin pie knocked this one out of the park for me. Make a stop for this one!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Anchorage, Alaska
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2015

I'm a bit reluctant to give this place any hype whatsoever, because it is a gem, preserved since 1936 in it's current location even though infrastructure has been built around, and over the simple, small structure that has served lunch for almost 80 years. When I visit family in Fairfield, we drive to Ottumwa for this experience, and then take... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Ottumwa, Iowa
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

Awesome place to eat! Reminds me of growing up and going to places to eat with my family! Very good memories.

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Ottumwa, Iowa
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

Canteen is the best place to get a loose meat sandwich in the state of Iowa, super good and the gals are always friendly great atmosphere

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Ottumwa, Iowa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

I love The Canteen. It was always a place where you could go and see the same ladies for years and years. The sandwiches were big and tasty. A few years back things began to change and I hope the new people taking over will bring back some of the nostalgia that we all love about the place.

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Omaha
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

I've gone to The Cantten all my life. It's a little steamed hamburger joint in an alley with about 17 stools around the serving bar. People love it. They've been featured on Food Network and one best burger in Iowa in a (I think) New York magazine article. Buses bring tourists in on occasion. They also have a few other... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2015 via mobile

The Canteen is a must when returning to Iowa to visit family. We plan our drive so we can be there for the opening, before starting our vacation. I grew up in Iowa, my moms family is from Eldon/Douds. I was at The Canteen when I was 3 days old. First place my mom wanted to go after we were... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Iowa City
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2015

Excellent loosemeat sandwich, large portion, fresh bun, great tasting overall. Good and fresh pie. Not much else on menu. Fast service, but probably should avoid during the noon hour. I heard the milk shakes are good but didn't try them. This is a trip to the past. Small, 16 stool U shaped lunch counter, probably looks just like it did... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Ottumwa, Iowa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2015

Amazing food! Can't go wrong eating here. Have been eating here since I was a child. Now I enjoy it with my kids and husband. They shouldn't change a thing it's perfect.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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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
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?