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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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10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Mon - Wed 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thu - Sat 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Takeout

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 86 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 64
  • 16
    Very good
  • 3
  • 1
  • 2
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
    4.5 of 5 stars
The Best Sandwich Around

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

5 of 5 starsReviewed 4 weeks ago
Ottumwa, Iowa
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86 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
2 reviews
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

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!

Thank Roxie_Tyler
Ottumwa, Iowa
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

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

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

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.

Thank Chelsea C
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2015

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

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....

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

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!

1 Thank wesmcro
Level Contributor
74 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2015

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 

Thank RLBaker8
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2015 via mobile

If you like nostalgia you'll love this place. It's a little hard to find but worth the effort! Fresh cooked right In front of you "maid right" type hamburgers, malts and great pies. cash only so stop at the bank!

1 Thank Misadventurz
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2015

Best loose beef sandwich . Very tiny place with old fashioned horseshoe counter and spinning stools. My family loves it. Save room for their malts or slice of homemade pie. Yum!

Thank socallady51
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2015

My son-in-law loves a (3) Canteen sandwich. They are good but one is plenty for me. Great pie as well.

Thank Kathy M

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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
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
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?