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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

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 62 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 47
    Excellent
  • 10
    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
Most recent review
Love it!

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.

5 of 5 starsReviewed February 25, 2015
jckellenswife
,
Ottumwa, Iowa
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62 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Ottumwa, Iowa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2015 NEW

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
Fairfield, Iowa
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2015 via mobile

My brother grew up in Douds Ia.and later moved to Calif.When he would return to Ia. He would rather have a Canteen than the best steak you could in our area. He was 82 on his last visit.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Olympia, Washington
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2015

My wife is from Ottumwa Iowa and the first time we went back I was told I had to have a loose meat burger from The Canteen. When we went, the first thing that struck me was the history on the walls. Presidents, Movie Stars and other famous people all having their picture taken while eating a Canteen Burger. A... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Springfield, Missouri
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2015

This local burger joint was pretty good. Loose meat burgers with a small menu make me wonder at first glance. Had a burger (very much like MaidRite's) and a real handmade Strawberry malt. Very good (especially the malt). This place has a lot of history and a pretty cool story. It's worth a visit if you want a quick (good)... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2015 via mobile

The food is awesome, although the menu is limited but once you eat your first canteen you will never want anything else. This place is a piece of Ottumwa history. Threatened to be removed in order to build a parking ramp of all things, the community outcry was so great that they ended up building the parking ramp on top... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2014

This is a lunch counter under a parking garage. The specialty is the "loose meat" sandwich. (sliced beef long simmered on a bun). The food is filling and most of Ottumwa passes through at some point. If you never met a stranger, the lunch counter is a good place to strike up a conversation.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Urbandale, Iowa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2014

A part of Ottumwa history you have to visit! The food was a basic loose meat sandwich but it was very tasty and the pie was wonderful!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Waterloo, Iowa
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2014

This place is famous in town and with the locals. Their sandwiches are great and I stop by almost every time that I am in town. It can be difficult to find if you don't know what you are looking for, but most locals will help you find the way!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Des Moines, Iowa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2014

Canteen Lunch in the Alley- perfect name! Great loose meat sandwiches, better than Maid-Rite! Friends told us we had to go here when they heard we were passing through town, and I am so glad we did. An adorable place, friendly staff, who told us the history of the place and gave us tips on other things to do in... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Port Orange, Florida
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014

My introduction to the Canteen was as a youngster and now I am 63. The Canteen is one of my adored places in Ottumwa. Any time I am near I make it a point to down one of those delicious maid rite style "hambergers". My mother was born and raised in Ottumwa but moved to New Jersey where I was... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

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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?