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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
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Open now
All hours
Mon - Wed 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thu - Sat 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
More Info
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105 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Time of year
Showing 104: English reviews
newton, iowa
Level Contributor
61 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

FUn little hole in the wall restaurant,, worth your time to the "alley".. service was quick..food was excellent..

Thank hurleyhermie
Runnells, United States
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Let me begin by saying that I love Maidrites. Had good ones and bad ones and Canteens are good and made the old fashion way. The ingredients on soft buns were generous and tasty, but from all of the over the top write ups in the Des Moines Register and the high ratings here on Yelp, I was expecting something... More 

Thank Joyce C
Polson, Montana
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2016 via mobile

Traveling to see family in Iowa we knew we wanted a loose meat sandwich. Trip Advisor led us to this hole in the wall joint. It was great. A small counter with seating for a dozen or so. Some gruff yet friendly older ladies cooking and taking orders. Tell them what you want on your sandwich and twenty seconds later... More 

Thank notthefaketzb
Level Contributor
44 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2016 via mobile

This is my kids' favorite thing to do with grandpa! They beg him to take them! Great memories!! And great food! Save room for the pie!

Thank Amy H
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2016 via mobile

This very small restraunt in the alley is a must do if you go to Ottumwa. Hamburgers, chips, and pie. Not big menu but simple is good here.

Thank Dianna B
Level Contributor
33 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2016 via mobile

My Mom, my husband & l left Des Moines for a day trip to Ottumwa, our home town. You must, must have lunch at the Canteen when in Ottumwa! Not to be disappointed, it was just as good as ever! Pie was extra special, coconut cream and butterscotch! Service was prompt and attentive. Honor system still in place, pay as... More 

Thank maltt
Ottumwa, Iowa, United States
Level Contributor
90 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2016

loose mead hamburgers chips pops or water with the best pies ever. All very tastey and very delicious.

Thank Deb Phil T
Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
181 reviews
100 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2016

Absolutely one great place for lunch, Loose meat sandwich, Malts and Pie's. It was our first time there but definitely not the last. You order a loose meat with what ever condiments you want. (best loose meat sandwich I've found) It is served from a large kettle in the middle of the horseshoe shaped counter with 12 stools around it.... More 

Thank west47
Blakesburg, Iowa
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2016

It was a step back into the ~1930's. The decor, the conversation, the lunch counter in a horseshoe shape, the round stools, and great loose meat sandwiches. A preserved piece of the past. When they threatened to tear it down the uproar resulted in the parking garage being built around and over it. Enclosed in the present, but a taste... More 

Thank Sirroneus
Ottumwa, Iowa
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2016

The Canteen is an Ottumwa landmark. It's a old, small lunch counter with a limited menu, pretty much loose meat hamburgers, chips, pop (soda) and pie. Public outcry saved it from demolition when a parking garage was built above it several years ago.

Thank Tom S

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
    4.5 of 5 stars
Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Parking Available
Good for
Families with children, Dining on a budget
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
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 112 1/2 E 2nd St, Ottumwa, IA
  • Location: United States  >  Iowa (IA)  >  Ottumwa
  • Phone Number: (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?