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Canteen Lunch In The Alley

112 1/2 E 2nd St, Ottumwa, IA 52501-2925
+1 641-682-5320
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  • Excellent75%
  • Very good20%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“pies” (17 reviews)
“sandwich” (31 reviews)
“pecan pie” (2 reviews)
Closed Now
American, Fast food, Diner
112 1/2 E 2nd St, Ottumwa, IA 52501-2925
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JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (152)
Traveller rating
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1 - 10 of 151 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

You sit at a counter and enjoy an Iowa tradition. You have to try it twice, and you'll be addicted! Canteen with everything and a chocolate shake!!

Thank 721Grandma
Reviewed 18 March 2018 via mobile

Have visited several times, very good loose meat sandwiches. Pie and shakes are very good as well. Will definitely return .

Thank Digger1973
Reviewed 27 January 2018

This Lunch restaurant has ben in business for over 50 years and is considered the oldest lunch faciolity of it's kind. They specialize in loose-meat hamburgers cooked right in front of you on large buns and fixed the way you like them at the horseshoe...More

Thank warrenr703
Reviewed 22 January 2018

This quaint, can't miss, diner features a horseshoe shaped counter and stools where you order directly from the cook. Steamed hamburgers are the main dish - but they are better than any steamed hamburger you have tried. Hand-dipped chocolate malts are also to die for.

Thank scottaC4218ND
Reviewed 22 January 2018

The atmosphere is the same and the service hasn't changed but the burger itself just isn't the same. The sandwich just keeps getting smaller and smaller. The price keeps getting higher and higher, I know prices go up and goods and services go up. But...More

Thank Lori P
Reviewed 22 January 2018 via mobile

Best sandwiches in town. This place has been around a long time. It’s one of Ottumwa’s best kept secrets in it’s hidden location.

Thank emileemorrow
Reviewed 13 January 2018 via mobile

Great loose meat burgers! The pie is fantastic as well. Staff was fun and greeted customers by name.

Thank Joy J
Reviewed 30 November 2017

I haven't been back to my hometown in many years. This is the first place I went and everything is exactly the same. Such a pleasant memory. The Canteen hamburger is as great as it used to be. So glad this Icon is still in...More

Thank Bekind2animals
Reviewed 25 October 2017

This is such a fun place! Tucked away under a parking garage, this unassuming, small diner has a great staff and wonderful loose meat sandwiches. When our waitress stated that they are better than Maid-Rites, we were skeptical. But she was correct, and the chocolate...More

Thank Kim W
Reviewed 4 October 2017 via mobile

We were there for business and all decided to try the loose meat sandwiches....by far the best we have had in a long time!!! Chocolate malts were delicious also!

Thank Heather K
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Questions & Answers
27 January 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from 4catcouple | Reviewed this property |
No. I don’t think it’s the type of restaurant that posts it.
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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
  • Value
Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Parking Available
Good for
Kids, Child-friendly
Open Hours
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 112 1/2 E 2nd St, Ottumwa, IA 52501-2925
  • Location: United States  >  Iowa (IA)  >  Ottumwa
  • Phone Number: +1 641-682-5320
Features loose meat sandwiches.
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