We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Canteen Lunch In The Alley

112 1/2 E 2nd St, Ottumwa, IA 52501-2925
+1 641-682-5320
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
  • Excellent77%
  • Very good18%
  • Average2%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“pies” (16 reviews)
“sandwich” (30 reviews)
“sloppy joe” (5 reviews)
All hours
American, Fast food, Diner
112 1/2 E 2nd St, Ottumwa, IA 52501-2925
All Details
Write a Review
Reviews (144)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

1 - 10 of 143 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

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
Reviewed 13 September 2017 via mobile

As I long time fan of the loose meat sandwich, I scanned various reviews on the Internet for the best one in Iowa. Canteen Lunch kept coming up, so my husband and I stopped on a late Saturday afternoon for dinner. Wow! This place is...More

Thank 4catcouple
Reviewed 11 September 2017

This place has been in Ottumwa longer that I have been alive (68 years). It is so much an icon that the city build a parking ramp OVER it rather than demolish it. My only disappointment is they still have not got the health Department...More

Thank Dennis J
Reviewed 5 September 2017

My wife told me about this spot as we were heading from KC to Chicago, as she is a "loose meat afficionado" and we decided that we MUST STOP HERE FOR LUNCH. I'm so happy we did, as this spot has been keeping history alive...More

Thank Mark L
Reviewed 31 August 2017

It's a small but quaint place. seats less than 30 people. Sit down and order a great old fashioned loose meat sandwich with what ever you like. have too if your real hungry. Have some pie too. It's all homemade! Great place for a fast...More

Thank josephaE9815YR
Reviewed 26 August 2017

Definitely was unexpected. Random building under a parking garage that serves food. Great atmosphere. Good eats. Well priced.

Thank Danielle K
Reviewed 26 August 2017

Ate here for lunch and was okay. Loose meat sandwhiches seem to be a hit for them and for people in this area. Good prices.

Thank krisrobin
Reviewed 8 August 2017

My husband, son and I grabbed a quick lunch at the Canteen. The sandwich was delicious along with the milkshake and homemade dessert.

Thank Simpson5762
Reviewed 31 July 2017

The menu is on the wall, but don't bother studying it too hard. As soon as we sat down at the counter, the waitress asked what we wanted on our canteens. A "canteen" is a crumbled-beef sandwich on a large bun, wrapped in white paper....More

Thank Michael A
Nearby Restaurants
Graham Milk and Ice Cream
54 reviews
.82 km away
Tequila grill
34 reviews
.13 km away
Second Street Cafe
30 reviews
.07 km away
Nearby Attractions
The Market on Main
6 reviews
.36 km away
American Gothic House
95 reviews
19.84 km away
Lake Wapello State Park
5 reviews
25.53 km away
Dumont Museum
8 reviews
34.49 km away
Questions & Answers
Get quick answers from Canteen Lunch In The Alley staff and past visitors.
Note: your question will be posted publicly on the Questions & Answers page.
Posting guidelines
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
  • Value
Restaurant features
Takeout, Waitstaff, Parking Available
Good for
Child-friendly, Kids
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.
Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more. Claim Your Listing