Top 10 Places to Eat in Ottumwa Iowa

Sara and Dannelle eating their Canteen sandwiches

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Eating out is a thing for most people these days not because they are lazy to cook, but they have an urge to try something new each day. There are millions of food lovers around the world who would give anything to try a dish they never had before. After all, the chefs of today know just how to play with our tastebuds and leave us desiring for more. But where can one find the best dishes? Just about everywhere if you ask us!


However, if you happen to visit Ottumwa Iowa, there are excellent places you must try, or your stay will not be worth it. Ottumwa is a city in the state of Iowa and has a population of close to 30,000. But that doesn’t say they don’t have enough to offer every visitor that blesses their town. Where to Eat in Ottumwa Iowa.

Keep in mind that these are not fast food places like a McDonald’s location, tor Pizza Ranch. They are places with good food, great service, and affordable prices for a fantastic meal out with your friends and family.

For ever food lover, once your journey takes you anywhere in Ottumwa, you need to visit one or more of the following restaurants and bars before you go:

Top 10 Places to Eat in Ottumwa Iowa

The Vine Coffeehouse

Located on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Jefferson Street at 1207 N Jefferson, you are bound to have your mouth watering for more of the delicacies prepared at The Vine Coffee & Eatery. The location is ideal for chilling with friends and family or catching up on your lectures for the next day.

The Vine Coffee & Eatery creates an ambiance of comfort, relaxation, and peace as you dine on some of the best that Iowa’s chefs have to offer. They have a broad menu you can choose from, which includes stuff like soups, pastries, juices, and more. They also provide other services such as catering, delivery, party rental, and car side-to-go services. Have a little party for your child or friend? Why not rent their party room for as low as $25 per hour.

Bubba Q’s

We can’t check out any town without my husband hunting down BBQ. This restaurant is the perfect place to take the family for great taste, fantastic music, and a calm environment to eat in Ottumwa Iowa. Bubba Q’s is located in The Quincy Place Mall at 1110 N Quincy Ave and runs up to 9 PM each day. They cook a wide variety of dishes without having you worry about the high consumption of grease.

This fantastic restaurant wants to satisfy you without causing your health to deteriorate and, as such, use mostly fresh foods and vegetables. You can dine in for breakfast, lunch, and dinner without everything your desire to be jerked! You can chill out in-house, or you can order and have it delivered to you in style. Don’t leave Iowa without having a taste of their smoked turkey, grilled cheese, firecracker fries, cowboy queso, or any other thing from their menu!

Top 10 Places to Eat in Ottumwa Iowa Appanoose Rapids chicken dish

Appanoose Rapids

Seated in the heart of downtown Iowa at 332 E Main St, Appanoose Rapids opens its doors daily to provide you with delicacies like no other. They have a flexible menu you can choose from that caters to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert, which is astounding for an area’s premier restaurant.

There is no way possible you can visit Ottumwa and not try the Shrimp Bisque or Grilled Salmon prepared by the master chef in the house. This restaurant prides itself in using only fresh foods and vegetables for their dishes, so you know you are getting nothing short of the best.

Hotel Ottumwa Second Street Cafe

If you are leaving Ottumwa in the next one hour, then your final stop should be at Hotel Ottumwa’s Second Street Cafe. If it means you have to be late for your appointment…trust us when we say it will be worth it! This restaurant caters to every type of eater as they are diverse in their meal preparations.

Located in Hotel Ottumwa, you will be greeted with the best way to start your day…fresh and tasty meals from the kitchen. Their prices are affordable, and the taste is worth every penny spent. You MUST get a sinnamon roll! (Yes I said SIN- they are that good!)

Top 10 Places to Eat in Ottumwa Iowa Chef Bob's Blueberry Clementine dessert

Bridge View Center

Located on 102 Church Street, your taste buds and whole being will love you for a visit. We can’t talk about the best places to eat in Ottumwa Iowa without mentioning Chef Bob. You will be enchanted by a mesmerizingly beautiful setting, excellent customer service, and delicious food.

The center also hosts yearly events you might want to check out as well while you chunk down some fantastic meals prepared by Chef Bob. He is the life of the kitchen and always leaves you wanting more. Chef Bob’s food is to die for! Also, you can search out their various events that let you dine as part of the package. This is a true feather in the cap of the Ottumwa area for its view, food, and offerings of entertainment.

Tom Tom Tap

Feel for a midnight meal or snack, and don’t feel the energy to hit the kitchen? No Worries, Tom Tom Tap is there to your rescue. They cater to every hour eater, and their 2 AM closing time says it all. Their food is excellent, and they also have a wide variety of juice in their bar to choose from and enjoy with friends.

Love your shots? Well, they have fantastic Hairball specials to include Slippery Nipple Shots for just $3 or a 2-topping Pizza for $10. It’s definitely worth the visit…even if they make their Old Fashioned with Bourbon instead of Brandy. (I’m from Wisconsin, remember?) They are at 107 E 2nd St.

Canteen Lunch in the Alley

Canteen Lunch in the Alley is another excellent place to stop by when you feel the need to eat something amazing. They put passion into every dish prepared, and you will be left satisfied down to the last bite. They have the classic Iowa Loose Meat sandwiches mastered and your seat gives you a bird’s eye view of the kitchen staff preparing your meal. Also, you may want to be around when they host their famous eating contests, as it is worth the fun and laughter.

Be prepared for a wait though, they have very limited seating but it makes for a quick lunch and tasty treat! It can be a little tricky to find but is at 112 E 2nd St in Ottumwa.

Mimi’s Taqueria & Bakery

Located at 707 Church St, Mimi’s Taqueria & Bakery opens every day except Tuesdays from 10 AM to 9 PM. Love your Mexican food? Then this little chill spot is the ideal place out west to get the real taste you are used to. The environment is relaxing and comfortable and is a location suited for the entire family. We loved the street tacos!

Top 10 Places to Eat in Ottumwa Iowa mimi's tacos

Courtside Bar & Grill

This chill spot is the perfect place to let your hair down and have some fun till late in the night. Let your Friday night wipe away every stress and pains you had throughout the week with amazing food, happy hour shots, and loads of fantastic games.

When you speak of excellent customer service, mouth-watering dishes, and great entertainment, then you have to step through the doors of Courtside Bar & Grill. You can find it at 2511 N Court St.

Uncle Buck’s Bar and Grill

Uncle Buck’s Bar and Grill is the perfect chill spot to unwind after a busy day filled with back-to-back meetings and stress. Kick your shoes off and dance to the rhythm of endless fun and excitement. Preferably looking for a quiet chill spot to share and bask in a relaxing moment?

No problem! Uncle Buck’s Bar and Grill caters to everyone. Try their dishes, and you will come back tomorrow as the savoring taste of freshness, divine food combination, and quality is more than you could ask for. We think it is a great place to get a delicious burger! This one is also on Church St, at 518 Church St.

Ottumwa, Iowa, is your ideal place for non-stop fun, games, laughter, and great food. Let your next visit be worth the trip, and if you are still there, it is not too late to create memories!  

Did I miss a place? Make sure you tell me in the comments so I can hit it on my return visit and try it for myself!

**Thanks to all who have mentioned the Recovery Room and how they have the best tenderloin, as well as the Riverside Family Restaurant at 1317 E Mary S for being the best place to grab breakfast. We will be sure to check them out on our next visit! Just let me know if there are any other local restaurants with a friendly staff that are a good place for us to check out.

Places To Stay Nearby

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4 thoughts on “Top 10 Places to Eat in Ottumwa Iowa

  1. I was born and raised there. Went back a lot when kids were growing up. No relatives or friends there any longer.
    I didn’t know there were 10 places total to eat in Ottumwa. I go rarely and always eat a Canteen unless they r closed.
    Thanks for the info

    1. Ottumwa is really a happening place right now – tons of growth and a lot of fun things to see and do! You should plan a visit just to check it out 🙂

  2. You have missed the best, The Recovery Room. Earl and Sharon, the owners, are as wonderful as their food. The hand make their tenderloins and sausage and portions are huge!!! We drive from Oskaloosa one Sunday a month for a family breakfast and they always reserve room for us. This is not the only time we go there to eat. We make several trips down every month. You missed a good one. Mamybe next time.

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