Tag Archives: Wapello County

Feature: South Side Drugs (Ottumwa, Iowa)

South Side Drugs (Ottumwa, Iowa)

There’s nothing quite like a hand-mixed Cherry Coke from the soda fountain at South Side Drugs, a family-owned drugstore in my hometown of Ottumwa, Iowa.  It may lack the charm and character of other soda fountains in the state, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit – especially if you’re thirsty!

The soda lineup is simple: you choose from cherry, lemon, vanilla, or chocolate flavoring to be mixed with Coke, Diet Coke, or Sprite.  Beyond drinks, you can snack on crackers or peanuts, order a bowl of Campbell’s soup, or opt for a from-scratch milkshake.

Thankfully, the atmosphere has improved drastically from past years, as a long-needed smoking ban was recently put into place.  Combine smoke-free air with ridiculously cheap prices, and you can safely conclude there’s no better time than now to stop and enjoy a delicious soda at South Side Drugs.

Feature: Canteen Lunch in the Alley (Ottumwa, Iowa)

Canteen Lunch in the Alley (Ottumwa, Iowa)

Best. Hamburger. Ever.  I’ve had good hamburgers over the years, but nothing beats the delicious loose meat sandwiches they serve at Canteen Lunch in the Alley, located in downtown Ottumwa, Iowa.

Situated under a parking ramp, the one-room yellow brick building features about a dozen stools around the U-shaped counter.  Once seated, one of the ladies from behind the counter will bring a glass of water and take your order.  Regulars will reel off their order in a few seconds – a ‘cheese everything’ sandwich features cheese, ketcup, mustard, onion, and pickles.

If you’re going through (or traveling anywhere near) Ottumwa, the Canteen is a stop you won’t want to miss.  Make the most of your meal by ordering a milkshake and trying a slice of pie to top things off.

Continue reading Feature: Canteen Lunch in the Alley (Ottumwa, Iowa)