It might come as a surprise to know that IKEA isn't just a destination for those who wish to re-organize their bedroom storage. It's also not just for those hunting down the perfect furniture set or looking to renovate their kitchen... it's a haven for foodies, particularly due to those delicious Swedish meatballs but for other reasons, too.
It's these foodies who know exactly how the IKEA food courts and restaurants work as well as the ins and outs of ordering from them. And believe it or not, there are plenty of things people don't know about when it comes to eating at IKEA. It's estimated, according to Mashed, that roughly 30% of shoppers at the store aren't even there to shop - they're just in it for the food. With that being said, it's not all that surprising that there are some secrets that everyone should be aware of when stopping for a bite at IKEA, from when to beat the lines to how to navigate the meatball case.
There Are Actually Four Meatball Options, Not Just One
IKEA is known for its classic pork and beef meatball (which is used in its classic Swedish meatball meal) but there are actually three more to choose from. The most recent addition was the salmon ball but the chicken meatball was the first expansion followed by the vegetable ball to come in second.
Therefore, when eating at IKEA, all four of these meatballs are available so for anyone thinking there were no vegetarian or vegan options, there are! Additionally, the veggie ball is gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free.
IKEA's Vegan Options Are Debated By Fans
Speaking of vegetarian and vegan options, though, it's not the legitimacy of veggie-based food items that have been debated, it's whether or not they're actually good. Many people support the vegetable balls but when the vegetable-based hot dog hit the scene, there was a bit of a debate over whether or not it was truly worth going out of the way for.
Some of this debate was due to the fact that rather than having one cohesive texture throughout - as one would expect from a veggie burger, for example - IKEA's vegetable balls have chunks of whole, cooked vegetables in them. In any given veggie ball there could be corn kernels or pieces of bell pepper or carrot and, while it's all perfectly palatable, it's not what many people expect.
If Daim Cake Tastes Familiar, It's Because Of This
The Daim cake is IKEA's chocolate almond layer cake and while it's incredibly sweet and delicious, it also might taste familiar to some people. Candy lovers, especially, will be able to place the flavor - because it's similar to that of a Heath bar.
Rather, its flavors imitate the Skor Bar which was also made by Hersey's as an attempt to create a Swedish version of the beloved American Heath Bar. With that being said, if you were wondering whether or not this cake is worth trying, the answer is yes.
Breakfast Requires An Early Start
Some IKEA stores do serve breakfast at their restaurants and if you're lucky enough to live near one, then it's best to get there early to try what they have to offer. Breakfast at IKEA is simple but good and for less than two bucks - which is unbelievably cheap - diners will get a heaping scoop of scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, and a side of breakfast meat (sausage).
If it turns out that you're super hungry that day, the Swedish-American upgrade - which is still under four dollars - also includes Swedish pancakes served with jam. The reason for getting to the IKEA restaurant early is to avoid the rush and also ensure that you're getting breakfast - the stores stop serving it at 11 AM.
Hot Dogs Are Small So Order Two
The cost of an IKEA hot dog is only about a dollar which is pretty ridiculous when you think of how much you'd pay for one of these anywhere else. However, it makes sense considering the size (or lack thereof) of the hot dog - it's fairly small in comparison to the typical American hot dog.
Therefore, it makes sense to order two of them and, if you do, you're still spending less than three bucks to do so. The hot dog itself is worth it considering the nice flavor it has and the bun that's always slightly toasted, and the Swedish-style ingredients only help to enhance this hot dog for all its worth.