Walking into the IKEA store is a beautiful experience in more ways than one. Not only is it one of if not the largest furniture chain stores on earth, but it's also full of delicious, yummy food. The menu in the food court is delightedly unique with its Swedish roots and dishes that make shoppers feel as though they've escaped the mundane for a while, and it can be tough just picking one thing. Eating at an IKEA store isn't just satisfying a craving or quelling hunger, it's an experience in itself.
The menu is just as varied as the room staging in the stores which means there are plenty of options to choose from. There's even something for those who are vegan or gluten-free, making it a great option for virtually everyone. You can't go wrong with those classic Swedish meatballs or the vegetable balls, but what about desserts? And the dishes that don't seem Swedish, like garlic bread or mac and cheese? All the IKEA foods worth trying, coming up.
It might sound strange to go for a hot dog at IKEA but if you're trusting those who have done it, this is definitely a power move. The hot dogs, while small, are absolutely delicious. They're a little different than the typical ballpark frank and have good flavor but don't expect any grill marks on these bad boys.
The greatness of this hot dog lies in its perfectly balanced cooking method and subtle meaty flavor, making it one heck of a delicious choice for a quick lunch. While the hot dog isn't grilled, the bun is lightly toasted, which makes up for the lack of grill flavor with a nice fluffy, slightly crispy bun.
Contrary to popular belief, the 'ice cream' sold by IKEA is actually frozen yogurt and it's super tasty. Again, it might seem strange to pick up frozen yogurt - something so seemingly boring - but there's something magical about this food court option. Not to mention, it's only one dollar!
Combine that with a 75-cent hot dog and you're talking about having lunch for under two bucks. Many people have said that the flavors of this frozen yogurt, especially the chocolate, are nothing short of decadent.
Mac And Cheese
IKEA's mac and cheese is perhaps the perfect food court comfort food; better than any food court mac and cheese in existence. While it offers about the same flavor level as a box of Kraft (which definitely isn't a bad thing), there's something incredible about the sheer level of creaminess in this cheese sauce.
It's gooey and thick and creamy and coats every single noodle with the utmost perfection. When it's served, it's hard to believe that there's any pasta in the mac and cheese due to how thick and rich it is. Needless to say, it's best to order this one on an empty stomach lest a shopper be way too full to eat anything else from the food court.
Meatballs And Mashed Potatoes
If a shopper walks into IKEA and leaves without having eaten or at least buying Swedish meatballs, it could be considered a wasted trip. IKEA's Swedish meatballs are something else and it's this dish alone that has given the store such a reputation for culinary excellence.
In true Swedish style, these delicious meatballs are served with Swedish meatball gravy and a healthy side of lingonberry jam which is similar to cranberry sauce in the U.S., but slightly more tart. Together, these create the flavor combination of a lifetime and leave shoppers craving more. The mashed potatoes that come with the dish are included in the price which makes this a full lunch that's worthy of the price and then some.
Chocolate Almond Cake
This cake might not appeal to everyone but if it's available at your local IKEA then it's definitely worth a shot.
The cake itself is covered in a thick butterscotch-like layer that coats additional cake layers of almonds and chocolate. For shoppers who have a sweet tooth and appreciate the crunchy texture of almonds (think Ferrero Rocher) then they'll probably love this cake.
Garlic bread might not seem like much until you're using it to mop up all of that delicious gravy left behind from the Swedish meatballs.
And for only 50 cents it just makes sense that this would be a no-brainer of a purchase. The slice of the bread itself is small but thick-cut and has plenty of garlic and butter flavor with visible chopped herbs thrown in for some freshness.