Inspired by the news of IKEA's impending $9.99 Kraftskiva blowout celebration (or Crayfish Party, as it's called in these parts), we would like to take a moment to herald the unsung delights of IKEA's edible offerings. While it may not be your first thought for destination dining, the food at IKEA is more than serviceable—it's even pleasurable.
For starters, the store's beloved Swedish meatballs are not only a total steal—$2.99 for 10 meatballs with mashed potatoes, cream sauce and lingonberries—they're also quite delicious. Just ask Homer Simpson! Sure, the meat doesn't come from organic, grass-fed cows, but they're well-seasoned and have a great texture. Plus, they're tiny and fun to eat. The gravlax plate, only a few dollars more, disproves the theory that cheap seafood at a furniture store should be avoided. The thin, savory slices and lined with a ring of dill and come with an additively tangy mustard sauce (which is available by the bottle in the store's small grocery, FYI).
For dessert, it's worth it to pick up a 12-pack tray of the chain's massive, crusty cinnamon buns on your way out; though eat-in cafe diners have a bigger selection of bargain-bin Swedish pastries, like a crumbly almond cake or a dense Daim candy torte. And the aforementioned grocery, which has a separate checkout line that will save you from some modicum of madness, has a small but smart selection of hard Swedish cheeses, rye crackers and breads, and more jarred condiments than you can shake a fist at (sadly, the Cloudberry jam does not actually taste like clouds).
If none of the store's Swedish delights appeal to your American taste buds, perhaps we can convince you with this final offer: every Wednesday, the cafe hosts a delightfully weird Rib Night, offering half a rack of baby back ribs, fries and cornbread for the low, low price of $6.99. Field trip to the Red Hook smörgåsbord!