We Came, We Saw, We Ate: Our IKEA Dining Experience

Food & Drink

We Came, We Saw, We Ate: Our IKEA Dining Experience

NORFOLK, Va. – Before we even stepped onto the showroom floor for our behind-the-scenes tour of IKEA U.S.’s 50th store, we were greeted by dozens of associates, standing behind trays of food and Bunsen burners, ready to serve us an IKEA smörgåsbord. It’s not every day you can eat an open-face shrimp sandwich and a beet salad before you’ve finished your morning coffee, but we were there for it.

As we made our way through the line, we chatted with the associates along the way.

The first associate we came across was manning one of the most important stations – the Swedish pancakes – and he told us he got there at 4 a.m. to help prep food for us to try. We added meatballs and potato cakes to our plates, and we kept piling one thing on top of the next – sweet, savory and everything in between. Another associate talked to us about how IKEA wants to inspire its customers to take foods from its grocery section and make homemade meals their own.

Here’s what we ate. We ranked everything on our totally made-up Frakta scale – from one0bite tastes to “we could eat an entire buffet of just this food.”

One Frakta

Beet salad: This was not very tasty. And this is coming from someone who likes beets. The salad wasn’t quite savory, but it wasn’t quite sweet. We put our forks down after one bite.

Two Fraktas

Deviled eggs with smoked salmon: The presentation was lovely, but this was a pretty standard deviled egg. (Buy this)

Rye-crusted ham with grain mustard: We’re meat eaters, so we grabbed this, but don’t like mustard, so we’re going to leave this here. (Buy this)

Cookies: It’s a jam-filled cookie, so you can’t really go wrong, but it wasn’t something to write home about. (Buy this)

Three Fraktas

Swedish pancakes: These were tasty. We wish we got them right off the stove, but tasty, nonetheless. (Buy this)

Heart-shaped waffles with smoked salmon: We love a Swedish waffle, but a Swedish waffle topped with smoked salmon and honey mustard? Uncertain. Next thing we know, the whole waffle was gone, in our bellies, because it was pretty darn tasty. (Buy this)

Almond rolls: These were good, but we’re still traumatized from the time we tried to make our own dammsugare to fully enjoy them. (Buy this)

Four Fraktas

Cinnamon buns: Honestly, can you ever go wrong with cinnamon buns? (Buy this)

Meatballs and lingonberry preserves: We’d be remiss if we didn’t give love to the meatball. (Buy this)

Five Fraktas

Princess cake: IKEA’s take on the cake, well, it takes the cake. (Buy this)

Open-face shrimp sandwich: Why this was one of our favorite eats at 9 a.m. is beyond us, but this was delish. (Buy this)

Potato pancakes: We’re latke fans, so one of these with a dollop of sour cream was perfect. (Buy this)

Naim cake: We can’t find a link to buy this on IKEA’s website, but this was delicious, and we need more in our lives.

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