IKEA Food Court Menu Items Ranked Worst To Best

Picture this: You've spent the morning at IKEA, the Swedish-based home megastore, shopping for affordable and functional furniture galore. Your shopping cart is filled with Ömsesidig serving bowls, Vattenkar wall storage, and Dytåg pillow cases. But you've been here walking through the staging rooms for hours, and now you're starving. You can't just leave your things behind and meander to the nearest fast food chain. And then, in the corner of your eye, you spot your saving grace — IKEA's food court, which consists of a restaurant and bistro, both serving a variety of American and Swedish-inspired meals, sweets, and drinks. The day is officially saved.

But what are you supposed to get? The menus aren't too large, but some food items are definitely better than others. When we set out to rank IKEA's food court items from worst to best, we took a few factors into account: one, customer ratings and reviews. We scoured the web to see what people were saying and if a meal or snack was worth chowing down on. We also looked at price, ingredients, and accessibility, aiming to find something anyone can enjoy, regardless of any diet restrictions. 

Without further ado, look no further than our list of the best IKEA dishes you can snag at the retailer, ranked from best to worst. From iconic Swedish meatballs to surprisingly delicious frozen yogurt, you'll be set for your next IKEA journey. 

13. Veggie balls

We appreciate IKEA's attempt to have everyone enjoy their legendary Swedish meatballs, but the store's veggie balls are, for lack of a better word, a failure. According to HuffPost, they're made from chickpeas, carrots, peppers, corn, and kale, which all have strong individual tastes. Combined, the textures and flavors don't mesh well, which means that instead of tasting like a meat substitute or the same seasonings as IKEA's Swedish meatball meal, they're just really veggie-forward. 

HuffPost found that they fell apart pretty quickly, too, similar to other meat alternatives. We're unsure if they add any juice from the chickpeas (otherwise known as aquafaba), which can typically be used as a binder in meat substitutes. However, not all hope is lost for plant based-eaters. IKEA also has plant balls, another meat-free substitute for the Swedish meatballs, which have been reported to be a lot better. HuffPost wrote that they're "very similar to the original meatballs, though a touch more grainy."  

So, while we don't recommend the veggie balls, the plant balls are a much better option. According to IKEA, the plant balls are made with ingredients like pea protein, oats, potato, and apple and seasonings such as mushroom, tomato, and roasted veggies, likely pushing towards a more similar taste profile to the store's iconic Swedish meatballs. IKEA also claims that making their plant balls has a carbon footprint 20 times smaller than their regular meatballs.

12. Lingonberry BBQ ribs

Lingonberry is a plant that's native to Sweden and commonly found in traditional meals like köttbullar (meatballs), kåldomar (stuffed cabbage rolls), and raggmunk (potato pancakes). In an effort to meld together Swedish and American cultures, IKEA offers lingonberry BBQ ribs, which boast a berry sweet (get it?) marinade. 

While the effort is appreciated, these ribs... well, they're not good. When reviewers from Business Insider tried them, they were sorely disappointed. The meat was super dry and difficult to eat, while the berry-based sauce was way too sweet. Instead of offering a honeyed, smokey taste profile, the lingonberry flavoring just doesn't hit the mark. Reviewers generally seem to like IKEA's macaroni and cheese offerings, but if you're interested in trying that out, it's available as a separate meal on the kid's menu. 

If you're looking for a hearty meal from the IKEA restaurant or bistro, we'd recommend opting instead for the Swedish meatball meal (more on that later). If you're on a budget or looking for a quick bite, the hot dogs are also a great option, priced at just $0.75 each. 

11. Chicken tenders

We'll be the first to admit it — chicken tenders and fries are a solid meal. If they're crispy, seasoned well, and paired with the right dipping sauces (our bias leans towards honey mustard), there's really nothing to complain about. And we were really rooting for IKEA's chicken tender meal — unfortunately, it just fell short, with a Business Insider reviewer going as far as to say that they would never order them ever again. 

Their experience with these chickies was the definition of lackluster. They said the battered coating wasn't awful, but the chicken inside tasted as if it had been under a heat lamp for multiple days. This resulted in an odd shredded texture since it was too hard to bite. 

In terms of taste, there was definitely something left to be desired there, too. The seasoning wasn't anything to write home about, with the writer finding that it tasted like salt and breadcrumbs. The French fries and broccoli sides are nice additions, but they don't make this meal worthwhile, either. So, we'll go ahead and say that you can skip these the next time you're at IKEA. 

10. Veggie dog

People have mixed thoughts about IKEA's veggie dogs. For one, they cost just $0.75 per veggie dog, so that's a huge plus. Buyers really appreciate that they're the same price as the regular meat hot dogs, which isn't always the case at restaurants. According to reviews on Abillion, they're good, but mainly because of the dressing that automatically comes on top: ketchup, mustard, fried onions, and pickled purple cabbage. Yum. 

However, some folks found that the taste of the veggie dog itself wasn't the best. It doesn't really taste like meat substitute, and a few reviewers noted that the bun was pretty dry, meaning it didn't hold up the best throughout the eating process. When a VICE reporter tried it out, they asked about what they were made of. They received an ingredient list of water, kale, red lentils, quinoa, fennel seeds, and additives, including wheat protein. 

All in all, this isn't a bad option for plant-based eaters. As IKEA makes big efforts to offer more vegan and vegetarian meals to its patrons, it's clear that they have more to improve on, but this is a great starting point — especially since they specifically state that they believe sustainable meat alternative meals should cost the same as their meaty counterparts. 

9. Greek salad

If you're wondering if Greek salads were actually created in Sweden and that's how they ended up on the IKEA menu... Well, you're wrong. The Greek salad doesn't exactly fit in on the restaurant or bistro's menus, but based on Thrillist's review, it seems perfectly fine. Emphasis on the fine. 

Greek salads traditionally contain ingredients like tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onions, olives, and feta cheese. From the picture on IKEA's online menu, it looks like it has all of those things, though we can't be sure. (The description says that it has mixed greens, feta cheese, and a Greek vinaigrette.) 

In their own ranking of the best IKEA food court items, Thrillist said that it tasted pretty similar to what you could expect from a grocery store Greek salad, noting that the dressing was yummy, but they weren't positive it wasn't just Italian dressing. 

In short, the Greek salad is just okay. If you want to fuel up with something on the healthier side, this seems like a good option to go with, but you may be left desiring just a little bit more. 

8. Macaroni

Dubbed by The Travel as "perhaps the perfect food court comfort food," IKEA's macaroni and cheese isn't too bad for what it is. While it's on the kid's menu, this doesn't mean you should automatically discount it. According to a reviewer, its cheese sauce is super creamy and gooey, and it's thick enough to coat every single piece of elbow macaroni. 

It's served with a side of broccoli, so you can sneak some health in there, regardless of whether you're snagging it for yourself or a little one. There's no ingredient list to let us know what cheeses are in this velvety sauce, but if we had to guess, we'd assume they'd be mixed in with some type of roux, which helps with thickening up most cream-based sauces. 

There's nothing super special about IKEA's macaroni dish, but it seems promising based on rave reviews. And if there's one thing we love about mac and cheese, it's that it's consistently yummy, comforting, and always manages to hit the spot. 

7. Marinated salmon

Amidst IKEA's variety of American dishes are a few unique Swedish ones, including the marinated salmon. It comes with a healthy dose of dill and arrives on a bed of lettuce with a lemon wedge. If you're a salmon lover, there's a solid chance you'll like this; however, Time Out found it to have a really fishy taste, while the undisclosed sauce, which was akin to tartar sauce but thicker, didn't exactly serve a purpose. 

There isn't any information on how the salmon is prepared, but from pictures online, it's safe to assume that it's raw, presumably similar to sashimi (thinly sliced raw fish or meat). If that isn't quite your thing, this dish definitely isn't for you, either.

Overall, there aren't many highlights to IKEA's marinated salmon. Whether or not someone enjoys this will depend on their taste in food. If they're a big sushi eater, they may love it. But if the mere scent of fish makes them wrinkle their nose, they should opt for something completely different (we suggest anything found in our top five). 

6. Plant-based burger

Out of all of IKEA's plant-based meal options, the plant-based burger may be the best one. In true IKEA fashion, there aren't many details online about its ingredients or what to expect beyond the fact that it's served with French fries. 

WeirdKaya reviewed this vegetarian burger and gave it a solid four out of five stars for taste. They noticed that, like most meat substitutes, it doesn't taste exactly like meat, but wrote that the appearance was pretty impressive. It's topped with shiitake mushrooms, and they said that it added good texture to the dish, making the feel of the patty more palatable. 

Its only downfall was the texture. The bun was pretty thin, so it didn't exactly encase the patty in the most supportive way. Additionally, alternatives to meat typically don't stay together very well, but they still noted that it's one of the best plant-based burgers they've tasted, even if there's room for improvement. 

5. Pizza

If you're a pizza snob, a) there's no shame in the game, and b) you may not be entirely thrilled with IKEA's offerings. That being said, if you're in a pinch and you're in the market to scarf down a greasy piece of pepperoni pizza, we don't think you'll be dissatisfied with your choice. 

On IKEA's online menu, they don't detail what types of pizza they have, instead just listing a "pizza slice," so this may depend on your location. Time Out found that IKEA's pizza had a "perfectly crisp crust and solid tomato sauce," noting that at $1.75, it wasn't too bad. 

However, in a review written by All Pizzaholic, reception was mixed. They said that the flavors were pretty plain, solely consisting of mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, tomato sauce, and herbs on top. They wrote that the slices were generously sized, though, and the cheese and sauce combo seemed to be high-quality. 

At the end of the day, whether or not this pizza is good will likely depend on your personal bias, but it doesn't seem as though it's the worst option out there, especially given the affordable price point. Considering you could feed yourself or your family for just a couple bucks, we're not mad at IKEA's pizza offerings. 

4. Frozen yogurt

You won't find the frozen yogurt available at IKEA's restaurant, but if you mosey on over to the bistro section, you'll see that they have strawberry and vanilla frozen yogurt up for grabs. (We are, however, deducting a point for the lack of chocolate available. Sorry, IKEA.) 

IKEA's frozen yogurt is really yummy! We'd place it in the same category as Costco's, though we'll admit that the latter's can be amplified way higher than the former. That being said, The Travel states that IKEA's frozen yogurt, which comes in either a cup or a cone, is priced at only one dollar. 

In short, it's the perfect treat to end your day. It's not too sweet like other dessert options available, like the chocolate layered cake or strawberry shortcake, but it's still a yummy indulgence to congratulate yourself for getting through everything that IKEA has to offer. And frankly, we're not going to argue with a $1 cone of vanilla frozen yogurt. 

3. Swedish meatballs

Affordable furniture, fun showing rooms, and Swedish meatballs — what more could you possibly ask for in a shopping experience?

IKEA's iconic Swedish meatballs obviously made our list of the best food court items from the store. And while they're not our absolute favorites, they're still pretty darn good. According to The Travel, these meatballs are made from all-natural ingredients like pork, beef, onions, and allspice, all of which work together to offer a cozy taste profile that effortlessly blends with the classic gravy. 

Lastly, what really pushes these legendary meatballs over the edge is the lingonberry jam. The flavors are pretty similar to something you'd find on Thanksgiving, but the fact that IKEA serves this meal any day of the year makes it that much better. Each Swedish meatball meal is topped off with sides of mashed potatoes and broccoli, ensuring that you have a hearty break between perusing bed frames and shelving units.

2. Hot dog

We know what you're thinking: Really, a hot dog landed itself in the number two spot? Well, yes. Let us explain why.

Between IKEA's restaurant and bistro, they offer different meals and snacks that are all over the gourmet spectrum of food. There are big breakfast plates, meatballs, sundaes, and traditional Swedish goods. It's debatable whether or not they have delicious food across the board, but what's not up for debate is how good their hot dogs are. According to The Travel, IKEA's hot dogs are small, but pack a great flavor. They note that they're not grilled, but the buns are slightly toasted and boast a subtle meaty taste. 

We even set out to figure out why shoppers love IKEA's hot dogs so much. In short, it comes down to the shockingly affordable price point of just $0.75 per hot dog, while the huge condiment section is an added bonus. Although the veggie dogs automatically come with dressings, these beef-and-chicken franks can be topped with mustard, ketchup, relish, fried onions, pickles, jalapeños, and more. 

1. Chocolate gooey cake

Our top spot goes to IKEA's phenomenal chocolate gooey cake, which boasts an incredibly fudgy, brownie-like texture. In our deep dive into figuring out how this dessert manages to knock it out of the park each and every time, we found that IKEA's chefs bake it just to the point where it's perfectly spongey on the outside, but gooey on the inside, similar to a chocolate lava cake. 

We also found that the ingredient list is pretty minimal and really highlights the chocolatey flavor palette. The batter becomes pretty thick while baking, but it only consists of melted butter, sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, and flour — that's it. That being said, IKEA ensures that it uses high-quality ingredients, primarily UTZ-certified cacao, a type of dark, unsweetened cocoa powder that's sustainably sourced. 

Our only complaint is that it's very chocolatey. It has a super rich flavor profile, so a little bit of this cake goes a long way. Otherwise, you can pair it with anything from fresh fruit to wine or coffee for a truly delicious end to a furniture-filled day.