IKEA Food Around the World: Chestnut Whippy, Fish Balls, Shawarma & More

IKEA Food Around the World: Chestnut Whippy, Fish Balls, Shawarma & More

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Carrie McBride
Nov 13, 2014
(Image credit: IKEA)

If you've shopped at IKEA before you know that it's more than a store - it's an experience. And one of my favorite parts of the experience is the restaurant. Since I don't go often, I stick to the classics, namely the omnipresent meatballs. I wondered if IKEA menus were different around the world so I did a little research and discovered, frankly, a lot of things that made me envious, like dulce de leche soft serve in the Dominican Republic, corn dogs in Kuwait, and paella in Romania, just to name a few.

I was fascinated by the huge variety of offerings in IKEA restaurants and cafes around the world. Sometimes the menus logically catered to local tastes, and other times the choices were a bit more inscrutable (like moussaka in Australia, but not in Greece?).

(Image credit: IKEA)

Swedish meatballs were the most consistent item on the IKEA menus around the world, usually accompanied by either mashed or boiled potatoes or french fries. In some parts of the world, Kuwait and Jakarta for example, the meat is halal. China and Iceland offer fish-versions and some customers, like the Aussies, can get a small takeaway cup of meatballs in the cafe!

(Image credit: IKEA)

Hot dogs are well represented in IKEA cafes around the world although there are some interesting variations, as you can see above. Hot dog bread, Sweden? Clearly, saving the best for yourself.

(Image credit: IKEA)


Curiously, In Saudi Arabia, sandwiches all seem to be served on bagels.

Here are some of the more interesting menu items that, if you're living in the US, you're missing out on. Is there anything interesting or surprising on the menu at your local IKEA?

Australia

  • pork belly with mash and gravy
  • bean tortilla stack
  • sweet chilli chicken strips in bistro
  • double chocolate sundae
  • moussaka

China

  • sauteed eggplant with tomato sauce
  • cold water prawn cocktail
  • salmon meatballs

Czech Republic

  • cabbage soup with sausage

Dominican Republic

  • dulce de leche soft serve ice cream
  • cheese tequeños with salsa

France

  • financiers
  • macarons

Greece

  • greek salad
  • cheese fries
  • pork schnitzel

Switzerland

  • Thai curry
(Image credit: IKEA)


Iceland

  • fish balls
  • stew w / potatoes, rye bread and butter
  • chicken w / couscous, grilled vegetables
  • and yogurt sauce BBQ
  • smoked lamb bread

Japan

  • curry rice
  • chestnut whippy ice cream

Kuwait

  • chicken shawarma
  • halloumi cheese sandwich
  • corndogs
  • chicken masala
  • shrimps chowmein
  • tandoori chicken sandwich
  • frozen yogurt with toppings
  • halal chicken nuggets

Netherlands

  • chicken satay
  • panna cotta with apples and cinnamon

Qatar

  • shawarma combo
  • Arabic breakfast

Romania

  • paella
  • herring with onions, sour cream and mustard sauce
  • Mediterranean style tortellini

Russia

  • Christmas Pork with cabbage

Poland

  • pierogi

Saudi Arabia

  • vegetable biryani with yoghurt sauce
  • Sheesh Tawouk with tomato sauce

Spain

  • paella
  • bocadillo jamon
(Image credit: IKEA)

Thailand

  • snack-sized serving meatballs in a cup
  • seaweed salad
  • basil pork fried rice
  • fish porridge
  • vegetable spring rolls
  • iced coffee

Turkey

  • stuffed grape leaves
  • appetizer plate of Spicy Butter, Yogurt, Eggplant Salad, Italian Salad, Stuffed Vine Leaves, Cucumber and Tomato
  • onion rings
  • garlic bread
  • big breakfast platter: salami, ham, string cheese, cream cheese, cheddar, feta cheese, black and green olives, butter, honey, jam, tomatoes and cucumbers
  • double hot hot dog

United Kingdom

  • vegetable Tikka pie
  • fish & chips
  • doughnuts
  • lamb shank in minted gravy with mashed potatoes
  • milkshakes
  • English breakfast

[A note: IKEA's country websites are not standardized and some share a lot of information about the restaurant and cafe menus and some share a lot less. And, my language background is English and...Latin, so I heavily relied on Google translate here.]

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