All of the food at IKEA Burbank, ranked

We ate our way through plates of salmon and Swedish meatballs to find the best dishes at IKEA Burbank


Not all furniture stores offer the promise of Swedish meatballs and ice cream, but IKEA isn't like other furniture stores. The Swedish company is known just as much for its cheap eats as it is for bookshelves separated into 100 individual pieces, with meatballs being the main culinary draw. At IKEA Burbank, the menu revolves around roughly 15 dishes under $10; you can try them all for less than a LISABO side table or a HINDÖ shelving unit. So we did—try them all, that is—and found the best bites for your buck. Hint: stay away from the veggie meatballs. 

This in-depth ranking comes from the original IKEA Burbank location, but be sure to check out IKEA's brand new—and much bigger—outpost at  600 IKEA Way.

RECOMMENDED: Our full guide to Burbank

All of the dishes at IKEA Burbank, ranked

1. Frozen yogurt

Proof that you can buy happiness for a buck, the frozen yogurt at IKEA is everything you want after a day of shopping. It's sweet, airy and simple—unlike the trundle bed you're about to assemble. $1

2. Chocolate overload cake

Apparently IKEA is killing it at desserts because this was our second favorite dish at the restaurant. While the cake part needs a little work, the mousse and icing are fantastic. $3.29

3. Mac and cheese

We ordered this as a side with ribs and corn, and then promptly forgot about the ribs and corn. Yes, the mac and cheese here is a close cousin to Kraft's version, but what's wrong with that? It's creamy, cheesy and exactly what you want in a bowl of simple, cheap mac and cheese. $1.99 (side)

4. Swedish meatballs

This is IKEA's bread and butter, and we're happy to report that the Swedish meatballs here are still a top dish. The lingonberries are tart and the mashed potatoes are a satisfying consistency, but the flavorful, well-spiced meatballs are the true stars. It's like a Swedish Thanksgiving on your plate. $4.99, $1 for side

5. Chicken tenders

These chicken tenders are an upgraded version of McDonald's chicken nuggets, with well-seasoned breading and crispy fries. The chicken is a little chewy, but they do the trick when you're craving this classic kid's meal. $5.99

6. Pizza

Looks can be deceiving when it comes to IKEA's pizza. The massive slice has a thick layer of suspicious-looking cheese on top, but the combination of a perfectly crisp crust and solid tomato sauce (plus generous portions) make this a satisfying steal. $1.75

7. Hot dog

This hot dog is less than a dollar, so even if we hated it it wouldn't be the end of the world. But it's not bad at all. The dog is a little more slippery than you might like, the bread tastes completely manufactured, but with a little bit of mustard and some ketchup, it's exactly what you want in a 75-cent hot dog. $.75

8. Chicken meatballs

These poor guys. The chicken meatballs are like a poor man's version of the Swedish meatballs—there's nothing wrong with them, it's just that their Nordic bretheren taste better. $4.99, $1 for side

9. BBQ chicken wrap

The BBQ chicken wrap received mixed reviews, namely because of its heavy dose of BBQ sauce. If you're into the sweet sauce, you'll find this wrap a hearty lunch option. Not so stoked on the sauce? Try the salmon wrap instead. $4.99

10. Marinated salmon wrap

If you like dill more than BBQ sauce, this marinated salmon wrap is chock full of it. The wrap is light and simple, but the taste of fish is quite overwhelming. $3.99

11. Chicken with mushrooms

The mushrooms are good, the chicken is tender, but the gravy on this chicken plate drowns most of the protein out, and the vegetables are the worst kind: soggy and bland. Sorry chicken plate, try again. $4.99

12. Salmon fillet

The salmon plate faces the same issues as the chicken plate: the fish is tender, but the congealed Hollandaise sauce is excessive. Also, bye vegetables. $6.99

13. Cinnamon bun

How could you go wrong with a cinnamon bun? Stale bread, that's how. And unfortunately, the icing didn't save this sweet pastry from being a bust. Can we just have another serving of frozen yogurt? $1

14. Cheesecake

Cheesecake can be hard to do well, so we'll forgive IKEA for this too-sweet, artificial-tasting version. Stick with the chocolate cake and you'll be better off. $2.99

15. Chicken citrus salad

This salad is pretty much what it looks like. There's some iceburg lettuce, a few cherry tomatoes, mandarin orange slices and decent, but bland, chicken. You could improve it with the right dressing, but on its own the chicken salad is unremarkable. $4.99

16. BBQ ribs and corn

We wish the ribs were as good as the side of mac and cheese we ordered alongside with it, but the meat was tough and stringy, and the corn was a giant cob of mush. Pass, please. $7.99

17. Pasta with meatballs and garlic bread

When you're first learning how to make pasta as a kid, this is what you make: boxed penne, a generic sweet sauce and some nondescript meatballs. Italian cuisine this is not. Pasta: $2, meatballs: $1, garlic bread: $.69

18. Marinated salmon

The marinated salmon plate is essentially all of the ingredients in the salmon wrap, but the lack of a tortilla definitely brings this dish down a couple notches. It's overwhelmingly fishy, and the thick, tartar sauce-like sauce is a lot to handle. $4.99

19. Swedish apple cake

IKEA was doing so well on the desserts, but lost us at this Swedish apple cake. It's a disappointing pastry with a strange, granular texture that leaves a film in your mouth. Nope. $2.49

20. Veggie balls

If the chicken meatballs are the poor man's version of the Swedish meatballs, these veggie balls are like the discarded rejects of chicken meatballs. Do not order these. Have a frozen yogurt instead. $4.49, $1 for side

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