What to Eat at IKEA Restaurant: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

Ikea Restaurant

Verywell / Christian Alzate

Since 1958, IKEA’s self-service restaurant has been customers’ source of affordable and tasty meals before, during, or after shopping trips. The Swedish retail giant is not only home to furniture but also to affordable meal options such as meatballs and soft-serve. Salmon dishes, hot dogs, and veggie balls are among the IKEA food court’s most popular items. 

In recent years, IKEA has adjusted its menu to accommodate people with dietary restrictions. For example, vegetarians and vegans can enjoy meat-free hot dogs and meatballs with a side of vegetables. However, the allergen-friendly selections may vary depending on location.

Navigating the Menu

Ordering food from an IKEA restaurant may remind you of a high school cafeteria or assembly line. Simply grab a tray and add items as you maneuver through the line. 

IKEA offers its breakfast menu on weekdays before 11 am. On your way out, you will see the IKEA Bistro. This is a smaller counter where customers can purchase hot dogs, soft-serve ice cream, cinnamon buns, coffee, and more. This is ideal for quick snacks. For meals, opt for the IKEA restaurant.

What to Order
  • Tomato with Brown Rice Soup (Soups)

  • Harvest Salad (Salads)

  • Gravadlax with Rye Crispbread (Breakfast)

  • Veggie Balls with Thai Coconut Curry (Entrées)

  • Smoked Salmon Sandwich (Sandwiches)

  • Fruit Cup (Sides)

  • Kids' Grilled Chicken with Strawberries (Kids Meals)

  • Pastry with Almond Paste (Desserts)

  • Water or Coffee (Beverages)

  • Veggie Hot Dog (Bistro)

What to Avoid
  • Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Soups)

  • Marinated Salmon Salad (Salads)

  • Swedish American Breakfast (Breakfast)

  • Chicken Tenders with Fries (Entrées)

  • Fried Chicken Sandwich with Fries (Sandwiches)

  • French Fries (Sides)

  • Kids' Chicken Tenders and Fries (Kids Meals)

  • Chocolate Conspiracy Cake (Dessert)

  • Lingonberry Drink (Beverages)

  • Cheese Pizza Slice (Bistro)

Most Nutritious Option

If you’re looking for the healthiest meal at Ikea, the veggie balls with Thai coconut curry's nutrition profile makes it the best choice.

Please note that at the time of publication, IKEA’s restaurant nutrition information was unavailable online. You may want to consult the menu once you are at the store to determine if the nutritional content of the menu item you are selecting meets your goals.

Soups

IKEA’s selection of soups (which varies by location) offers some great low-calorie options. While the broths tend to be high in sodium, the soups contain moderate fat and protein. There are also options for vegans, vegetarians, and those following a gluten-free lifestyle.

✓ Tomato With Brown Rice Soup

Tomato with brown rice soup is a vegetarian-friendly appetizer, and it’s also the lowest in sodium of the soups. Each 10.5-ounce serving contains 120 calories, 3.5g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 18g carbohydrates, 4g protein, and 570mg sodium.

✗ Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

Broccoli cheddar soup is the highest in calories, fat, and sodium of the soup offerings. Each serving contains 390 calories, 29g fat, 18g saturated fat, 18g carbohydrates, 13g protein, and 910mg sodium.

Salads

Salad is usually a safe option for vegans, but all of IKEA’s salads contain milk-derived ingredients. However, these may be good choices for people following low-calorie or low-carb diets.

✓ Harvest Salad

The harvest salad, which consists of mixed greens topped with tomatoes, feta cheese, dried cranberries, and pecans, makes for a tasty lunch. It contains 220 calories, 13g fat, 3g saturated fat, 19g carbohydrates, 7g protein, and 260mg sodium.

✗ Marinated Salmon Salad

The marinated salmon salad is the highest in sodium yet lowest in fiber among the salads. It contains 360 calories, 26g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 14g carbohydrates, 19g protein, and 750mg sodium.

Breakfast

IKEA’s breakfast menu offers a mix of Swedish and American options. Customers can opt for American classics like scrambled eggs and bacon or try the Swedish selections for a cultural twist.

✓ Gravadlax With Rye Crispbread


Gravadlax with rye crispbread consists of rye bread, salmon, and various condiments for flavor. This breakfast option contains 290 calories, 14g fat, 5g saturated fat, 19g carbohydrates, 21g protein, and 800mg sodium.

✗ Swedish American Breakfast

With scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, sausage, and Swedish pancakes with jam, the Swedish American breakfast is sure to fill you up, though it’s high in calories, fat, sodium, and carbohydrates. The dish contains 680 calories, 34g fat, 8g saturated fat, 62g carbohydrates, 30g protein, and 1,350mg sodium. Fortunately, it’s large enough to share.

Entrées

For lunch and dinner, IKEA has more than a dozen entrées to choose from. Both vegetarians and vegans have several options from this category, though the menu items tend to be high in calories and sodium.

✓ Veggie Balls With Thai Coconut Curry Sauce

The vegan option—veggie balls—consists of meatless meatballs, coconut curry sauce, brown rice, and a medley of vegetables. The meat alternative is made of chickpeas and vegetables. Each serving contains 450 calories, 17g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 58g carbohydrates, 16g protein, and 1,350mg sodium.

✗ Chicken Tenders With Fries

One American classic on the IKEA menu is chicken tenders with fries. Though this may be a familiar pick, the sodium content is significantly higher than recommended in a single meal. Each serving contains 900 calories, 62g fat, 13g saturated fat, 58g carbohydrates, 35g protein, and 2,040mg sodium.

Sandwiches

If you want a grab-and-go lunch, sandwiches are a handy option. There are seven to choose from, though none are vegan-friendly or gluten-free.

✓ Smoked Salmon Sandwich

The smoked salmon sandwich is flavorful and satiating, yet light. It contains 310 calories, 8g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 37g carbohydrates, 20g protein, and 470mg sodium.

✗ Fried Chicken Sandwich With French Fries

While the fried chicken sandwich with French fries sounds appetizing after a long shopping trip, it's quite high in calories, fat, and sodium. Each serving contains 1,020 calories, 36g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 117g carbohydrates, 33g protein, and 2,520mg sodium.

Sides

IKEA’s selection of sides consists of meatballs, veggie meatballs, fries, mashed potatoes, bread, fruit, and more. There are several low-calorie options, but also some heavier options, like the macaroni and cheese.

✓ Fruit Cup

You can’t go wrong ordering the fruit cup. It contains seasonal fruit and counts towards your daily fruit consumption. Each 8-ounce cup contains 110 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 23g carbohydrates, 2g protein, and 20mg sodium.

✗ French Fries

Unsurprisingly, the French fries are the highest in calories and fat among the sides (macaroni and cheese has the most sodium). A 6-ounce serving of fries contains 480 calories, 32g fat, 7g saturated fat, 44g carbohydrates, 4g protein, and 700mg sodium.

Kids Meals

IKEA’s restaurant has several kid-friendly meals to choose from. The main entrees include favorites like chicken tenders, mac and cheese, pasta, grilled chicken, meatballs, and veggie balls.

✓ Kids' Grilled Chicken With Strawberries

Vegetarian and vegan children can opt for a kid-sized serving of the veggie balls, while meat-eaters may choose a grilled chicken entrée served with various fruits. The grilled chicken kids' meal contains 190 calories, 8g fat, 4g saturated fat, 12g carbohydrates, 19g protein, and 520mg sodium.

✗ Kids' Chicken Tenders and Fries

Like the adult version, the kids' chicken tenders and fries are high in calories, fat, and sodium. Each serving contains 450 calories, 31g fat, 7g saturated fat, 29g carbohydrates, 17g protein, and 1,020mg sodium. Choose the grilled version with fruit instead.

Desserts

IKEA’s case of cakes, mousses, pastries, and other desserts is hard to pass up. There are some low-calorie options if you are seeking to limit intake.

✓ Pastry With Almond Paste

Despite being a dessert, the pastry with almond paste contains fewer than 200 calories. Each pastry contains 190 calories, 10g fat, 5g saturated fat, 24g carbohydrates, 2g protein, and 50mg sodium. It also only has 11g of sugar per serving.

✗Chocolate Conspiracy Cake

If you’re on a low-calorie diet but crave chocolate, consider splitting the chocolate conspiracy cake with a friend. Each slice contains 540 calories, 33g fat, 15g saturated fat, 60g carbohydrates, 6g protein, and 330mg sodium. It also contains 42g of sugar per serving.

Beverages

IKEA’s casual restaurant has a handful of drinks to choose from. You can’t go wrong with water or plain coffee, but the restaurant also has fountain drinks like sugar-free cola.

✓ Coffee

Since water and plain coffee are naturally calorie-free, they are popular options among people following various diet plans.

✗ Lingonberry Drink

IKEA’s lingonberry drink is a fruity, sweet and sour beverage. Each 10-ounce serving contains 61 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 14g carbohydrates, 0g protein, and 3mg sodium. It also contains 14g of sugar per serving. With a small serving size and refills available, the calories add up quickly.

Bistro Food

IKEA’s Bistro is a separate counter from the IKEA restaurant. It has a smaller menu and is usually located near the exit so shoppers can grab a snack on the way out. The Bistro is famous for its affordable hot dog combo.

✓ Veggie Hot Dog

Vegans and vegetarians will be delighted to know that IKEA’s veggie meatballs also come in hot dog form. Compared to the regular hot dog, the veggie dog is lower in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Each veggie hot dog contains 231 calories, 7g fat, 0g saturated fat, 34g carbohydrates, 8g protein, and 495mg sodium.

✗ Cheese Pizza Slice

Another American classic on the IKEA menu is single pizza slices. One slice of cheese pizza has 400 calories, 15g fat, 8g saturated fat, 47g carbohydrates, 17g protein, and 950mg sodium.

Diet-Specific Options

IKEA offers choices for vegan, vegetarian, and low-carb diets, but has fewer options for people following gluten-free, low-FODMAP, diabetes-friendly, low-fat, and low-sodium diets.

Gluten-Free

Many IKEA restaurant menu items, such as hot dogs and sandwiches, come on bread containing wheat. Unfortunately, IKEA does not offer gluten-free alternatives to these foods. However, there are several menu items that do not contain gluten ingredients:

  • Moroccan lentil with harissa soup
  • Harvest salad with chicken
  • Regular breakfast
  • Chicken meatball plate

For a complete, nutritious gluten-free meal with Swedish flavor, select the chicken meatball plate.

Low-Carb

Low-carb diets, such as the keto diet, have grown in popularity. While IKEA doesn’t have menu items that are labeled low-carb, followers of the diet may find the following options compliant:

  • Hearty chicken noodle soup
  • Iceberg wedge salad
  • Bacon strips
  • Scrambled eggs

To get your protein in a low-carb meal, consider a salad with a side of bacon strips or meatballs (bacon strips may only be available during breakfast hours.

Low-FODMAP

The low-FODMAP diet is designed to eliminate foods that trigger uncomfortable digestive symptoms. Foods with high FODMAP content are restricted on this diet. Usually, this means eliminating legumes, most dairy products, some grains, and certain fruits and vegetables. The low-FODMAP diet guidelines make it difficult to eat out, but the following menu items may be tolerable:

  • Tomato with brown rice soup
  • Side salad
  • Hash browns
  • Salad bar

If you follow a low-FODMAP diet, try the tomato with brown rice soup (brown rice is low in FODMAPs) with a side salad.

Diabetes-Friendly

Depending on each person's individual diet guidelines, the following low-sugar and low-sodium menu items may be suitable for people with diabetes.

  • Chicken meatballs
  • Smoked salmon sandwich
  • Salad bar
  • Organic pasta and sauce

Enjoy a Swedish specialty that suits many diabetes-friendly diets with the smoked salmon sandwich.

Low-Fat

When eating out, low-fat options can be hard to come by. These menu items at the IKEA restaurant are the lowest in total fat and saturated fat.

  • Hearty chicken noodle soup
  • Harvest salad
  • Organic pasta and sauce
  • Smoked salmon sandwich

For a filling meal that's low in fat, try the chicken noodle soup with a salad (but skip the dressing).

Low-Sodium

Food made in a restaurant setting tends to be much higher in sodium than if it was prepared at home. To reduce your sodium intake when eating at IKEA, look for these menu items.

  • Smoked salmon sandwich
  • Salad bar
  • Chicken cordon bleu
  • Side salad

Prepping your own plate at the salad bar gives you the most control over ingredients, and therefore sodium intake.

Vegetarian

Since vegetarians consume dairy and egg products, they have more options at IKEA than strict vegans. Vegetarian options at the IKEA restaurant include:

  • Mushroom bisque
  • Swedish pancakes
  • Veggie balls
  • Veggie hot dogs (IKEA Bistro)
  • Vegetarian wrap with hummus

Vegan

With the introduction of veggie meatballs and veggie hot dogs, IKEA has become a more vegan-friendly place to eat. However, vegans have fewer options than vegetarians. If you’re vegan, try these menu items at IKEA:

  • Veggie hot dog (IKEA Bistro)
  • Veggie balls
  • Organic pasta with sauce
  • French fries

Food Allergies and Safety

IKEA menu items may contain milk, fish, tree nuts, soy, egg, and wheat, or come into contact with them during preparation. Plant-based meat alternatives exist for vegans and vegetarians. IKEA also has plans to introduce non-dairy soft-serve alongside its ice cream selection.

People with food allergies may find it challenging to find a suitable menu choice at the IKEA restaurant. Many foods, including soups and salads, are made with milk products, which is hard for people with milk allergies and non-dairy diets. Similarly, people following a gluten-free diet have limited options at IKEA.

A Word From Verywell

The IKEA restaurant is a convenient place to eat when running errands and shopping at the home furnishings store. Since the IKEA restaurant is quick-service, it’s no surprise that some menu items are high in calories, fat, carbohydrates, sodium, and sugar.

When in doubt, opt for dishes like the harvest salad, hearty chicken noodle soup, veggie balls, and smoked salmon sandwich. Alternatively, you can make exceptions if the more indulgent menu items stand out to you. Just balance them with veggie-based, nutrient-dense foods at other meals.

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