20110128-135132-Ikea-Whole-Pie.JPG

[Photographs: David Kover]

Standing in line at Ikea, waiting to pay for your quirkily-named bargain furniture, you may have noticed an overpowering aroma of cinnamon and sugar. Follow your nose to Ikea's Bistro/Exit Cafe, and you can fortify yourself with a cinnamon bun—or a slice of Ikea's own pizza.

20110128-135132-Ikea-Exterior.JPG

This snack counter isn't the spot for a plate of Swedish meatballs (get those at the main restaurant.) It's a grab-and-go place with frozen yogurt and cinnamon buns for a dollar and hot dogs for a laughably cheap fifty cents. A slice of pizza goes for $1.75, just undercutting the price at Costco's food court. It's $2.50 for a slice-and-soda package deal.

20110128-135132-Ikea-Undercarriage.JPG

Given the price and the context, you get what you'd expect out of the slice. When asked, the woman behind the counter confirmed that they start with frozen pies—the crust ends up tasting more toasted than baked. But I give them credit for serving something that is crisp from center to edge, which is more than I can say for many of the frozen pizzas I've tried. The wedges aren't giant: they're likely a bit smaller than what you'd get at a typical by-the-slice pizzeria.

20110128-135132-Ikea-primaryfinal.jpg

The sauce and cheese on these slices doesn't really meld: the cheese forms a solid skin on top and is flecked with what appears to be parsley. The thin, bright-red sauce tastes a bit tired, but there's an herbiness present and a bit of tomato tang. No toppings are available. (Perhaps that's a missed opportunity—why isn't there an Ikea Swedish meatball pizza? Lingonberries optional, of course.)

A slice of plain pizza at Ikea doesn't come with a lovable Swedish name, but there's also no assembly required, and when you're buying something at Ikea, that's a huge bonus.

Ikea Bistro/Exit Cafe

Multiple locations

Location reviewed: 4400 Shellmound Street, Emeryville, CA 94608 (map); 510-420-4532; IKEA.com

Comments

Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: