IKEA will open its Miami location Wednesday, August 27. The home-goods giant adjacent to Dolphin Mall will feature 416,000 square feet of stylish, low-cost furniture and home accessories.
But did you know that lurking amid those 10,000 items for sale is a foodie paradise? For tricking out a fantasy custom kitchen and stocking inexpensive pots and pans for your first apartment, IKEA is your best friend when it comes to kitchenware.
The store also features an entire marketplace where you can buy everything from cookies to frozen meatballs. Speaking of meatballs, the Miami IKEA boasts a 600-seat restaurant serving Swedish meatballs and other specialties.
IKEA Miami opens at 9 a.m. Wednesday, August 27, but customers can begin lining up at the store Monday, August 25 -- 48 hours in advance of the doors swinging open. That means you have two whole days to memorize this list of the top ten food-related items you'll want to put in your cart.
10. Wine Glasses
Once upon a time, I bought expensive wine glasses. They lasted a few months before I shattered every one of them. Some people just weren't born to have nice things. If you're a klutz like me, these glasses do the job for about a dollar each. They're not fine crystal, but they look better than red Solo cups or those promotional thingies you've been saving from all those tasting events.
9. Seafood Spread
Sure, it's fish in a tube, but the crab actually tastes great. Stock some in your pantry, and if friends arrives without notice, squirt it on crackers and sprinkle some herring roe ($2.49) on it. You'll be instantly fancy, and your guests will be über-impressed. Win-win.
8. Herring Roe
What can you do with herring roe? Anything you can do with caviar -- only cheaper. Use these golden pearls as a garnish on deviled eggs, slather them on a cracker (see above), or simply spoon them out of the bottle and entertain your inner glutton. For $2.49 a jar, you can afford to live big.
7. Storage Jars
Cereal, pasta, crackers, cookies, doggie treats, bird seed, quinoa -- it can all go in these bug-proof, mold-resistant, dishwasher-safe jars. They're also good for storing office and bathroom stuff, and they're only $4.49 each. Buy them by the dozen.
6. Lobster Tray
Why a lobster tray? Who cares? IKEA carries some of the most random stuff. Lamp shades with owls, bird placemats, lobster trays. Sure, they're impulse purchases, but for $5.99 each, you can buy something totally loony that makes you happy -- even on a budget.
5. Smoked Salmon
The Swedes know how to design good-looking furniture on the cheap. They also know a thing or two about smoking fish. This smoked salmon ($4.99) is pink, delicious, and delicate. Put some in your cart. You'll be glad Sunday morning.
4. Lingonberry Preserves
Tart and sweet, it's the European version of cranberry sauce. Lingonberry preserves ($3.99 a jar) goes great with Swedish meatballs, but try it with some baked Brie or on a bagel. Beats the crap out of strawberry jam.
3. Pickled Herring
With so many herrings, how can you choose? There's herring in cream sauce, herring in mustard, herring in vinegar. Buy them all -- they're only $4.99 each. Bonus: They make an interesting addition to your "hurricane stash." In case you lose power, jarred herring packs more flavor than canned tuna.
2. Swedish Meatballs
Make all the jokes you want, but the IKEA cafeteria is pretty awesome. There's chocolate cake for pocket change, lingonberry soda, and a smoked salmon plate for less than five bucks. But you know you're going for the meatballs. Eat some now (you need the energy to tackle the furniture showroom); then take a package of frozen balls home with you.
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1. The Most Amusing Way to Spend a Dollar
We don't know why, but this IKEA fro-yo machine attracts us like moths to a flame. Maybe it's the perfect little twirl of frosty goodness that the machine produces. Maybe it's our love of videogames and robots. Maybe we think a million dollars will spill out instead of yogurt. No matter how many times we slip a token into this contraption, we're always enchanted. Entertaining and refreshing? Totally worth a buck.