IKEA announced last evening that the Swedish furniture chain plans to open a second South Florida store in Sweetwater. Pending approvals, construction of IKEA Miami could start in Spring 2013, with a store opening in Fall 2014. The 417,000 square-foot airplane terminal-sized store will be located adjacent to the Dolphin Mall. IKEA already has locations in Sunrise, Orlando, and Tampa.
IKEA, by the way, is a one-stop haven for foodies. In its giant walls lie everything you need for your kitchen and dining room -- including the actual kitchen and dining room. Here's a little preview of what to expect, just to get you salivating.
The IKEA Restaurant
More like a cafeteria, there's no candlelight, no waiter service, and not a lot of ambiance (unless you think the local mall food court is the best place to bring a date). But IKEA's restaurant has its own fan base thanks to their cheap Swedish meatball platters ($3.99) and gravlax ($4.99). The restaurant also offers kiddie portions for about half the price and weekly specials. Get there early for their 99 cent breakfast, consisting of scrambled eggs, bacon, and potatoes or grab a cinnamon roll for a buck. Insane prices by a completely smart company -- go for the meatballs, buy a sofa.
IKEA Food Shop
If you've been searching for cheap caviar, salted licorice, or lingonberry jam, you've come to the right place. Did you know that each IKEA contains an entire Swedish supermarket? From frozen salmon ($9.99 for four portioned filets) to a jar of seaweed ($2.29), to many kinds of herring (four jars for $6), it's like someone took the entire cast of the Little Mermaid and jarred them for your convenience.
We're especially fond of the Abba seafood pate ($3.49) and the Kaviar ($2.99) - both in a convenient tube.
IKEA Kitchen Accessories
We still don't know how IKEA keeps prices so low, but you could basically outfit an entire kitchen for about ten bucks (or something like that). Sure, it's not exactly chef's quality, but the next time you're having a party or a get together, think IKEA before you get those red Solo cups at the supermarket. We found a six-pack of glasses for $1.49, a knife set for $9.99, and bowls for $.79 each. The most surprising thing? They're more stylish and better for the environment than disposable plastic party ware.
IKEA Tables and Chairs
Speaking from experience, IKEA furniture may be a pain to assemble (and impossible to pronounce), but once this s**t is put together, you've got yourself one cheap, good looking dining room. Where else can you get a table and chairs for under $200? Sure you've got to do the lugging home and there's some work involved...but when it's all done, relax, have some pickled herring and take pride in a job well done.
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SHOW ME HOW
Walk into the kitchen section of IKEA and you know what you'll see? Interior designers and contractors buying cabinets and custom countertops. This is the deep dark secret of these people who would charge you a hefty markup. They buy at IKEA. So can you, with the help of a staff that assists you in planning an entire kitchen, including appliances. You can either do all the measuring yourself or have them do it for you at an upcharge (it's still cheaper than that SoBe decorator).