After successfully navigating the gauntlet that is shopping at IKEA, it's tradition to hit the "bistro" post-checkout for a toddler-sized cone of soft-serve or soft pretzel for just a buck. If you need a bit more sustenance, the tasty little hot dogs or (not as tasty) cheese pizza are there for you. If you're vegan, your options are a little more limited — but IKEA wants to change that.
You might remember that a few years ago IKEA introduced their vegan meatballs, and now they're tackling their famous hot dogs. The Swedish-based furniture giant just introduced a new veggie dog last Tuesday (after launching in Europe in August) — it's vegan, although the bun at your local store might have eggs (so double check to be sure).
The company said in a press release that the veggie dog is part of its move to provide more healthful and sustainable options. "IKEA Food wants to inspire people to a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle by offering delicious food that has a positive impact on people and the planet. Adding the veggie hot dog to the food offer at IKEA is contributing to IKEA Food's goal to include more plant-based ingredients in the range and offer healthier products."
I Tried IKEA's New Hot Veggie Dog and Here's How It Went
I'm not vegan, but I wholeheartedly support a more healthful and more sustainable food option. However, I also wholeheartedly love the tender little beefy IKEA hot dogs, which I've fondly christened "snackin' dogs." Would the veggie dogs be good enough to persuade me to give up my snackin' dogs? I had to find out.
It took a few days for my local IKEA in Portland to work out its supply-chain kinks, so the veggie dog hit the bistro a few days late. When I ordered it, the workers were clearly excited. One hadn't made one before; another hadn't tried it yet; and the third had tried it, liked it, and wanted to discuss (he said he thought it was less gingery than the veggie balls).
Cue record-scratch. Wait, what? I thought this was a veggie dog, as in a fake hot dog. You know the ones — pink, smooth, a little rubbery. Nope, this is basically an elongated version of IKEA's vegetarian meatballs — except the dog swaps the chickpeas for quinoa and ditches the too-chunky corn and sweet peppers.
Personally, I thought a cylindrical veggie patty was a weird way to go, but I kept an open mind, especially as I watched them lovingly top it with spicy brown mustard, pickled red cabbage, and crispy fried onions. It was looking downright gourmet, and a steal at just 75 cents (same price as the hot dogs).
My Official Review of IKEA's Veggie Hot Dog
Okay so how did it taste? It was good! Sort of indeterminately savory. And yes, the texture was as soft and mushy as you'd expect from a vegetable patty, with the mustard, cabbage, and fried onions adding a tasty wallop of spice, flavor, and crunch. The toppings are definitely key, and I found out you can ask for them on the regular dog (but shhh, they want to keep that on the down-low). I brought one home to my teen and she promptly scarfed it and asked for another.
At 226 calories and about four-bites big, it's the same size as my snackin' dogs but about 50 calories lighter. Will it take their place? Well, let's just say I might have to get one of each.