Aug 28, 2023 - News

Ikea's San Francisco location is small but much needed

Hundreds of customers line up during the grand opening of the Ikea store in San Francisco on Thursday. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

San Francisco's long-awaited Ikea store is a much-needed addition to what's accessible to city dwellers, though its smaller configuration does limit the shopping a bit.

Driving the news: Swedish meatballs officially arrived within San Francisco city limits Wednesday.

Zoom in: If you're familiar with the Emeryville and Palo Alto stores, this one is quite different.

  • It has three floors, with the main showroom located on the lower level and the cafe (and food market) on the top floor.
  • There's no area to pick up larger furniture items, though they can be ordered for home delivery. The products are organized by room and category, spread among the three floors.
  • The checkout area seems to be entirely self-service, with staff helping customers get the hang of the tech. There are self-service registers upstairs as well, though they were not available for use when I went.

Plot twist: I didn't need to purchase anything, so I thought I would at least have some classic meatballs — as did everyone else at the store.

  • There was a line into the cafe, but I spotted the food market right next to it.
  • Though the company also offers chicken and plant-based meatballs, I opted to pick up a bag of the traditional style, and grabbed a packet of gravy as well.
  • I also noticed some silicon food covers I'd been meaning to replace, so I grabbed a pack a well.

My thought bubble on safety: The store isn't in my favorite location – but it's not in the worst either, especially in the daytime.

  • It's just half a block west of Westfield Mall and the Powell station, so I'm expecting most people will feel comfortable enough. And it's much more convenient than the trek to Emeryville or Palo Alto, especially if you don't own a car.
  • I'm also intrigued to find out what other retailers will open in the same mall!

The bottom line: The food was easy enough to cook and quite tasty, though be careful to not let the gravy get clumpy when stirring in the powder! My purchases came to a total of $20.21 (with some discounts).


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