A Costco run is incomplete without a stop at their food court. Let’s not pretend otherwise. There are numbers to back this up: The big box retailer is the 14th largest pizza chain in America, with just under 500 outlets nationwide. Want more proof? Costco sells over 100 million hot dogs every single year. That means they outsell all of America’s MLB baseball parks four times over. Which, okay, baseball has a season and Costco is open year-round. But still, that’s enough hot dogs for one in every three Americans.
Why is this so? The bulk king has the perfect balance of low prices, fast service, and palatability. Their hot dog and refillable soda has been the same price for 27 straight years. And $1.50 for that combo is hard to beat anywhere. Also, shopping for food that comes in massive boxes is soul sucking and a little food is sure to help revive you.
Over the years, Costco has added gooey pizza, chicken bakes, churros, and more not-particularly-healthy picks to their menu. But what’s the best item to snag from the Costco Food Court? We had to answer that question because, well, we all go there. Deep down, we all crave those sloppy slices of pizza, over-sized Hot Pocket knock offs, and salty water dogs.
A few caveats here. We’re not including trial dishes like the bowls of chili that are at some locations right now. Even though — Costco hack alert! — you can now make your own chili dogs at those locations. Still, they don’t make the list if they aren’t nationwide.
Okay, so let’s dive into a definitive ranking of the menu items at Costco’s food courts nationwide. Y’all can disagree with us in the comments.
13. Chicken Caesar Salad
Are premade salads ever any good? Honestly, have you ever bought a salad from a grocery and been all like, “OMFG that salad though!” Nah, we’re pretty confident that’s never happened in the history of pre-made grocery store salads — not even at Whole Foods.
So, we’re sorry to say that this has to take the bottom spot in our rankings. The chicken is oddly rubbery and too compressed. The romaine is okay, but lacks crunch. The shredded imitation parmesan is listless. The saving grace of this dish is the dressing and the fact that it’s slightly healthier than mainlining cheese, we guess.
We at Uproxx Life are longtime advocates of fried dough covered in cinnamon sugar. That being said, this is just a stick of fried dough covered in cinnamon sugar. Meh, state fairs and Spain do it better. Now, if this bad boy came with a dark chocolate dipping sauce, then we’d get more excited. Though, to be fair, $1 for a churro is a decent deal if you have a sweet tooth.
Costco hack alert! Order a small pump of the chocolate syrup used in the frozen coffee mochas in a dipping tub. Then dip those churros in that syrupy chocolate! You’re welcome.