A Hungry Shopper’s Guide to the Costco Food Court
One of the best parts about being a seasoned Costco member (12 years and counting) is ending an intense round of bulk buying with a strawberry ice cream sundae (for me) and a hot dog (for my pint-sized shopping companions). I’m not the only one with a soft spot for the food court — many of us keep careful watch to see when new menu items are introduced and to make sure that the price of its most famous combo never changes.
The food court’s menu has undergone some renovations in recent years — to the lament of some Costco food court fanatics. (Those were dark days when chopped onions left the chat, and many are still mourning the loss of the hot turkey and provolone sandwich.) Despite those changes, the warehouse has remained consistent in offering a variety of savory and sweet options at affordable prices.
Everyone has their own opinion of the best time to fill up at the food court. Some prefer to make it their first stop to stealthily scope out other member’s carts, stave off hunger, and reduce impulse grocery purchases. (Although I’m still waiting on the food court offering that helps me avoid impulse buying a new couch or kids’ play set.) Others opt to replenish their energy with a quick sit-down after an afternoon of bulk-buying. No matter when you choose to eat, Costco’s food court has some of the best deals around.
The Full Menu (and Prices!) at the Costco Food Court
- Hot dog and soda combo: $1.50
- Pepperoni or cheese pizza, slice: $1.99
- Pepperoni or cheese pizza, whole 18-inch: $9.95
- Chicken bake: $3.99
- Roast beef sandwich: $9.99
- Rotisserie chicken Caesar salad: $6.99
- Cold brew (latte or mocha freeze): $2.99
- Fruit smoothie: $2.99
- Ice cream sundae (vanilla or strawberry ice cream with strawberry or chocolate topping): $2.49
- Ice cream cup (vanilla or strawberry ice cream): $1.99
- Cinnamon churro: $1.49
- 20-ounce soda (with refill): $0.69
10 Things to Know About the Costco Food Court
- Operating hours vary. The food court is open 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Hours may vary by location.
- Have your credit card handy. Most Costco locations have transitioned to ordering via a kiosk and taking payment with a credit card rather than having an associate take your order at a register. Some locations may still have registers open for cash-carrying members.
- Fountain drinks are refillable. Your soda order (with or without the hot dog) comes with free, self-serve refills. Choose from Pepsi products including Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Starry, and Tropicana pink lemonade.
- Bottled water is way cheap. If soda isn’t your thirst quencher of choice, there’s usually a vending machine nearby filled with Kirkland Signature bottled water. The bottles are 25-cents each.
- Call ahead to order whole pizzas. There are 12 slices in an 18-inch whole Costco pizza, and if you’re serving a crowd, don’t wait until you’re done shopping to order it to-go. Call in your pepperoni or cheese pizza in advance (or order it before you check out) and have it waiting for you exactly when you want it. Find the number for your local Costco food court using the warehouse locator.
- The menu has you covered no matter your hunger level. Whether you just need a single soda or a pizza large enough to feed a crowd, Costco has a solve for that. You can pick from snack-sized menu items, like the churros or fruit smoothies, to meal-sized options, like the roast beef sandwich and rotisserie chicken Caesar salad.
- Parallel park your cart. The area between the registers and the exit is the most congested in the entire warehouse. When you stop for a bite to eat at the food court, parallel park your cart against the tables, so that other shoppers can easily roll on by.
- Clean your own table. Don’t expect Costco associates to be waiting in the wings to toss your hot dog foil in the trash or wipe up ketchup drips. Be a good steward of the communal tables by tossing your trash into a nearby bin and wiping away any sticky spots for the next member.
- Even non-members can order at the food court. Costco began restricting its food court to paying members only in 2020. You might not have noticed that change, though, because policy enforcement not only varies by warehouse, but many warehouses have also transitioned to a kiosk ordering system that does not require you to scan your membership card. Without this oversight, non-members can take advantage of the $1.50 hot dog deal or $3 ice cream sundaes once they get through the doors. They can also use a Costco ShopCard to get past the associates at the door and pay for their meal.
- You can make your favorite food court finds at home. Look in the freezer section for boxes of Costco’s chicken bake (or make your own copycat chicken bake) and among the refrigerated coolers for the warehouse’s signature hot dog.