A Definitive Ranking of Everything on Costco's Food Court Menu
There are only two reasons we ever agree to join our parents on a Costo run: free samples and the food court.
That food court is a magical place packed with cheap but tantalizing meals and desserts. In fact, there are so many options, it can be overwhelming at times. If you want to know which snacks to prioritize for next time, here's a ranking of everything on the menu.
13. Nonfat Vanilla Yogurt & Açai Swirl
Even the worst item on Costco's menu is pretty good. This dessert swirls together their classic vanilla froyo with their newer blended açai flavor into one new dessert. While they're both sweet and creamy, the combination of vanilla and sweet fruit fails to be as iconic as the chocolate and vanilla swirl froyo that was omitted from the menu to make room for it.
12. Nonfat Vanilla Yogurt
As far as vanilla frozen yogurt goes, Costco's is rich, creamy and delicious. Even without fat, it serves as a pretty convincing substitute for authentic vanilla ice cream. However, held up against the rest of the awesome menu, it's pretty ordinary.
11. Fruit Smoothie
When you gulp down this smoothie, you can tell you're actually eating real fruit. Though the taste of various berries can be hard to pin down precisely, it's not too sweet, making it perfect for when you're on a health kick. But if you don't feel like limiting yourself to nutritious treats, there are much more tempting things to come.
10. Chicken Caesar Salad
This salad tastes great. It's just kind of boring. The chicken always tastes fresh and the parmesan adds a nice bite alongside the tangy, creamy caesar dressing, but they aren't enough to elevate the salad to anything spectacular. Plus, way too much of this dish is made up of massive cherry tomatoes, which are no one's favorite addition to salads.
9. Cold Brew Mocha Freeze
If you crave the intense coffee flavor of traditional cold brew, this frozen drink probably isn't what you're expecting. Thanks to some rich chocolate syrup, the flavor of cocoa comes through stronger than the flavor of coffee, resulting in a sweet, sugary Starbucks drink. If you're in the mood for a Frapp at a great price, this drink might be a better fit.
8. Al Pastor Salad
This vegan al pastor salad might be the most offbeat item on the entire menu. Rather than featuring a classic pork al pastor, the romaine salad is topped with seasoned soy protein, plus black beans, onions and bell peppers. The al pastor is a decent meat substitute, but the dressing is overly sweet, and since the salad is so big, the combination of flavors loses steam far before its done. It starts off pretty good, so try splitting it with a friend to get the most out of it.
7. Açaí Bowl
We're kind of picky when it comes to açaí bowls. We think the frozen açaí blend should be tart and sharp, and get all of its sweetness from banana, granola and honey toppings. This bowl is the opposite, with the sweetness coming from the açaí itself. It's topped with strawberry, blueberry and granola with almonds, and though it's pretty fruity and satisfying, we think it could be even better. Still, it's half the price of most bowls out there, so we'll give it a break.
6. Very Berry Sundae With Strawberries
All it takes is a vibrantly fruity syrup and tasty chunks of strawberry to transform Costco's decent vanilla froyo into something exquisite. The berry flavoring has a nice sharpness that contrasts with the sweetness of the vanilla, making this a classic that we're thrilled to see back on the menu.
5. Hot Turkey & Provolone Sandwich
Before posting this ranking, we'd managed to completely avoid this sandwich. It just didn't seem like anything special. Turns out we were completely wrong. It's a roasted turkey sandwich with sharp provolone cheese, complete with red onion, tomato and basil aioli on a big toasty bun. The textures (and that tasty pesto) work together to create a gourmet flavor you'd never expect from the look of the sandwich. We'll never doubt it again.
Even the worst pizza is still pizza, and it turns out Costco's is delicious, even when compared to other great pizzas. With combo, pepperoni and cheese options, there's an option for most varieties of pizza fanatics, and they're all equally good. Each oversized slice is soft and slightly greasy, making it the perfect thing when you're craving gooey cheese. It's soft and chewy in the best way, and we particularly love that it's available by the slice.
3. Chicken Bake
It's impossible to take a glamorous photo of a chicken bake, but that doesn't mean it's not a culinary delight. It's basically a crispy breadstick packed with chicken, bacon and caesar dressing, and it's by far the most decadent item on the menu. With a crunchy shell and a melty, gooey interior, it's so tasty—even if it's not so Instagrammable.
2. Twisted Churro
Forget spending $5 on a churro at the amusement park or a sports game. These huge twisty churros are just a dollar, and they taste better than any of the others. Thanks to the extra curving grooves around the exterior of the churro, there's even more cinnamon and sugar to enjoy in every single bite. It's got a nice crunch and a soft, warm exterior, and it'll keep you coming back for more.
1. All Beef Hot Dog
There's something special about Costco's hot dogs that we simply can't put our finger on. The beef frank itself has a classic smoky and savory flavor, and its soft, sweet bun holds up no matter how much you load it up with all the ketchup, mustard, onions and relish your heart desires. And maybe this is cheating, but this inexpensive hot dog also comes with a free soda. That makes it a winner all around.
Want to see how some of our other faves stack up? Click HERE for our definitive ranking of all of Subway's classic sandwiches.