Whether you’re hungry for Costco pizza, churros, Costco hot dogs, or whatever else you love on the Costco food court menu, you’re probably asking: is it still a good deal?
The Costco food court recently made headlines as they hiked up prices on some menu items. So now what? You can often get the best deals at Costco, but one of the biggest money-saving spots in the store is STILL the Costco food court.
Do you even need a Costco membership for the food court? Can you now order the Costco roast beef sandwich? You’ve got questions, and we’ve got the answers that’ll save you money.
But before you check out the best Costco food court tips, make sure to check out our Costco coupons & deals, every tip you need to know before shopping at Costco, and the most up-to-date Costco coupon book to save the most at Costco.
1. Costco food court menu prices have gone up — but the average cost per item is still less than $4.
But really. There are 12 items on the Costco food court menu, putting the average price of items at $3.92! That’s INSANE.
Some Costco menu prices increased in July 2022, including the 20-ounce fountain drink (up $0.10) and the Costco chicken bake (up $1, more on that later). And we recently saw the price of the Costco Caesar Salad go up from $3.99 to $6.99 (it’s now called the “Rotisserie Chicken Caesar Salad”).
Here are the Costco food court menu prices as of 2023:
- 1/4 Pound All Beef Hot Dog and 20-ounce Soda (with Refill): $1.50
- 20-ounce Soda (with Refill): $0.69
- Chicken Bake: $3.99
- Cold Brew Mocha Freeze, $2.99
- Ice Cream Cup (Vanilla or Strawberry), $1.99
- Ice Cream Sundae (Vanilla with Strawberry or Chocolate Topping), $2.49
- Mango Smoothie, $2.99
- Pizza Slice (Cheese or Pepperoni): $1.99
- Pizza, Whole Pie (18″): $9.95
- Roast Beef Sandwich, $9.99
- Rotisserie Chicken Caesar Salad, $6.99
- Twisted Churro: $1.49
2. Get a Costco Shop Card to order at the Costco food court without a membership.
Can you go to the Costco food court without a membership? Technically, no. Although every Costco food court is members-only by rule, there’s a workaround: You can always enter Costco if you have a Costco Shop Card gift card — which works all over the store (including at the Costco food court).
In order to get a Costco Shop Card gift card, someone with an active membership has to buy it for you — but I always offer them a slice of Costco pizza ($1.99) for their trouble. This is just one of the ways to shop at Costco without a membership.
TIP: We’ve heard that some outdoor Costco food courts don’t actively enforce the rule that you need to be a Costco member to dine there, but your mileage may vary depending on your Costco location.
3. The Costco hot dog price ($1.50) with a 20-ounce drink hasn’t changed since 1984.
The Costco food court is by far the best place to get a hot dog because the Costco hot dog has always been (and will forever be) $1.50 — their price since 1984.
That’s a quarter-pound hot dog and a 20-ounce drink for only $1.50 — one of the best deals on hot dogs. Heck, for a 20-ounce drink alone, too.
Related: In a battle of Sam’s Club vs. Costco, we found out how they stack up.
4. Costco recently added strawberry ice cream to the menu in August 2023.
After the controversy of the Costco Mango Smoothie back in June, we’re glad to see Costco testing the waters again with another new dessert item. Previously, the only two flavors of ice cream you could get were Vanilla and Chocolate. But now there’s a new addition — Strawberry.
You can try the new strawberry flavor by ordering any of the following options:
- Strawberry Ice Cream Sundae (with Strawberry or Chocolate Topping), $2.49
- Strawberry & Vanilla Swirl Ice Cream Sundae (with Strawberry or Chocolate Topping), $2.49
- Strawberry Ice Cream Cup, $1.99
- Strawberry & Vanilla Swirl Ice Cream Cup, $1.99
5. And they added a $9.99 roast beef sandwich that caused a stir.
Costco first introduced a new roast beef sandwich to their menu at a location in Washington, but the $9.99 price tag caused a negative reaction from some customers. The sandwich is slowly rolling out nationwide, but Washington is Costco’s home turf, and it’s where they test new menu items.
While the sandwich seems pretty big — containing sliced roast beef, onion relish, a mayo/mustard blend, lettuce, roasted cherry tomatoes, and red onions on an artisan roll — it costs as much as an entire 18-inch Costco pizza for $9.95.
6. At $9.95, the Costco pizza price (per square inch) is about half that of competitors.
An 18″ Costco pizza is going to cost you $9.95 for either cheese or pepperoni, which is cheaper (and larger) than most pizza chain options. Here’s how the prices compare for the biggest pepperoni pizza on the menu:
- Costco Whole Pizza (18″): $9.95 — $0.01 per square inch of pizza
- Papa Johns’ Extra Large Pizza (15.5″): $19 — $0.03 per square inch of pizza
- Domino’s Large Pizza (14″): $14.74 — $0.02 per square inch of pizza
- Pizza Hut Large Pizza (14″): $13.74 — $0.02 per square inch of pizza
*Prices accurate in Florida.
How many slices are in a Costco pizza?
The whole 18″ pizza at Costco gets cut into 12 slices, which makes each slice come out to about $0.83. When you order by the slice ($1.99), you’ll get a larger portion, as Costco’s by-the-slice pizzas get cut into six slices instead of 12.
TIP: If you’re interested in saving money at Domino’s, we’ve got a bunch of tips.
7. The Costco Chicken Bake price went up — but you can save 41% when you buy a frozen Costco Chicken Bake.
Did you know you could buy the Costco Chicken Bake in the frozen section of Costco? A box of six Costco Chicken Bakes will cost you $13.99, or $2.33 per Costco chicken bake.
With the price increase of the Chicken Bake at the food court in 2022 — in went from $2.99 to $3.99 — you’d be saving 41.6% by just making your chicken bakes at home.
TIP: If you aren’t satisfied with your Costco Chicken Bake purchase, you can always return them using the generous Costco return policy.
8. The recipe for Costco churros changed in 2021.
Around the same time they took the Costco combo pizza off the menu, they also changed the Costco churros recipe. Getting Costco churros will still cost you $1.49 per churro, but they are thinner, drier, and less crispy when compared to their former counterpart.
Unfortunately for classic Costco churros fans, it doesn’t look like they’re going to go back to the original recipe anytime soon.
9. You can’t get a Costco combo pizza anymore — here’s how you make it.
In 2021, Costco discontinued the Costco combo pizza that came with a slice and a drink. There were several petitions to bring back this iconic menu item, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to come back anytime soon.
Of course, if you have a real craving for a Costco combo pizza, you can get all the ingredients from Costco and recreate the combo pizza at home. All you need to do is order a Costco pepperoni pizza ($9.95) and add these ingredients (Note: prices are regional):
10. Get free food when you work at the food court.
Unfortunately, there’s no employee discount from the Costco food court if you’re a general Costco employee, but if you work at the food court specifically, you’ll get access to free food, like pizza, hot dogs, and chicken bakes on your breaks and after work. Free food might vary depending on your Costco manager’s policy.
11. Costco’s smoothies and ice cream sundaes are up to 30% cheaper than McDonald’s.
When you order a smoothie or sundae at Costco, you should know that you’re getting a pretty killer price. A Costco smoothie will cost you $2.99, while the same smoothie will cost you $4.29 at McDonald’s — making the Costco version 30% cheaper.
The same goes for a Costco ice cream sundae: it costs $2.49 at Costco, while a McDonald’s sundae is going to cost you $2.89. This makes the Costco sundae 14% cheaper for about twice the sundae.
- Costco Mango Smoothie, 16 oz: $2.99 (vs. McDonald’s Mango Pineapple Smoothie, $4.29 for 16 oz)
- Costco Ice Cream Sundae, 12.3 oz: $2.49 (vs. McDonald’s Hot Fudge Sundae, $2.89 for 6.3 oz)
12. Look out for regional Costco food court menu items — like the Costco chicken sandwich.
There are Costco locations all over the world, and while a majority of their menu items remain the same, each includes a few items that you won’t find anywhere else:
- Canada: Poutine, Costco Chicken Sandwich
- Mexico: Pina Colada Smoothie, Pizza Al Pastor
- UK: Cottage Pies
- France: Croissants, Chicken Tenders & Fries
- Spain: Spanish Rice, Bocadillo
- Korea: Teriyaki, Nasi Goreng
- Australia: Meat Pies
- Japan: Bulgogi Bakes
- Taiwan: Clam Chowder, Bulgogi Bakes, Mango Shaved Ice, Seafood or Corn Pizza
13. Make a Costco chicken sandwich at home using ingredients you can find at Costco.
But if you were looking forward to having a Costco chicken sandwich, you can grab all the ingredients at your local Costco to make your own version. You should be able to make around eight sandwiches depending on how many buns are in your bundle.
Here’s what you need to make your own Costco chicken sandwich:
- Cheese Buns (reg. $8.99). Can only be found at the in-store Costco bakery.
- Mayo (reg. $6.49) + Sriracha (reg. $5.99)
- Breaded Chicken (reg. $24.99)
Each sandwich will cost you around $2.23, which is quite a bit cheaper than the $4.99 food court Costco chicken sandwich.
Of course, if you don’t have a Costco membership, you can make a Costco chicken sandwich at home with these retailers that’ll give Costco prices.
14. The Costco food court hours are the same as regular Costco hours.
The Costco food court hours are the same as regular Costco hours: 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. That means you can get your Costco hot dog or pizza any time during store hours.
15. There is no delivery from the Costco food court.
Does the Costco food court deliver? No. Unfortunately, if you’re craving a slice of Costco pizza or a fresh Costco chicken bake, you’re going to have to go to the Costco food court for takeout.
16. You won’t be able to call ahead for a pickup order at the Costco food court anymore.
In the past (before 2020), you used to be able to skip the line at the food court if you called ahead.
However, this has now changed, so if you want that Costco pizza or hot dog, you’re going to have to wait in line inside Costco.
17. The Costco food court menu makes additions and subtractions periodically to test out different items.
Every so often, the Costco food court menu changes to test out new food. They’ve had brisket sandwiches, turkey wraps, and new bakes, and we can expect more additions in the future.
18. Peep these Costco food court calorie counts — the Cold Brew Mocha Freeze has as many calories as the hot dog!
If you’re watching your numbers, we’ve rounded up the calorie counts for all the Costco food court items:
- 20-ounce Soda (with Refill): 0 – 420 calories
- Mango Smoothie: 360 calories
- Ice Cream Cup (Vanilla or Strawberry): 550 calories
- Twisted Churro: 570 calories
- Cold Brew Mocha Freeze: 580 calories
- 1/4 Pound All Beef Hot Dog and 20-ounce Soda (with Refill): 580 – 850 calories
- Ice Cream Sundae (Vanilla with Strawberry or Chocolate Topping): 650 – 690 calories
- Pizza Slice (Cheese or Pepperoni): 650 – 710 calories
- Rotisserie Chicken Caesar Salad: 710 calories
- Roast Beef Sandwich: 790 calories
- Chicken Bake: 840 calories
- Pizza, Whole Pie (18″): 3,880 – 4,260 calories