The 3 Best Costco Food Court Items

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  • Hungry Costco shoppers can grab lunch or a snack at their local warehouse club food court.
  • The hot dog and soda combo is a perennial favorite.
  • Ice cream and chicken options also make the list without breaking the bank.

Not familiar with Costco's food court? Here's what you need to know.

You'll often hear that shopping when hungry is a bad idea -- one that could lead to a higher credit card tab. And there's a lot of logic to that.

When it's been hours since you've been fed, pretty much any food item could seem appealing. And in a store like Costco, that's a potentially dangerous thing, as it could mean buying countless bulk items you don't end up wanting after the fact.

The good thing about shopping at Costco, though, is that you don't have to walk around hungry. Instead, you can pop on over to the food court and buy yourself some lunch or a snack on the cheap.

But some Costco food court items are a better deal than others. Here are three worth trying.

1. The $1.50 hot dog and soda

Hot dogs aren't health food. Let's make that clear. But they are tasty. And at a price of $1.50 for a giant one plus a large soda, it's hard to say no to that combo -- unless, of course, you're a vegetarian.

2. The ice cream cup or sundae

Years ago, Costco had an amazingly delicious vanilla-chocolate swirl ice cream dessert that was perfect for kids (and adults) who have a hard time choosing between the two flavors. These days, you'll have to stick to vanilla, as Costco seems to have eliminated its chocolate flavor. On the plus side, you can now get yourself either a massive cup of vanilla soft serve ice cream, or a vanilla sundae topped with chocolate or strawberry sauce. And you'll spend a lot less than you will at your local ice cream chain.

3. The Costco chicken bake

What do you get when you combine chicken, bacon, and cheese into a tasty pocket of dough? A mouthful of deliciousness, that's what. Costco's chicken bake has long been a fan favorite, and while it may not be the most nutritious thing you'll eat, it's a great pick when you need a filling meal and don't want to put a big dent in your personal finances.

Some other food court items worth trying

While the $1.50 hot dog and soda, ice cream, and chicken bake stand out as winners among Costco's food court selections, there are some runners-up worth mentioning. First, let's talk churros. These would perhaps have made the top three based on taste if they tended to be a little warmer and crispier. But the flavor is definitely there, so if you're a churro fan, you can snag a massive one for very little money.

Then there's the pizza. If you live in an area where the standards for pizza are high, then you may be inclined to say no to a Costco slice. But given that a single piece of Costco pizza is easily the equivalent of two regular slices at a pizzeria for a fraction of the cost, it's a quick meal worth grabbing. In fact, you can get a whole pie from your local Costco food court and bring home dinner for the family.

All told, Costco's food court offers a host of delicious items that won't break the bank. Granted, many of them may not work wonders for your waistline, but hey, you're burning calories by walking through those giant warehouse stores in the course of your shopping. That's got to count for something, right?

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