What to Eat at Costco Food Court: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

Costco Food Court

Verywell / Christian Alzate

Costco is a warehouse club where members can purchase products in bulk for slightly discounted prices. The first location opened in Seattle in 1983. Since the mid-1980s, the Costco food court has been the home of affordable, quick, and classic American comfort foods

Its well-known menu items include beef hot dogs, chicken Caesar salad, pepperoni pizza, and nonfat frozen yogurt. As any Costco customer would expect, the food court prices are very low (and haven't changed in years), especially considering the hefty portion sizes.

In recent years, Costco introduced açaí bowls and vegan al pastor salads in attempts to add healthier options to its quick-service food stand, but offerings do vary depending on location. If you dine at a Costco food court, be cautious of the menu items that are high in sodium and sugar.

What Experts Say

"Costco food court items are best eaten only on occasion. Pizza, sausage, and French fries are rich in fat, sodium, and carbs. One item Costco offers with vegetables is the chicken Caesar salad. If you choose it, aim to get the dressing on the side to reduce added sodium and fat."
Barbie Cervoni, MS, RD, CDCES, CDE

Navigating the Menu

At first glance, the Costco food court menu seems pretty straightforward. With giant pictures of mouthwatering pizza and hot dogs, it may seem like nothing on the menu aligns with your idea of healthy. But there are a few options you can still feel good about ordering if you are looking to follow a nutritious eating plan.

The menu can be divided into hot food, cold food, drinks, and dessert. Not every location's menu is the same, but typically, you might find:

  • Hot food: All beef or Polish hot dogs, chicken bake, hot turkey and provolone sandwich, BBQ beef brisket sandwich, whole or sliced pizza
  • Cold food: Chicken Caesar or al pastor salad
  • Drinks: Fountain drinks, berry smoothie, latte freeze, mocha freeze
  • Dessert: Gelato, açaí bowl, very berry sundae, nonfat frozen yogurt, hand-dipped ice cream bar, Twisted Churro
What to Order and Avoid at Costco
 Most Nutritious Options Least Nutritious Options
BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwich (Hot Food) All Beef Hot Dog (Hot Food)
Chicken Caesar Salad (Cold Food) Al Pastor Salad (Cold Food)
Latte Freeze (Drinks) Mocha Freeze (Drinks)
Açaí Bowl (Desserts)  Berry Sundae (Desserts)

Most Nutritious Option

If you’re looking for the healthiest meal at Costco’s food court, the chicken Caesar salad’s nutrition profile makes it the best choice, especially if you use less dressing.

Please note that at the time of publication, nutrition information for Costco's food court items was unavailable online. You may want to consult the menu once you are at the store to determine if the nutritional content of the menu item you are selecting meets your goals.

Hot Food

Costco is famous for its single-serve pizza slices and ready-made hot dogs. The menu also features hot sandwiches.

Most of the hot food at Costco’s food court is high in calories, sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat. Since the portion sizes are so large, you can cut the calories in half by splitting your order with another person or taking half to go and eating it another time.

✓ BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwich

While not the most nutritious item on the menu, the hot food offering that has the least calories and saturated fat is the BBQ beef brisket sandwich. It has 610 calories, 34g fat, 11g saturated fat, 54g carbohydrate, 27g protein, and 1,310mg sodium.

✗ Hot Turkey and Provolone Sandwich

Turkey is a good source of lean protein. However, at the Costco food court, the hot turkey and provolone sandwich is among the least nutritious choices. This menu item contains 740 calories, 34g fat, 12g saturated fat, 49g carbohydrate, 43g protein, and 1,710mg sodium.

Cold Food

Cold food options at Costco’s food court are some of the more nutritious options offerings. This small category contains two salads. Both options are especially friendly to people following a low-calorie diet. When ordering either salad, get the dressing on the side and use less than provided.

✓ Chicken Caesar Salad

With the full portion of dressing, the chicken Caesar salad contains 650 calories, 40g fat, 9g saturated fat, 34g carbohydrates, 40g protein, and 2,450mg sodium. To reduce calories, fat, and carbs, use dressing sparingly and skip the croutons.

✗ Al Pastor Salad

Although it's plant-based, the al pastor salad is quite high in sodium. Similar to the chicken Caesar salad, the vegan al pastor salad will be lower in calories and cholesterol if you skip the dressing or use a small amount. With dressing, the salad provides 800 calories, and contains 56g fat, 8g saturated fat, 59g carbohydrates, 32g protein, and 3,270mg sodium. Without the dressing, the salad is closer to 330 calories.


Costco has a simple selection of cold drinks to choose from, Fountain drinks include various Pepsi beverages. Other options include a berry smoothie, latte freeze, and mocha freeze. 

✓ Latte Freeze

The most nutritious option will always be a tall glass of plain water, but if you're looking to order something special off the menu, the latte freeze is lower in calories and sugar than other beverages at Costco.

A 15-ounce serving contains 190 calories, 7g fat, 5g saturated fat, 19g carbohydrates, 12g protein, and 160mg sodium.

✗ Mocha Freeze

While they're both coffee-flavored blended drinks, the mocha freeze has about double the sugar of the latte freeze. It’s easy to mistake the Latte Freeze for the Mocha Freeze. A 15-ounce serving contains 310 calories, 6g fat, 4g saturated fat, 52g carbohydrates, 11g protein, and 180mg sodium.


Costco is almost as famous for its frozen yogurt as it is for its hot dogs. Some Costco food courts offer an açaí bowl, though it’s more of a breakfast or snack than a dessert.

✓ Açaí Bowl

Each açaí bowl contains 330 calories, 8g fat, 4g saturated fat, 72g carbohydrate, 3g protein, and 55mg sodium. It also contains 41g sugar, which likely comes mostly from the natural sugar in fruit. What makes this option stand out is that it’s low in saturated fat and sodium.

✗ Berry Sundae

The fan-favorite berry sundae contains 480 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 107g carbohydrates, 45g protein, and 260mg sodium. It also contains 83g sugar.

Diet-Specific Options

Eating out with dietary restrictions or food allergies can be challenging. Typically, with a few modifications, you can still safely enjoy your meal. At many restaurants, accommodating all dietary patterns can often pose a challenge. Costco’s limited menu makes accommodations tricky, but not impossible. Some menu items are compliant or can be modified to suit several dietary preferences.


Though Costco’s gluten-free selections aren't certified gluten-free, these options do not contain gluten ingredients. If you order a salad, ask for it without croutons. You can also order a hot dog without the bun. You will still have to be cautious of gluten cross-contamination, especially if you are particularly sensitive.

  • Berry sundae
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Açaí bowl
  • Berry smoothie
  • Chicken Caesar salad (omit croutons)


Many of the meat-based food items, such as hot dogs and sandwiches, contain simple carbs in the form of bread. You can order a hot dog without the bun for a low-carb meal, but you’ll still need to be mindful of cholesterol, saturated fat, and sodium.

  • Hot dog (omit bun)
  • Latte freeze
  • Fountain drinks


People following a low-FODMAP diet have very slim pickings at the Costco food court. Your safest option is a salad, though you will have to remove several of the toppings.

  • Chicken Caesar salad (omit croutons, cheese, and dressing)


Many people with diabetes follow a diet low in carbs, sugar, and processed foods. Since Costco’s food court is highly processed, the choices for people with diabetes are slim. The salad is a viable option. Depending on which diabetes-friendly diet you follow, you may want to remove some of the toppings, such as the croutons.

  • Chicken Caesar salad


While there aren't any low-fat hot foods, you will find low-fat options on the drinks and smoothies menu.

  • Berry sundae
  • Nonfat frozen yogurt
  • Açaí bowl
  • Berry smoothie


If you're sticking to a low-sodium diet, opt for either a smoothie or açaí bowl at Costco. Each are packed with fruit and fiber, but not too much salt.

  • Berry smoothie
  • Açaí bowl


Vegetarians will be happy to see that Costco has incorporated non-meat dishes to its menu. If you're looking for a savory dish, choose al pastor salad, made with plant-based soy protein.

  • Berry smoothie
  • Açaí bowl
  • Al pastor salad
  • Cheese pizza
  • Berry sundae


The al pastor salad is also a go-to pick for vegan Costco diners. Alternatively, choose the berry smoothie for a sweeter option.

  • Berry smoothie
  • Açaí bowl
  • Al pastor salad
  • Fountain drinks

Food Allergies and Safety

Costco has increased its selection of dairy-free and plant-based options in recent years. However, people with food allergies should be cautious of potential cross-contamination, as food is likely prepared on the same equipment or surface. 

People with allergies to soy, egg, fish, and nuts should be able to find a safe option on the Costco menu by asking to remove potential allergens. However, it's still possible that some of Costco's menu items may have come in contact with trace amounts of these allergens. You can ask a Costco team member on duty if you're concerned about a certain menu item's ingredients.

Many of Costco's menu items can be made dairy-free by omitting the cheese, though several of the frozen drinks and desserts contain milk. People with gluten or wheat allergies may be confined to chilled drinks, desserts, and salads.

A Word From Verywell

Costco is a beloved retailer with hundreds of locations. Its reasonable prices and vast inventory draw customers in, and the quick-service food court invites customers to grab a bite to eat before or after their shopping trip. The salads are among the most nutritious picks if you limit the amount of dressing you use. Enjoy other menu items in moderation.

By Lacey Muinos
Lacey Muinos is a professional writer who specializes in fitness, nutrition, and health.