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For many Costco members, a visit to the popular warehouse store isn’t complete without a trip to their food court. Whether it’s a gargantuan slice of saggy, cheesy pizza, a somewhat mysterious chicken bake, or an ice cream sundae, the food here always seems to taste amazing after an hours-long jaunt through the Costco gauntlet. But what exactly is the deal with the prepared food Costco sells? We’ve got the answers to all your Costco food court questions.
The food court at Costco can trace its roots all the way back to its predecessor, Price Club. That chain, which was one of the pioneers in charging members an annual fee to be able to buy bulk products at rock-bottom prices in a no-frills environment, was actually founded by a guy named Price (Sol Price, to be exact). Price Club merged with Costco in 1993. Today, there are Costco locations outside the U.S., in countries including Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Australia, and the U.K., and nearly all of them have their own food court.
Visit any Costco in America when you travel and it’ll look just like the one in your own city, right down to the food court (a couple locations inexplicably don’t have one, and we feel for shoppers at those). Some food courts are inside and some are outside, but the menu will be essentially the same: chicken Caesar salad, hot dog or Polish sausage, pizza, sundaes… The only surprise tends to be the price, which is astonishingly low and never seems to increase, especially for the $1.50 hot dog and soda combo. There’s something comforting about knowing that the jumbo-size slice of pizza you rewarded yourself with after walking at least five miles around the store will still be there the next time you visit.
So read on to learn 10 things you probably didn’t know about the dependable, affordable Costco food court. Whether no trip to the chain is complete for you without a chicken bake or you’ve never ventured to see what the pizza is really all about (it’s limp but somehow still delicious in a greasy kind of way), after you read this, no trip to Costco will ever be the same.