May 15, 2024 | Samantha Henman

30 Cult Favorite Costco Products—And 10 Rare Regional Finds

Members Only

The first time you walk into Costco as a card-carrying adult can be intimidating. There’s so much try—and so MUCH of it. And on top of that, there are a lot of (controversial opinion) products that are just mediocre or straight-up duds. But we’re not here to talk about those.

Today, we’re looking at the cream of the crop—the most beloved Costco products, including some rare regional favorites that may be hard to find, but are worth the hunt.


Pumpkin Pie

It comes back year after year—and so do we. Like the hot dogs, once you try a Costco pumpkin pie, you simple do not go back to other brands. It’s impossibly creamy and perfectly spiced—on top of the fact that they also use one type of pumpkin, the Dickinson pumpkin, in all their pies.

Pro tip—if you prefer a firmer consistency, you can also bake it for a few more minutes once you bring it home.

Close-up Photo of a Costco pumpkin pie placed on a white stoveFitzhenrymort, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Raos Marinara Sauce

I know there was a time before Raos, where we all survived on Pr*go and Ra*u (I can’t even bear to say their names). But I prefer not to remember those dark days. It may be more expensive than the other marinara sauces on the shelf at Costco, but it’s worth it. The flavor can’t be beat. Even Ina Garten likes it!

Close-up Photo of a person holding RAO'S Homemade SauceMike Mozart, Flickr

Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter

Once upon a time, most butters seemed to all the be the same—but when Kerrygold became widely available in the US, it blew the competition out of the water. If you’re eating anything where butter is the star, you need a better flavor butter, and Kerrygold is it. While you can find it in any old store, you’ll get the best deal at Costco by far—and you can always freeze the extra.

Close-up photo of  Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter placed on a wooden tabletracy benjamin, Flickr

Regional: Meat Pies

Nowhere loves their meat pies like Australia does—and this is reflected in their food court menu, where you can get a meat pie for a few bucks, including one with butter chicken filling.

Close-up Photo of Costco Four'N Twenty's Meat PieHerman Saksono, Flickr


Speaking of butter—where can you find the owners of many local coffee shops every morning, picking out things to fill their pastry displays with? Costco. It’s happened more than once that I’ve bitten into a $4 croissant and realized they’d sold me something from Costco. And I almost can’t blame them—the croissants are good!

Close-up photo of two Costco Croissants placed on a white plateDanny Choo, Flickr

Kirkland Signature Parmigiano Reggiano

Speaking of rich, expensive ingredients you can freeze to get more bang for your buck, the Kirkland Signature Parmigiano Reggiano is surprisingly high-quality, especially compared to anything you’d get from your regular chain grocery store. If you ever have trouble with your cheese clumping while making a pasta sauce, it might be low quality—and this option can solve that problem.

Close-up Photo of Parmigiano Reggiano by KirklandNaoto Sato, Flickr

Kirkland Signature Hot Dogs

If you’ve ever stopped at the Costco food court on the way out, you know how good the hot dogs are. But why limit the enjoyment to shopping trips? Kirkand Signature’s frozen hot dogs absolutely demolish the competition when it comes to flavor. There’s no comparison—and no camping trip or BBQ is complete without a pack of Kirkland dogs.

Close-up Photo of Kirkland Signature Hot Dogs displayed as bannerBill GraceyFollow, Flickr


I used to always get a hot dog and drink from the food court every time I went to Costco—until I tried the pizza. Since then, I’ve never looked back. Each slice—or pie, if you’re brave—comes with a frankly insane amount of cheese on top. And the price can’t be beat.

Close-up Photo of Costco Supreme PizzaWesley Fryer, Flickr

Regional: Cheeseburgers

As if hot dogs and pizza weren’t crowd pleasers enough, Costco members in California, Georgia, and Chicago have reported that their local food courts have begun to offer cheeseburgers on the menu!

Close-up Photo of Angus cheeseburger wrapped in a plastic bagLaura Hamilton, Flickr

Rotisserie Chicken

Right up there with hot dogs is rotisserie chicken, which Costco has kept at a respectable $4.99 since 2009—yup, 15 years ago. You can’t even get a single raw chicken breast for that price at my local grocery store.

Close-up Photo of Costco Rotisserie chickensarbyreed, Flickr

Hand-Pulled Rotisserie Chicken Breast Meat

Okay, yes, everyone knows about the rotisserie chicken—but did you know that you could get a bag of the fully cooked chicken breast meat that contains 14 servings? It’s great for sandwiches, salads, enchiladas, you name it.

Close-up Photo of Hand-Pulled Rotisserie Chicken Breast MeatChris Baranski, Flickr

Regional: Sushi Platter

Did you know that Costco tailors their offerings to the populations they serve nearby? For example, if you go to a Costco in an area with a large Asian population, you’ll find more Asian speciality foods—including sushi platters (or wider varieties of sushi platters) in the prepared food section.

Close-up Photo of Costco sushi platterkantokuruza, Flickr

Kirkland Signature Thick Sliced Bacon

Bacon is yet another one-time grocery store staple that’s gotten way too expensive and low quality—but if you can’t live without it on the weekends or in a BLT, get a pack from Costco. Freeze what you won’t use right away, and you’ll never have to lament paying $7 at the grocery store for a pack of paper-thin slices that crumble the moment they’re cooked.

Close-up Photo of Perfectly cooked baconCharles Smith, Flickr

Pure Vanilla Extract

Shrinkflation hits everyone hard—but when it hits an already-tiny product like a bottle of vanilla extract, you’re left making 1 or 2 batches of cookies before it’s time to re-up. That’s why many bakers reach for Costco’s pure vanilla extract. It’s a reasonable price and the bottle will last for ages in a cool, dark place.

Close-up Photo of a person holding Costco Pure Vanilla Extract over a white bowlHannah Beare, Flickr

Fresh Grapes

Have you ever brought a bag of grapes to the register at a regular grocery store and had sticker shock after realizing that was the price per pound, and you’d accidentally almost bought $16 worth of grapes? Costco had great prices on fresh grapes without the jump scare.

Close-up Photo of a person holding Tiny Champagne GrapesTony Alter, Flickr

Kirkland Signature Frozen Shrimp

No holiday party—or any party, really—is complete without a shrimp ring, but the ones from the grocery store get punier and punier each year, with less flavorful shrimp. So, forgo the ring for a bump in quality and defrost a load of Kirkland Signature frozen shrimp before your next get together. What it lacks in kitschy presentation, it makes up for in size and flavor.

Kirkland signature frozen shrimp displayed in a freezerA.C. Taylor, Flickr

Regional: Chili

Americans looking for a slightly healthier option in the Costco food court can look out for chili, which is only offered at certain locations. Members have written that it’s delicious, comes in a big portion, and is about half the calories of a slice of pizza.

Close-up Photo of Costco's Beef Chili in a white bowlrfung8, Flickr


Tired of steak from the grocery store that’s less than an inch thick and turns into a hardened puck the moment it hits the heat? While local butchers are still a great option for steak, Costco gives them a run for their money with both quality and price—and they’re all a respectable thickness that can stand up to the grill or your cast iron.

Close-up Photo of a Costco steak wrapped in a plastic foilGone-Walkabout, Flickr

Regional: Clam Chowder

You’d think this regional specialty would be found at Costco locations in San Francisco or Boston—but instead, it’s an offering at Costco Japan. Who would’ve thunk?

Person standing next to a table with Ivar's productsWashington State Dept of Transportation, Flickr

Street Taco Kits

The pre-made meals at Costco are usually a good bet—but the street taco kit is a surefire crowd pleaser. All you need to do is carefully scoop out the chicken and reheat, and you’ve got tender, flavorful tacos that’ll have you wishing they sold the cilantro-lime crema in large-format bottles.

Close-up photo of Chicken Tacos on a white plateJoshua Bousel, Flickr

Kirkland Signature Maple Syrup

Take it from a Canadian—this stuff is just as good as anything you’d find in a fancier bottle for twice the price. Plus, the large format means that you’ll never have to leave a square on your waffle unfilled. Use it to sweeten coffee, baked goods, and oatmeal.

Close-up Photo of Bottles with Maple SyrupJohn Munt, Flickr

Cinnamon Pull-Aparts

These treats can be found in the bakery section, and while they might be a little rich for every day, they’re a great option if you’re having friends and family over for brunch—especially during the holidays.

Close-up Photo of Cinnamon Pull Apart on a white plateCalgary Reviews, Flickr

Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto

Jarred pesto sauce can be hit or miss—but the Kirkland Signature version is an undeniable hit. Not only is it great on pasta, it’s delicious spread on bread in a sub sandwich, or as a topping for grilled meats.

Close-up Photo of Kirkland signature basil pestoAnna Gray, Flickr

Regional: Poutine

Did you know that Costco Canada doesn’t have the chicken bake in their food court? Well, what they lack, they make up for in the fact that they serve poutine. This Quebecois speciality features fries covered in fresh, squeaky cheese curds and covered in gravy.

Close-up photo of Costco Poutine on a white plastic bowlLucas Richarz, Flickr

Kirkland Signature Cold Brew Cans

When the summer months hit and it’s time to switch from hot coffee to cold, the process can be laborious. If you like your coffee strong, throwing hot coffee on ice isn’t going to cut it—and making cold brew yourself is laborious, time-consuming, and expensive due to the high coffee/water ratio.

Enter: Kirkland Signature Cold Brew in cans. It’s easy, cheap, and a great on-the-go option, especially for summer vacations and camping trips where you’re not sure what the coffee situation will be like.

Close-up of the top of an open aluminum soda canWojciech Kulicki, Flickr

Kirkland Signature Ground Coffee

Okay, yes—making cold brew with a 1:1 coffee grounds to water ratio can be prohibitively expensive…unless you’re working with Kirkland Signature Ground Coffee. Not only does it taste better than the other ground coffee options at Costco AND the grocery store, it’s also a good deal and frequently goes on sale.

Close-up photo of ground coffee on a white filterForest Starr and Kim Starr, Flickr

Just Bare Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks

Fans of these have compared them to Chick-Fil-A’s chicken nuggets—and they’re an easy option for adults and picky kids alike. They come in a 4 lb. bag and are even better in the air fryer.

Close-up photo of Costco Premium chunk chicken breastRobyn Lee, Flickr

Sheet Cake

If you need to serve dessert for a crowd, you could go to a bakery and get a cake that serves 6-8 people for $35. Or, you could go to Costco and get a sheet cake in a variety of flavors that will serve two dozen people for less than $1 per serving. Many locations also offer custom decorating if you pre-order.

Close-up Photo Costco Best Wishes Cakes placed on a racksAnthony Easton, Flickr

Regional: Sausage & Peppers Sandwich

If the humble hot dog isn’t good enough for you, many Costco food court locations on the East Coast offer a sausage & peppers sandwich, while locations in the Midwest may offer a bratwurst sandwich option.

Close-up photo of Sausage & Peppers Sandwich on a white platejeffreyw, Flickr

Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Organic Dog Food

Speaking of feeding really hungry mouths for a reasonable price, no one knows the pain of a large breed dog owner. Those precious pooches can really go through food fast. You’ll barely get over the backache of hauling one bag in before it’s time to go buy another. This is why Costco’s dog food is a great bargain for top-quality.

Close-up Photo of dog foodchrismetcalfTV, Flickr

Maldon Sea Salt Flakes

This is no ordinary salt. Maldon sea salt flakes are soft yet crunchy and pyramid shapes. They’re great as a finishing touch on cookies, sourdough with butter, grilled vegetables, steak, and brownies, among other things. Although a simple box can last years, you can’t really argue with the exceptional value and savings of the Costco format—a cute little (big) tub.

Close-up photo of Maldon sea salt flakes placed on a tableKitchenbutterfly, Flickr

Kirkland Signature Brie

Make no mistake—this isn’t some low-rent brie-like cheese product. No, Kirkland Signature gets their Brie from Isigny Ste Mere, which produces good quality dairy products in France, including butter and many cheeses. The brie is made in Normandy, and has a creamy, mild flavor.

Close-up photo of Kirkland Isigny Ste Mere French BrieNaoto Sato, Flickr

Regional: Ham & Cheese Croissant

Speaking of France, they have just one Costco location—but at the food court there, they serve a melty ham & cheese croissant sandwich, with mustard of course.

Close-up photo of Ham and cheese croissant on a white plateCharles Haynes, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Walnut Halves

Buying nuts at a regular grocery store has become nearly prohibitively expensive—but the large bag of walnut halves at Costco is still a fantastic deal. They make a great addition to cheese boards and salads, and are great chopped up in your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Close-up Photo of Shelled Walnuts from CostcoLucian Mihailescu, Flickr

Kirkland Signature Mixed Nut Butter

Just like nuts themselves, nut butters can vary wildly in price, and come in jars that are often too tiny for the price. The Kirkland Signature jar of mixed nut butter has no added salt or sugar, and contains almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds.

Close-up photo of mixed nut butter on a white bowltrpnblies7, Flickr

Regional: Acai Bowls

Costco food courts in California and Hawaii offer their health-conscious customers acai bowls with fresh fruit—going for just $5, a bargain compared to what they might cost elsewhere.

Person holding Acai bawl sitting on a tablerdubaton, Flickr

Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend

If you are a smoothie person, you know how easy it is to go through those puny bags of frozen fruit from the grocery store. For a bulk option that’s actually cheaper than buying the same quantity of fresh fruit, try the insanely popular Three Berry Blend bag.

Close-up Photo of Frozen berriesI saw_that, Flickr

Kirkland Signature Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a wildly versatile ingredient-slash cosmetic product that is totally underrated. It’s a healthy fat with a high smoke point, which makes it great for cooking—and it’s also a fantastic moisturizing agent for the skin, or can be used to do oil pulling to clean teeth.

Close-up photo of Kirkland signature organic virgin coconut oilBruce Matsunaga, Flickr

Regional: Vegan Al Pastor Salad

What is it with Southern California and specialty food court items? Some members have reported seeing a “vegan al pastor salad” pop up on the menu alongside the regular Caesar salad. It contains plant-based protein, romaine lettuce, black beans, fresh vegetables, and dressing.

Close-up Photo of Costco Wonderlane, Flickr

Toilet Paper

No, it’s not food—but we all need it. And it doesn’t go bad, and we will continue to need it for the rest of our lives, unceasingly—so why not buy it in bulk?

Toilet Paper stack at CostcoT.P. Abundance, Flickr


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