Costco is a one-stop shopping destination for all kinds of goods and services for its members. Aside from grocery shopping, Costco members can purchase electronics, sign up for home and auto insurance, and even book vacations. But one of the most popular features of any Costco Warehouse is its food court, home of the fan-favorite $1.50 hot dog and soda combo. Though the menu is simple, its low prices keep members coming back time and time again.

With such a small menu, you may not think there are many ways to customize your experience, but that is where you would be wrong. Members have come up with several clever hacks over the years, including unique food combos as well as ways to make your food court experience more convenient. If you have dined at the food court so many times that you think you have tried everything, think again: Here are some hacks and tricks to try out the next time you visit Costco.

1. Pizza & Hot Dog Combo

Most Costco members know that two of the signature items found on its food court menu are the single slice of pizza and a hot dog. With both being available for under $2.00 each, you can feed an entire family without breaking the bank. While many fans miss their beloved Combo Pizza, you can still munch on a slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza along with a hot dog and soda, all for less than one five-dollar bill.

Whether you are on a tight schedule and you need to eat quickly, or you are just curious, some food court devotees have come up with an inventive way to enjoy the pizza and hot dog simultaneously. When someone inquired on Quora about a possible food court secret menu, one respondent mentioned what they called a "Costco Taco." This is not something you can order specifically, but rather something you can concoct yourself using two of Costco’s most popular food court items. To build one, simply wrap your hot dog with a slice of pizza and eat it as if you were eating a taco.

Someone on Reddit also tried the pizza-wrapped hot dog a try, with many marveling at the creation. One comment suggested adding the various hot dog toppings for even further customization.

2. Root Beer Float

Costco vanilla frozen yogurt

For anyone with a sweet tooth, Costco members can enjoy a frozen nonfat yogurt snack at the food court along with their meal, or by itself. The soft-serve dessert comes on its own in a cup, or you can add one of a few different sauces to create a sundae. Anyone with a detective’s eye might notice that the soft-serve frozen vanilla yogurt is one-half of the two ingredients needed for a Root Beer Float, and luckily, the liquid component is also readily available at the Costco food court.

According to one Redditor, they spotted someone at the food court pouring root beer from the soda fountain into their cup of frozen yogurt. They did point out that they were located in Canada, so this hack might be limited to certain regions depending on what sodas are available. Additionally, they pointed out that Costco is "missing out" on a potentially popular menu item addition, but until that day comes, you can try this hack for yourself. Keep in mind, however, that it is probably a good idea to actually purchase the soda in addition to your frozen yogurt rather than just pour it into your frozen yogurt cup.

3. Visit when the lines are longer

Busy Costco food court

Many of the food court hacks Costco members have discovered over the years have to do with the specific food itself. However, there are a few other tips to keep in mind that do not have to do with any one specific menu item. Any Costco member will tell you that the warehouse experiences waves of crowds, with some days being much busier than others. Weekends are known to be quite busy at Costco, and that can be reflected in the long lines at the food court.

While many may run away from the food court when they see long lines, others point out that the crowds could be a good thing when it comes to the freshness of your food. One long-time Costco employee shared on Reddit that peak hours like lunch are a great time to order from the food court, as it is a "safe bet for fresh food." Think of it this way: When the food court is busy, employees are churning out fresh food more regularly, rather than the same pizza pie sitting under a heat lamp all afternoon when crowds are lower. So, there can really be a benefit to shopping at Costco on its busiest days after all.

4. Gussied Up Hot Dog

Costco hot dog pictured on food court menu

For less than two bucks, you really cannot expect much from Costco’s hot dogs, but members are just fine with that. If you want to dress your hot dog up at all, there are a few standard condiments available to add in the food court. But one Redditor shared a hack that involved bringing his food court hot dog all the way home in order to, as they described, "gussy" it up.

The process involved purchasing a standard hot dog and soda combo for $1.50, except rather than eat it right away at Costco, they headed home. Once there, they fired up their grill, sliced the hot dog down the middle, and grilled the meat and the bun for some extra char. They also added "Tillamook sharp cheddar, relish, mustard and raw onion" from their own kitchen to boost the flavor.

If you already have some spare hot dog condiments and toppings in your kitchen, a Costco hot dog can turn into quite an elaborate meal for just $1.50. As the user on Reddit claims, it was the "Best $1.50 I’ve spent in my life!"

5. Order-ahead pizza

Pepperoni pizza and box


Costco’s pizzas are not just available in ready-to-go slices. Members can purchase entire pies, either to enjoy with their family in the food court or to take home with them. Currently, the flavors available are Cheese and Pepperoni, though many fans have demanded the return of the Combo Pizza as well (with no success as of yet). Many members turn to Costco’s food court pizzas when catering a party, as the fan-favorite item is both tasty and affordable. But do members really have to wait at the food court to place an order for an entire pizza?

The short answer, simply, is no. Members can actually call ahead to order their Costco pizza and pick it up once they arrive at the warehouse. Ordering ahead has not gotten so advanced to where members can order online, but you can still do so via phone. In fact, most Costco locations should have their own designated pizza order phone number to conveniently get in touch with the food court when hunger strikes.

6. Hot Dog inside a Chicken Bake inside a Pizza

Ever heard of the turducken? This poultry lover’s dream is a bizarre, Frankenstein-esque creation made by putting a chicken inside of a duck inside of a turkey. The phenomenon of shoving an unlikely food item inside another seemed to have inspired a flurry of creations, including one that can be made in the Costco food court.

Hot dogs and pizza are not the only items available at the food court. Members can also try a chicken bake, which is essentially a handheld breaded snack stuffed with chicken, cheese, bacon, and caesar dressing. At some point, one brave and curious Costco member had the idea to try stuffing the hot dog into the chicken bake, and then wrap that in a pizza.

One Redditor calls it the "Hot Bake with Pizzaz," which they said is "raising the ante" when it comes to Costco food court menu hacks. Another Redditor suggested an alternate name, the "triple bypass special," likely inspired by the fact that those three items combined are probably quite high in cholesterol.

7. Free ice

Pile of ice cubes

Arissanjaya/Getty Images

Costco is primarily used by many as their grocery store of choice, selling everything from produce to baked goods to prepared foods. Members can easily stock up on food that will last for several weeks, thanks to the ability to buy these items in bulk. While Costco is a great spot to find all of your pantry items, it’s also a great place for dairy, frozen foods, and other refrigerated items. Basically, if your local grocery store sells it, Costco likely does, too.

There are a couple of unique problems that arise when grocery shopping at Costco, however. First, the warehouse does not offer any shopping bags, forcing members to rely on their own reusable bags when transporting their groceries home. Second, since many of these items are in bulk quantities, they may not always fit in a standard bag. The solution can come straight from the soda machine in the food court.

The next time you need to transport cold groceries home from Costco, head to the soda machine and fill a bag with ice. One employee shared on Reddit that it is allowed, so give it a try next time you have to head home with a car filled with refrigerated items.

8. Learn to skip the line


Most of the indoor Costco food courts are located just beyond the cash registers — a convenient spot to entice you to order a slice of pizza or a frozen yogurt on your way out. Marketing tactics aside, deciding to visit the food court on the way out after you have done your shopping can involve some problem solving, including having to wait in a separate line with your grocery cart filled with items.

However, this time suck can be avoided entirely if you are purchasing any other item from Costco. Did you know you can order food from the food court at the regular cash registers? This enables you to skip the line entirely at the food court. Just place your order with the employee when ringing out your items, and bring your receipt to the food court counter.

Costco has also rolled out digital kiosks in some of its warehouses over the years as a way to curb the long lines at the food court, so that may be another strategy to avoid waiting as well.

9. Forbidden Glizzy

In a world filled with secret menus and food hacks, it’s no surprise that the fan-invented creations keep piling in at Costco. While its food menu is limited, members have come up with several ways to construct new items with the simple building blocks already found on the menu. Now, you may be looking at Costco’s food court menu and are scratching your head. How can you possibly combine items like pizza, hot dogs, frozen yogurt, and chicken bakes and make it seem natural?

Call it a crime against nature, but one of the most recent menu hacks is called the Forbidden Glizzy. All it takes to make one is to stuff a hot dog inside a chicken bake. Reactions have ranged from one Redditor calling the combination "genius" to another quoting the famous Jurassic Park line, "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should." And then there are some Redditors who ride the line, like one who commented, "This looks gross and I want one immediately." No matter where you happen to fall on the Forbidden Glizzy spectrum of reactions, it is clear that Costco fans are set on coming up with the most creative, out-of-the-box menu hacks.