The Absolute Best Costcos Across The U.S.

Like Disney, McDonald's, and Kylie Jenner, Costco has built itself into one of the world's most recognizable brands. The National Retail Federation ranks Costco as the 6th biggest global retailer, while it ranks 12th in Fortune 500's top U.S. corporations, leaving 488 others in its wholesale dust.

Whether you're a longtime member, or simply someone who drives past one of their sprawling locations on your daily commute, you are certainly aware of the membership-only behemoth, and its reputation for stocking everything from bananas to coffins at discount prices.

If you're one of those casual observers, you could be forgiven for thinking there's little difference between any of the 572 Costco warehouses across the U.S. But oh, how wrong you'd be! Each Costco has its own individual quirks, and can stock vastly different items, even from a location in a neighboring zip code. To find out which are the absolute must-visits, read on.

The biggest Costco

Everything might be bigger in Texas, but it's the Beehive state that boasts the biggest Costco warehouse — not only in the U.S., but in the entire world. Located at 1818 S. 300 W. in Salt Lake City, Utah, this discount Death Star measures an astounding 235,000 square feet (via Only in Your State). Employees report walking up to ten miles per day, which raises the question: are they denied golf cart usage, or do they opt out to get their steps in?

Consider adding this Costco to an American tour of world's biggest things, along with Cawker City Kansas' ball of twine and Frankenmuth, Michigan's cuckoo clock. You could get lost in this place, but you certainly wouldn't starve, or lack for high-definition entertainment. For the best shopping experience, veteran customers recommend getting there before the rooster-like opening time of 7am. Do note, however, that you won't find wine or liquor here — it is Utah, after all.

The smallest Costco

Perhaps your tastes tend more towards teacup dogs, smart cars, and miniature golf. If that's the case, plan a trip to Alaska to check out the world's smallest Costco, located at 5225 Commercial Boulevard in Juneau. A convenient $10 shuttle will take you to its doors, directly from the dock. Pick up a warm hat for dog sledding, binoculars for bear viewing, and whatever you might need for viewing the Northern Lights.

This location was built as a prototype to see if the model would work for smaller markets. It apparently didn't, really, but Juneau's Costco is still around, offering the intimate warehouse shopping experience. Local Yelpers rave about the cheap booze and the above-and-beyond service at the auto shop — "They even alerted me to the failings of another auto shop in town regarding my lugnuts," writes one customer. As far as uniquely local flavor goes, this Costco stocks crab pots, should you wish to stage your own version of "Deadliest Catch."

The busiest Costco

You might peg a giant metropolis like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago as being home to the nation's busiest Costco — but you'd be dead wrong! In addition to being the birthplace of Barack Obama, Bette Midler, and Bruno Mars, it's the island of Oahu in Hawaii that boasts the Costco warehouse with the highest annual revenue — roughly twice that of the national average! (Per Is it Packed?)

One in four island residents carries a Costco card. Although there are three locations to choose from, it's the one at 525 Alakawa St. in Honolulu that takes the crown as most popular. Its flip-flop-clad, loud-shirted customers have been known to empty the warehouse's entire inventory twice a month, likely at a leisurely pace. That many easygoing folks can't be wrong! The next time you find yourself in the "Heart of Hawaii," consider dropping by this hub of bargain-seeking activity, and picking up some sunblock, a surfboard, or a roasting pig.

The highest-rated Costco

Any survey of the best Costcos in the country should pay at least some attention to which locations score those coveted red stars on Yelp. The Costco in Duncanville, Texas, located at 250 W. Highway 67, is best in class with a scorching 4.5 average rating – and with a robust 75 reviews, it's not coasting on small sample size.

What makes this location so special? It seems to come down to good old-fashioned customer service. "Great staff, great products and services," raves one Yelper. "The store is well managed and always clean." "Everyone is so pleasant, helpful and courteous!" another chimes in. Elite Yelp reviewer Lynne T. raves, "Best prices ever on bulk fresh and frozen produce." She goes on to praise its efficiency: "every register open and ready to check. This Costco is always well stocked." The naysayers? A couple of them complain about the store's mask requirement, which many would consider a positive.

The newest Costco

Arkansas' first railroad opened in 1858. In 1972, its Buffalo River became the first to be designated a National River. But those historic firsts were all warmup for July 21, 2021, when five years of local campaigning finally resulted in Arkansas' first Costco (per KARK). The new warehouse, which also includes a separate liquor store and gas station, opened at 16901 Chenal Parkway in Little Rock with all the pomp and circumstance of a big league sports stadium. People lined up far in advance of opening. The mayor was there to cut a ribbon. "They hired a choir of angels but I heard they were running late," tweeted Fox 56's Mandy Noell.

The Yelp reviews are in, and it seems this Costco mostly lives up to the advance hype. "The quality is bar none, the best. Nothing compares," Rick U. enthuses. "Their meat is better than anywhere I've ever purchased and worth every penny."

The oldest Costco

The oldest still-operating McDonald's has become a tourist attraction in Downey, California, and if there's any justice, this OG warehouse will similarly become a mecca for Costco superfans. According to Seattle Business, it's the first Costco ever, opening in 1983 at 4401 Fourth Ave S. in the Emerald City. The location was also the company's original corporate headquarters, though that eventually moved to nearby Kirkland (of Kirkland Signature fame). In 2005, Costco bought an adjacent lot and built a new warehouse, but were able to keep the same address.

Yelp users love the car wash, the large and efficient parking lot, and the novelty of shopping at the first ever Costco. An added perk to this location is Costco will sometimes test new products here before they hit the rest of the country. A cheeseburger, for example -– organic beef patty, smoked Thousand Island dressing, served on a challah bun –- caused quite a stir when it surfaced in the food court.

The real Costco of New Jersey

This warehouse, located at 1290 US 22 E. in North Plainfield, New Jersey, is the second-highest-rated Costco on Yelp. More than one Yelper claims it's the best. Let's face it, Real Housewife of New Jersey Teresa Giudice isn't going to choose any old location to launch her raspberry-flavored sparkling wine. "Been all over and this wins hands down," says Bob T. "Food is fresh, workers are timely and informative and they go the extra mile." 

Matt P. adds, "I always look forward coming to this location, everything from fresh produce to friendly staff is really superb."

The few complaints seem rather niche: one cites "substandard pork cuts," while another singles out one employee for allegedly being "rude and stupid." Overall, this Costco seems like a safe bet if you ever find yourself in the land of Bruce Springsteen, Tony Soprano, and Kevin Smith, and are in need of bulk goods at a reasonable price.

The exotic Costco

Per the Census Bureau, there is a significant Asian population surrounding this Costco at 43621 Pacific Commons Boulevard in Fremont, California. Accordingly, this warehouse offers unique products that cater to its neighbors: kaju rolls, kimchi, ghee, roti, and the like -– although never, according to one Yelp reviewer, boba ice cream!

According to Costco's website, California is the state with the highest number of Costco locations, so it takes a lot to stand out. The Fremont joint pulls it off. "I like this location more than the 3 other ones around the area," says one Yelper. "Their bakery, deli, and flowers are top-notch," opines another. David H. says, "The store itself definitely has a local appeal as some items are unique to the community which makes shopping for more than the staples a bit more fun."

Last but not least, this Costco features a dedicated lactation room, for new moms braving what can often be a strenuous shopping experience with their infants in tow.

The good ol' Costco

Deep in the heart of bourbon country –- 800 Heights Blvd. in Florence, Kentucky -– lies one of the highest-rated Costcos on Yelp. It's not only a favorite of locals, but many Cincinnati residents cross the state line and trek southward to sample its wares.

As might be expected from the land of Knob Creek and Maker's Mark, Kentuckians value a good liquor store. This Costco cleverly loopholes state law by hawking booze out of an adjacent store, rather than within the warehouse itself. "Their house brand box wine is an incredible value," writes one Yelper.

Other loyal customers cite unique items in the food court, including bratwurst in addition to the usual hot dogs, and a stromboli-adjacent sandwich called a "chicken bake." Summing it up in a display of both dedication and melancholy, one Yelper writes, "I will definitely be going back to the store every other week for probably the rest of my life."

The architectural wonder Costco

New York City, fiercely proud of its small mom-and-pop delis and bodegas, fought a noble battle against megastores. Under Rudy Giuliani, however, zoning changes were proposed that made inevitable the Costco invasion (per the New York Times). In 1995, resistance proved futile, and the first Costco within the five boroughs opened on Staten Island. The other boroughs soon fell like dominoes, and New Yorkers began crowding their tiny, overpriced apartments with bulk toilet paper and soup. The first Queens location, opening in 1996, was this five-acre sprawl at 3250 Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City.

This Costco makes the list due mainly to its unique layout. It took over the space from a steel manufacturer, so it stands apart from the boxy, utilitarian shape of most other warehouses. Architectural quirks aside, it earns high marks for its friendly staff, large parking lot, and scenic waterfront location. To paraphrase Frank Sinatra, if you can make it through the checkout line here, you can make it anywhere.

The carcass Costco

Yes, it's true: this Costco sells giant carcasses! No, it's not a front for an underground organ donor ring. Rest assured that we're talking carcasses of the pig and lamb variety. This location, at 400 S. Zuni Street in Denver, Colorado, is a Costco Business Center, which means it caters more to the small business owner than the individual. Hence the availability of entire uncut animals — a bistro could whip up a weeknight pork chop special with a solitary purchase.

You won't find a food court, bakery, or rotisserie here (for some, an essential part of the Costco shopping experience) but you will find far less foot traffic and shorter checkout lines than the average Costco, not to mention a frozen goat. Many Yelp users insist that great deals exist even for the solo shopper. "If you've never been to a business center Costco," writes Elite Yelper Amy N., "I recommend checking it out at least once."

The Costco Connoisseur's choice

One of the things Costco is most known for is offering things in bulk, which was memorably parodied on "The Simpsons" when Marge crowed over a find at Monstromart, "That's a good price for 12 pounds of nutmeg!" However, there's a Costco at 4696 Gardens Park Boulevard in Orlando, Florida that features a "Costco Market," where you can buy items individually, but still at low prices.

The location is a favorite of Ramsey Monroe, a.k.a. the "Costco Connoisseur," who chronicles her Costco adventures on her website, as well as on every social media platform imaginable. "I love it because you get the Costco things that you enjoy, you get this amazing price, but you don't necessarily have to walk away with a case of everything," Ramsey told Business Insider. "You can get a variety." This is good news for tourists in town for the nearby Universal Studios who might need to grab some snacks or other essentials without wanting to be weighed down by giant packages.