Costco just expanded their food court menu, and they're both vegetarian

There are three reasons why people love Costco: 1) the bulk items of snacks, food, and other general goods, 2) free samples and 3) the food court. Costco is the place to buy everything you need and be able to save money. Everyone knows that Costco has an amazing food court, with its fast food, like hot dogs, pizza slices and ice cream, which are all sold at an extremely cheap price. Now, Costco has shaken things up by replacing some food items with new, healthier options.     

Costco's Acai Bowl

Uptown Milk on Instagram: “Açaí bowls at Costco!? 😛 #nextlevel #costco #costcofoodcourt #heaven #foodie #cheapeats #acaibowl #lifestyle #blogger #yum #delish #newyork…”Price: $4.99

It's no surprise that Costco now serves Acai bowls, since it has been a recent food trend. This Costco Acai bowl, according to the menu description, is made of Acai and Baobab, which are both antioxidant-rich fruits. The bowls also have 9 grams of fiber, and no artificial colors or flavors. 

Similar to Costco's other food items, the Acai bowl is served at a good portion for a low price of $4.99. It's topped with granola, strawberry slices, and blueberries. I found it to be a bit too sour, but it's definitely worth it as a dessert, when Acai bowls usually go for more than ten dollars

Al Pastor Salad 

I-Lin Liu on Instagram: “Just discovered a plant-based protein al pastor salad at the Costco food court today, and it's HUGE and TASTY!  I could only finish about…”

Price: $4.99 

Usually, the only salad that Costco's food court had was the Caesar Salad. Now, the food court offers the Al Pastor Salad to add another vegetarian dish on their menu. It's made of plant-based protein (soy), romaine lettuce, black beans, and banh mi vegetables and dressing. I think it's a good choice for vegetarians or for those who want salads and want to take a break from eating meat.

RELATED: Items you should never, ever buy at Costco: 

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Items to never get at Costco

Protein powder, bars, or supplements

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Produce

A Costco worker from Idaho, an employee from Hawaii, and a worker from Minnesota, who added, "While our produce department is one of the best in the business, I personally don't eat veggies fast enough to buy in bulk."

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Tires

A Costco worker who just said they'd been working for the chain "too long"

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Packages of meat

A Costco employee from California, who added, "It's too much for my household."

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Mac and cheese

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Fruits

A Costco employee from Florida, who added, "They go bad very quickly."

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Baked goods

A Costco worker from Iowa, who added that the "packaging is just too big."

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Condoms

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Shoes

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Sushi

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Kirkland brand clothing

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The gallon-sized mayonnaise jars

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Salad

A Costco employee who's worked in 10 states, who added that, "I don't eat the huge quantity fast enough, then it rots. Waste of money."

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Any food you haven't tried before
 
A Costco employee from Illinois, who added, "Because then I'd have a six month supply."

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Final Thoughts 

There's an obvious pattern here as Costco is trying to switch their food court options to healthier food items with its Acai bowl and Al Pastor Salad. Costco has always had tasty fast food at a cheap price, and it's a great thing to offer more healthy and plant-based options. Keep up the good work, Costco. 

RELATED: Shocking Costco secrets: 

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Shocking Costco food court secrets

The most popular item on the menu? The legendary Costco hot dog.

"There's something about a buck fifty that people really love," said the employee. 

But at 552 calories and 32 g of fat, you may want save this food court staple for special occasions. 

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Another discontinued item that Costco often receives questions about? The chocolate-dipped ice cream bar with almonds. We hate to break it to you, but it's probably never coming back.

"I think it might have been too expensive for the amount we give. That's what happened with gelato anyway," the employee said.

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Everyone knows that the best churro is one that is hot and freshly made. If customers don't think they're getting the best churro their money can buy, don't be afraid to ask for a new one!

The employee said, "I learn to check when we're running low on churros and wait for a new pan to come out," adding, "I recommend checking on them right before you shop and seeing the changes when you come back. My favorite is when they run out of churros and you wait for five minutes or so, then when they pull them off the pan, it is a hundred percent brand new."

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The beloved berry smoothie was recently replaced by a different fruit smoothie -- and there's a perfectly logical (and healthy!) explanation for it. 

"Corporate thought the benefits outweighed the negatives in this situation. The new smoothie has a lot of better benefits in it -- less sugar, less calories, nothing but real fruit and fruit juice, and four servings of fruit in each smoothie." the employee said.

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Have you ever found yourself blotting away all the excess oil on your incredibly cheesy Costco pizza? There's a reason for that. 

The anonymous employee revealed that the amount of oil used in making the pizza is "too much." In fact, upper management monitors employees to make sure they're using enough oil. 

"When you don't use the corporate requested amount because you think it's too much and corporate notices? You use more oil to avoid being in trouble. Some managers overcompensate and use a quarter cup of oil+ when making them."

Yikes! Talk about a heart attack on a plate. 

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And of course we're dying to know what the pizza is made out of!

"It's made with love," the employee jokingly said.

Another Reddit user who claims to be a former employee also chimed in: "I don't know what's in the sauce, it came to us prepared, as did the cheese mix . . . I know it was like 85 percent mozzarella and 15 percent provolone when I worked there."

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There's no denying that Costco's chicken bake has a massive cult following. Surprisingly, the food court hit is pretty simple to make! After flattening out a lot of pizza dough, employees mix in chicken breast strips, mozzarella cheese, bacon and caesar dressing. All these ingredients are rolled up into the dough.

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And if you prefer no bacon in your chicken bake, you'll have to come in earlier in the day when employees are making it. 

"Sometimes the employees are running little bit late and they'll make them during the day, but you'd have to catch them before they mix the cheese and bacon. Which is hard to do," the employee said. "You could always call ahead a day and ask. I'm sure they'd oblige."

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Surprisingly, employees don't get a discount at the food court. However, they do receive a free executive membership ($120 a year), which is also a pretty impressive perk!

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