I Tried Costco Sushi, and I’m Ready to Roll with It Again

Updated: Jul. 19, 2023

Costco now sells sushi and sashimi it made right in the store. Is it worth battling crowds and long lines for a taste? We found out.

Whether it’s angling for fresh rotisserie chickens, hot dogs or tires, you pretty much need a zen mentality to get through the Costco crowds. Lines are the norm at any location, but when there’s a huge queue of people snaking from the back of the store to the front (blocking all the thruways, no less), there has to be a good reason. New samples in the frozen aisle? Nope. Sushi!

When word got out that Costco now sells freshly made sushi in Issaquah, Washington, people were kind of fanatic about it. The first weekend saw the biggest crowds, and while it wasn’t aggressive like it can get when those rotisserie chickens come out of the ovens (if you know, you know), the lines were outrageously long.

One of my favorite Costco shopping tips is hitting the prepared food section, so it makes sense. But still: Could Costco sushi be worth the hype? I picked a day without anyone stirring near the new Kirkland Signature sushi department to check it out.

Since When Does Costco Sell Sushi?

Costco Sushi Counter Lesley BallaLesley Balla for Taste of Home

Like other grocery stores, most Costco locations get sushi rolls and nigiri from a third-party vendor. Meaning: It’s made somewhere else, shipped and sold at your local store. The quality can be iffy, from bland (or worse) tasting fish to dry, crusty rice.

This is different. The Issaquah outpost sells sushi that’s made on-site with workers cutting the fish and assembling boxes of sashimi, nigiri and rolls throughout the day. (They do get some help: A robotic arm forms the nigiri, and the rolls are formed by an automated machine, which definitely helps with consistency.) The company also sells freshly made sushi at stores in Japan and South Korea, but this is the first for the U.S.

Why this location? It’s right next to Costco’s global headquarters for one. It also has the space to create a designated sushi-making room, somewhere temperature controlled so the fish stays at optimal freshness. The company has been keeping pretty hush-hush on when or if they’ll roll out the program nationally—it all depends on space availability at any location—but according to Reddit, Costco members are chomping at the bit for it to land in their neck of the woods, so keep an eye out.

What Kind of Sushi Does Costco Have?

Spicy Tuna Roll Lesley BallaLesley Balla for Taste of Home

So far our local Costco sells nigiri, a piece of fish or cooked shrimp laid out on an oblong rice ball; uramaki, your basic cut sushi roll with rice on the outside and seaweed wrapped around the fillings inside; and sashimi, slices of raw fish served without rice.

There are also big plastic bowls of poke, cubes of fresh ahi tuna in a sesame-soy dressing or a creamier spicy mayo sauce, which the store always offered; and DIY poke bowls that come with rice, fish, edamame and sauce. Sushi platters are available, too, with enough rolls, nigiri and sashimi to feed a crowd, but they weren’t available the day I was there.

Costco Sushi Review

Dungeness Crab California Roll Lesley BallaLesley Balla for Taste of Home

It’s safe to say I’m a sushi fanatic, and I’ll do anything to get my fix. From high-end omakase to local restaurants, as long as it’s good, I’ll happily eat sushi rolls, nigiri and sashimi just about anywhere. When it comes to good grocery store sushi, as long as the fish is fresh and tasty, and the rice isn’t dry, I’m all about it. That said, Costco sushi was pretty much what I expected. Not horrible, not amazing, but worth the money—especially if you want a lot of sushi.

And it’s a lot of sushi. Like everything at Costco, portions are massive. You get two 8-piece rolls per container, 12 huge pieces of nigiri, and 12 pieces of sashimi, and each box weighs a little more than a pound. Priced at $14.99, $16.99 and $29.99 per pound, respectively, it might seem expensive (and that’s without the Costco membership increase). But in reality, for the quantity and quality, it’s actually cheaper than most grocery store sushi, and pretty comparable to many local restaurants that serve sushi.

What Costco sushi really has going for it is the rice. According to The Seattle Times, the company made an extra effort to ensure its sushi rice would hold up to sitting in a display case for any amount of time. They even flew a team to Japan to work with “rice masters.” The company chose short-grain Tamaki Gold rice, which retains a sticky texture and won’t dry out in the fridge. It totally makes a difference in quality.

California Roll Lesley Balla Lesley Balla for Taste of Home

Sushi Roll

Roll offerings vary; my choices were a California roll made with cooked Dungeness crab, cucumber and avocado, and a spicy tuna roll. I’m not typically a fan of California rolls, but this was my favorite out of the bunch because it was made with real steamed Dungeness crab. The crab meat was light and fresh tasting, perfect with crisp cucumber and creamy avocado. It came with fried onions to sprinkle on top, which offered a nice crunchy contrast to the crab and sweet, slightly nutty rice.

The spicy tuna roll, however, didn’t have much flavor beyond mayo, but it was edible. The rice held together well, so the pieces didn’t fall apart. That’s a big win. I always like a good mound of nasal-clearing wasabi, too.

Tuna Nigiri Lesley Balla Lesley Balla for Taste of Home


While choices may change, my nigiri featured farm-raised Atlantic salmon, wild-caught ahi tuna and cooked shrimp. It was all pretty good, but could use some improvement. Each piece was massive, with thick planks of tuna and salmon covering the rice.

If you want your money’s worth, that’s a good thing. But you should be able to eat a piece of nigiri in one bite; these were easily two-biters. There was no finesse to how the fish was cut, but this is Costco. We’re not here for polish and pizzazz. The quality of the fish was hit-or-miss: The salmon was silky, the tuna wasn’t as fresh, and the shrimp was sort of bland. Although huge, the fish-to-rice ratio was on point.

Scallop Ahi Tuna And Salmon Sashimi Lesley Balla Lesley Balla for Taste of Home


My least favorite, sadly, was the sashimi. I love sashimi, and for the price, the substantial amount of gleaming, fresh fish you get seems like a steal. If you love eating giant pieces of raw fish, this is the sashimi for you. I didn’t enjoy all of it. To me, since you’re getting straight fish with little to no adornment, it should be incredibly fresh and delicate.

The beautiful raw wild-caught Hokkaido scallops were comparable to anything I’d get in a quality sushi bar, deliciously silky, sweet and fresh as the sea. As for the salmon and tuna chunks, the tuna was slightly fresher than my tuna nigiri but still begged for wasabi and soy sauce. And the salmon was just too chunky. My husband and I didn’t let it go to waste, though—we seared all of the raw fish leftovers for fish tacos the next day.


While I personally won’t wait in a giant line for it, Costco sushi is definitely a worthy grocery store sushi contender. I’d easily pick up a box or two of rolls for lunch or dinner. Knowing it’s made there, with really good rice, makes all the difference. The Dungeness crab rolls were worth it alone, and they’ll easily feed our household and then some. It was even good for lunch the next day! The nigiri is also a bargain comparatively, and I’d try it again, even if I’d like mine with a little more finesse.

You definitely get a lot, and isn’t that what we all want from a Costco membership anyway? Next time, I’ll just roll with it.