The 7 Best Breads At The Costco Bakery, Ranked

breads from Costco bakery
breads from Costco bakery - Steven Luna/Mashed

The Costco bakery may not entice customers with the scent of fresh-baked bread wafting out from behind the counter. But the hearty artisan offerings bagged up and stacked on the tables are enough to win the hearts of lovers of baked goods looking for a bargain on beautiful bulk breads and luscious loaves worth lingering over. This section of the wondrous warehouse retailer is especially important for family shoppers who know how costly specialty breads can get when purchased regularly.

While it's tempting to sweep through and grab every loaf in the collection, some selections provide a more favorable experience for bread lovers than others, even if that experience is solely situational. In other words, one bread fan's croissant is another bread fan's ciabatta roll. We wondered how these premium selections stack up against each other, so we made a Costco run, grabbed a bag of each type, and settled in for a good old-fashioned bread tasting. It's safe to say they're all winners, but some selections have a more gourmet touch that lends to a superior experience, while others are ground-level options that may not rise to your more special occasions. We'll explain how we determined our ranking at the end, but for now, let's dive into the seven best breads you can pick up at the Costco bakery.

Read more: 20 Frozen Foods Costco Shoppers Swear By

7. French Loaves

Costco French loaves
Costco French loaves - Steven Luna/Mashed

A more artful take on the general bread loaf, Costco's French loaves include a stylishly sliced top dusted with flour as a tasty table décor. This may draw the discerning eye away from the fact that the bread itself is distinctly standard: wide-bodied with blond crust and a squared-off bottom, providing fluffy slabs for grilled cheese sandwiches and French toast. It's tasty enough for bread fanatics to eat unadorned, though the broad surface cries out for at least a swath of butter to make things more flavorful.

Though there's much to praise here, it is -- in the end -- just bread in its most basic form. Anyone suspecting there may be special seasoning hiding in the center will be sorely disappointed when they slice into it. It's also a generous helping, meaning this double-loaf will likely be more bread than you can eat before it hardens. Placing one loaf in cold storage while you work on the other isn't a bad idea. They also come unsliced, allowing you to customize your cuts to your needs.

6. Baguettes

Costco baguettes on cutting board
Costco baguettes on cutting board - Steven Luna/Mashed

No need to book a flight to Paris to get patisserie-level baked goods, as long as you have a membership to the wonderful world of warehouse shopping. Costco baguettes offer everything you want in authentic French-style bread: crusty on the outside, not too tender, and skinny enough to slice into rounds for a party platter or light lunch. Though they're too narrow and tough for mini-sandwiches, these loaves are just the right circumference to stand in for crusty Italian bread when bringing your favorite bite-size bruschetta and crostini creations to life.

These long European treats come two to a bag, meaning you'll probably want to store one quickly to keep it as fresh as possible. This may require slicing it in half to fit it into your icebox. If you find yourself overloaded with too-long loaves, consider slicing one into rounds and toasting them in the oven, then storing them for future use instead. This will help prevent them from going stale while giving you a more manageable form for bagging and stashing.

5. Plain Bagels

plain bagels from Costco bakery
plain bagels from Costco bakery - Steven Luna/Mashed

Costco plain bagels may seem like the bland bake of the bunch, but they're actually a very well-made take on the deli favorite. With their chewy exteriors and doughy interiors, they're easy to enjoy in bite-sized chunks with your favorite dipping sauces, similar to a saltless soft pretzel. Eating them straight out of the bag is just as acceptable as slicing them in half (they aren't pre-sliced) and decorating them with schmear or cold cuts and veggies. Light eaters will probably want to stick with half a bagel since these doughy rounds are generously sized.

With six in a bag, you may be able to clear out your bagel order within the week you buy them. It may be safer to store what you want to use in the fridge and freeze the rest to make sure they're useful when you're ready. And if they're part of a party platter, consider laying out six halved and six cut into wedges to allow your guests a variety of options to dig into.

4. Artisan Rolls

Costco artisan ciabatta rolls
Costco artisan ciabatta rolls - Steven Luna/Mashed

Otherwise known in bakery circles as ciabatta rolls, these flour-topped squares are the perfect palm-sized canvases for breakfast sandwiches or homemade spreads. They have terrific density, providing a toothiness that feels substantial without compromising chewability. They also come pre-sliced, making it easier to tuck-and-store for DIY sandwich bars at your backyard get-togethers. But the flavor of these plain-Jane bakes will likely leave you wanting if you don't enhance them somehow; there's no inherent taste that lends to the fillings. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, since it also lets the fillings and condiments shine through. It's simply something to be aware of before making your purchase.

As for workability, Costco artisan rolls are a real help in the kitchen. Their tidy, linear shape makes them a great addition to lunch boxes, and having a cool dozen in the bag means you can meal prep for the week without a problem. And if you plan on enjoying them more sparingly, clearing space for them in the fridge or freezer will let you extend their freshness until you can use them all up.

3. Everything Bagels

Everything bagels from Costco
Everything bagels from Costco - Steven Luna/Mashed

Could there be any more flavor crammed onto the surface of these wonderful bagels? Simply opening the bag greets your olfactory senses with a blast of rye, garlic, and onions -- enough to get you salivating. They're the closest thing we could find to the popular Costco garlic parmesan bread that sends TikTokers into a tizzy, an apt stand-in that adds even more excitement to the equation — minus the parmesan. If there's any drawback here, it's that there may be too many onions among the bits and bobs on top. They certainly add flavor, but the weird texture is a little off-putting. Though they're cooked already, running these bagels through the toaster helps even out the strange slimy-chewy mouthfeel enough to solve the problem.

Costco bagels are a mix-and-match dozen, meaning you'll come home with 12 of these bad boys in your box. Consider stashing half of each type in the freezer for future enjoyment rather than hoping you can plow through a dozen bagels before they begin to toughen up or start growing mold.

2. Croissants

fresh Costco croissants
fresh Costco croissants - Steven Luna/Mashed

There can be no disappointing croissant fans when you toss a tub of Costco croissants into the cart. These authentic recreations of the classic pastry are so soft, so buttery, so darn delicious! The flaky layers melt on your tongue, which can be a dangerous thing; it'll easily fool you into thinking you should eat more than one in a sitting. But there are 18 grams of fat and 300 calories in each, courtesy of the real butter used in the recipe. It's the best way to get the laminated dough required to achieve so many delicate layers, a truth the Costco bakery faithfully adheres to.

There's no bad way to enjoy one of these croissants. You can grab one from the dozen in the tote and pull it apart for an easy-to-reach treat. Or you can slice them in half and add your favorite sandwich fillings or jazz them up sweetly with a drizzle of chocolate or a spot of jam if you think they need more personality for a special occasion. Even if you serve them completely bare and stacked on a tray among your other party fixings, they're pretty enough to make a striking pile anyone will recognize as a posh bake.

1. Cranberry Walnut Loaf

Costco cranberry walnut loaf
Costco cranberry walnut loaf - Steven Luna/Mashed

By far the most flavorful of the Costco bakery bread bunch, cranberry walnut bread offers a gently sweetened sourdough rye loaf with a scattering of cranberries and walnut pieces dispersed throughout a sturdy dough with a lightly crisped shell. It's the best use of cranberries we've seen since Costco's white chocolate cranberry cookies. This was an obvious favorite after sampling such subdued flavors in the other breads. We could easily imagine this bake as a base for dessert sandwiches filled with cream cheese and Nutella or almond butter and bananas. We settled for enjoying it plain and toasted, with nothing on it, and it was as peak a bread experience as we can recall.

Cranberry walnut bread comes as a single rounded loaf, a picturesque addition to a brunch table or party spread. Slices get wider as you reach the middle, so prepare for some tricky cutting to make them smaller or some super indulgence in oversized bread. However you slice it, this wonder of a bread is one of the best items the Costco bakery has on hand and a certified list-topper for our ranking.

How We Determined Our Ranking

Customers browsing Costco bakery
Customers browsing Costco bakery - The Image Party/Shutterstock

The selections available at Costco may vary throughout the year, so we were only able to choose from what we found. Fortunately, the Costco bakery section stocks several fresh-baked loaves bagged and ready for purchase, as well as a few boxed breads found among the more deluxe baked goods. We tasted each item separately, leaving them unadorned to get the full impact of the bread itself. We also gauged their toothsomeness and mouthfeel to determine all-around satisfaction, as well as considering how each bread might be factored into everyday situations and special occasions.

We also learned first-hand how delicate these bakes can be if not stored properly. Because the bulk nature of Costco bakery items means you'll be getting a big bunch of bread no matter what you buy, be sure to clear out fridge or freezer space to store the extra to make your Costco purchase last longer once opened. This is crucial, considering the refreshing lack of preservatives worked into the recipes. Having left a slice or two out on the counter, we found mold spots after a few days that reassured us we were eating a refreshingly wholesome take on store-baked bread, one that requires attentive storage to last.

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