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Costco in San Diego - Your Favorite Store?

Gypsy Jan Feb 27, 2010 10:31 AM

San Diego is where Costco started out, IIRC.

Do you have a favorite location in the San Diego area? (Chula Vista and other San Diego county local cities included.) Please give details.

Thanks for your input!

  1. DiningDiva Feb 27, 2010 12:22 PM

    The parking lot is kind of a pain, but the easiest Costco store to get in and out of with the least amount of hassel is Santee. I think the Mission Valley store has the best selection. My least favorite store is La Mesa...the parking lot is horrendous and getting in an out of the parking lot is awful. The store is okay, and going at off hours makes it bearable.

    Staff is remarkably nice at all lcoations.

    1. d
      daantaat Feb 27, 2010 01:49 PM

      We usually end up in the Morena one b/c it's closest (parking can be a pain unless you go right at opening time), but the Carlsbad one is reasonably easy to navigate in and out of. Plus, if you only want gas, you don't have to wind around the parking spaces.

      2 Replies
      1. re: daantaat
        r
        RB Hound Feb 27, 2010 07:25 PM

        I've found that the Morena store carries some food items that you often don't see in other stores. I read somewhere (perhaps here) that it is one of their "test stores", so that might partially explain why it is. Anyhow, inside the store, it is probably my top choice (though it also is the closest store to me, so there you go).

        The most pleasant Costco that I've found is the Poway store (off Scripps-Poway Parkway). Maybe it's not quite as busy, maybe the parking lot is less annoying in design - who knows? But the difference in "vibe" between that store and the nearby Rancho Bernardo store is night and day, and it seems to me that they have almost the same shopper demographic.

        1. re: RB Hound
          b
          Beach Chick Feb 27, 2010 07:37 PM

          Love the Costco at Tech Center in Poway off the Scripps Poway Pkwy..been going there since it opened a couple of years ago..staff is awesome and its less busier than the rest.
          Great fish selection..
          Morena is a zoo but have dealt with the employees since Sol Price owned it and I sure do miss him..he was a totally cool guy..
          I think your right RB that its a test store..I'll find things there that I won't see anywhere else.
          Carlsbad and Santee are great but I think the La Mesa is the worst out of the bunch.
          Parking spaces at Costco are larger than the average parking space but at the LM store, they seem like the whole parking lot is for small compact cars.

      2. k
        kmeierinca Feb 27, 2010 02:50 PM

        Used to live in La Jolla and went to Clairement store. Not worth it. Now live in Encinitas and go to the Carlsbad store. Agree with DiningDiva that Mission Valley has the best selection but Carlsbad isn't too far off and it's much easier to navigate and closer to home.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kmeierinca
          s
          SeanT May 21, 2010 10:32 AM

          COstco Carlsbad is great for prime meat selection. Prime steaks under ten bucks a pound, hard to beat. Look for the blue styrofoam, it will be veal or prime beef.

          1. re: SeanT
            c
            cstr May 21, 2010 12:10 PM

            Costco Morena also stocks USDA Prime. I've also seen the cryovaced individual frozen USDA Prime steaks which are lower priced than the fresh.

        2. monku Feb 27, 2010 08:04 PM

          Wasn't it Price Club that started in San Diego?
          Later they merged with Costco which was started in Seattle, Washington.

          2 Replies
          1. re: monku
            goodhealthgourmet Feb 27, 2010 08:49 PM

            yep - first Costco store was in Seattle...and their corporate HQ was originally in Kirkland, WA, hence the name of their house brand.

            here in SD i've only been to the Carlsbad and Mission Valley stores, and agree with others that Carlsbad is easier to navigate. plus, the last couple of times i was in the Mission Valley store it was like a sauna in there - 73 degrees outside and they had the heat cranked. i said something to the cashier and she told me they control the heat from the corporate offices so the store can't turn it down. i found that VERY odd.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
              b
              Beach Chick Mar 1, 2010 06:29 AM

              I was there last year at the MV location and I thought my youth went out the window and I was experiencing the dreaded 'Hot Flashes' in a Costco in MIssion Valley...Aarghhh.
              Thank goodness, it was just the heat cranked up..thought I was at a Bikram Yoga class!

          2. c
            cstr Feb 28, 2010 05:03 AM

            I like the store on Morena, they seem to get new things like the gelatto stand in the food court. I used to go to the store in Vista for their Seattle Finest fresh roasted coffee but, it's gone. Sure do miss that, wish we had it in Morena.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cstr
              b
              barbian7 May 2, 2010 09:42 PM

              There are pieces of paper at every exit (ask the people who work on the door) called "Tell us what you think". These go straight to the buyer, and can make a huge impact. Please tell them you want coffee back at the food court. If McDonalds can do it, why can't Costco?

            2. b
              barbian7 May 2, 2010 09:36 PM

              Geez, surprised anyone cares (I've worked there for 26 years, lol). Morena was the first Price Club in 76. One of the employees started the similar Costco, then later they merged into Price-Costco. The Prices decided to go with international (Price Smart) and now it's just Costco (so that former PC employee is the CEO). The stores that were originally Price Clubs are still union, the ones that have always been Costco are not. Morena is the only store to still have a candy shop. The wine and cheese selection at this store is also excellent. If you get to know your cashiers, you'll have a more pleasant shopping experience--most of the long-term employees have regular customers.
              Also--when parking at La Mesa, enter near the McDonalds (much easier to navigate)
              Poway usually has easy parking.
              Items in each store is different depending on demographics. For example, Market Street (a very nice store, by the way) has Mexican juices sometimes. I've worked at three stores, and find Morena to have the best selection of all the stores, you just have to put up with the old building.

              1 Reply
              1. re: barbian7
                Gypsy Jan May 3, 2010 02:50 PM

                thanks barbian7, your insider information is really helpful and appreciated!

              2. 4
                4wino May 21, 2010 02:12 PM

                Do you guys remember the 2000 Bordeaux feeding frenzy. Sadly we'll never see those deals again. Now they have the 2006 firsts for $400, good luck with that!

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