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Who cares if it has nothing to do with movies? This is vital news the entire San Diego community needs to hear!

Coca-Cola is out and Pepsi is in at Costco food courts! No, I am not kidding!

It began in 1984 as a single hot dog stand in front of a remodeled airplane hangar on Morena Boulevard. Today, it's almost impossible to find a Costco that doesn't offer members and civilians alike a jumbo frank and glass of soda for the small price of $1.50.

Coming from Chicago, where there's a Vienna hot dog shack on every other block, it took some time to adapt to San Diego being an NHZ: No Hot Dog Zone.



1.) Lefty's Chicago Style Hot Dogs with locations serving North Park and Mission Hills.

2.) Costco.

3.) There is a guy working a dirty water hot dog cart on the Oceanside Pier who forks up a mean Sabrett.

4.) The refrigerated case of any local supermarket that features Hebrew National or Nathan's.

5 - 10.) Der Wienerschnitzel? 7-11? You tell me.


For years Costco answered to a higher calling by serving up Hebrew National. This changed 4 years ago when Kirkland, the wholesaler's in-house brand, decided to go into the hot dog making business. According to their website, Kirkland dogs are "10 percent heavier and longer than" Hebrew National, made with "100% beef with only fresh USDA Choice or better cuts" and "without fillers, binder, phosphates, corn syrup, artificial color and artificial flavors."

Had the signage on the umbrellas not switched, I'd have been none the wiser. And for those still craving a Hebrew National foot-long, Costco sells packs of 20 for under $10.


I'll take the Pepsi Challenge and declare Coca-Cola the winner every time! I was bottle fed on Pepsi. My father once owned a burger joint that exclusively served Pepsi products to wash down the grease. While Dad managed to instill a preference for mustard over ketchup as my french fry condiment of choice, damn if I couldn't wait to grow up and make the switch to the Real Thing.

Not every venue stocks Coca-Cola. The General Cinema Chain was a Coke-free zone. So is Balboa Park where I once ran MoPA's film program. (Luckily there is a staff Coke machine situated on the premises.) It's not that Pepsi causes my gag reflex to kick in, it's just that I prefer the flavor of Coke.


With Coke out, the choice of fountain drippings also took a hit with only Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, pishox-flavored Sierra Mist, and maybe Mug Root Beer (Feh!) or Slice on tap. Say goodbye to Snapple's Dr. Pepper and Coke's Mr. Pibb. Mountain Dew, Pepsi's answer to anti-freeze, is also off the menu. Another favorite, Minute Maid Pink Lemonade was replaced by a "lite" version of their standard issue brand.

Maybe it has something to do with Coke's snooty perception of their brand. 2 liter bottles of Pepsi products line the shelves of dollar stores. Not Coca-Cola. Unless it's on sale, a similar serving of Coke will set you back almost twice that much at Ralph's or Von's.

At one point, Costco sold a 40-pack of 16oz. Cokes for under $10. Returning two-weeks later to claim another load, I was told by an employee that Coca-Cola would no longer allow their products to be sold by the warehouse giant at such a cut rate price. It was beneath them. Is this Costco's way of suddenly enacting sweet -- actually, high-fructose corn syrup -- revenge?


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Andy Boyd April 26, 2013 @ 4:02 p.m.

Pepsi is undrinkable garbage. Dr. Pepper is the savior of Pepsi machines everywhere.


MrWolf April 28, 2013 @ 9:56 a.m.

Diet Dr. Pepper is the only diet drink I can consume, and actually enjoy. This was a good read, Scott. Now I want you to do a Top 10 of the best pizza chains in SD (you mention Lefty's in Hillcrest, I stop reading).


jnojr April 30, 2013 @ 9:45 a.m.

Good. Coke tastes like recycled battery acid. Pepsi actually tastes like a soda instead of "medication" prescribed by a 19th Century practitioner who'll also give you a bottle of laudanum to take home with you.


Scott Marks May 3, 2013 @ 8:34 a.m.

Things go better with laudanum. Let's settle our differences over a marvelous bottle of nutty RC!



tomjohnston May 3, 2013 @ 9:35 a.m.

Never tasted recycled battery acid, so I'll take your word on that. Pespi sucks. Diet Pepsi sucks harder. Diet Dr. is the ONLY PepsiCo product I will drink and I would guess that it won't be available at Costco.


itsrobert May 4, 2013 @ 9:30 a.m.

Diet Dr Pepper is not a PepsiCo product.


Ramrod116 July 12, 2015 @ 5:19 a.m.

Actually Dr Pepper is a PepsiCo product, since PepsiCo owns it, 7up makes it and Coca-Cola distributes it... I worked for PepsiCo for 5 years and Dr Pepper was in our stock options since they owned it


Ian Pike May 3, 2013 @ 9:17 a.m.

There's a hot dog place between the Ruby Room and the Liquor Store on University Avenue in Hillcrest. Give it a whirl. Nice guy that runs it and the dogs are dressed up fairly well. AFAIK, it hasn't disappeared yet....


itsrobert May 4, 2013 @ 9:35 a.m.

Thank you Costco for giving us Pepsi. Coke has a bad aftertaste.


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