If you’ve never been to a Daiso, it’s basically a Japanese dollar store, or what they call “hundred Yen shops.” It’s hard to beat Daiso’s prices. Where else can $1.75 get you a metal coffee dripper, an airpod case, or a set of poop-shaped erasers? But some of the store’s best values are actually found in their snack aisle, which offers a wide range of uniquely Japanese snacks without the huge import fees that haunt anyone who’s ever had to spend $10 bucks for a box of Pocky. Here are the Daiso snacks I’m currently obsessed with:
- Kracie Popin’ Cookin’ Ramen
If you’re a fan of those little gummy hamburgers you can assemble yourself, you’ll love this gummy ramen set, which allows you to mix, mold, and eat a candy version of a complete ramen meal, including soup, spring rolls, and mango pudding. While it may look savory, the candy pieces taste like mango (natch!), strawberry, cola, and Ramune soda. It’s the perfect treat for any time you’re thinking, “Man, I really want to confuse my taste buds!”
- Pizza Pretz
From Glico, the same company that brought you Pocky, Pretz is a long, thin, savory biscuit flavored like a cheese pizza.Think of them like Pizza Hut breadsticks, only without the hassle, mess… or the horrible life choices that forced you to go to Pizza Hut.
- Ginbi’s Dream Animal Butter Flavored Biscuits
What these animal-shaped crackers lack in detail, they make up for by printing the name of the animal right on the cookie, so you’ll always know you’re eating an “OX” or an “M. Duck.” (Which I assume means “Mr. Duck.”) And the butter flavor is the closest thing you can get to eating a box of butter, which is my personal dream.
- Uha Mikakuto Puchao Fruit Soda
A lot of gummy candies pretend to be healthy by playing up their fruit flavors, but not these! You’ve got to respect the honesty of pointing out that they’re not even trying to taste like fruit, but fruit soda. You can’t get less health-conscious than making “a candy of a soda.” Well, I guess if you also sugar coated them, deep fried them, and served them with bacon, but they’re probably working on that too. Here’s hoping!
- Banana Milkita
Speaking of candies that taste like drinks, how about one that tastes like a banana milkshake? Also available in vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, and honeydew (!) flavors, Milkita is made with real milk and advertised as being a “good source of calcium.” That is definitely why I eat them. My crippling sugar dependency is just a complete coincidence.
- Glico Caplico Mini
If you’re craving ice cream, but don’t like the mess of ice cream or the cold of ice cream… or the “ice cream” of ice cream, you should try Gliko’s Caplico, a candy treat that tastes like an ice cream cone. Available in strawberry, chocolate, and milk flavors, the bottoms of the cones are also filled with chocolate, to give you that extra sweet bite that’s normally reserved for the ends of Drumsticks or, well, every piece of chocolate.
- Dolcetto Wafer Rolls
If you’re looking for the fanciest cookies you can buy for two dollars, check out these rolled wafers filled with creamy chocolate, vanilla, tiramisu, and cappuccino. Made with real Sumatran coffee, you can get a box of ten of them for less than the price of one small Starbucks coffee.
Wait, is there anything at Starbucks for less than two dollars? Napkins, I guess?
- Meiji Gummy Choco Green Grape
You don’t often see chocolate and grape paired together, or chocolate and gummy for that matter. So these chocolate-covered grape gummies are definitely an anomaly worth checking out. And if you’re wondering why they say “muscat” on the side, that’s because they’re specifically flavored to taste like the “muscat” family of grapes, the kind used in muscatel wines. Finally, a candy for winos.