Japanese food is delicious, don’t get me wrong, but as an American living in Tokyo, I occasionally get these cravings for the food of my motherland, Tex-Mex (I’m from Texas), imported wine, corn chips, nutella, and caramel popcorn.

Kaldi coffee farm
Photo by Grace Buchele Mineta

That’s when I go to Kaldi Coffee Farm, a chain of import stores that are almost affordable. Yes, almost affordable doesn’t necessarily mean cheap, but Kaldi Coffee Farm is by far the cheapest import food store I’ve found in Tokyo, and once a month, I need my Mexican food. Bad.

But seriously, if you know of a cheaper store, tell me.

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You can easily recognize Kaldi Coffee Farm for its signature colors of electric blue, brown, and gold. Store fronts are usually either electric blue with gold, or brown with gold. And they have “Kaldi Coffee Farm” written (in English) across the front, so it’s really hard to miss.

Photo by Grace Buchele Mineta

The first Kaldi Coffee Farm opened in Simotakaido (Tokyo) in 1986. They found their niche by offering free premium roasted coffee samples in small cups by the entrance, enticing future customers. In the winter, they give out hot coffee, in the summer they offer iced coffee or fruit juice.

Deeper inside the store, they offer samples of corn chips, dried mangos, caramel popcorn, or other snacks, depending on the location. An no, there is nothing wrong with browsing past the free samples, grabbing a couple slices of those long-forgotten corn chips. They let you take more than one sample. Just, you know, buy something in the end. Otherwise it’s kind of not fair.

Kaldi coffee interior
Photo by Grace Buchele Mineta

They have everything from Vietnamese noodles, to Italian pasta sauce, to Belgian chocolate, to Mexican tortillas, to Thai soup, to American potato chips. Like I said before, it’s an import store, so it’s going to be more expensive than if you bought it in your home country. However, if you shop smart, Kaldi Coffee Farm is easily within your budget.

I try to stop by once a week and look for sales. I’ve gotten jars of pickles for cheaper than I could buy in America, and dried mangos for half the price that Donki-Hote or normal grocery stores offer.

One of greatest parts of every Kaldi Coffee Farm shop is the back, the imported fine wine and cheese section.

kaldi products
Photo by Grace Buchele Mineta

Good cheese is difficult find in Tokyo and wine is my poison of choice; Kaldi Coffee Farm has some of my favorites of both from back home, as well as a whole collection from all over the world (California, Italy, France, Australia, and a bunch of other places I forgot). Once again, if it’s on sale, it’s pretty affordable. Even if it’s not on sale, it is still somewhat affordable.

If you have time, or if you are missing you food from back home, I highly recommend heading down to Kaldi Coffee Farm and checking out their selection. Who knows? You might be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

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