I might be biased, but I firmly believe that the best part of traveling to a new country is the cuisine. For me, eating is all about the experience, and each culture has a different feeling associated with its native foods.

Israel is a melting pot of cuisines, from African, to Turkish, to Iraqi, to Moroccan and beyond. In addition, the mixture of Sephardic and Ashkenazi cooking has a huge impact on the culinary palette of the country.

Since eating in Israel is an experience in and of itself, I’ve compiled a list describing what it’s like to sit down for an Israeli meal.

You know you’re eating in Israel when…

1. It’s impossible to get water when you’re sitting at a restaurant.


Gif courtesy of giphy.com

It doesn’t help that you’re always sitting outside in the 100° heat.

2. The only three Hebrew words you use on a daily basis are slicha (sorry, excuse me), mayim (water) and heshbon (check).


Photo by Becky Hughes

Speaking of, why can’t we get our checks separately? #toomuchmath

3. Eating challah in an Irish pub on Shabbat isn’t weird.


Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

That is, if you can find a place that’s open on Shabbat.

4. Ice cubes just don’t exist.


Gif courtesy of senorgif.com

Um, hello, it’s hot af. Where is my ice?

5. Hummus is literally your entire meal.


Photo by Kim Buesser

And you dip raw onions in your hummus like a boss.

6. There are automatically four dogs at your feet whenever you sit down in public.


Gif courtesy of giphy.com

Apparently, your hummus brings all the dogs to the yard.

7. You know the difference between iced coffee and cold coffee.


Photo by Ella Storey

Pictured above: cold coffee.

8. Your salad consists solely of tomatoes and cucumbers.


Photo by Lynden Orr

Who needs lettuce, anyway?

9. You put za’atar on everything.


Photo by Tess Wei

Like, literally, everything.

10. You drink Goldstar everywhere you go.


Gif courtesy of giphy.com

Because you’re only allowed to drink Israeli beer when you’re in Israel.

11. You can’t seem to escape the eggplant.


Photo by Morgan Chase

Eggplant, she’s a sneaky one.

12. You get a 5 shekel Cofix fix every morning.

Американо ?? чтоб проснуться.грядут изменения.пока не знаю, что это будет,но верю что все к лучшему и осознаю, что я на правильном пути. Пути к себе самой. Осознание себя, для меня это уже много.стэп бай стэп. Если у вас прямо сейчас есть свободных 10 секунд или завтра или после завтра..пожелайте мне пожалуйста, сил и все преодолеть и здоровья пожалуйста. много и крепкого..??..мне это очень нужно души вы мои,хорошие))) не обязательно коментом.не обязательно вслух.как угодно,.даже про себя..я почувствую это, лапы. Спасибо ? люблю вас.

A photo posted by Stas (@stassagol) on

It’s basically the best coffeeshop ever: each item in the store costs on 5 shekels (less than $2). That means 10 sheks for breakfast. Plus, they’re pretty hard to miss because there’s one located on nearly every corner. Just follow the giant coffee on a stick.

Did I mention that Cofix Bar is a thing? Yeah, 5 shekel shots or a 5 shekel beer (even 5 shekel wine). #score

13. You’re either Team Falafel or Team Schwarma.


Photo by Becca Berland

Or, you’re an equal opportunity Israeli food lover and you’re down to eat both.

14. You know the sketchier a place looks, the better their food probably is.


Gif courtesy of giphy.com

Definitely not the same in America…

15. You’re still not entirely sure what sabich is.

sabich- moja miłość #sabich #vege #food #foodporn #foodart #telaviv #israel #israeli #cuisine

A photo posted by Weronika Wilanowska (@wwilan) on

Newsflash: It’s fried eggplant, a hardboiled egg, vegetables and tahini wrapped up in a pita.

16. It’s normal to be served salad and fish for breakfast.


Gif courtesy of giphy.com

Hey, don’t judge.

17. French fries in your sandwiches, always.


Gif courtesy of thepinkgrowl.blogspot.com

Seriously, there’s nothing better. Why doesn’t everyone do this?

18. You’ve accepted that lemon with mint is the greatest combination ever.


Photo by Yonatan Soler

So fresh, so clean.

19. You have a strong opinion about arak.


Photo courtesy of Spoon University

Alcohol that tastes like black licorice. You either love it, or you hate it. #shots

20. The vegetables you eat taste like they were picked minutes ago.

And it’s quite possible that they were.

21. You’re sick of the same old schnitzel/potatoes/rice at every single hostel.


Photo by Abby Wang

I feel ya. It gets old.

22. There are pickles and/or tahini on EVERYTHING.


Photo by Becca Berland

Israel isn’t the land of milk and honey, it’s the land of tahini and pickles.

23. Pita, all day every day.


Photo by Abigail Wilkins

Because bread is so overrated.