Whether you've been to Israel just on Birthright, studied abroad there, or even live there, you'd know that dining in Israel is a completely different experience than anything typical American foodies are used to. After spending the summer in Tel Aviv, I complied a list of 13 funny food realities you'll only find in Israel. 

1. Ice just doesn't exist at restaurants

sake, champagne, liquor, ice, alcohol, wine
Kristine Mahan

No matter how many times you ask, the waiter will just give you room temperature glass bottles of water maybe with 1 ice cube if he thinks that you're cute.

2. If you're eating outside, at least half of the diners will be either dogs or cats.

They're unavoidable and absolutely everywhere.

3. When you ask for a salad, don't be shocked if the waiter brings over a huge bowl of just chopped cucumbers and tomatoes.

Americans are used to ordering complicated salads in restaurants with 25 ingredients, but Israeli salad keeps it basic and simple.

4. Make sure you know the difference between an ice coffee and a cold coffee because trust me, they are not the same thing.

Think of an ice coffee as more of a Starbucks Frappuccino and cold coffee as your typical American ice coffee with ice cubes. Accidentally ordering the wrong one will automatically make you feel like such a tourist.

5. There will always be french fries (chips) in your sandwich, and it's a completely normal thing.  

Even if you order falafel, your pita will be overflowing with french fries. While it sounds pretty weird, I do have to admit that it tastes delicious. 

6. Most likely you will hate Arak

I mean who even likes black licorice flavored alcohol?

7. You don't tip as much as you do at restaurants in America.

tea, coffee
Jocelyn Hsu

I mean I'm sure your waiter will appreciate it, but you will look like such a tourist.

8. You will always know where the closest Cofix is from wherever you are. 

Image from WikiCommons

Image from WikiCommons

6 shekel ice coffee becomes a part of your daily routine, and they're on every corner so you never have to go too far. Also, if you've been there recently, you're probably not over the price change from 5 to 6 shekels.

9. You probably know the food that will be served at every single hostel in the country

Schnitzel, potatoes with that yellow oil, rice, bread...you can finish the rest.

10. Smaller sized shots of alcohol are called chasers 

Make sure you know the difference or you could have a night you really won't remember...

11. There are just certain foods you will never be able to eat in the US again 

pepper, carrot, tomato, vegetable
Christin Urso

The fruits (especially watermelon), vegetables, and cottage cheese are like nothing you have ever tasted before. 

12. You will never be able to finish your whole meal

Don't even try it. After the many rounds of salad and breads, you'll be lucky if you can even get half way through your main course.

13. You'll need to keep going back to Israel just to explore all of the different new food and restaurants 

coffee, tea, beer
Melissa Simon

Book your ticket now to discover even more funny food realities you'll only find in Israel!