Ask any Xiamen local what the best food is in town, and they won't name any five-star restaurants. Instead, they'll point you to the city's cheap eateries. They can be found all across the city, are usually buzzing after dark, and they serve up several local specialties. Seafood, of course, is almost always on the menu. The outdoor seafood grills around Zhongshan Road will try to entice you with giant shrimp and lobster. Be careful, though, as they often cover up the lack of lobster meat with a thick layer of garlic. Better deals on seafood can be found in the villages along the beach past Zengcuoan.
An entire meal can be pieced together from various snacks at Huangzehe Peanut Soup Shop (黄则和花生汤店), which offers much more than just its namesake soup. Here you can try Xiamen's famous oyster omelets ("hai li jian"), noodles in peanut broth ("sha cha mian"), or sticky rice and pork wrapped in a lotus leaf ("shao rou song") and nothing will set you back more than 10 RMB. For the more adventurous, a strange local delicacy is the "tu sun dong," a sea worm inside a jelly mold. 22 Zhongshan Road 中山路22号