Xiamen’s central markets were traditionally named by number, and Bashi (eight) is one of the few historic bazaars that remain. A flourishing one at that—perhaps because lucky number eight symbolizes great fortune. Strike it rich with a tantalizing array of raw and cooked foods, from sea-worm jellies to oyster omelettes, at the city’s largest seafood market. A morning food crawl is the best way to wake up your appetite. Ease into things at the eponymous stand selling tong an zha zhao 同安炸枣, balls of sticky rice and fried sweet potato packed with red bean, sweet peanut, black sesame, or savory vegetable filling. Keep pace with the locals eyeing fresh seafood and meat at the butcher stalls, and dine on the go. Our top snacks here: salt-baked quail eggs 盐鹌鹑蛋 or, for the bolder of palate, fertilized chicken eggs 盐鸡蛋 (yes, that’s a chicken fetus in the shell, and it’s believed to improve one’s health). Too daring? Opt for the wuxiang 五香, fried tofu skin stuffed plump with pork, sold just to the right of the egg vendor. All that is merely the wind-up to the main event: a sensational duck congee. For this, you’ll snake your way back to the main road and over to Fuyu Datong, where, for 30-plus years, the broth seemingly hasn't stop simmering. This hole-in-the wall never closes, and no matter the hour, the faithful line up for this soupy porridge served in a flimsy paper bowl. Request extra scallions and cilantro, and drizzle it with chili to turn up the heat.
Bashi Market is a speedy taxi ride from the Conrad. Few street food vendors have formal addresses, but the above stalls can all be found in a cluster in the first hall of the market.
BASHI MARKET 八市菜市场：Kaihe Lu, Siming district
TONG AN ZHA ZHAO 同安炸枣：54 Kaihe Lu, Siming district AH
JIE WUXIANG FRIED FIVE SPICE ROLLS阿杰五香：111 Kaihe Lu, Siming district
FUYU DATONG DUCK CONGEE 浮屿大同鸭肉粥: 174 Kaihe Lu (across from Datong elementary school), Siming district; +86-0592-239-8761; open 24 hours daily