Shandong cuisine, tracing its roots back to the Spring and Autumn Period 2500 years ago, presents its food (usually deep-fried, braised, roasted or stewed) with a strong emphasis on soy sauce, shallots, and garlic.
Qingdao, often regarded as "the cradle of Shandong Cuisine", puts a spin upon the usual Shandong dishes with it concentration on seafood (sea cucumber, scallop, conch, prawn, and red porgy).
Well-known dishes include "sea cucumbers stewed with shallots", "stewed salted fish" and "celery with creamy soup". Made in simple style, these dishes are available in most restaurants.
The best way to enjoy Qingdao cuisine is probably to head down to any of the many little seafood restaurants on the shore or around Laiyang Lu. For a better (and more pricey), atmosphere the hotels are a good way to taste seafood with less of the language barrier problems.
The Qingdao Seafood Restaurant, on Qingyu Road, is also a more expensive, but better quality, seafood provider.
Qingdao also has a fairly large Muslim population and a couple of Muslim places are scattered about, most noticeably the Donglaishun restaurant (Donglaishun fandian) and the Qinghai Muslim Restaurant (Qinghai musilin fanzhuang, on Dexuan lu), as well as numerous meatstick (Chuanrou) sellers.
McDonalds and KFC are both now resident in Qingdao, almost next door to each other near the train station.