Food is a big draw of China.. compared to say France or NY (the other options), China definitely has the best options and cheapest. For me, it is all about street food. You can of course get delicious food in restaurants, but what you really can't get anywhere else comes from street vendors. It's not as clean, you can't make a trip out of it with friends, and eating it is basically a health risk.. yet I find it some of the most savory foods.
With street food, you also get exactly what you pay for. There isn't nice seating, lights, restrooms, waiters, plates-- it's just the vendor and your food. (Think for a second everything you are paying for at Cheesecake Factory-- the decor, lights, cushions on your seat, the menu-- your bill is much more than that slice of cake!) I am a huge proponent of street food lol.
5pm meal at a subway station/ food mecca-- yogurt and cheese/corn bread (20RMB)
Yogurt with noodles (15 RMB)
Potstickers with iced tea (8 RMB)
I love street food b/c most other things you can get at San Gabriel Valley and it is cheaper. Not to mention... it is so gratifying!