The Basement Bar and Restaurant

The Basement Bar and Restaurant
10–12a Broughton Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3RH
  • Telephone 0131 557 0097
  • Opening times Daily: noon–1am.
  • Seasonal times Festival licence until 3am.
  • Bar open Mon–Sun noon–1am
  • Food served Sun–Thu 11am–10pm; Fri/Sat 11am–11pm
  • Average price £15 (lunch); £15 (evening meal)
  • Email
  • Website

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The Basement Bar and Restaurant
Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2014/15 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

This review is taken from the current (2014) edition.

Long-acknowledged by regulars in the Broughton Street area and from further afield as being an atmospheric wee hideaway for a late-night drink and a reasonable choice for a Mexican-flavoured bite to eat, the Basement’s recent purchase and refurbishment by the Signature Pubs group (whose portfolio also includes the Huxley and 99 Hanover Street) has been a breath of fresh air, even banishing the bar staff’s tacky Hawaiian shirts to the dustbin of history. A fresh, modern redesign includes quirky features like a wall of suspended plant pots and sliding wall-mounted shutters that reveal pieces of art by local artists, which complements a similarly fashionable but adventurous Tex-Mex menu. Among the highlights are a fresh, fruity ceviche of sea bream, chilli and pink grapefruit and a pot of cochinita pilbil (a thick stew of pork belly and pulled pork, topped with cooked slices of chorizo and morcilla), while the familiar fajitas, enchiladas and tequila cocktails are also available.

  • High point: A welcome and convincing reboot of a bar with a strong reputation
  • Low point: The location sadly means it’s off limits to anyone with mobility issues
  • Notable dish: Scrabster haddock taco.

The Basement Bar and Restaurant is a genuine Edinburgh institution, long favoured by locals and found by savvy travellers. Known for its good quality, imaginative food, carefully chosen drinks list and home-spun cocktails, served by knowledgeable staff in eclectic surroundings. It is advisable to book a table any day of the week as tables always seem to be busy in the separate restaurant area, however the same menu is served in the bar.

Text supplied by third party.

  • Private dining: Up to 30 covers
  • Provides: Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
  • Capacity: 80
  • Largest group: 80
  • Open since: 1994
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 8
  • House wine: £14.75 per bottle

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Comments & ratings

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10. Popinjay22 Mar 2012, 11:15am4 stars The Basement Bar and Restaurant Report

Popped in for Lunch with five friends . Even with the set menu , great value at £9.50 for two courses , there is enough variety to satisfy most appetites . I had the smoked salmon pate which was absolutely lovely followed by a rich and tasty Rump and Merlot pie . I shall be back .

9. XYY13 Mar 2010, 8:34pm5 stars The Basement Bar and Restaurant Report

I take back my previous posting. The Basement is brilliant and I have been back many a time since. If you're a fan of pate, try their starter. Ooooft!

Drinks wise, they stock Thistly Cross cider.

Basement is amazing value for money and I highly highly reccomend it.

8. Lizzie D26 Feb 2010, 12:59pm5 stars The Basement Bar and Restaurant Report

I've always had a lovely time in the Basement. The food is great, really tasty and there are good options for vegetarians which is a surprise!

Good to go to with friends and I have even taken my mum and she loved it too.

7. Lynda16 Sep 2009, 5:06pm5 stars The Basement Bar and Restaurant Report

I think The Basement is a great bar. I have eaten there many, many times and never had a bad meal. The food is freshly cooked and delicious. Very friendly staff also. The steak pie is particularly good.

6. disgruntled local25 May 2009, 6:57pm1 star The Basement Bar and Restaurant Report

Warning for those who want the lunch time deal… Don’t share the courses!

The deal is that you can have two courses for £7.95. Someone in our group only wanted the starter and not the the main course, so this was shared with someone else. When the bill came we were charged for the main meal (£7.95) plus the starter (£3.75), the staff argued that the deal could not be split between different people.

I have never heard such a nonsense rule.

We should have been told this when ordering from this menu - Terrible service from the staff. Also I'm afraid the food was not worth the money

We used to eat here often. After this rip off none of our 'local’ group will be going back.

You have been warned.

5. bex8220 May 2009, 6:23pm5 stars The Basement Bar and Restaurant Report

I've lived in Edinburgh for almost 5 years and love eating out - especially at the Basement. I love the ambience, the whole relaxed atmosphere of the place and it helps that the food is delicious and extremely reasonably priced. The menus are updated slightly every so often and I've taken many of my friends here and even friends visiting me and they have all loved it. You are quite tighly packed in which in another restaurant would really bother me as I would feel that the surrounding tables could hear my conversation - but this is not the case - believe me i've tried to listen in to others conversations and you can't hear anything! If you haven't been yet - go!

4. Nina24 Dec 2008, 3:05pm4 stars The Basement Bar and Restaurant Report

The basement is a great place to go on a sunday, to relax. The steak Pie they serve is the best I have had in town. The veg were cooked as they should not too much, not too little and the pie was homemade and delicious, quite surprising really when you know the standard of the food served in some surrounding pubs. My friend wasn't so lucky with her food which she thought wasn't great. Is this place a hit or a miss food wise?? I'll have to go back to find out.

3. Jesticles23 Dec 2008, 6:09am5 stars The Basement Bar and Restaurant Report

I used to work there- best place and best people in scotland! you can get lost in there for hours and emerge a different person.

would get back there if i could! miss it to bits.

2. XYY16 Jul 2008, 5:45pm Report

The basement is very weird. I was told it was mexican, got there and there was the likes of steak pie on offer. Hawian shirts, and cocktails. Crammed into a tight space, not the best service, pretty dour. Food itself was pretty good, chilli prawns, and the aboved stated steak pie were pretty good, but it's just a weird wee place. Not been back, and probably won't be.

1. Juliet7 May 2008, 4:47pm Report

I love the basement, they do the most lovely steaks! Mmm.

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Average rating 4.5/5 from 8 reviews of The Basement Bar and Restaurant.

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