Under the Stairs

Under the Stairs
3a Merchant Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2QD
  • Telephone 0131 466 8550
  • Opening times Mon–Sun noon–1am
  • Seasonal times Later in August and festive season.
  • Bar open Mon–Fri 3pm–1am; Sat noon–1am; Sun noon–midnight.
  • Food served Mon–Fri 3–10pm; Sat/Sun noon–10pm.
  • Typical order £2.10
  • Email
  • Website www.underthestairs.org
Photo of Under the Stairs
in association with
Birra Moretti

Cocktails are their forte, but a tasteful food menu makes Under the Stairs a popular lunch and dinner spot too.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2017/18 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

Owners Debbie Lee-Young and Gav Anderson are old pals and experienced bartenders from the Edinburgh scene, so it’s no surprise their lively joint venture has been going strong since 2008. The set-up is a pleasing basement cocktail bar and restaurant: like being in a cosy yet stylish cave (with bonus fish tank). After advice from the knowledgeable staff, try an adventurous cocktail such as a Kung Fu Cantona (with rhubarb and hellfire bitters) or Red Mist Wash Over (with Vida mezcal and sun-dried tomato) – or stretch your beer muscles with a guest brew like a sour peach pale ale. There’s also a small but beautiful wine selection, including an English white. But don't go hungry either: the small plates contain such tasty choices as octopus escabeche and Indian-spiced baba ganoush, and there are larger plates like whole baked rainbow trout and lamb rump if you hate sharing.

  • High point: A guaranteed good time
  • Low point: The acoustics make it a little noisy
  • Notable dish: Brinjal bhaji baba ganoush
  • Average price: £7 (set lunch); £20 (dinner)
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: 90s hip-hop and RnB
  • Capacity: 90
  • Largest group: 20
  • Open since: 2008
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 21
  • House wine: £20 per bottle