Under the Stairs

Hitlisted
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

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

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2019 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.

The List's rating
8.4

Menu

Cooking

Service

Ambience

Appeal

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Megan Welford visited Under the Stairs on 7 October 2017
  • 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

Reviews & features

Best pubs and bars in Edinburgh

22 May 2019

Top places to grab a beer, gin or cocktail in Scotland's capital city

Edinburgh's bar scene continues to thrive, serving up a mighty array of options for the discerning drinker – you're never far from a world-class cocktail, a cult craft beer and exactly the right ambience to suit your mood. All this choice extends well…

Best places for cocktails in Edinburgh

31 May 2018

Fear not friends, here's our tasty little list of cocktail bars for your next night out

With new bars popping up every month and young bartenders determined to show off their latest creations, Edinburgh's cocktail scene is booming like never before. Keeping the speakeasy theme alive with disguised entry's and minimal website info means…