One of an eclectic group of excellent bars and casual venues off Candlemaker Row, Under The Stairs is slightly self-conscious, but undeniably cool. Packed, dark, dingy and highly atmospheric, this low-ceilinged basement bolthole can get pretty claustrophobic at the weekends, but it’s generally an oasis of good taste, decent food and outstanding cocktails. Decorated with exhibits, art and photographs from the nearby Little Ox Gallery, it also features an array of comfy chairs and sofas for those just wanting a drink and a natter – although the real surprise is the food. The burgers are tip-top, but more interesting, great-value ideas also abound – from crab, couscous and sweetcorn cakes with carrot and pomegranate salad to tender Moroccan- spiced lamb tagine. Also check out the ‘soup and sandwich’ deal (£5.95), available weekday lunchtimes.