This restaurant added safety precaution details

This includes info about cleaning, sanitising, social distancing, and usage of personal protective equipment. Learn more.

The Pen and Pencil

4.3
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167 reviews
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£25 and under
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American

Top tags:

Casual
Sitting on the corner of Hilton and Tariff street in Manchester’s lively Northern Quarter, The Pen and Pencil takes its name and inspiration from the infamous mid-20th Century bar on East 45th Street in New York, which was popular with newspaper journalists and ad men – the original ‘Mad Men’.

Open seven days a week from 10am until late, the restaurant and bar not only offers a variety of beverages including cocktails, beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks, but focuses on its strong day time offering with great breakfast, brunch and lunch options as well as quality coffee and freshly blended smoothies.

The Pencil and Pencil has an array of events throughout the month with a resident DJ to get the party started every weekend, a weekly quiz night on a Tuesday, and its sell-out Bottomless Brunches! It also offers of rooms for private hire for networking meetings, private parties and launch events.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitising
  • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Clean menu provided to every guest
  • Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Social Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 167 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.1
service
4.2
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MD
MichelleD
London
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding food and fantastic cocktails as always.Staff ALWAYS personable and helpful- thank you Anthony . Great value for money and great night out!

C
Catj
1 review
Dined on 26 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely food, seated really quickly and socially distanced inside with clearly marked one ways and hand sanitiser bottles everywhere.

NT
NatashaT
1 review
Dined on 25 July 2020
Overall2food1service2ambience4

Food was cold and not very nice at all. Table near us was being extremely loud, staff didn’t seem to bother

OT
OpenTable Diner
Yorkshire
1 review
Dined on 24 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was really nice. An impromptu night out for tea and we tried The Pen and Pencil.

Really tasty vegetarian curry and fabulous cocktails .

Would definitely recommend for a relaxed evening with great food and cocktails .

OT
OpenTable Diner
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 24 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Just fine. As always. Good good. Good value. Good environment and adaptations to covid. Felt safe without it being OTT.

MD
MichaelD
1 review
Dined on 22 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A very nice warm welcome, lovely food and great cocktails .. would definitely come again and recommend...

RM
vipRogerM
Manchester
11 reviews
Dined on 20 July 2020
Overall4food1service5ambience4

Your app allowed me to book a table for 2230. Upon reading their menu I noted food stopped at 2130. I called ahead, no answer, left message. No call back. Ran the risk and went anyway.......no food!

MM
MichaelM
Liverpool
1 review
Dined on 19 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great breakfast. Great service. Load of options.

AP
AmandaP
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 19 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always have a lovely time at the Pen and Pencil, and visit regularly for Sunday brunch. Great service, food, ambience and location.

AC
AC1997
Liverpool
1 review
Dined on 18 July 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Brilliant cocktails and atmosphere. Really enjoyed it.

DH
DenniH
1 review
Dined on 18 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food. Kind staff. Great little place for a nice meal.

JH
JoanneH
1 review
Dined on 17 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We ate here using Confidential vouchers. Brilliant value for money and the food was excellent. The staff were friendly and we had a lovely table to ourselves. We have also been here when the place was bouncing before a Courteeners gig so this was very different! We would definitely recommend and go back .

UB
UnofficialBach
1 review
Dined on 17 July 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience1

The app doesn’t allow deals to go through, which we were never told after purchasing two rounds and specifically saying we were there for drinks, once we complained we were offered complimentary drinks but these took almost 30mins to arrive and it wasn’t very busy. Just poor service.

AL
AnnieL
1 review
Dined on 15 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A warm welcome as soon as we arrived and seated down straight away, all workers there especially our waiter were so friendly and made our experience even more enjoyable! Food was amazing, a lovely buzzing atmosphere, place gave lots of aesthetic vibes and lots to choose from the menu- a great playlist played also! A hidden gem found in the northern quarter- we will definitely be coming again on our next stay to Manchester!

KD
KimberleyD
1 review
Dined on 12 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really nice brunch! Would definitely recommend. Also have a bottomless brunch which would love to try.

RS
RajS
Yorkshire
1 review
Dined on 12 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had brunch and it was amazing food!

DT
DanielleT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 11 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service, food and safety was fantastic!! Really taken measures to ensure there is distancing whilst also feeling the normality again. Highly recommend.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 11 July 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Only downside would say was the steak says it’s comes with potatoes this is a very very small amount would have been good to know so I could have ordered chips as a side

JJ
JosephJ
1 review
Dined on 11 July 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Better food than I expected, good choice of drink all for a reasonable price

AM
AMYF
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 11 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service, staff were very friendly and made us feel very comfortable.
Lovely experience for my first eating out experience after lockdown

NM
NiallM
1 review
Dined on 10 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Went for brunch, attentive staff and food very good.

RM
RickM
London
1 review
Dined on 8 July 2020
Overall2food3service3ambience2

I was a bit disappointed with the Pen & Pencil. I booked a table for 6 people and the following day tried to change to 7 people via online which I couldn't do and by phone which no one answered on 2 separate occasions.
We arrived at 10am with 7 people and I explained I'd tried to change the booking. I was told that they couldn't accommodate 7 people even if we split up onto different tables as they were fully booked so one of my party had to leave.

During the meal only one couple came in and the rest of the restaurant was empty. we stayed for just under 2 hours and nobody else turned up.
I have no idea why we couldn't have had an extra person. There is no explanation. Common sense went out of the window in this case and the pen & pencil lost another sitting/order.

We frequently go for breakfasts after work & the food was ok and service was fine but unfortunately do to this ridiculous decision I can't see us returning in the future.

LK
LyndaK
2 reviews
Dined on 15 March 2020
Overall3food4service1ambience3

I really enjoy going to P&P but my last 2 visits have left me disappointed.
The food and drinks are great but the service not so good.
We struggled getting any attention from staff to place our order, get more drinks and it took 20 mins from asking for our bill to paying.
It wasn’t particularly busy and the staff to customer ratio was reasonable, maybe they need some formal customer service training?

TS
TimS
1 review
Dined on 1 March 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience4

We went for brunch and whilst the place was nice we waited ages for our food and when it arrived two of the dishes were cold. One of our waitresses was really great (think she was American??) abut there was another girl who just didn't seem interested in being there.

Our honest opinion on the food after leaving was that we'd probably get as good a breakfast from Wetherspoons at a fraction of the price. We were visiting from Leicester so bit disappointed as it left a dampener on the trip.

s
simona
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 19 February 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

cant fault the food service and ambiance.
however my booking was for 5pm and i was told i had to leave at 6pm as i had
my 12 year old son with me.
we were all eating so i found that very atiquated

SB
SamanthaB
Cheshire
1 review
Dined on 2 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Staff were lovely. Very enjoyable :)

CH
CaitH
1 review
Dined on 26 January 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The food was nice but not exceptional. A good amount of choices on the menu but would like more cocktail choices - maybe more classic cocktails. Food portions weren’t that big and all food is expensive compared to other brunch places and for the portion that you get. The staff were really lovely and attentive and the ambience was very chilled. Would recommend to a friend wanting to go for a bottomless brunch. Bottomless brunch should run for longer than 10am - 1pm though - this is very early.

m
mcrgirl16
1 review
Dined on 18 January 2020
Overall2food4service1ambience3

I would always recommend the Pen and pencil to a friend - always good food, good location and normally good/ excellent service. However on this occasion the girl who served us obviously did not want to be there - as a past waitress I get this completely - however she was so indifferent to the point that it was noticeable. Wasn't on top of asking if everything was okay, left us for ages with the bill when we'd asked for the card machine anyway. Normally 5*, however today would be giving 2*

CM
CjManchester
1 review
Dined on 17 January 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience3

The service was perfect, friendly and considerate. Proper nice guys in there.
Would definitely recommend if you can't be arsed with some of the tools around the northern quarter.
Plus its on our doorstep. Winning

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
2 reviews
Dined on 16 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Heat service - lovely friendly staff

BW
BenW
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 7 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place. We did the pub quiz which was great and the staff were friendly and efficient.

LL
LLZR
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 3 January 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience3

50% off food for January obviously means only 50% of the ingredients are used and 50% effort is put into cooking them.

RD
RebeccaD
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 15 December 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

One of the best brunch menus in Manchester, absolutely delicious.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
2 reviews
Dined on 7 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was outstanding. Food was delicious.

L
Lucy
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 28 November 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience3

I've been to Pen and Pencil for brunch a few times and always enjoyed the food, but I was really disappointed with my experience at lunchtime. It took an hour and a half for a work lunch which was way longer than we expected. The food came out at different times and was average at best.

Such a shame.

JP
JayneP
Lancashire
1 review
Dined on 10 November 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Second visit unfortunately service was not great. After waiting 45 mins for our food (including seeing a large party who arrived a considerable time after us served their food) we were told they were short staffed in the kitchen. If we had been informed of this and offered a free tea or coffee for the inconvenience m, we wouldn’t have minded. Heads up to staff to keep your customers informed and not just leave them waiting.

CB
CamdenB
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 1 November 2019
Overall3food4service1ambience2

The food was lovely but the whole experience was very rushed

We hadn’t even finished our first drink before being asked if we would like another, the minute we finished out brunch we were asked again if we would like another drink - despite still having our first - and when we declined our bill was brought without asking - very rude

Having had a coffee and brunch I would have stayed for another drink but being so rushed was made to feel very unwelcome - I wouldn’t have minded if it was busy but it was actually quite quiet

KH
KirstyH
London
1 review
Dined on 28 October 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Booked the 50% Monday lunch. Didn't get to eat as 45 minutes from ordering, our food was nowhere to be seen. We had to leave to go back to work without eating. I must stress the guy who was chasing our order was really efficient and I felt bad for him as it wasn't his fault.

AP
AmandaP
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 6 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

we go regularly for brunch and always find the food and service very good - nice atmosphere too.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 6 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good quality

FAQs

The Pen and Pencil is rated 4.3 stars by 167 OpenTable diners.

You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.