The Pen and Pencil

4.4
363 reviews
£25 and under
American
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
  • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
  • Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 363 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Energetic
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BS
BarbaraS
Manchester
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice place with amazing atmosphere. Food was delicious and came very quickly. I would definitely recommend

J
Jennifer
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The staff were lovely and friendly. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the food was great.

NP
NigelP
Norfolk
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a lovely bar with a really nice brunch, the staff were very friendly and will definitely visit again

RU
RoryU
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food5service2ambience4

We specifically chose the standard rather than high table option. However, on arrival we were shoved into a corner by the door on a high table.

The food really was great, although my partner did remark that the crab burger was more batter than crab. There were no staff greeting on arrival, and after being seated we were practically forgotten about. I was told it would be table service, yet I was only offered one chance to order and had to get up and walk to the other side of the room to get any staff to take further orders.

I believe we fell victim to being a couple and received no priority compared to the group bookings that were being constantly attended to. The music was so loud that it really felt like I was trying to eat in a club. Which is a shame because the food really was good.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience3

Loved it the food was amazing and very filling, the menu had so much to choose from too! Staff was great!!!

SB
SarahB
Manchester
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a fantastic evening and the food was amazing! Would definitely recommend and will be returning again.

K
Kazz
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 9 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous food and exceptional service. Busy bar but no long wait for food and drinks.

M
Markymarkhx
Yorkshire
2 reviews
Dined on 5 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely food, lovely staff. Thanks for a lovely lunch x

AC
AaronCoussell
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 2 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

1st time been here food and drinks were fantastic and tbe staff were so friendly would definitely go back

M
Maced
1 review
Dined on 2 October 2021
Overall3food1service1ambience1

Service was awful, small place felt squished in.
Felt like I was sitting on the next tables lab.

SS
SophieS
1 review
Dined on 2 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Incredible food! Lovely staff and brilliant atmosphere! Oh

JL
JennieL
Manchester
3 reviews
Dined on 30 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always great service and food! Good vibe with lots of happy people enjoying themselves:) Would be lovely to add something sweet/puddings to the menu thou. thanks!

P
Puds
Norfolk
2 reviews
Dined on 30 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great flat iron steak and sides and everyone at the meal all enjoyed their food. Very nice!

B
Bryan
1 review
Dined on 27 September 2021
Overall2food3service2ambience2

We were sat at the back when there were seats in the front. Because of that I had to get out of my seat and go fetch the wait staff to get our orders and also get the bill. Also, some of things on the menu were not available.

AG
AshG
1 review
Dined on 26 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This has fast become my favourite place in Manchester for food and coffee. The food, service and cleanliness is to a high standard and the pricing is fair. I would suggest booking though as it does get busy.

H
Hmcd
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 25 September 2021
Overall1food3service1ambience3

Bottomless brunch was cancelled,

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 25 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Breakfast was amazing, staff attentive and friendly, wonderful atmosphere..will definitely be back

AP
AmandaP
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 25 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely food and staff 🙂

OT
OpenTable Diner
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 20 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Meaty King burger was absolutely incredible and bar tender was friendly. They had ran out of red stripe and the Amstel and Moretti both tasted a little off but was probably just end of the barrel pints. Overall very happy with my visit.

JS
JayneS
1 review
Dined on 20 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was fantastic - two girls knew their stuff and run a tight ship, keeping everywhere clean and tidy whilst engaging with customers in a smiling and friendly fashion
Definitely will be back - Monday deals are certainly good value. Looking forward to trying the Bottomless Brunch offer.
Thanks

OT
OpenTable Diner
Derbyshire
3 reviews
Dined on 18 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Busy Saturday night but we were seated early.
The menu is simple and of the moment, but the ambience, friendly staff and general vibe is lovely.

Our female waitress on Saturday 19th September @ 6 was absolutely lovely and very attentive - Thank You!!

C
Clayhead
1 review
Dined on 12 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Seven of us had a multi generational breakfast. The service was outstanding and the food was perfect.

s
vipsuzym
Manchester
9 reviews
Dined on 7 September 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Bit disappointing as we booked for the quiz and we were placed round the corner out of it all. I spoke to staff and said that I didn’t see the point of putting it on my booking request if it wasn’t took notice of.
It was difficult to hear the quiz round the corner as there were people sat there who weren’t involved so spoke at full volume as the quiz was going on.
Just felt a bit left out sat away from where it was going on. Usually have a mint experience at the quiz so was disappointed.

NH
NathanielH
1 review
Dined on 7 September 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I can't state enough how much we enjoyed coming here. Really enjoyed the ambience and staff made us feel very welcome indeed, as if we were regulars. Only a short walk from Piccadilly Gardens which is a plus.

JH
JackH
1 review
Dined on 5 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We parked in the NCP next door to The Pen and Pencil and it was a reasonable price.

We sat down outside at around 2 pm and the outside area caught the sun up until around 2:45.

We had to order at the bar as we were sat outside, the staff were incredibly friendly and made us feel very welcome.

We ordered 2 cocktails A day at the fair, and the Hilton Street Smash, both very tasty and a nice way to start an afternoon in Manchester.

We both ordered the Eggs Benedict, one with a side of Hash Browns (which were soooo good) and the other with a side of Avocado which wasn't on the menu. Both meals cooked brilliantly and incredibly tasty.

I would highly recommend this restaurant to anybody looking for Br/lunch in Manchester. We paid £39.00ish for all of the above.

TW
TomW
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 4 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food and service were amazing! Really nice burgers and all the staff were lovely

PK
ParthK
London
1 review
Dined on 4 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and great food! Vibe was nice too, see you soon!

SM
StuartM
1 review
Dined on 1 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was fantastic and the staff were outstanding. Highly recommended.

NR
NathanR
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 1 September 2021
Overall5food3service4ambience4

Lovley place , food was alright. My mum enjoyed hers however I wasn’t a fan of the meatballs. However would definitely go again.

JL
JennieL
Manchester
3 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous food and friendly service. Look forward to going again:)

A
Amiee
1 review
Dined on 30 August 2021
Overall1food3service1ambience1

Incredibly rude staff. There was one short woman who spoke to us like we were stupid when I asked if we should pay at the bar or the table and was incredibly rude to my friend and mocked her when she was paying with her card. A large. And man also continually shouted at staff in front of us for not working quickly enough whilst we watched him stand on his phone behind the bar instead of helping. Two young male members of staff were repeatedly verbally mistreated by this man and woman throughout our time there right in front of us. It was painful to watch. Very little we could do except give them sympathetic looks.
Food was lovely so compliments to the chef, but I have never been anywhere with such rude staff.

RB
RichardB
London
3 reviews
Dined on 29 August 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

8 of us had lunch on Sunday and loved it. I had steak and eggs, excellent quality and really tasty. The service was excellent and so friendly, we were really impressed and will definitely go back again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Dorset
1 review
Dined on 29 August 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The best tasting breakfast I’ve ever had!!

JV
JoeV
Hertfordshire
7 reviews
Dined on 29 August 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely place, great food and great service

LG
LizG
Bristol
3 reviews
Dined on 28 August 2021
Overall4food3service3ambience4

Good vibe loved the music but hard too chat .food good

SH
ShirleyH
London
3 reviews
Dined on 25 August 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Went here for my birthday with my husband. Stayed for 2 1/2 hours. Fabulous staff, attentive but not in your face! Waitress was great - what I call a "people person". Beautiful food beautifully presented. I thanked the chef when he walked into the dining area. Only minor comment was husband thought the Ribs main meal rather small. Apart from that it was wonderful! Didn't feel rushed or hassled at all plus great informal and relaxed atmosphere. The Californian Zinfandel Rose wine was delicious too! Would have stayed longer and perhaps had another bottle except we had to catch a train back to Blackpool! Definitely my "go to place" and can understand why it is popular. Icing on the cake was we spotted Morrissey in a black Porsche driving slowly through NQ on our way to the P and P! Thank you for a great evening! Shirl & Dave x

JP
JessP
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on 23 August 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Food was incredible, well presented and tasty, also 50% off so unbelievable value for money. Staff were polite and drinks good- will go back

E
Ebony
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 21 August 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Good place, good drinks, good vibes but they did kick us off our table half an hour early with no warning. They did it by brining over a big group of people to a table where 2 of us were sat which was also quite embarrassing. Didnt have anywhere else booked for another 45 mins which we thought we’d planned well but ended up having to drink our drinks then wonder round NQ for a bit till we were ready for the next bar. Been a few times before and never had that happen so I’ll still go back cos it’s a cool place but service wasn’t ideal with that.

SG
SteveG
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 21 August 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Quite busy as a hen party were meeting up. Staff were friendly, food was good and arrived reasonably quickly after ordering. Prices ok.

LJ
LawrenceJ
1 review
Dined on 18 August 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great service, very accommodating! The server behind the bar was happy to make my cocktail even though it wasn’t on the menu! Will definitely be going again!

FAQs

The Pen and Pencil does offer delivery in partnership with Deliveroo. The Pen and Pencil also offers takeaway which you can order by calling the restaurant at 0161 660 3303.

The Pen and Pencil is rated 4.4 stars by 363 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting bookings at the moment.