The Pen and Pencil

4.3
311 reviews
£25 and under
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
  • 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
Protective equipment
  • Waiting staff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Contact tracing information collected
What 311 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
4.1
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BM
BernardM
Manchester
10 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Great value on a Monday as food is half price - there is not a great choice of starters, however the mains and sides are good.

d
derek1
Manchester
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Very lively and good music, the service and the staff was excellent

IS
ImogenS
Birmingham
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall1food2service1ambience2

We were half way through our food before our drinks eventually came. I even cancelled my coffee because I had basically finished my food. Took a while. Service was okay.

L
Loisw
Manchester
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff was really kind and the food was exceptional.

MJ
vipMrJeffBlair
Manchester
24 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, service & atmosphere!
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

JM
JessicaM
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 20 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We visited for food & to do the Tuesday night quiz. The food was delicious. We really enjoyed out visit and will be back soon.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 19 July 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Good sound food - outstanding cocktails and great staff

PG
PaulG
1 review
Dined on 19 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was amazing and staff were friendly and attentive without been overbearing. This was our first time here but we will be back

T
Tiptoptaps
London
78 reviews
Dined on 17 July 2021
Overall5food3service5ambience4

Good trad diner food.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 17 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Nice place, excellent service decent food and reasonably priced.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 11 July 2021
Overall2food3service2ambience2

Rude guy seated us on a table round the corner on our own despite the restaurant being quiet already, we waited an extra 20 minutes for my friend’s food while mine went cold and the air con was blasting on full so it was freezing in the place, food was average but overpriced, wouldn’t go back

OT
OpenTable Diner
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 10 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic night. Good attentive staff. Great bar. Look forward to coming again soon

TM
TracyM
1 review
Dined on 10 July 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience1

Food was nice, drinks were pricey. Service not great even with the app which some struggled with.

4
456adele
Northampton
2 reviews
Dined on 10 July 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

First visit and would definitely go back again. Great food and fab cocktails.

JM
JessicaM
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 6 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely food that was very well presented. The staff were friendly and attentive.
We were there for the quiz night which was lots of fun!

s
simona
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 4 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

very impressed with the quality of food and service

AC
AaronC
Yorkshire
1 review
Dined on 3 July 2021
Overall5food3service4ambience5

Really enjoyable experience from start to finish, staff looked after as really well all night

CG
ChrisG
1 review
Dined on 3 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were welcomed with open arms when we arrived the waitresses that served us were jolly and informative and as for the food it was truly sublime 10/10 coming back for more

BC
BrianC
1 review
Dined on 3 July 2021
Overall2food1service3ambience4

We were really looking forward to this place as all the photos looked great & the reviews were decent, unfortunately our experience wasn’t the greatest. Took forever to take our drinks orders let alone our food order. When it came i had the steak & eggs. I asked for it Medium rare but it came with one piece on the top that was medium covering all the well done pieces underneath, the eggs were undercooked & the Bernaise sauce was awful! Chips were soggy & tasteless! £37 for 2 people & definitely not worth the money.

FH
FrankHer
1 review
Dined on 3 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and friendly staff, good food, nice atmosphere.

AO
AmyO
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 2 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service friendly and welcoming. Didn’t struggle to find a table.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Manchester
4 reviews
Dined on 30 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Booked for brunch with my son who lived in Ancoats. What a great choice I made. They make their own hash browns which are fab. The poached eggs are devine. Will definitely book again.

ET
EmmaT
1 review
Dined on 28 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely experience. Service was excellent. Bar staff really friendly and the cocktails amazing! Best we had all.day

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 27 June 2021
Overall3food2service3ambience4

They appeared to be quite busy with some delays on drinks orders - may have been as well were sat further away from the main area. One friend ordered Avocado and Feta without the feta, it came with. One friends breakfast was served with no eggs. Breakfasts weren’t particularly hot. Fairly tasty on the whole. Great bloody Mary’s. Not great coffee.

CB
CraigB
Liverpool
1 review
Dined on 26 June 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

As with other places we booked here on Saturday.
We really liked it,the staff were lovely and polite and the cocktails were lovely too.
Our intension was to only have 1 and try somewhere else before having a meal we had booked but we felt relaxed here so stayed for few more 😊

W
Waq96
Yorkshire
1 review
Dined on 25 June 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience3

The server we had was very attentive and polite. He mentioned that this was his first week but his service was above excellent. The table we were sat on wasn’t in the nicest location and felt a bit drury. Overall, great visit.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Yorkshire
1 review
Dined on 25 June 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Worst food I’ve ever eaten

M
Macca99
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 24 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely bar and friendly staff, opted for the early bird menu which had a few good choices to choose from, main and a drink good value for £15 everything was cooked nice and hot.
Would definitely visit here again.

H
Happygally
Liverpool
2 reviews
Dined on 23 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

First time trying the Pen and Pencil after hearing good reviews. The salmon and monkfish dish where both incredible. Excited to come back 😁

SC
SimonC
Berkshire
1 review
Dined on 22 June 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Food was good value with a drink from the £10 brunch/ lunch menu. Would go again

JR
JessR
1 review
Dined on 20 June 2021
Overall3food2service3ambience4

Food was average at best, some items were undercooked some were over cooked. Would deffo come back again but only for drinks!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 19 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friendly staff, chilled atmosphere, only had drinks but will be returning for food as it looked lovely

SH
ShirleyH
London
2 reviews
Dined on 19 June 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Really like this place. The only thing is weren't very keen on the side table they sat us at. However the nicer tables in the other section were used for parties of more than just 2 (there were 2 of us.) Due to Covid I know. Covid secure, nice food and friendly efficient staff. Will will return!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 19 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very friendly and professional staff excellent service will definitely be going back ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

B
Beckie
1 review
Dined on 19 June 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Great little find, we sat outside which was lovely and had breakfast. Our food was delicious and it was something a little bit different

LW
LucyW
1 review
Dined on 14 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We really enjoyed our time at Pen and Pencil, the staff were excellent, the drinks were great and the food was really tasty. I will definitely go again!

C
Carlag007
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 12 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Front of house guy very helpful and attentive! Thank you!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 12 June 2021
Overall1food1service3ambience2

Food awful, drinks awful. Pleasant staff

V
Vivigirlie87
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 12 June 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

The smoothies were quite ‘bitty’, consistency wasn’t very nice. Definitely not smooth.
The food was lovely, not super but ok.
Seated next to the toilets close to another table so not necessarily social distanced as we were conscious of being close throughout meal.

MC
MichaelC
Cheshire
3 reviews
Dined on 11 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice little bar on the edge of the Northern Quarter, good food, great service.

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 4.3 stars by 311 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.