The Pen and Pencil

4.4
341 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
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 341 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 · Moderate
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C
Clayhead
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

s
vipsuzym
Manchester
7 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
1 review
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!

EH
ElaineH
1 review
Dined on 13 August 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

We sampled the early bird menu and found the steak to be tender and tasty. The meal would have benefitted from having a small salad rather than rocket and shavings of cheese. We were surprised to discover there was not a dessert menu.

The service was good; staff were friendly and polite. We would return and select a standard table as the seating around the bar seemed comfy enough but the noise level was too high.

Overall a nice meal well priced. Nothing special.

LA
LAURAE
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 13 August 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

I can't fault the service at all. Id definitely go again

c
vipchazamn
London
5 reviews
Dined on 12 August 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience3

Food was great as usual but the bar staff were quite slow and the person who served me wasn’t sure of procedures or the table numbers, blaming it on me saying next time it’s up to me to know which table number I’m sat on because he didn’t know the table layouts 🙄 (the table numbers outside aren’t clear and our table number wasn’t decipherable as it had mostly been rubbed off)

TE
TonyE
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 12 August 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great bar and food. Staff, Beer and Food excellent.

DT
DarrenT
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

good food, good portions, good service. Nice place and freindly service

GM
GemmaM
Lancashire
1 review
Dined on 7 August 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Good choice for vegetarians.
Service was good and food reasonably priced

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 7 August 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Went here for Saturday morning brunch which was delicious, good value and staff were very attentive. Came back that night for drinks and had a great time, music was brilliant and atmosphere was great would definitely recommend!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 2 August 2021
Overall1food1service3ambience2

i ordered american pancakes and it tasted so eggy and doughy - i couldn’t finish it because i was gagging. not worth the money. the service was good though.

IC
IanC
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 29 July 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We had the early bird menu, a reduced menu but still with plenty of choice and it includes a drink.
The food arrived quick and you could tell it was freshly cooked. good quality ingredients an extremely tasty meal.
The staff were upbeat and attentive even though it got quite busy.
Definitely recommend for after work food and drinks, cheeky date night, or a group meal.

AM
AnneM
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 27 July 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Lovely food, friendly staff, nice environment. Would be happy to come here again.

BM
BernardM
Manchester
10 reviews
Dined on 26 July 2021
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 on 24 July 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience4

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

W
Warby
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 24 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

8 of Us on a Saturday night has a great time whilst going to see our friend DJ (Mark Hogg)

Table service was great

Will definitely return

IS
ImogenS
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on 24 July 2021
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 on 24 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff was really kind and the food was exceptional.

MJ
vipMrJeffBlair
Manchester
25 reviews
Dined on 23 July 2021
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.

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 341 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.