The Pen and Pencil

4.4
275 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
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 275 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
4.2
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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C
Carlag007
Manchester
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

OT
OpenTable Diner
Manchester
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall1food1service3ambience2

Food awful, drinks awful. Pleasant staff

V
Vivigirlie87
Manchester
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
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 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

T
Teri1984
Manchester
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely fab as always, my favourite place for cocktails.
Looking forward to the next visit xx

DC
DanielleC
Brighton
1 review
Dined on 7 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good experience. Staff excellent on allergies.

B
Beth
1 review
Dined on 6 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing Breakfast! The staff are so friendly and helpful!

AG
AnnieG
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 5 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Really tasty breakfast, good service. Not too busy.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 2 June 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great night - food was much better than before! I’d heard mixed reviews ages ago but glad we went. Food was great.

MJ
MJjj
London
2 reviews
Dined on 2 June 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Family meal for five with seven, ten and thirteen year old. Very helpful waiter. Some service issues with our order meant it was delayed but offered comp drinks and gave us money off bill as well. Food was delicious, shame about delays but would defo go again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on 2 June 2021
Overall3food4service1ambience3

Waiter wasn't particularly helpful on allergens for one of our party with serious allergies, then after much discussion and compromise, accidentally brought dish out with nuts still in it. Food was ultimately good with some parts slightly overcooked. Lots of waiting for staff / bill even though was quiet. A shame.

LE
LindaE
Lancashire
1 review
Dined on 1 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Lovely service. Food delicious. And we even stayed for the quiz!
Only downside....the wine was TOO nice and we kept ordering more!!🤪

K
Kttn
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 31 May 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience3

Appreciate that the waitress offered free drinks when a food order was incorrect. Nice environment.

LS
LouiseS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 31 May 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Super busy bank holiday morning, but the staff kept their cool and smiling even though they were rushed off their feet. Food was lovely - fantastic brunch and lovely ingredients x x we’ll be back!

a
annag
1 review
Dined on 30 May 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience1

Booked table week in advance but was put into back corner where no one could see us.. Poor service, not a lot of waiting staff. Seemed to prioritise alcohol drinkers than dining. Food ok, nothing special

B
Bipin
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 30 May 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Very nice breakfast. My wife had the vegetarian and I had the PP. service was slow after we got served. Asked for tap water which never came. This won’t put us off. Been before and would definitely go again.

c
vipclaire
Manchester
3 reviews
Dined on 29 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous as always and your female member of staff last night was amazing

P
Paige333
Manchester
3 reviews
Dined on 29 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service, really helpful and friendly! Will definitely return!

MD
MichaelD
London
2 reviews
Dined on 29 May 2021
Overall2food1service2ambience2

Poor service. In there for 1 hrs 20 mins, only 1 drink, didn't even get to order food. Really disappointed.

J
Jasmin
1 review
Dined on 28 May 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Table booked in advance, first night out of friends in over 12 months. Manager had attitude as soon as we walked through door with the track and trace app. Which we did not object to giving our information. Waited approx 20 min then called a waiter to ask to order drinks, ordered 6 then waited and waited for drinks to be served. My friend needed to go home so asked to cancel hers and the manager rudely came to us and said he had cancelled all the drinks. My other friend happened to look at her watch and the manager made a comment about being cheeky doing that (thinking she was being sarcastic but she was genuinely looking at the time)! I cannot believe how rude this manager was, what a rubbish way to end a really good night out with friends.

AH
AliceH
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 28 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely, friendly staff. Even before the pandemic, I’ve always had a great customer service experience. Thank you so much ❤️

WJ
WendyJ
1 review
Dined on 28 May 2021
Overall2food3service3ambience1

We booked a table to be sure we could get in with restrictions just being lifted. After a wait we were shown to our table which I can only presume was were private dining would normally be. To the side of us was a closed bar, and infront of that was 2 x VERY LARGE outdoor heaters. The serving hatch was adjacent to us and there was constant hustle and bustle as food was continuously brought out, along with the constant ding of the service bell. There was also a constant not very nice smell of the cooking oil (which still remained on our clothes the following day). One other thing that concerned us was when a member of staff took a baby's high chair into the disabled toilet, it then became obvious this was also being used as a storage room.
All in all not the best experience and one we won't be undertaking again any time soon.

RH
RobinH
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 26 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a lovely evening.
The staff were friendly and attentive.
The ambience was lovely.
And I had really missed spending time with friends indoors. we stayed for hours.

BM
vipBernardM
Manchester
9 reviews
Dined on 24 May 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Enjoyed our meal, thogh the food could have been hotter. The taste was excellent. Very good value for Money on a Monday evening. Will return soon

OT
OpenTable Diner
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 23 May 2021
Overall4food1service5ambience4

Lovely place. Sat by the door at first but when another table came free they were happy to move us. Disappointed because we wanted to eat but the kitchen closes at 5pm on a Sunday. We didn't realise when booking. Times are right at the bottom of the website . Above all it is a really nice place.

AB
AdamB
London
1 review
Dined on 23 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really good menu, reasonably priced, would definitely return

M
Marie
Lancashire
1 review
Dined on 23 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Booked for my Birthday breakfast and we had a lovely time. I can't remember the name of our server only that he's tall and his age 😂 27. Very attentive on keeping our drinks topped up and checking that we were ok.
Thanks so much we had a lovely breakfast.

EK
EKA93
Yorkshire
2 reviews
Dined on 23 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Squeezed in the last slot for brunch, food was amazing, lots of it. Also had the passion fruit smoothie which was delicious. Service great also!

BS
BSDD
Manchester
7 reviews
Dined on 22 May 2021
Overall5food3service5ambience5

Great to be back inside! Great atmosphere as always! Managed to sort out the timing issue on the booking too! Thank you!

A
Anthonia
1 review
Dined on 22 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely loved the food, the atmosphere and the service was wonderful and timely!!

g
grahamr
Manchester
3 reviews
Dined on 21 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We are always really well looked after whenever we come here (especially by Anastasia!) and will be back again soon.

f
food4life
London
19 reviews
Dined on 21 May 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The staff made our experience exceptional. The food was delicious as was the wine. Highly recommend this cosy, vibrant, establishment.

KB
KatherineB
Edinburgh
1 review
Dined on 21 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Would just like to say a big massive thank you to all the staff at The Pen and Pencil, such a lovely, quaint little place, great atmosphere, great food and always checking if everything was ok. All covid safe as well and made us feel very at home. Loved the food and would highly recommend. Can’t wait for our next visit!! Thank you

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 20 May 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Lovely service from the woman looking after our table. Monkfish with lentils and clams was delicious as was the wine we selected. Negronis were too sweet for our tastes - other than that, great

NR
NeilRobbo
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on 19 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good indeed. Went there for breakfast yesterday and the food and service was excellent. The place was stylish, clean and tidy, too. We will be back.

LM
LisaM
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on 18 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Really tasty food and really friendly staff. So happy to be eating out again!

C
Clara
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 18 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I met a colleague for a meeting - so glad Pen and Pencil is back open as it's always my go to for meetings - great staff and great food ... thats not to like!

T
Teri1984
Manchester
4 reviews
Dined on 17 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely food and cocktails as always. It's great to be back

WF
WoodFood
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 17 May 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Wasn’t even expecting the 50% off food on Monday so that was a nice surprise, hashbrowns were mega and just generally a good vibe!

JS
JadeS
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 25 October 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The staff in particular were really friendly. Portion sizes great ! Lovely little place.

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 275 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.