The Pen and Pencil

4.3
icon/ic_reviewCreated with Sketch.
145 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
£25 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
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.
What 145 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
4.0
service
4.1
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
Sort by
Filters
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
1 review
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

B
clareB
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 24 September 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience2

Food was a little bland and dry, nothing at all to shout about and a bit disappointing

EV
vipExtraValue
London
10 reviews
Dined on 13 September 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience1

Best to eat here not late on a Friday or Saturday. They squeeze you in a corner. Dj is 3 foot away and people climb past behind you where there is no gap to walk. Salmon was nicely cooked and avocado salsa was nice.

JO
JasonOL
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 10 September 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Came for the pencil down quiz and was so much fun. Will def be back. Fun atmosphere. Excellent staff. Great value.

ML
MaisieL
1 review
Dined on 2 September 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Gorgeous meal on Monday, staff are lovely as well. Very fast service. Best chicken burger I’ve ever had.

The Pen and Pencil
Responded on 10 September 2019

Thank you for your 5 star review Maisie, we hope to see you here again soon!

Report
j
janeth
London
1 review
Dined on 5 August 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience3

lovely service,quiet(it was Monday) nice place,good food

The Pen and Pencil
Responded on 9 August 2019

Thank you for the great review, we hope to see you back here again soon!

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
Manchester
3 reviews
Dined on 22 July 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had the philly steak and it was lovely. The manager had a bit of a difficult situation whilst we were there but managed it really well. Staff were really nice. I def recommend this place

The Pen and Pencil
Responded on 6 August 2019

Thank you for the great review and glad to hear you enjoyed the philly steak. We hope to see you here again soon!

Report
MJ
vipMrJeffBlair
Manchester
13 reviews
Dined on 19 July 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

The Pen and Pencil
Responded on 6 August 2019

Thank you for the fantastic review, we hope to see you here again soon!

Report
RB
RebeccaB
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 17 July 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Easy to find location , friendly staff, attentive staff, swift service, affordable, well presented reasonable prices delicious food.

The Pen and Pencil
Responded on 6 August 2019

Thank you for the great review Rebecca, we hope to see you again soon!

Report
A
Ashley
1 review
Dined on 12 July 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

The food was very nice and the layout of the place is nice and modern. However the exterior is covered in scaffolding which I'd expect is due to the building owners and not The Pen and Pencil, there was two staff working front of house over Friday lunch (1-2), one behind the bar and one serving tables, took around 15-20 mins for our plates to be cleared once we'd finished. Overall was very good and I would go again, just a little sharper on the service would make it spot on.

The Pen and Pencil
Responded on 6 August 2019

Thank you for your feedback Ashley and sorry the service wasn't as quick as it should be. We look forward to seeing you here again soon.

Report
LC
LauraC
1 review
Dined on 9 July 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Loved it, great food, quiz was a laugh but sitting on the stool-chairs with no back actually became quite uncomfortable after a while. Would just sit somewhere else next time though.

The Pen and Pencil
Responded on 6 August 2019

Thank you for the great review Laura and sorry to hear the stools were uncomfortable for you. We hope to see you back here again soon!

Report
MJ
vipMrJeffBlair
Manchester
13 reviews
Dined on 4 July 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

The Pen and Pencil
Responded on 1 August 2019

Thank you for the fantastic review, we hope to see you again soon!

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 15 June 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Pre gig meet up. Always amazing, great atmosphere!

The Pen and Pencil
Responded on 24 June 2019

Thank you for the great review, we hope to see you again soon.

Report
MG
MandyG
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 9 June 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was excellent, value for money , service was quick , the staff were helpful ... thanks Nathan for the swordfish recommendation. Definitely go there again .

The Pen and Pencil
Responded on 24 June 2019

Thank you for the great review, we hope to see you again soon.

Report
EK
ElisabethK
Newcastle
1 review
Dined on 9 June 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

went there for breakfast on a Sunday morning. The service was first class, so was the food. Can absolutely recommend it.

The Pen and Pencil
Responded on 24 June 2019

Thank you for the great review, we hope to see you again soon.

Report
DB
DebbieB
1 review
Dined on 1 June 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I came to the pen and pencil with 5 friends prior to attending the Spice Girls concert at the Etihad stadium. Our table was ready on arrival and the staff were very smiley, happy and the service was amazing. The atmosphere was fab and the music choice was excellent including some spice girls songs. Even the chef was friendly and happy.
I would definitely recommend the pen and pencil to family and friends.

Thank you for a fab afternoon.

The Pen and Pencil
Responded on 24 June 2019

Thank you for the great review, we're thrilled to hear you had such a good time and hope to see you again soon.

Report
JH
JadeH
1 review
Dined on 1 June 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely food and great customer service.
Would defo visit again when in Manchester.

The Pen and Pencil
Responded on 24 June 2019

Thank you for the great review, we hope to see you again when you're next in Manchester.

Report
CP
CraigP
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 21 May 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Quality quiz night!! Great atmosphere, great beer and great food!

JA
JenA
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 8 May 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Really enjoyed my visit to the pen and pencil! The food was lovely and in the first instance the service was great. It seems a shame that our brilliant, attentive, enthusiastic waitress had finished her shift, when she left it all went south. We sat for a while until we found someone to ask for the bill (we had to approach them) which took about 10 minutes to come. We then had to approach staff to pay. Overall it was a positive experience, just a few staff lacked attentiveness. Would definitely visit again as I'm sure this is a one off!

T
Tami
London
4 reviews
Dined on 28 April 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely food and great venue for brunch or eve drinks

A
Anjo
1 review
Dined on 27 April 2019
Overall1food2service2ambience3

On arrival we were advised by a member of staff that they had to tried to contact me (they hadn’t) and that they were only offering the brunch menu. This was going up to 5pm so we didn’t want brunch! It took a while for a manager to come and talk to me who blamed yourselves even though this wasn’t anywhere on their own website that it was only brunch on the last Saturday of every month, which was where we made the reservation via yourselves as the booking engine. Looking at the website they had it as an option for all day brunch but no where does it say that no other menu would be offered. We were then only offered two burger options or steak and eggs which was really disappointing. We were attending a concert and with town already full to the brim this was our only option. The manager offered to buy us a round of drinks however these still went on the bill so I had to ask for them to be removed!

DW
DerekW
1 review
Dined on 1 April 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Lovely food and great location with good friendly service and atmosphere

TM
TomM
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 23 March 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

David was excellent and the food was beautiful as ever :)

FAQs

The Pen and Pencil is rated 4.3 stars by 145 OpenTable diners.

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