The Pen and Pencil

4.0
115 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
£25 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
American
Top tags:
  • Casual
  • Brunch
  • Lunch
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 115 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on recent ratings
3.8
Food
3.9
Service
4.1
Ambience
4.0
Value
Noise · Moderate
77% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MG
Manchester
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

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

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EK
Newcastle
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

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

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DB
1 review
Dined on 1 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

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.

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JH
1 review
Dined on 1 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

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

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CP
1 review
Dined on 21 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 3Ambience 5

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

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JA
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 8 May 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 4

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!

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T
London
4 reviews
Dined on 28 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Lovely food and great venue for brunch or eve drinks

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A
1 review
Dined on 27 April 2019
Overall 1Food 2Service 2Ambience 3

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!

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DW
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 1 April 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Lovely food and great location with good friendly service and atmosphere

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TM
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 23 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

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

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SJ
London
1 review
Dined on 15 March 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Had an excellent evening with friends, good food, good vibe and helpful, friendly staff

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BB
1 review
Dined on 1 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Our second visit and we will certainly be back. Great place 👍

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OT
Manchester
4 reviews
Dined on 22 February 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 5Ambience 2

Great service, and the food was good. Quite rowdy during Friday after work times, lots of people shouting over each other, great for drinks with friends etc, maybe not so good for a date at the time we visited.

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z
1 review
Dined on 18 February 2019
Overall 2Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

The food was nice but it was meant to be 50% off food.

After ordering I got told I needed to order a drink to get the deal

Chips were not included, only mains, which I wasn't told until I had the bill.

I came for the 50% off but ended up paying £10 for my meal and could have just got a full price mains somewhere else.

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M
1 review
Dined on 18 February 2019
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 3

terrible food even at 50% of the price
would not recommend this place for eating

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AF
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Came here for the first time on Valentines Day, which also happens to be my boyfriends birthday, it was surrounded by candles and roses (not sure this is normal or Valentines decorations) but the atmosphere was beautiful! Only a personal preference but I would have prefered more ingrediants on my burger as it was slightly dry. The staff were welcoming and the live singer was amazing! Lovely experience overall.

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FM
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

The food was very tasty, although the cheesy spinach patties were very small so not filling.

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SS
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 4 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Half price food on Mondays great value! Very comfy seats and friendly staff, could have done with marked gluten free things on the menu though

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JE
1 review
Dined on 4 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Food was delicious, we were served quickly, nothing to complain about.

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KJ
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 21 January 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food is delicious and worthy,I will recommend my friends to have a try.

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SP
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 21 January 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 2Ambience 3

Food was good, and 50% off good value. Service was lacking.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 18 January 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

We were sat really promptly, even though we were early which was great. The bar was busy so we didn’t manage to get served before we were sat, however the manager who seated us got our drinks quickly :) it was a Friday so after work drinks were in full flow but added to the atmosphere. Food was good but felt like my burger was a bit over done but still tasty...the amount of sweet potato fries I got was more than enough, i didn’t manage to eat them all! I asked for a Lady Marmalade cocktail but they didn’t have any marmalade so substituted this for orange juice but it was still delicious :) it’s a great place for a catch up with friends would definitely like to come back and try the brunch items or bottomless brunch as I think the main menu was a bit limited. Great to use the 50% off but still good value for money without it! Will be back :)

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r
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 17 January 2019
Overall 2Food 1Service 2Ambience 2

Food was 50% off which is great but the food wasn't so good. I had the halloumi burger which lacked in flavour (other than halloumi) and was very dry. I had a table booked for next week with more friends but i wont be going. Also we had the offer of 50% off food but could not get the 2 for 1 cocktails....which is fair but I could have just gone to the bar and ordered separately and no one would have had a clue.

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AM
Manchester
5 reviews
Dined on 15 January 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 2Ambience 3

Food was very average at best and slow service!

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MD
1 review
Dined on 14 January 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 5Ambience 4

As usual, great atmosphere and service in the P&P. However, the food was disappointing on this occasion and not up to the usual high standards.

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OT
London
3 reviews
Dined on 3 January 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 2Ambience 4

Waited 45 mins for food. Service generally slow. Not the server fault, just not enough staff

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RC
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 10 December 2018
Overall 3Food 2Service 2Ambience 3

Normally it's good here, but when I came on Monday it was absolutely freezing for some reason. Other people kept their coats on which the staff didn't seem to notice.
Also, my burger was burnt. Unfortunately I couldn't ask for a replacement because it took so long to come I wouldn't have been able to order and eat a new one.

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HP
London
11 reviews
Dined on 9 December 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Went on a Sunday for brunch, great selection of food and drinks. Attentive serving staff who knew about different allergies. We both enjoyed our food, would recommend.

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RK
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 2 December 2018
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 3

Change of chef, food was cold, some didn’t come till later. Probably not the staffs fault as there’s not enough. Shame as it’s gone downhill massively.

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KW
Manchester
3 reviews
Dined on 25 November 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 5

Place is in a good location. I like the modern rustic interior design.
Time waiting for someone to serve was a bit long.
If it comes to food we went for brunch on Sunday and me and my friend ordered medium stakes with eggs. They were rare. Dripping blood. As it got busy with more people coming we couldn't get attention of waiter. My friend gave up and ate her food anyways as it got cold and we had places to be after that meeting.

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ER
1 review
Dined on 19 November 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

First went to Pen and Pencil 18/04/17, ever since then it has been my favorite place to go and take people. I have showed it off to a few people, who have then go on and took other people there themselves. I go every couple of months and each time the menu has changed, which I like. The menu has variety which fits in to how you feel and a lot of choice instead of the usual limited options. The vibe is chilled, the staff are amazing and knowledgeable, with a sense of humor. I have not actually been for drinks at night yet, however if it is buzzing in the day, I can imagine the night life to be ecstatic. Have tried a range of different food, steak and eggs, spinach kulcha, etc and a range of drinks to the smoothies, coffees, cocktails. Everything tastes fresh and not processed which is a plus. If you haven't tried this place, do it, you won't look back.

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LO
Manchester
4 reviews
Dined on 18 November 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

The feta and avocado salad came as eggs on smashed avocado... We didmt realise this but it was good of them to accommodate such a big group of 10 people at such short notice

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MP
1 review
Dined on 16 November 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 1Ambience 4

Booked table for 6 in restaurant as wanted a quiet table. No one showed us to our table but we found it as it had reserved and my name on it. No one came with menus but they did drop off the cutlery and condiments. After about 30 minutes a waiter said and I quote “we will have to chuck you off this table” aghast I ask why - it was needed for a large party. We could have another table, in the bar - not impressed as I specifically wanted a quiet table due to my hearing issues.
We move and stand around whilst a drinking group is moved from our next table. Still no food order taken until well after 7pm. Kitchen closes at 8 so we were a bit worried.
Food was ok, we all had burgers. Nothing outstanding. Then we were asked to move again, the DJ needed this table! Not impressed at all, the bar was busy so I asked them to find us s table as I wasn’t prepared to stand, table found and round of drinks provided ( not a choice of drink, they gave us two red and two white wines) so all in all not the greatest customer service which was a shame as the place itself is rather nice.

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TM
1 review
Dined on 15 November 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 3

The chicken burger was the best ever......I’ve recommended it to all my friends. Burgers are v good aswell but the chicken burger is stand out.

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C
London
6 reviews
Dined on 6 November 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 4

Booked a table for four of us friends to have lunch and a catch up. Had been impressed by previous reviews. Came away slightly disappointed - nothing actually wrong but it didn't quite have a wow factor I was anticipating - either in the food or the ambience. The service was perfectly OK, and it was a quiet Tuesday lunchtime, and the food (I had the seabass) was also satisfactory. So on balance I think this is just a personal choice thing - it didn't quite hit the spot for me, but others will hopefully find it really works for them.

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JD
London
4 reviews
Dined on 28 October 2018
Overall 1Food 1Service 3Ambience 3

Our breakfast was cold with fat rather than bacon. I was really disappointed as I had seen the previous reviews and was looking forward to going there.

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H
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 17 October 2018
Overall 4Food 3Service 3Ambience 4

Good food but small portion size, nice atmosphere with live music

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OT
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 14 October 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 5

Food was great (had the sliders and they were really tasty). Last time i was here the Bloody Marys were amazing but this time they were a bit basic. Last time there were celery sticks and garnishes etc but this time was just a slice of lemon on the side of the glass :(
Took a while to get another one too and we had to ask a couple of times before it arrived.
All in all was good but service could have been a bit quicker

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MG
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 7 October 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

My friends and I ate here on a Sunday, it was fairly quiet when we arrived but we were glad to be able to have a good chat. The food was mostly very good, the staff were very friendly and attentive and mostly good value.

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QD
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 4 October 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food was absolutely delicious,cocktails to die for and the staff could not have been more lovely and helpful.

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