Ply - Restaurant Bar Review

Published . By Kiran Flynn.

Filled with cool, artsy looking folk, PLY is a refreshing, new creative space come eatery-bar in the Northern Quarter… So of course, I went to check it out.

The Venue

The open plan resembles a re-packaged artists’ warehouse brought to life with a vibrant lick of yellow paint and a love of good food, drink and art. A seated corner surrounded by bookshelves would be a great spot for daytime literary hang-outs, whereas the multi-layered tiers of dining spaces include longer tables for group lunches and peripheral, intimate tables for couples’ date nights. An old school movie screen hangs above the bar showcasing different craft beers and other lovely beverages for you to choose from. PLY is also big on its art exhibitions and creative events – on the evening we attended a local DJ was doing his thang. Word on the streets is that PLY has many an exciting and innovative artist yet to grace its floors… So I’d keep my eyes peeled if I were you!

ply manchester review northern quarter

A trendy haunt for Manchester's creative folk and boozy patrons.

The Atmosphere and Clientele

PLY is bright, fresh and rustically artisan. It is the sort of place you imagine creatives go after work, and spontaneously cook up their own whacky ideas. On-going chatter and a DJ’s soft beats were great for a chilled out meal with my pal mid-week. PLY has its own noticeable quirks, without trying too hard to be ‘niche’. It has an open friendliness, emphasised by the smiley staff and camaraderie between all punters. Although artsy folk are naturally drawn to such a space, there were a wide variety of people mingling, drinking and chatting to their hearts’ content.

ply manchester venue review

A bustle come sundown thanks to its premium space and affordable menu.

The Food and Drink

Northern Quarter bars often proclaim excellent cocktails, but PLY really does deliver on the mixology front. My Sinnerman (£7) cocktail was a tri-layered spiced peach, Doorly's rum and pineapple concoction reminiscent of a mojito, and the Painter’s Palette (£7) had an elegantly fruity fizz thanks to rhubarb and gin.

The food is equally as impressive. My Tomato Salad antipasti had a rainbow array of tomatoes with the same refreshing zing that I thought only possible in the Mediterranean. The hand-made stone-baked pizzas are, hands down, the stars of the show and a testament to their venue. Unable to pick just one pizza to myself, my companion and I shared half each of two different pizzas. The first, the Sausage and Broccoli Bianca (£10.50), had a fiery kick of chilli, Italian wild broccoli….. and the most indescribably delicious fennel sausages. The Courgette Bianca (£10) had a wealth of sexy, taleggio cheese and the daintiest, edible lilac flowers for a dash of colourful elegance. I’ve no doubt that all the other pizzas on the menu are equally as delish.

ply manchester northern quarter food

Hands down, it has to be the pizzas where PLY in the Northern Quarter shines.


A versatile space, with a promising future in art-dining combos, exhibitions and general drinking fun, PLY has well and truly caught my attention. I’ll be back in a flash.

*All photos are credited to Sebastian Matthes*