If you remember North Hill from a few years back, it was very much the territory for drunken students and dive bars. And one of those divey dive bars was Bac Bar. Well, no more… During the pandemic, Bac Bar transformed into Manuka! A chic new bar and Neapolitan inspired eatery offering top quality pizzas and Italian fare.
If that sounds like a bizarre transformation, well, it kinda makes sense.
As the owner Sean says, “the nightlife in Plymouth was dying off and covid was the nail in the coffin really… We already owned the building so we just needed to think of something else to do with it”
And spotting a gap in the Plymouth market for good quality pizza, Manuka was born. So how does it fare?
Manuka Bar: First impressions
The bar itself has a very contemporary feeling with vintage lighting, plants and minimalist furniture. There is also ample seating both in the front, looking onto North Hill, and in what used to be the back courtyard.
In fact the interior of Manuka feels very much like somewhere you’d stumble into in a nice area of West London, or Bristol. It’s definitely a good date night spot, and with the layout it would make the perfect birthday or Christmas party location too.
But it’s all about the food, right? So how does Manuka pizza fare?
Manuka food review
We visited with kids in tow so kept it simple with a spread of pizzas and a couple of sides. The pizza itself is of the genuine Neapolitan style, with a thin base and puffed up crispy crust. As a regular visitor to Italy, I can verify that the dough and style of pizza at Manuka is the real deal.
We had the margarita, a simple (off menu) pepperoni pizza for the eldest, a veggie pizza. We also tried out the bar olives, deep fried halloumi and caprese salad (yes, thats a lot of cheese!).
Each pizza was cooked to perfection, and not cluttered with toppings – very authentic. And with pizza coming in at between £7.50 to £9 we felt that the quality and price ratio was bang on. Again, also very close to the genuine price of pizza in Italy and elsewhere in the world.
If you’re going to come here expecting Dominos, well… I’m sorry to say that is a very different product. This is pizza for Plymouth’s pizza purists and we for one will be coming back!
Best places to eat in Plymouth?
Is this one of the best places to eat in Plymouth?
North Hill is fast becoming a spot for great food, with Zephyr Burgers just down the road and the excellent Box Cafe also open for lunches and dinners.
We thought the food and ambiance were excellent. And yes Manuka pizza definitely ranks high on the list of best eateries in town.
Book a table or check out the menu on the Manuka website.