Shopping, Music and entertainment Clerkenwell
© Britta Jaschinski

The awning reads: ‘Music. Coffee. Bagels.’ That lays out the essentials succinctly. Brill began life as a music shop, and music is still ‘an integral part of what we do’. There’s always something good playing, and CDs and a few vinyl oddments, with the emphasis on jazz, blues, folk and rock, are for sale inside the small interior. Then there’s the coffee, which accounts for 80% of Brill’s revenue. Supplied by Union Coffee Roasters, it’s best in milky form – the Union espresso blend is pretty assertive stuff.

What’s more, our Brill espresso was not brilliantly made: thinnish brew, lifeless crema. But Brill makes it easy to forgive an occasional deficient cup. The staff are incredibly friendly, always ready for a gab if you want one, and the musical component is pure pleasure. Which leaves only the bagels to explain: fillings of smoked salmon, cream cheese, ham, houmous, and so on, at exceedingly reasonable prices. Appealing baked goods are supplied by an imaginative woman named Arianna. Her delicious ‘everything’ cookie even includes fragments of pretzel. We’ll be back, for that warm welcome, great music and (we hope) a flawless espresso.



Venue name: Brill
Address: 27 Exmouth Market
Opening hours: Open 7.30am-6pm Mon-Fri; 9am-6pm Sat; 10.30am-4.30pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Angel or Farringdon
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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:13
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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Great little place that offers a lot more than you'd think. Part shop, part café, part chilled hangout, you're met with retro music and an entire wall of records to browse and buy. A great cocktail deal on Thursdays and Fridays with drinks that taste good, a small amount of seating and a little secret garden at the back, (which I'll be going back to visit in summer) make it one of the coolest places I've been in a while!


Very ecclectic place offering bagels, coffee, retro music and much more. It's a fairly small cafe located on Exmouth market so lovely location. You can watch passers-by while reading a book and sampling some of the delicious, simple food or coffee.

Wonderful own blend coffee and delicious bagels and salads with amazing tasting, quality ingredients! I


You could easily miss this cute little cafe packed in among the pubs, restaurants, and boutique shops on Exmouth Market.  Seating is limited but if you’re privileged enough to get a seat you can enjoy an indulgent afternoon at it’s best: toasted bagels, great coffee, and a wonderful selection of records and CDs to purchase on the side.  In case you’re wondering: ham & cheese, flat white, Fleetwood Mac.  The name say’s it all, it’s simply brill.

Staff Writer

Personal and friendly service, absolutely brilliant coffee, great cakes and bagels, music to browse through, and a real sense of community as the locals all pop in for their daily fix. It's got a really sweet courtyard outside too, which you can't see from the street.

Such great and friendly staff. Excellent coffee and excellent music - a winning combination.

Staff Writer

This is really more of a café than a CD shop these days – though there are still plenty of CDs for sale, across a decent range of genres. The (own-blend) coffee is great, as are the filled (Brick Lane) bagels.

Not being from london but being in on a days business. Stumbled across Brill while looking for somewhere to have a sit down and a Tea before the day started. Cafe really lives up to its name. Great music, lovely cuppa and a good Bagel. Will visit again next time I'm in the area.

hi do you have in stock BEATLES Abbey Road Sessions 4 CD, or you can help me to get it,,,,,,thanks

I am looking for music by georgy fame. I am very interested in purchasing his cds. thank you