Last Updated March 26, 2020
On the hunt for a great record store to visit on your next trip? Here’s a list of articles, updated regularly, that will help, informing of the best record stores open today. Happy digging. Hopefully, they’re playing something you like and better still, don’t know. Or ask the store clerk – some of my favorite records were bought on the recommendation of a guy running a record store. And don’t forget – maybe I’ve been there, and put a post up on it.
The list starts with New York (where I’m from) and California (where I used to be from). Then it has best of the US articles. After that, the list is organized alphabetically by state (in the US) or by country (globally). If the list is daunting, use the find function in your Google browser to jump to the place of interest to you.
You can also check out our Fun Facts section (below) to find out which country/city is home to the most record stores, the oldest record store still in business, the biggest record store, the most expensive records ever sold, and other interesting facts about vinyl.
While you’re perusing the list perhaps a little music? Can think of only one worthy selection – I’ve Been Everywhere by Johnny Cash
One quick note – most of these articles are titled “Best Record Stores in [Location]”. To eliminate this repetition, and help Google show you this list, I have modified their titles. Each is a great resource for finding local record stores.
Here are six separate lists of great record stores in NYC (including Brooklyn and Manhattan)
From NYC Go/ Jonathan Zeller/ April 10, 2013 – Vinyl Sale NYC Music Stores
From Grandlife Hotel’s / Anthony Pappalardo – published May 16, 2013 – Our Top 5 Picks of NYC stores.
and here’s an article that appeared in Time Out New York on Jan. 23, 2013 with their top picks.
From NYC Guide, a Jan. 15, 2014 post Five Best (Remaining) Record Stores In NYC
From Thrillist here’s an Oct. 2016 article Best (Remaining) Record Stores In New York City by Dan Reilly.
The Gothamist ran this April 2016 piece touting 15 stores you should visit in NYC. Careful, two – Other Music and Rebel Rebel (which indeed you hopefully have visited) have since closed.
As (most) of New York City’s record stores have moved to Brooklyn, if you want to go, check out Vinyl Lives: A Guide To All 27 Of Brooklyn’s Record Stores published on the web site Brokelyn.com in October 2017. And no, Brooklyn is not in NYC, even though its part of NYC. Get it?
Here’s a list of where to go hunting for records on Long Island published in Newsday’s Explore Long Island on January 22, 2014 – Independent Record Stores.
And a more recent list Step Inside LI’s Independent Record Stores published in December 2017 in the Long Island Pulse featuring 11 of Long Island’s finest record stores.
Upstate New York? NYup gives us Where to find old, new music on vinyl featuring 12 great record stores north and west of the City, published in November 2017.
While 7 Record Stores That Keep The Beat Alive from Visit Buffalo Niagara in April 2019 features 7 record stores to visit when in Buffalo.
From LaWeekly, an August 26, 2016 article titled The 20 Best Record Stores In Los Angeles And Beyond.
While in California, here’s another list from the Bold Italic – Mining For Gold, published August 2, 2016, telling you where to dig when in San Francisco.
Time Out San Francisco in August 2016 gave us The Best Record Stores In The Bay Area covering both San Francisco and Oakland.
While the Bold Italic in August 2016 stuck strictly to San Francisco in Mining For Gold.
Best Record Stores In The US
Here are some articles about record stores you must visit throughout the United States.
From Daily Candy/ April 18, 2013 Coast to Coast: Indie Record Stores features 27 stores from coast to coast.
Rolling Stone published this list of Best Record Stores in the USA featuring 31 record stores throughout the country. A list that leads with Ameboa can’t be all bad. How many have you been to?
From Pitchfork an August 20, 2012 article titled Record Party: Our Favorite Shops . 19 shops (mostly) throughout the US. Call first, as the article is a little dated and you know what can happen to an indie record store, even a favorite.
Another record stores you must see in the US list, this time from USA Today published on July 22, 2016 Vinyl Lives! 10 Great Record Stores for a Musical Treasure Hunt.
Here’s Thrillist’s take in February 2015 of the 21 Best Record Shops In America.
Hi Consumption offered this list in October 2016 Pick n’ Pull: 18 Best Record Stores In America.
From Hoodline.com comes this November 2018 piece Vital vinyl: Here are America’s 50 favorite record shops According to the authors, they “us[ed] Yelp data and our own special sauce to produce a data-driven breakdown of where vinyl reigns supreme across the U.S.” I’ve been to 12 of these shops (and counting).
By State (Alphabetically)
Going to Arizona? The Phoenix New Times Blogs gives you this April 18, 2014 article from Glenn Burn Silver of 10 fine stores in the Metro Phoenix area.
And here’s a more recent article that appeared in the Phoenix New Times in January 2017 with their recommendations of 10 record stores to visit when in the Phoenix metro area.
If you’re off to Denver, Colorado, this article from Westworld, published in November 2018, will tell you where to look.
Right next door (to me), 8 Favorite Record Stores Around Connecticut from Connecticut Magazine in November 2016 tells you the record stores to visit when you’re in Connecticut.
Perhaps Miami, Fla? The Miami New Times Blogs published an article by Crossfade on April 14, 2014 featuring 5 of their favorite stores in Miami.
Here’s an October 2017 article from the Miami New Times South Florida’s Six Top Record Stores.
From Long Live Vinyl comes The Trip: Orlando’s Record Stores featuring 9 must visit stores when you’re in Orlando (and have had enough of Disney Land, which for me would be the minute I landed in Orlando). They also provide this handy map to help you find the stores they recommend.
From the Atlanta Journal Constitutional (AJC.com) comes 8 Atlanta Record Stores For The True Vinyl Lover published in June 2016.
CBSAtlanta gives us their pick of the finest 5 record stores in Atlanta in this April 2015 piece.
If you’re going to Boise, Idaho, it looks like there is only one clear choice – The Record Exchange. The Boise Weekly in its Best of Boise 2014 listed the Record Exchange as the winner of the Best Local CD/Record Store. It noted that the Record Exchange was also the winner for each of the years from 2007-2013. If you want to know, it listed Dunkley Music and Yesteryear Shoppe as numbers 2 and 3. Here’s an article about the store that appeared in the Idaho Statesman in December 2017 At 40, success and longevity of Boise’s iconic Record Exchange ‘a pretty remarkable thing’. It also has a video about the store and its history.
More kudos for the Record Exchange, this time from OnlyInYourState.com comes The Record Exchange In Idaho Is A Vintage Gem published February 2020.
From Jack McCormick, Nov. 8, 2013, for the Loyola Phoenix, Exploring Chicago’s Record Stores
Here’s a more recent article that appeared in Time Out Chicago on September 28, 2017 on 12 of Chicago’s finest record stores.
From Louisville Magazine, here is their list of the Best Places In Louisville To Find Vinyl Records featuring 5 of Louisville Kentucky’s finest.
Musician Gabe Close recommends his 5 Favorite Stores in Louisville in this article from July 26, 2015.
New Orleans Louisiana
New Orleans must have great record stores, given all the music going on there. Here is the Vinyl Factory’s Definitive Guide To New Orleans Best Record Shops from October 2016.
Baltimore Magazine published this handy article Spin City: Your handy guide to the best vinyl shops in town in May 2018 listing 11 of Baltimore (the Charm City) finest, including the beloved Sound Garden of Fells Point.
Boston Magazine published this helpful April 15, 2015 article Vinyl Sightings: Boston’s Top Record Stores to help your record collecting while in Boston.
Curbed Detroit gives us Detroit’s Record Stores, Mapped Published in April 2017 its a cool presentation of what Detroit has to offer with both photos and a handy map so you can plan your own tour.
Here’s another article on Detroit from the Red Bull Music Academy Daily Counter Intelligence: Detroit from May 2016 with 4 of the best Detroit has to offer.
From the Minneapolis City Pages, a March 12, 2013 post from Erik Thompson of the 10 Top Places To Buy Vinyl In The Twin Cities (Minnesota for those of you who are geographically challenged).
Here’s a more recent article 10 Best Twin Cities Record Stores published on Citypages.com in April 2016.
And another Top 3 Stores For Vinyl Enthusiasts In Minneapolis published by CBS Minnesota on September 26, 2018.
St. Louis Missouri
The Riverfront Times give us this March 2016 article 7 Record Stores Every St. Louis Music Lover Must Visit for your next trip to St. Louis.
From Hear Nebraska.org, results of a readers poll published on Sept. 25, 2013 of their top five favorite stores
An article in NJ.com by Bobby Olivier published April 17, 2015 titled 17 Enduring NJ Vinyl Shops Ready For Record Store Day gives you, surprise, a list of record stores to visit in Garden State.
From Offline Raleigh comes Vinyl Lovers: The Best Record Shops In The Triangle which gives you a list of stores to visit when in Raleigh and Durham North Carolina.
From Clture.org comes this April 2019 piece North Carolina Has Several Great Independent Record Stores covering 12 stores throughout the state, in Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte, Asheville, and Wilmington-Salem, among others. I’ve been to Bull City (Durham), Lunchbox (Charlotte) and Repo (Charlotte), all on this list and all worthy.
Cleveland? Akron? Ohio? From Cleveland.com (think they know Cleveland?) comes 17 Great Independent Record Stores In Cleveland, Akron and Beyond published in December 2015.
CBS.com published their own list in April 2015 of the Best Record Stores In Cleveland.
And City Pulse published this handy Columbus On Vinyl which will guide you to the area’s finest stores if you’re thinking of digging in nearby Columbus.
And here’s a handy map from Spoonful Records from 2016 of the best Columbus has to offer.
6 Amazing Record Stores You Should Hit Up In Cincinnati from Cincinnati Refined in November 2016 tells you where to go for your vinyl when you’re in Cincinnati.
Portland is loaded with record stores. They’re everywhere. A Guide To Portland’s Record Stores appeared in Willamette Week of all of Portland’s record stores. Initially published in 2015, this guide was updated in January 2017. There are sooooo many record stores in Portland that they also publish a handy map – Portland Guide To Independent Record Stores – with locations so you can find them yourself. Here’s the 2012 guide.
Rent.com recently published this list of their 7 favorite record stores in Portland in December 2019. Fun fact – Portland is the home to Discogs, one of the vinyl lover’s favorite websites.
From Whats Next for Pittsburgh, here is Digging for Wax: the Next Guide to Independent Pittsburgh Record Stores published April 14, 2015. Whatever you do, make sure you stop by Jerry’s Records. Even though Jerry has retired, its still an experience not to be missed.
10 Amazing Philly Record Stores To Shop This Weekend from Philadelphia Magazine in April 2016 introduces you to outstanding record stores in Philadelphia.
Here’s The Five Essential Philadelphia Record Stores For Building Your Vinyl Collection from the 34th Street Magazine of UPenn, published in January 2019. I’ll let you know what I think of its recommendations, because I’m going to use it in a couple of weeks on my next trip to Philadelphia.
You would expect Austin Texas, the great music town it is, to have any number of great record stores. Here’s a list of 12 of the city’s finest from the Austin Chronicle Guide To Austin Record Stores published in August 2017.
Austin Curbed gives you Austin’s Record Stores, Mapped from 2019, which lists 12 of Austin’s finest, and gives you a handy interactive map to guide your tour.
Houston’s Top Ten Record Stores published in the Houston Press in August 2016 features – you guessed it – 10 great record stores in Houston.
And from the Dallas Observer, their Top Ten list of must visit record stores in Dallas-Fort Worth published in July 2016.
Salt Lake City Utah
From Saltplatecity.com comes this March 2019 Article listing 4 great record stores to seek out in Salt Lake City Utah.
Four Snapshots Of Spokane’s Booming Record Store Economy from the Stranger in April 2017 shows you where to dig if you’re off to Spokane Washington.
From David Segal at the Stranger.com comes 5 Best Places to Buy Vinyl in Seattle, published in December 2017. The Stranger followed this up in 2019 with a readers poll in 2019. With over 5400 people voting, the winners were Daybreak and Easy Street.
Here’s another handy map, this time of Record Stores of Washington DC from 2013. Crooked Beat has moved. Info on their new location can be found on our post describing my visit to the store.
Here’s an April 2017 article from Curbed Washington D.C. 10 Record Stores in D.C. Area Worth Searching For which features 10 of Washington’s top offerings, and has Crooked Beat at its new location.
From Whoo New (Discover Northeast Wisconsin), is a July 30, 2013 post from Gracie Savides, Five Rockin’ Independent Record Stores in Northeast Wisconsin .
From Madison.com comes Prowl the stacks of wax on Record Store Day with a list of 11 stores to visit when you’re in Madison. Be careful, as this article is from 2011.
And On Milwaukee.com gives you 11 places to feed your vinyl addiction on Record Store Day a 2019 guide to the shops of Milwaukee.
Best Record Stores – Global
These articles recommend stores throughout the world. For articles that just focus on a particular country, keep scrolling.
Buzz Feed/ August 16, 2013/ Maria Sherman gives you a list of Best Record Stores Around The World . Featuring 27 different stores throughout the world.
Flavorwire give us this Jan. 28, 2013 article by Tom Hawking The Most Beautiful Record Stores In The World featuring 10 record stores throughout the world.
Vinyl Factory gives us 50 of the World’s Best Record Shops. I’m never going to get to many of these places myself, so I guess I’ll just have to take their word for it.
Thump published its list in April 2017, titled Here’s 17 Record Stores You Should Visit Before You Die featuring 17 stores throughout the world you must see. (I’ve been to three).
By Country (Alphabetically)
The best of what Sydney Australia has to offer can be found in this handy guide Diggin’ Sydney. You can download a copy from the site, or click here. Apparently, a regularly updated guide, this one is from 2017.
From Vienna Wurstel Stand (fear not its in English) comes this June 4, 2019 Guide guide to the stores you should visit when visiting Vienna.
Maybe you’re off to Canada?
This list of the Top Record Shops In Toronto was published on theculturetrip.com in Oct. 2016 by Alix Hall.
Here’s Indie Guides’ June 2017 Article featuring 6 of Montreal‘s finest. Maybe you can find a copy of the Ugly Ducklings’ Nothing.
Needle Groove offers Montreal Record Stores A Crate Digger’s Guide which features the best and the rest of what Montreal has to offer. Published in January 2017.
And you can’t forget Vancouver. A Guide To Hunting Vinyl In Vancouver lets you know where to shop when you’re in Vancouver – from the Ubyssey in March 2017.
From the Daily Hive comes their recommendation of 10 record stores you must visit in Vancouver published on October 31, 2016. And from Vancouver Is Awesome comes 12 local record stores that vinyl aficionados will adore published on April 21, 2018.
CITR Discorder 101.9 FM and Cian Hogan give us this handy map of Vancouver’s stores prepared in 2018. 21 stores is damn impressive. (You might find a clearer copy of this map on their site, linked to above).
Step Inside These Noteworthy Record Stores Across Canada, from Red Bull Music in August 2018, introduces you to 10 record stores throughout Canada.
From the website Myhelsinki.fi comes Record Stores In Helsinki to help guide your record shopping in Helsinki Finland.
And here’s a handy map from the people at VinylHel of Helsinki’s record stores.
The Culture Trip covers Paris with The Ten Top Record Stores In Paris updated in February 2017.
And here’s a more recent article from the Discover Walks Blog, 8 of the Coolest Record Stores in Paris published in November 2019.
Bimm Cities published this list in December 2017 of Hamburg’s Top Five Record Stores with links to each of the store’s websites.
From Top 10 Berlin comes its Top 10 List of stores to visit while in Berlin. Top 10 advises that in addition to a store’s music selection “As record store employees are considered rather grumpy, friendliness was taken in consideration as well and the nerd factor was included also.” I know a number of stores that would be excluded if you were considering this (no, I won’t name names) .
The Guardian provides a list of its 10 Favorite Record Stores in Britain courtesy of their readers, dated Mar. 29, 2013.
From Wales Online comes the 9 Best Independent Record Shops In Wales published in February 2015.
In April 2017 iNews the Essential Daily Briefing gave us The Top Record Shops In Edinburgh – No Matter What Your Taste .
OffbeatBudapest.com gives us this handy list of the 10 Finest Record Stores in Budapest published in October 2019. If you’ve heard of any of the records they discuss (with reverence) in this article, you are a better man than I.
Tokyo’s 11 Favorite Record Stores as recommended by Compathy magazine in May 2017.
Or perhaps The Biggest Guide To Tokyo Record Stores On The Internet published by Mostly Retro in October 2016. Someone has to be the biggest, right?
If you’re going to go, you need to get the Record Map, a handy book that lists (all?) of Japan’s record stores. You’ll need to be able to read Japanese though.
If you’re into house and techno, and going to Osaka, then this list 10 Record Shops That Make Osaka A Crate Digging Paradise published by Electronic Beats is for you.
If not Osaka Record Shopping – The Inside Track published by Odigo in October 2016 is the list for you.
And here are some handy record maps to take with you while you dig.
Hunting in Lisbon Portugal? Here’s the Vinyl Factory’s 2014 list The Vinyl Factory Goes Record Shopping In Lisbon which feature 4 stores.
Here’s a list for your trip to Barcelona Spain. The Eleven best Record Shops in Barcelona published in Foresquare. I used this during my tour of record stores in Barcelona and can highly recommend it. You can read about what I thought about Barcelona’s Revolver Records, Daily Records and Wah Wah Records
According to Discogs, the United States is country with the most independent record stores in the world, with 1482 stores at last count. The United Kingdom was second, with 537, and Germany third with 453. By city, Tokyo takes the crown with 93 record stores, followed by Berlin with 87 and London with 79 stores (sorry New York, we’re only 6th on their list with 47 stores). Check out the article for more fun facts, including the cities with the highest density of record stores within walking distance of each other (bet that will make you read their article!)
Wikipedia reports that “Spillers Records in Cardiff (the capital of Wales), founded in 1894 by Henry Spiller, is reputed to be the oldest record shop in the world. It originally specialised in the sale of phonographs, cylinders and shellac discs.” The oldest record store in the US is George’s Song Shop of Johnston Pennsylvania, which opened in 1932. John George, who runs the shop, took it over from his father and uncle. The oldest store I’ve been to is Music Country, of Cliffside Park, NJ, which opened in 1934.
Per Vinyllives.com, the oldest known record is “Handel’s “Israel in Egypt” –recorded on an Edison wax cylinder on June 28, 1888″ while the first million selling record was “the 1903 recording of “Vesti la Giubba”, as sung by Italian tenor extraordinaire, Enrico Caruso.”
For fun (this is the fun facts section no?) here is Caruso singing Vesti la Giubba.
Which store is the biggest? Before it recently closed, that honor went to Amoeba Music’s dearly beloved LA store. It has 24,000 sq ft, and its own parking garage.
With its closing, you can go to Bengans, in Goteberg Sweden (700 sq. meters of records), Tower Records in Tokyo (yes, there is still one of those open) or Bananas Music in St. Petersburg, Florida. Bananas is so big, it has two locations, a 6500 sq foot warehouse that is home to approximately 3 million records (no typo), and a second 10,000 sq foot location.
Per Wikipedia, the best selling record of all time is Michael Jackson’s 1982 hit, Thriller, which has sold over 47 million copies. The best selling album in 2019 was the Beatles’ Abbey Road.
I Used To Be
And here’s a list of rock stars that changed their name:
Paul David Hewson – Bono
Robert Zimmerman – Bob Dylan
Declan McManus – Elvis Costello
Marvin Lee Aday – Meat Loaf
Steven Victor Tallarico – Steven Tyler
McKinley Morganfield – Muddy Waters
Grace Barnett Wing – Grace Slick
Farouk Bulsara – Freddie Mercury
Joachim Krauledat – John Kay (Steppenwolf)
Patricia Andrejewski – Pat Benatar
Martyn Buchwald – Marty Balin
Richard Starkey – Ringo Starr
David Robert Jones – David Bowie
Vincent Damon Furnier – Alice Cooper
Most Expensive Ever
Wu-Tang Clan: Once Upon a Time in Shaolin – $2 million
This one was bought in 2015 by since convicted Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli. As a result of his conviction, the record was seized and is presently a guest of the government. This is the one and only copy of this record, which was recorded in secret over 6 years from 2008-2013.
The rap record came with a contract that specifies that the owner cannot sell or attempt to make money from the album for 100 years, though he can release it for free.
Here’s a picture of the album cover in which this record is stored. You can hear some of it on YouTube.
The second most expensive record ever sold is also a one-of-a-kind. As some of you might know, when the Beatles released their White Album, it originally came with numbered editions with the words The Beatles in raised letters on the cover (I have a German issue No. 0023879). Ringo Starr reported had the edition labelled 0000001, which he sold in 2015 for $790,000. He used the proceeds for charity, donating them to his Lotus Foundation.
For more, you can go to Paste magazine’s recent article Here Are the 50 Most Valuable Vinyl Records on Earth from September 2019.
How Do You Say
Where is the record store? in
où est le magasin de disques? (French)
где находится магазин звукозаписей (Russian)
donde esta la tienda de discos (Spanish)
レコード店はどこですか Rekōdo-ten wa dokodesu ka (Japanese)
όπου βρίσκεται το κατάστημα ρεκόρ
ópou vrísketai to katástima rekór (Greek)
Wo ist der Plattenladen? (German)
ble mae’r storfa recordiau (Welsh)
dov’è il negozio di dischi (Italian)
hvor er platebutikken (Norwegian)
Record Stores In The Movies
“Record stores can’t save your life. But they can give you a better one.” ~ Nick Hornby
- High Fidelity – Championship Vinyl
This fictional store was filmed in Chicago’s Wicker Park.
Here’s a scene from the movie, where the clerks are acting as record snobs. Would Jack Black sell his Captain Beefheart’s Safe As Milk to you?
The Chains That Died
Who’d of thought? Record retail was at one time dominated by massive chains. Everyone thought the little guy didn’t stand a chance. In Greenwich Village, right around the corner from the massive Tower Record store on W 4th was Other Music, a vital, but single store independent. But other music was standing long after Tower left us.
Tower Records – this was my favorite chain store of all time. Founded in 1960, at is peak, it had 200 stores in 30 countries. And Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters front man and former Nirvana stalwart, worked there.
Sam Goody – Founded in 1951 by Sam “Goody” Gutowitz, the store first operated in NYC. At the time he sold it in 1978, it had 26 stores. Under his leadership, the store reported had some great promotions – including giving away record players, silver dollars (if you spent $15) and JFK half dollars (if you spent $10) to purchasers. It was eventually acquired by Musicland, and at its peak had some 800 stores. Now, there are reportedly but 2 that (as of 2019) operate under the Sam Goody name (some others became f.y.e. stores along the way).
Do you file your Led Zepplin records under L or Z?
Been to any of these stores? Know the author? Give a shout out and help your fellow collectors (unlike Johnny Cash, I’ve not been everywhere man).