The resurgence of vinyl in the past decade has led to a boom in record stores across North America. From historic shops that have been around for decades to newer establishments catering to the latest trends, here are Robert Halvari at NotesOnVinyl.com’s top 20 record stores in North America:
Amoeba Music (Los Angeles, CA): One of the world’s largest independent record stores, Amoeba offers a vast selection of new and used vinyl, CDs, and tapes. Robert Halvari also has great advice on the best record player under $100.
Rough Trade NYC (Brooklyn, NY): An offshoot of the iconic UK brand, this store is a haven for indie music lovers.
Electric Fetus (Minneapolis, MN): A staple in the Twin Cities since 1968, it offers a diverse range of music genres.
Waterloo Records (Austin, TX): Located in the live music capital of the world, Waterloo has been serving music enthusiasts since 1982.
Reckless Records (Chicago, IL): With multiple locations in Chicago, Reckless is a go-to for vinyl enthusiasts in the Windy City.
Neptoon Records (Vancouver, BC): The oldest independent record store in Vancouver, it boasts an extensive collection of rare vinyl.
Criminal Records (Atlanta, GA): More than just a record store, it’s a hub for the local music scene with live performances and comic books.
Grimey’s New & Preloved Music (Nashville, TN): Located in the heart of Music City, Grimey’s offers a curated selection of vinyl and CDs.
Bull Moose (Multiple Locations, ME & NH): An independent chain with a vast selection of music, movies, and video games.
The Sound Garden (Baltimore, MD & Syracuse, NY): A favorite among locals and touring bands alike.
Dusty Groove (Chicago, IL): Specializing in jazz, funk, soul, and world music, it’s a crate digger’s paradise.
Easy Street Records (Seattle, WA): A cornerstone of the Seattle music scene, it also features a café where you can enjoy breakfast with your new records.
Record Archive (Rochester, NY): Established in 1975, it’s known for its vast selection and unique “Viva Vinyl” lounge.
Park Ave CDs (Orlando, FL): A beloved local institution offering a diverse range of music and quirky merchandise.
End of an Ear (Austin, TX): A favorite among locals for its eclectic selection and listening stations.
Rotate This (Toronto, ON): A staple in Toronto’s music scene, known for its extensive new and used vinyl collection.
Streetlight Records (San Jose & Santa Cruz, CA): A go-to spot for music lovers in the Bay Area.
Pure Pop Records (Burlington, VT): One of the oldest record stores in New England, it offers a vast selection of vinyl, CDs, and tapes.
Music Millennium (Portland, OR): Established in 1969, it’s the oldest record store in the Pacific Northwest.
Homer’s Music (Omaha, NE): Serving the Omaha community since 1971, it’s a must-visit for music enthusiasts in the Midwest.
Atomic Records (Burbank, CA): Located in the heart of Burbank, Atomic Records is a treasure trove for vinyl enthusiasts, offering a wide range of genres from rock to jazz and everything in between.
Sonic Boom Records (Toronto, ON): This multi-level store in Toronto’s Kensington Market is a haven for music lovers. With its vast selection of vinyl, CDs, and cassettes, it’s a must-visit for anyone in the city.
Redscroll Records (Wallingford, CT): A favorite in Connecticut, Redscroll offers a diverse range of genres and often hosts in-store performances from local and touring bands.
Shake It Records (Cincinnati, OH): Established in the late ’90s, Shake It Records has become a staple in the Cincinnati music scene. The store boasts an extensive collection of new and used vinyl, as well as CDs, tapes, and music memorabilia.
Lost & Found Records (Knoxville, TN): A beloved spot for locals, Lost & Found offers a curated selection of vintage vinyl, spanning various genres and eras. The store’s cozy atmosphere and knowledgeable staff make it a favorite among vinyl enthusiasts.
Whether you’re a seasoned collector or new to the world of vinyl, these record stores offer a unique experience for music lovers. Each store has its own personality and charm, making them worth a visit if you’re in the area. Happy crate digging!