The Guide to Recording Shopping in L.A.
Seventeen places to buy by neighborhood and genre
Vinyl shopping is retail therapy for the cultured man.
But in this age of point, click and Prime, one can miss the best part of shopping for vinyl: sifting through crates for a piece of throwback gold.
And while L.A. is brimming with rare finds, classics and lost promos, knowing where to go for what can be a bit daunting.
So we made you this very handy guide to the city’s 17 best record stores, complete with illustrated maps and the best places to grab lunch nearby.
Pound for pound, Highland Park has the most and best record stores. Make a day of it and stop for Central Mexican style barbacoa at Antojitos Guerrero.
- Wombleton Records
Speciality: Deep cuts of classic artists
Skinny: Very small selection, but it’s all pretty solid and in great condition
Address: 5123 York Blvd (map)
- Gimme Gimme Records
Speciality: Rare classics, b-sides
Skinny: They’re constantly restocking, so always worth popping in
Address: 5810 N. Figueroa St (map)
- Permanent Records
Eagle Rock and Highland Park
Speciality: Punk, garage rock, psychedelic and lo-fi
Skinny: Originally from Chicago, but they’ve fit right in
Address: 5116 York Blvd (map)
- Mount Analog
Speciality: For those who like it black — think goth, industrial
Skinny: Regular live in-store performances
Address: 5906 ½ N. Figueroa St (map)
Silver Lake, Echo Park and Atwater Village
Silver Lake area has a nice variety of record stores, and many of them are specialized. And day trip to the Eastside is not complete without a tasty Taiwanese meal at Pine & Crane.
- Vacation Vinyl
Speciality: Metal and hard rock
Skinny: They also sell zines and art books
Address: 3815 Sunset Blvd (map)
- Jacknife Records & Tapes
Speciality: Classics, world music, obscure gems
Skinny: small store, but their $5 and $10 bins have some gems, and the world section is well selected
Address: 3149 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (map)
- Rockaway Records
Speciality: Classics, Beatles, 45s
Skinny: Been around since 1979, they have a big Beatles section with rarities and the original Beach Boys surfboard
Address: 2395 Glendale Blvd (map)
- Mono Records
Speciality: New wave and ’80s punk
Skinny: They pay up to 60 percent of retail value for your old vinyl
Address: 1805 Glendale Blvd (map)
Hollywood is home to the mecca of record stores, Amoeba, and has a few boutiques worth your Saturday afternoon. Lunch at Farmboy Kitchen for that fried chicken and kimchi sandwich.
- The Record Collector
Speciality: Classical and jazz rarities
Skinny: Gets a bad rep because it’s overpriced, but the condition of their vinyl is top notch
Location: 7809 Melrose Ave (map)
- Headline Records
Speciality: Indie and punk
Skinny: They also offer lots of zines and videos and have live in-store performances
Address: 7706 Melrose Ave (map)
- As the Record Turns
Speciality: Classic rock, hip hop, soul
Skinny: Owner Kevin Donan is always in the store and knows a ton about music.
Address: 6727 Hollywood Blvd (map)
- The Record Parlor
Speciality: Classic rock, jazz
Skinny: They also sell jukeboxes, tube amps and record players and do repairs
Address: 6408 Selma Ave (map)
Speciality: Everything. Literally. But new pressings for sure.
Skinny: The mecca of any audiophile. Live in-store performances.
Address: 6400 Sunset Blvd (map)
With only two record stores, it would seem that the Valley is underserved. But one of these is a heavyweight. Grab a chili dog at the legendary Chili John’s.
- Freak Beat Records
Speciality: R&B, soul, hip hop, jazz and disco
Skinny: Small but worth a trip
Address: 13616 Ventura Blvd (map)
- Atomic Records
Speciality: 45s and classics
Skinny: They pay top dollar for vinyl you’re looking to unload
Address: 3812 W. Magnolia Blvd (map)
What the Westside lacks in volume it makes up for in vibes. Both of their record stores are light on pretense and heavy on finds. After shopping grab a bowl of ramen at Tsujita.
- Record Surplus
Speciality: classic rock, R&B, jazz
Skinny: You don’t need to be a hipster to shop here.
Address: 12436 Santa Monica Blvd (map)
- Touch Vinyl
Speciality: Indie and jazz
Skinny: Small but well curated
Address: 1646 Sawtelle Blvd (map)
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