The Guide to Recording Shopping in L.A.

Seventeen places to buy by neighborhood and genre

By Reuben Brody

Vinyl Shopping in L.A., Made Easy
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20 July 2016

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.

Highland Park

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.

  1. Wombleton Records
    Highland Park
    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)
    Website

  2. Gimme Gimme Records
    Highland Park
    Speciality: Rare classics, b-sides
    Skinny: They’re constantly restocking, so always worth popping in
    Address: 5810 N. Figueroa St (map)
    Website

  3. 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)
    Website

  4. Mount Analog
    Highland Park
    Speciality: For those who like it black — think goth, industrial
    Skinny: Regular live in-store performances
    Address: 5906 ½ N. Figueroa St (map)
    Website

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.

  1. Vacation Vinyl
    Silver Lake
    Speciality: Metal and hard rock
    Skinny: They also sell zines and art books
    Address: 3815 Sunset Blvd (map)
    Website
  2. Jacknife Records & Tapes
    Atwater Village
    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)
    Website
  3. Rockaway Records
    Silver Lake
    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)
    Website
  4. Mono Records
    Echo Park
    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)
    Website

Hollywood

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.

  1. The Record Collector
    Mid city
    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)
    Website
  2. Headline Records
    East Hollywood
    Speciality: Indie and punk
    Skinny: They also offer lots of zines and videos and have live in-store performances
    Address: 7706 Melrose Ave (map)
    Website
  3. As the Record Turns
    Hollywood
    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)
    Website
  4. The Record Parlor
    Hollywood
    Speciality: Classic rock, jazz
    Skinny: They also sell jukeboxes, tube amps and record players and do repairs
    Address: 6408 Selma Ave (map)
    Website
  5. Amoeba
    Hollywood
    Speciality: Everything. Literally. But new pressings for sure.
    Skinny: The mecca of any audiophile. Live in-store performances.
    Address: 6400 Sunset Blvd (map)
    Website

The Valley

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.

  1. Freak Beat Records
    Sherman Oaks
    Speciality: R&B, soul, hip hop, jazz and disco
    Skinny: Small but worth a trip
    Address: 13616 Ventura Blvd (map)
    Website
  2. Atomic Records
    Burbank
    Speciality: 45s and classics
    Skinny: They pay top dollar for vinyl you’re looking to unload
    Address: 3812 W. Magnolia Blvd (map)
    Website

Westside

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.

  1. Record Surplus
    Santa Monica
    Speciality: classic rock, R&B, jazz
    Skinny: You don’t need to be a hipster to shop here.
    Address: 12436 Santa Monica Blvd (map)
    Website
  2. Touch Vinyl
    West L.A.
    Speciality: Indie and jazz
    Skinny: Small but well curated
    Address: 1646 Sawtelle Blvd (map)
    Website

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