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The 8 Record Stores in Austin for Vinyl Lovers

Back in 1985, Austin, Texas, was named the live music capital of the world by Billboard magazine. Today, the city is home to more than 250 music venues where you can enjoy a live show any day of the week. In addition to these venues, music festivals often line East Sixth Street for music lovers to enjoy. But nothing compares to the many choices of record stores in Austin.


Regardless of the genre you love, you’ll find an artist you love either holding residency or passing through in Austin. You can even find rising artists that play Texas music at some of the local record stores. Unfortunately, places like Encore Records and Groovers Paradise are no longer around, but there are still plenty of lively record stores in the city. Let’s look at the best record stores in Austin and find out what makes them unique.


Waterloo Records

Waterloo Records, located at 600A N. Lamar Blvd Austin, TX 78703, is an icon in the city. The store was founded in 1982, but it is more than a typical record store today. In addition to finding new releases and reissued LPs, there are in-store performances where you can enjoy live music from known local artists.


If you are in the area, check out their calendar of events to see who is performing during your visit to find new artists you enjoy. Every genre is found at this location, but they focus on indie and alternative music. There is also a book and film section in the shop that may draw your interest.


End of an Ear

End of an Ear, located on Clawson Rd, has been a niche-rich record store serving South Austin since 2005. You can find rare punk, indie rock, and electronic treasures that help create the store's atmosphere. One of the best qualities of the location is the knowledgeable staff. If you are unsure about a record, check with one of the staff members to get suggestions.

In addition to selling vinyl and music collections, there are VHS tapes and DVDs available for movie enthusiasts to enjoy. They also sell turntables, speakers, and other stereo equipment from popular brands like Pro-Ject.


Breakaway Records

Don’t miss the chance to visit Breakaway Records on North Loop in your search for the best record stores in Austin. Founded in the year 2008, this location features music in genres such as psych, R&B, and soul. While they specialize in vinyl records that are old and new, you’ll find cassette and VHS tapes at this location as well.


If you are a fan of original artwork, this is a must-see record store in Austin. Turntables, receivers, and more can be bought a Breakaway Records as well if you are looking to upgrade your stereo equipment.


Piranha Records

Located in Round Rock, which is a short drive from Austin, Piranha Records is a must-visit location in the area. This is especially true if you are looking to add vinyl to your collection of hip-hop from the 90s. The shop also has impressive rock and soul sections that you will want to check out.


In addition to new and used vinyl records, you will find CDs and DVDs for movie enthusiasts to enjoy. Make sure you check out the Piranha merchandise before you head out; they have hats, t-shirts, mugs, and more that could catch your eye.


Antone’s Record Shop

Antone’s Record Shop was launched in 1987 by founder Clifford Antone. The store came 12 years after the launch of his nightclub, which is located across the street and is still a favored spot for artists like Stevie Ray Vaughn. While Clifford passed away in 2006, thousands still visit this mainstay at 2928 Guadalupe St every year. Antone’s is a place to find new vinyl, classics, and all the equipment you need for playback.


In addition to records and equipment, you can also find merchandise like posters and DVDs at Antone’s. The staff is also very knowledgeable, and they each have staff picks that span various musical genres.


Exploded Records

Located in the Juiceland neighborhood on Duval St, you’ll find Exploded Records, one of the most compact record stores in Austin. When it comes to the overall aesthetic, Exploded Records is very unassuming. The store was formerly a gas station that’s been repurposed with the vinyl lover in mind. The pumps are long gone, and now you can buy and sell vinyl or sound systems. The store hosts afternoon sound sessions and has been known to draw hundreds of audiophiles at a time.


Exploded Records was nominated as the best record store by the Austin Chronicle, and it’s widely considered well-worth a visit by just about any vinyl lover. There are even live musical performances in the store from time to time.


Living in Stereo

Located close to the classic record stores of bygone eras, like The Sound Gallery and Friends of Sound, you’ll find Living in Stereo. Like those other locations, this store is located on S Congress Ave, and if you’re looking for vinyl records, home audio, or vintage systems, then this is a must-visit location. According to the owners, the store was created for “designers, music lovers, musicians, and artists” and visitors can even grab a cup of coffee when they visit.


This is an optimal place to experience old-school artists as their music is meant to be heard. The systems they have set up are designed for the audiophile’s ear, so spend some time exploring. One of the better features of the store is how it’s set up; the designers furnished it in a very homelike way. Effectively, the experience approximates listening to good records while in the comfort of your own home.


Big Henry's Vinyl

Big Henry’s Vinyl is located next to Antone’s Nightclub, so if you arrive early, check it out while enjoying a Po Boy and a cold drink. In addition to vinyl, they also sell t-shirts, posters, gifts, and more at this location.


Best Record Stores in Austin Honorable Mentions

If you are looking for Tejano or Conjunto music, Turntable Records is a must-see record store. In addition to rare vinyl records, the store is also filled with cassettes that may be considered a gem by music lovers. Finding the best record store in Austin could also fill that thirst for magnetic tape.

BLK Vinyl, which is located at 2505 E 6th St in Austin, opened in 2018. It’s a great place to find rock and jazz LPs, so if you are looking for something specific, stop by.

If you happen to be in search of a place to press your own vinyl records, we can't rave enough about the team over at Gold Rush Vinyl. Not only do they make some of the best-looking new discs on the market, but they also rely on Pro-Ject turntables to audition freshly pressed vinyl to the artists who work with them.

Finding The 7 Best Record Stores in LA

Living in Los Angeles, there are plenty of independent record stores to improve on your collection of vinyl records. Whether you are looking for new releases or vintage records to play on your turntable, LA has a record store that fits your style. Music lovers can find memorabilia and vintage rarities on record store day at many of the best record stores in LA.


Not sure where to start looking for LPs in the City of Angels? Let’s take a look at seven of the best record stores in LA and the Los Angeles area.


Amoeba Music

Amoeba Records in Hollywood Reopening on March 31, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

Amoeba Music claims to be the largest independent record store in the world. In fact, contrary to its miniscule name, the store is large enough to take up an entire city block. Since 2001, the store was located on Sunset Blvd, but in 2020, it relocated to Hollywood Blvd. The shop has a wide selection of vinyls, CDs, cassettes, and more. If you are looking for indie, jazz, blues, or other specific genres, they have a wide selection of each to explore. Finding a diamond amongst the LPs is not too difficult with such a wide selection of old and new music.


If you are interested in seeing a live show, Amoeba Music even sells tickets to local shows. There is even a jazz room on location that features live bands and charity events. If you need new gear, they also sell record players and other audio gear from Pro-Ject turntables and other popular brands.


The Record Parlour

Located at 6408 Selma Ave in Hollywood, The Record Parlour is a great place to stop if you are looking for rock, funk, or soul. This location has a more intimate experience than Amoeba Music, and they have a collection of over 15,000 records, so you will have plenty of options to choose from if you are adding to your collection.


This record shop also has music memorabilia and vintage audio gear. There is even a lounge in the back where you will find jukeboxes and several vintage pinball machines. They also restore these types of items, so if you are a vintage collector, this is a stop you will want to make.


Gimme Gimme Records

Gimme Gimme Records originated in New York’s East Village, but after 18 years of success on the East Coast, the store moved to York Blvd in Los Angeles. After two years, another expansion was needed, so the record shop moved to a larger location on N Figueroa Street, which is still in Los Angeles.


Record genres available in the store include hip-hop, jazz, psych, country, and more. If you have trouble finding what you are looking for, the store owner is very knowledgeable and helpful, so just ask. New albums are rotated into the collection of what is offered so that the records don’t get stale for music enthusiasts.


Freakbeat Records

Freakbeat Records is located at 13616 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks. It offers a vast library of unique vinyl records, along with discount bins that have amazing finds in them at a relatively low price point. You can even find reggae, classic rock, and motion picture soundtracks in the library of vinyl available at the store.


One of the reasons this is considered one of the best record stores in LA is that you can listen to your vinyl before purchasing it. They have a ton of hidden gems that you can listen to at one of the three listening stations in the store.


Record Surplus

Located at 12436 Santa Monica Blvd, Record Surplus has a large selection of vinyl, an intuitive layout, numerous listening stations, and reasonable prices. In addition to vinyl records, the store also sells CDs and DVDs so you can get some new movies in addition to music. If you have a wish list for records, stop by this location to see if you can check some off of your list.


The store was founded in 1985, so it has been around for nearly four decades. The vast library will satisfy any genre need, and even some of the rarest albums can be purchased for a few dollars. They even have a bargain bin with records that only cost $1.


Rockaway Records

Rockaway Records is located on Glendale Blvd in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. This location has a vast collection of rock records ideal for your music-loving friends and family. They have a bargain bin that has tons of hidden gems and collectibles that you may have been searching for. In addition to records, there is also rock memorabilia that may catch your eye.


The store opened in 1979, which makes it one of the oldest and best record stores in LA. In addition to selling records, this location also purchases used records that are in good condition. With that being said, you may find a used classic here that you are looking for when new copies are no longer being produced.


Common Wave Hi-Fi

When it comes to LA record shops, Common Wave stands out as one of the most dedicated to the aural experience. Not only will you find audio componentry from manufacturers like Pro-Ject, but you’ll also find a section dedicated to the repair and upkeep of turntables. This Turntable Workshop hosts DIY sessions where you can learn how to work on turntables.


If you’re looking to explore new artists, Common Wave also has musical performances every month. This includes DJ sets, singers, and live bands. As a Vinyl collector, you’ll want to marvel at the shop’s extensive collection and get to know the Pop Up Record Shop that has a rotating collection of vinyl gems.


Honorable Mentions for the Best Record Stores in LA


If you are looking for hardcore, punk, grind, or thrash music, stop by Headline Records. The store is located on Melrose Avenue, and they even have clothing and collectibles that could interest you.


Mount Analog, located in Highland Park, is an excellent option for those searching for techno, darkwave, or dance music. If you are interested in experimental music, check them out.


Fingerprint Music in Long Beach is a music store with a hand-curated selection that includes top hits and music that is considered odd. They also hold intimate performances on location that can hold up to 250 individuals.


If you are interested in zany LPs with a Halloween theme, then stop by Atomic Records. Located in Burbank, the shop, which has been open since 1996, specializes in new wave, punk, blues, and classic vinyl.


Cosmic Vinyl, which is a record store and a vegan coffee shop, is located right in the center of Echo Park. They have vintage stereo equipment, listening stations, and pinball machines as well.


On Glendale Blvd in Los Angeles, you will find a small record shop called Mono Records. They have a wide selection of vinyl to search through, especially if you are looking for soul, reggae, or funk.


Permanent Records, located in Highland Park, is a small store that has plenty of classic jams. Take a look at the bargain bins to find some real gems.


Jacknife Records and Tapes is a small hole-in-the-wall shop that sells records, tapes, and more in Atwater Village. They have rare, new, and used vinyl that you will not want to pass up.


Poo-Bah Record Shop, located in Pasadena, is a large independent record store that opened in 1971. Their collection includes rock, disco, funk, hip-hop, jazz, and music from local artists.