Best Vinyl Record Stores in NYC
October 11, 2019 | 5 min Read
Vinyl records are making a comeback in a big way. Over 14.3 million records sold in the U.S. in 2017 according to Neilsen. That’s an explosive growth considering that in 2006, less than a million records were sold. So what’s with the newfound popularity? The quality of vinyl over digital is what some swear by. Then there’s the listening experience of physically putting a record on a turntable and sitting down to enjoy it that has others raving about vinyl. And lastly, there’s the connection created by holding a physical artifact that you can read and appreciate the art more fully than a 100px square on a screen. Whatever the reason, vinyl is cool again. Sales are up, old records are coveted prizes and new records are being pressed regularly. Whether you’ve long been a collector or are just starting, New York City has vinyl like nowhere else, from jazz to heavy metal, you’ll find it here. We’ve narrowed the long list of record shops down to a handful of not-to-be-missed spots.
The Mixtape Shop
At this clean, whitewashed Brooklyn shop, you’ll find an easy-to-navigate and outstanding collection of vinyl in all genres: house, electronic, jazz, funk and soul, world music and so on. You can sip an espresso from the cafe or nibble a croissant while listening to great music at one of the available listening stations that allow you to try before you buy. The Mixtape website is also a lot of fun; not only can you browse what’s available, but you also have a listen to a few select records. Currently playing: disco boogie soul music.
1129 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11216
Jazz Record Center
Jazz and vinyl go together like milk and cookies, or peanut butter and jelly— it’s a classic combo. For the jazz vinyl enthusiast, there’s the Jazz Record Center in Manhattan. This is an epicenter for all things jazz, including vinyl. There’s also loads of books, cds, posters, and other jazz-related ephemera. True die-hards can call ahead to see if the Jazz Record Center might have a rare release or an original record. Located on the 8th floor of an office building, it’s not the easiest to find, but don’t be deterred. A trip to this gem is well worth it for any jazz aficionado.
236 W. 26th St., No. 804
New York, NY 10001
This store is a down to earth wonderland for vinyl enthusiasts, particularly those who love classic rock n’ roll. Wall to ceiling shelves and milk crates are FULL of records: jazz, classical, opera, Broadway and of course, rock records overflow from their narrow, neatly kempt isles. Be prepared to spend some time weaving through the massive collection to find favorites, as well as early presses and original releases. It would be remiss not to mention the book faction to Westsider, which houses fantastic literature on music as well as fiction & literature, modern first editions, art, illustrated books, graphic design, children’s books, and more. Truly something for everyone.
233 West 72nd Street
New York, NY 10023
Rough Trade first opened in West London in 1976, on the heels of the punk rock movement. Forty years later the British independent has grown to number 5 locations— New York is home to its only stateside store. With a sprawling 15,000 square-feet, Rough Trade NYC in Brooklyn is far more than just New York’s largest music shop. Not only is it home to a huge vinyl selection, it also houses the Brompton Bicycle Cafe, Melville House bookstore, and a music venue with a bar and balcony. One-stop shopping at its best!
64 North 9th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11249
A classically overflowing Manhattan record store, A-1 is as eclectic as it is charming. The shop is literally covered with records, even the ceiling has been tiled with vinyl covers. There’s no one genre specialty here, but search through the old-school wooden boxes for hip hop, soul, funk, r&b, disco, and jazz records and you won’t be disappointed. An afternoon at A-1 is a vinyl treasure hunt where you’re sure to find a gold nugget or two.
439 E 6th St
New York, New York
Black Gold Records
Black Gold Records is quite possibly the most eccentric, or perhaps the most hipster record shop on the list. At this quaint Brooklyn storefront shop, you can not only discover a massive selection of new, used and collectible vinyl, but you can also shop antique furnishings, bask in the taxidermy and enjoy a specialty coffee with your music. Linger over a small but mighty collection of Blues, Country, Gospel/Religious, Metal, Hip-Hop/Rap, Jazz, New Age, R&B and Soul, World, Punk at Black Gold Records.
461 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Staying in New York City – About The Lombardy Hotel
The Lombardy Hotel is just as iconic to Midtown Manhattan as many of the other historic and cultural attractions in the area. Not only are our rooms comfortable and tasteful, we provide amenities such as a full salon, coffee shop, and exercise room. We also host the American Cut Midtown steakhouse, perfect for a business lunch or dinner on a special occasion. We look forward to hosting you.
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