Ask any serious music lover, and they will tell you that the thrill of discovering a rare album in a record bin is like no other. In the face of a digital music takeover, there has been a revival in collecting vinyl and listening to favorite albums on an old-fashioned record player. New York City is home to plenty of brick-and-mortar record stores that span music genres, offering new releases by today’s top musicians alongside perfectly preserved LPs decades-old. Here are some of the best record stores in NYC to hit up for your next vinyl fix.
Rough Trade NYC, 64 N 9th St
Self-dubbed “Independent purveyors of great music, since 1976,” Rough Trade NYC is the Brooklyn outpost of the famous London music establishment. Opened in Williamsburg in 2013, the store is impressively spacious, giving you ample room to explore its vast vinyl selection. Audiophiles flock here to get the total music listening experience that includes concerts booked by Bowery Presents, artist signings, and special events. Can’t make it to the store? Check out Rough Trade Radio for the latest news and music releases.
Academy Records, 12 West 18th St
Academy Records is an NYC cultural institution that has been satisfying our hunger for music since 1977. Located in the Flatiron District, the flagship store is expertly stocked with used records, CDs, and collector items. A friendly and knowledgeable staff will guide you through the finest selection of classical, rock, jazz, and avant-garde music in the city. Movie buffs will love the expansive offerings of genres from classic Hollywood films, horror, and film noir to westerns and documentaries.
Black Gold Records, 461 Court St
Black Gold Records sprung from the passion that owners Sommer Foster-Santoro and Jeff Ogiba have for culture from days long ago. Located in Carroll Gardens, this hybrid of a record and antique store and coffee shop casts the perfect setting for getting lost while flipping through album cover after album cover. It’s all vinyl here – no CDs or DVDs to distract you from the music-searching process. We can’t say the same about the antiques though. The intimate space is adorned with taxidermy, vintage photographs, and rare and unique collectibles.
Downtown Music Gallery, 13 Monroe St
Downtown Music Gallery boasts the title as NYC’s only music store specializing in the influential downtown jazz movement. Here, you’ll find a treasure trove of avant-garde and classical jazz as well as underground, contemporary, pop, and art rock. It’s called a gallery for a good reason. Merchandise to expand your knowledge includes records, CDs, DVDs, and books. Check out the FREE weekly in-store live performance series every Sunday at 6 p.m.
Moodies, 3976 White Plains Rd
For over three decades, Moodies has been drawing music lovers of every genre to The Bronx. Whether you are a seasoned collector or just getting into vinyl, you are in good hands here. The friendly staff has a wealth of knowledge and aims to make your music shopping at Moodies a good one. You’ll find a top-notch selection of reggae, hip-hop, jazz, and soul. Music accessories, tools, and apparel – get your Rasta wear here – are also sold.