The Best NYC Vinyl Shops for Music Lovers

We recently helped someone visiting New York City find the best record stores for their trip which took them to some of our favorite areas of the city. So we decided to create a list and share it with everyone who may be looking for something similar.

January 29, 2024

The Best NYC Vinyl Shops for Music Lovers

We love what we do at Khonsu. We get to work directly with people around the world and help match them to the unique New York City experiences that match their travel style. The big attractions are easy, Times Square, the Statue Of Liberty, Central Park and places like that only take up about 20% of a traveler's itinerary. The rest consists of restaurants, shopping & live entertainment.

Most travelers want tourist recommendations, which is good. If it’s your first time visiting the Big Apple, it makes sense to see the things that everyone talks about. Frequent visitors tend to ask us for things that are more local and we love it. We recently helped someone visiting New York City find the best record stores for their trip which took them to some of our favorite areas of the city. So we decided to create a list and share it with everyone who may be looking for something similar. This is not the only shopping list we've created for visitors. Our vintage store list is very popular with visitors too. Read it here.

If this is your first time reading our travel blog, here’s our introduction. We are a team of NYC-based trip consultants who share our knowledge to help travelers discover the NY experiences they want. We use our shared knowledge, connections, and network to help our customers create magical travel memories. Reserve time with our team today and travel like an NYC insider.  

Tailored Trip Plans

Ok … On to the list

Manhattan Record Stores

Generation Records

West Village

West Village icon Bleecker Street Records and its mascot Creeper the cat may no longer be with us but the spirit lives on at its sister location Generation Records. With over 8,000 unique records, this West Village gem is a treasure trove for vinyl enthusiasts. 

Whether you're a rock aficionado or exploring diverse genres, Generation Records caters to like-minded souls. Delve into punk, hardcore, black metal, alternative rock, and indie rock, just a glimpse of their extensive collection. Beyond rock, discover and a plethora of jazz, pop, funk, and soul records. What sets this store apart is the meticulous care given to its inventory, with the majority in Mint or Near-Mint condition.

Mercer Street Books & Records

Soho / Nolita

For over two decades, Mercer Street Books and Records has been a literary and musical oasis in NYC. Staffed by writers from diverse fields, it promises unique finds for those in search of rare music books and magazines.

With a reputation as one of NYC's best record stores, Mercer Street captivates not only with its books but also with an intriguing mix of employees.

Stranded Records

East Village

As one of the top record stores in NYC (and California), Stranded Records invites you on a journey through its meticulously organized collection. Wall-to-wall options of "New Arrivals" and "Best Selling" records simplify the browsing experience. Explore their online catalog for a sneak peek into the diverse inventory before you embark on your in-store adventure.

A-1 Record Shop

East Village

For two decades, A-1 Record Shop has stood as an East Village staple, reminiscent of the bygone era when Manhattan's punk scene thrived. This haven of musical treasures provides second-hand and rare records, accompanied by a turntable with headphones for sampling their extensive stock. In its heyday, A-1 Records was the stomping ground of legendary NYC producers, including Havoc from Mobb Deep.

Rough Trade Rockefeller Center


Rough Trade NYC, synonymous with record store royalty, has earned its spot in Rockefeller Center. Offering a mind-blowing assortment of new and vintage records, it's a paradise for vinyl and music lovers. Dive into exclusive album editions, memorabilia, posters, and more. What sets Rough Trade’s RFC location apart is not just its collection but the immersive music events it hosts. From live performances to intimate album signings, Rough Trade brings music enthusiasts closer to their favorite artists.

Village Revival

West Village

Village Revival Records, a Greenwich Village staple for over 30 years, beckons jazz enthusiasts. The harmonious notes of piano tunes accompany your exploration of long-time favorites and new discoveries. Despite its small size, this family-owned establishment packs a lot of warmth and charm into its cramped aisles. Dig through the pile of records or embrace the thrill of the unknown with their Mystery Vinyl LPs or CDs, putting your next find in the hands of fate.

Day Planner For Travelers

Downtown Music Gallery

Lower East Side

Discover the beating heart of avant-garde music at Downtown Music Gallery. Relocating from Bowery to a basement in the Lower East Side near Chinatown, it boasts NYC's most impressive selection of jazz, contemporary classical, and progressive rock. Regular in-store gigs feature local jazz talent, making it a haven for diverse musical experiences.

Brooklyn Record Stores

Turntable Lab


Indulge your love for hip-hop at Turntable Lab, a haven for music lovers and DJs alike. Beyond selling high-tech audio toys, they offer music-related streetwear, turntables, and an assortment of pop culture books and magazines. Immerse yourself in NYC’s hip-hop culture while browsing the latest gear and fashion at Turntable Lab.

Human Head Records


Human Head Records, a hidden gem in East Williamsburg, is NYC's best-priced record store. Dive into racks of used vinyl heavy on vintage rock and jazz, but light on price. The store goes beyond LPs, offering live music, comedy shows, and even treats like free beers, burgers, and hot dogs on special occasions.

Superior Elevation 


In the heart of Williamsburg, Superior Elevation is a haven for vinyl enthusiasts. With a diverse range spanning rock & roll, hip-hop, funk, jazz, and more, their $1 bins are a treasure trove. Keep an eye out for in-store DJ sets, featuring top techno and house selectors.

Travel Insider

Vinyl Fantasy


Vinyl Fantasy in Bushwick isn’t just for music nerds, this vinyl and comic book combination store brings together the best of both worlds. Immerse yourself in a world of records, music magazines, comics, and exclusive items. It's the perfect spot for some leisurely escapism.

Brooklyn Record Exchange


Brooklyn Record Exchange, born from a collaboration with local record label Mexican Summer (who have released records by Best Coast, Kurt Vile, Allah-Las, Weyes Blood), is a psychedelic journey. In the heart of Greenpoint, it offers a carefully curated selection of inventive music, reissues, LPs, and more. The wood-paneled walls and op art embellishments create a unique atmosphere worth exploring.

Record Grouch


Despite its name, Record Grouch in Greenpoint offers a laid-back vinyl haven. Co-owner Doug Pressman curates a trove of ’70s jazz, European prog, metal, CDs, and indie-press books. Originally in a Williamsburg basement, it now resides in a sunny Greenpoint space, retaining its lived-in charm.

Captured Tracks


Ran by local label Captured Tracks (whose releases have featured Mac DeMarco, Beach Fossils and Craft Spells) this shop in Greenpoint is a center for indie rock. This small, light-filled space tucked away in a residential block offers a curated selection of releases and used vinyl. The staff, always chill and approachable, enhances the shopping experience.

Academy Record Annex


A sister store to the original in East Village, Academy Record migrated from Williamsburg to Greenpoint. Boasting a vast selection of LPs, it's a unique shop where you can find obscure soul 45s, out-of-print metal albums, ’70s classics, and the latest buzzworthy bands. Enjoy sifting through records amidst a stream of hip shoppers.

Tailored Trip Plans

Our team of trip consultants builds tailored plans for travelers from around the world visiting NYC. We’ve built a wide range of plans for family trips, anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions, even for solo travelers treating themselves. Each plan is built with a 3-step process: 

Step 1: Bucket your must-see attractions 

Step 2: Add in restaurants, rooftops & other hidden gems 

Step 3: Create a custom map and provide transportation tips, so you know the best way to navigate the city. 

Click here to have our team tailor your New York trip itinerary today or check out a few of our sample plans here.

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