Top Ten Record Shops In London

Record Store Day takes place on Saturday (21 April). Shops across the capital will host performances and sell one-off releases.

With that in mind, we compiled our top ten places where vinyl junkies can feed their black-wax habits.

We travelled from north to south, east to west, visiting the big and the small, the famous and the lesser known and these, in our humble opinion, are the best of the bunch. We’d also love to hear your opinions, so tell us what we’ve missed in the comments.

Happy digging.

The One With Style And Taste
Flashback Records, Essex Road, Islington: A very tasteful and discerning store set over two floors. Flashback sells new, second-hand and reissue LPs and several boxes of sevens. It’s nicely catalogued, including rock, jazz, reggae, soul/funk, soundtrack and even separate sections on New Zealand Indie and The Canterbury Scene, of all things.

The Out-Of-The-Way Cratediggers’ Paradise
Alan’s Record and CD Shop, High Road, East Finchley: It maybe a 10-minute walk from East Finchley Tube station, but this second-hand shop is a must. It has a mind-boggling selection from floor to ceiling, covering pretty much every genre imaginable, well catalogued, with bargains and rarities and an extremely friendly atmosphere, helped in no small part by the presence of a little shop dog called Jake. It has boxes and boxes of sevens, too, and racks of CDs. Highly recommended.

The One That Has To Be Seen To Be Believed
Haggle Vinyl, Essex Road, Islington: This place has been open 12 years but it looks like 10 times that. The voluminous stock is jammed into racks, on shelves and all over the floor. It can seem a bit overwhelming, but set aside some time to explore this Aladdin’s Cave — treasures are to be had, from every conceivable genre.

The Bright, Shiny, Hipster One
Rough Trade East, Brick Lane: Rough Trade is the big boy of the independents, with its Brick Lane store selling more CDs than vinyl and leaning towards the Indie/Electro side of the market. It has loads of listening posts in a high-ceilinged warehouse-type conversion, with an in-house café selling Monmouth coffee, if that floats your boat. Sister store Rough Trade West can be found in Talbot Road, Ladbroke Grove.

The Little Gem
Eldica, Bradbury Street, Dalston: It could be easy to walk past this lovely little shop tucked around the corner from Dalston Kingsland station without realising the gems to be found inside. The front is given over to retro homeware but out back is a wealth of largely second-hand funk, soul, reggae, jazz , hip-hop LPs and sevens. Very friendly and very cosy.

The One For Dance Music Bargain Hunters
Soul And Dance Exchange, Notting Hill Gate: The Exchange contains racks upon racks of cheap, second-hand LPs across all forms of contemporary dance and club music, separated according to sub-genre or record label. There’s also plenty of soul, jazz, reggae and hip-hop with new-release and second-hand sevens up by the counter and  classical music upstairs. Sister stores can be found in Camden High Street, Berwick Street and Greenwich Church Street.

The One That Has Become A Legend In Its Own Lifetime
Honest Jon’s, Portobello Road, Ladbroke Grove: Arguably London’s most famous record shop, and for a reason. The store has a pedigree going back to 1974, taking in some of the most significant developments in the business. It specialises in soul/funk, reggae, jazz and world music, all of which is nicely catalogued.

The One For Reggae Aficionados
Supertone Records and CDs, Acre Lane, Brixton: There’s nothing but reggae and dub to be had here, and loads of it there is too, from across the years. It stocks new and second-hand LPs with plenty of sevens. Very friendly. And if you’re in the area, check out Blacker Dread Music Store in Coldharbour Lane for more of the same.

The Big, Jack-Of-All Trades One
Sister Ray, Berwick Street, Soho: A wide-ranging stock in what used to be Selectadisc, spread across one large floor with LPs and sevens. It’s a great all-rounder that caters for the guitar crowd as much as those looking for all things electronic. Loads of CDs too, some of which are dirt cheap.

The Club Music Specialists
BM Soho, D’Arblay Street, Soho: The go-to place for nosebleed techno, the squiggiest dubstep, slinkiest house and everything in between.

Also Recommended

Have we missed any out? Disagree with our choices? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll add a Reader Recommendations section above.

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  • GoodnightLondon

    There’s also Lucky7 and Kristina Records, both in Hackney

  • Tim Drage

    Second Layer records in Highgate is totally amazing for noise/power electronics/experimental/free jazz/world music etc.

    • fiftypercent

      The shop closed in June 2012 in case anyone was thinking of going there

  • Claptout

    Not the easiest to get to, but Audio Gold near Ally Pally for vinyl and hifi

    • Eddie Willers

      Just opposite Audio Gold – but predating it by a few years – was ‘English Weather’, a lovely little vinyl store run by an aging hippie in the ‘Whispering Bob Harris’ mold.

  • http://www.brokenhomes.co.uk Ray Juss

    Hey, sorry if this is considered spam but I run a vinyl only night in Angel every Wednesday where anyone is welcome to come down and play some records. All genres are considered as long as they fit the vibe of the bar on a Wednesday evening. You can find more info here or drop me a line on ray@brokenhomes.co.uk http://offtherecordldn.tumblr.com/ THANKS!

  • Sophie E

    Defo missed out Banquet Records in Kingston, awesome shop, they do instores tied in with album releases and put on New Slang in a local venue every week showcasing up and coming talents. Theyre just awesome.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Julie-Shrive/1182320040 Julie Shrive

    There used to be one on Richmond Hill next to Nandos formerly L’Auberge . Can’t remember the name Ronnie Wood may know? Then there was an early R&B / Blues one in Soho. 

  • Largeinbox

    Nice list, think you missed out that guy called Vinyl Pimp in Hackney Wick - 
    http://www.vinylpimp.co.uk/ 

    • Donkiferous

      Vinyl Pimp is the most ridiculously overpriced shop in Britain. Ridiculous. TLC’s first album at £40? Ridiculous.

  • http://twitter.com/weedfield neo newman

    Peckings Studio 1 in 
    81 Askew Road, Shepherd’s Bush

    London, W12 9AH. Best 
    R&B / Reggae / Soul distributors in west! i was living in the top floor!

  • Andy

    And Croydon,
    MEMORY LANE RECORDS.
    55, FEITH ROAD,
    CROYDON,
    SURRY,
    CRO 1TR.

  • http://twitter.com/Vinylpimp Vinyl Pimp

    Vinyl Pimp now has a shop on 14 Felstead Street, E9 5LT 0207 9988 586

  • gorsefan

    Sounds of The Universe should be in the top ten due to it’s excellent selection, knowledgeable staff and, along with BM, being the last of the great Soho specialist shops. Haggle Vinyl should not be in the 10 as the covers are bent, the records overpriced and the guy who runs it is proper miserable.

  • AL

    Haggle is a mess and the guy in their really angry and basically his own worst enemy. He probably has loads of great records in there but they are lost to his hopeless filing system. I have bought several records that were not in good condition either. be warned

  • http://www.facebook.com/paula.mcclelland1984 Paula McClelland

    The guy in Camden market is a must visit for second hand vinyl! I got almost every King Crimson Record I own from that guy and he always does me a deal!

  • http://londonist.com/ Lindsey Clarke

    Can’t believe no one’s mentioned the Record Detective Agency in Palmers Green! No website, but see the last paragraph in this article http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/apr/14/strangest-record-shops-in-britain

  • http://twitter.com/energyforlondon EnergyforLondon

    A good list: been meaning to get to the Record Detective Agency for a while now – so will do! Alan’s Records is the bomb. Never have enough time there! So sad so many other good stores in London have closed…Just to say Rays Jazz in Foyles is always worth a vinyl-browse, as is the great jazz section downstairs at Harold Moore’s. Oxfam Dalston is digging-fun. But – we need more quality second-hand vinyl in London. Entrepreneurs pls take note!

  • big maybelle

    Sounds That Swing in parkway, Camden is fantastic and always gets missed on these lists – Wood Street Market in Walthamstow is brilliant with four or five shops and stalls inside the really nice covered market including one that only sells 78′s and Mikes shop in the corner – - – Haggle is awful – overpriced and unfriendly and the guy that runs it is a dick . . . supertone in brixton is very good n all . . .

  • Samm Stanley (Eclectica)

    Hey..don’t forget me at ECLECTICA, 803 Wandsworth Road Clapham SW8 3JH Tel 0207 622 6844 Tues-Sat 11am-7pm. Vinyl 12″, Lps and 7″ singles, Rock,Pop Reggae, Jazz Soul also cds, tapes (when available) DVDS and collectables,bric-a-brac, clothing.. etc

  • Philip ‘Doyley’ Doyle

    Hello Ive had a vinyl shop in Camden for 2 years now Camden Arch Records http://www.camdenarch.co.uk/

  • phil

    DnR Vinyl – Croydon. They have plenty of oldskool garage, grime, dubstep, drum & bass – http://www.dnrvinyl.co.uk