Where To Buy Vinyl Records in the Bay Area | The Top 12 Record Stores

|August 25, 2017

Right now, the whole country is going through a vinyl revival. From world-class collectors to music-loving hobbyists — there’s no doubt records are back in our hearts and on our turntables. 

But here in the Bay Area, you might say, records never went anywhere. Whether you’re in the cultural powerhouse that is Berkeley or the bustling city of San Francisco, you’ll probably pass by more than one hole-in-the-wall record shop. Packed into the region’s neighborhoods that never dropped their hipster roots, you can explore local landmarks that boast some of the best, largest and unique collections in Northern California.

The Bay Area’s best record stores include:

Groove Merchant Records | Stranded | Rooky Ricardo’s Records | 1-2-3-4 Go! Records | Amoeba Music | Rasputin Music | Hercules Records | Originals Vinyl | Park Blvd Records & Tapes | Econo Jam Records | Vinyl Dreams | Down Home Music Store

Groove Merchant Records

Find it in Lower Haight | Follow on Facebook

Groove Merchant Record Store San francisco

Photo courtesy of Groove Merchant Records and Chris Veltri

This small shop may look small next to the imposing Amoeba Records, but it’s home to some of the best funk and soul in Northern California. Originally opened in 1990, Groove Merchant was originally part of Rooky Ricardo’s Records but has since developed into its own, must-see cultural destination.

Beginning August 2017, the Groove Merchant building is getting an earthquake retrofit. In the meantime, they’re operating in a slightly smaller space not even 300 feet away from their home at 214 Pierce Street!

Stranded

Find it in The Mission + Oakland | Follow on Facebook

Stranded is the vinyl-only record store run by the Bay Area label Superior Viaduct. Their San Francisco shop is housed in the old home of Aquarius Records, once the oldest independent record store in the city. Now, you can experience history with a mix of brand new, classic and collectible vinyl in the city or across the Bay in Oakland.

Rooky Ricardo’s Records

Find it in Lower Haight | Follow on Facebook

The historic Rooky Ricardo’s Records was born right here in the Lower-Haight after the owner bought 35,000 45’s from an out of business distributor and set up shop in the humble storefront. After adding LP’s to the collection and becoming a well-known name with global collectors, the shop has since become a staple of the SF music scene.

1-2-3-4 Go! Records

Find it in The Mission + Oakland | Follow on Facebook

This Bay Area institution has a San Francisco store and an Oakland store. Both shops are open 363 days a year to buy and sell records and even to host live shows! Stop by the Oakland location to catch an all-ages live concert and check the events calendar to find out when your favorite local musicians are playing!

Amoeba Music

Find it in Berkeley + Haight-Ashbury | Follow on Facebook

Amoeba Record Store Berkeley and San Francisco

Photo courtesy of Amoeba Music and Debra Zeller

Amoeba has three locations in California — including their now famous Hollywood store that covers an entire city block. But the shop was born in 1990 right in Berkeley, then crossed the Bay into San Francisco in 1997. If you’re a fan of crate-digging for hidden gems and dancing along with live shows, this is the place to be in the Bay.

Rasputin Music

Find it in 11 locations | Follow on Facebook

As one of the largest record stores in the region, Rasputin has 11 shops spread throughout San Francisco, East Bay and even up in Fairfield. They’ve been keeping the Bay Area bumpin’ since 1971 so you know you’ll find something to jam to — whether it’s new vinyl or a classic album. Find something in their online shop, or head to the nearest Rasputin to dig through them in person!

Hercules Records

Find it in Berkeley | Follow on Facebook

Hercules Music Record Store Berkeley Bay Area California

Photo courtesy of Hercules Records

At Hercules, you’ll find a cozy and quirky shop packed with high-quality used records, new releases from independent vinyl and tape labels, as well as space for local musicians to show off their art and their music. Check out the shop’s upcoming events and stop in to experience the culture of Berkeley!

Originals Vinyl

Find it in NoPA | Follow on Facebook

Alongside a stock of jazz, hip-hop, soul, blues, rock and folk vinyl, Originals offers ultrasonic cleaning and de-warping services to keep your collection looking and sounding pristine. Nestled in NoPA, it’s become the neighborhood destination for music-lovers.

Park Blvd Records & Tapes

Find it in Oakland | Follow on Facebook

At Park Blvd Records in Oakland, they buy, sell and trade in the vinyl, cassette and CD scene. One of the best places to dig through record bins, they have oldies, goodies and brand new releases. Stop by to find your next collectible!

Econo Jam Records

Find it in Oakland | Follow on Facebook

Turntables, speakers, t-shirts, cassette tapes and vinyl in every single music genre — Econo Jam Records in Oakland has everything you need to perfect your collection. Sell your records, shop online or stop by the shop to say hello!

Vinyl Dreams

Find it in Lower Haight | Follow on Facebook

Vinyl Dreams Record Store San Francisco Berkeley Oakland

Photo courtesy of Vinyl Dreams and Shanna Doherty

Vinyl Dreams is the brainchild of Michelangelo Battaglia, a former buyer at the famous Amoeba Music in San Francisco. Driven by his own passion for electronic and dance music, the cozy shop sells new house, techno, disco and more.  

Down Home Music Store

Find it in El Cerrito | Follow on Facebook

Located in El Cerrito just north of Berkeley, this music shop was opened in 1976 by Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz. The passion project was originally focused on Roots music releases from various labels throughout the world but now sells everything from Blues to Zydeco. Stop by on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday when they’re open and check out the eclectic mix!

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Let us know if we missed your go-to Bay Area record store in the comments!

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