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Top 25 Record Stores In Canada & The U.S.

When you visit or move to a city, are you the type of person whose first thought is where you’ll shop for records at? In St. Louis, you go to Vintage Vinyl instead of visiting the Gateway Arch. When you get off the plane in San Francisco, the first thing you do is plan a trip to Amoeba Records. Driving into downtown Minneapolis, catching a glimpse of the Electric Fetus sign is more iconic to you than U.S. Bank Stadium. You’ve been to an in-store performance at Waterloo Records during SXSW in Austin. Leaving Sonic Boom in Toronto feels like a bomb went off in your wallet.

Independent record stores remain musical meccas and gathering spaces for the true music fans, many who are on on lifelong scavenger hunts for specific vinyl treasures. Sure, you could go on the internet and find most of these gems in one or two clicks, but if you’ve ever sifted through boxes of records with a specific prize in mind, you know the intense satisfaction of finding what you were after or discovering something new.

Every record someone purchases has a unique story behind it. And record stores play an important role in our communities. They are so much more than temples of sound. They are spaces for timeless art, culture, and ideas. On April 21, 2018 we celebrate Record Store Day and Yelp has spun a list of the top record stores in Canada and the U.S. to help you support great local businesses and, or course, start crate digging. 

Methodology: All the businesses on both lists are in the Vinyl Records category on Yelp. “Top” was determined using an algorithm that looks at the number of reviews and star rating for a business.

Want more Yelpy record store fun? Read about Phonopolis in Montréal and check out our interview with Bob Nastanovich of Pavement and Silver Jews here.

Top 25 Record Stores In Canada

  1. June Records – Toronto, ON
  2. Red Cat Records – Vancouver, BC
  3. Cheap Thrills – Montréal, QC
  4. Blackbyrd Myoozik – Edmonton, AB
  5. Sonic Boom – Toronto, ON
  6. The Turntable – Victoria, BC
  7. Kops Records – Toronto, ON
  8. Dandelion Records and Emporium – Vancouver, BC
  9. Cosmos Records – Toronto, ON
  10. Sloth Records – Calgary, AB
  11. Sound Central – Montréal, QC
  12. Listen Records & CDs – Edmonton, AB
  13. Music MadHouse Records – Burnaby, BC
  14. Phonopolis – Montréal, QC
  15. Milkcrate Records – Kelowna, BC
  16. Last Gen – Toronto, ON
  17. Stylus Records – Vancouver, BC
  18. Freecloud Records – Edmonton, ON
  19. Tonality Records – Toronto, ON
  20. Renegade Records – Dartmouth, NS
  21. Obsolete Records – Halifax, NS
  22. Dr. Disc – Hamilton, ON
  23. The Record Centre – Ottawa, ON
  24. Rotate This – Toronto, ON
  25. Beatmerchant Record Store – Richmond, BC

Top 25 Record Stores In The U.S.

  1. Headline Records – Los Angeles, CA
  2. Shake It Records – Cincinnati, OH
  3. 1-2-3-4 Go Records – Oakland, CA
  4. Double Decker Records – Allentown, PA
  5. Domino Sound Record Shack – New Orleans, LA
  6. Soundstations – Los Angeles, CA
  7. Spoonful Records – Columbus, OH
  8. Stinkweeds – Phoenix, AZ
  9. Rooky Ricardo’s Records – San Francisco, CA
  10. Record Jungle – Montebello, CA
  11. The Sound Garden – Baltimore, MD
  12. FeeLit – San Diego, CA
  13. Human Head Records – Brooklyn, NY
  14. The ‘In’ Groove – Phoenix, AZ
  15. End Of An Ear – Austin, TX
  16. The Sound Gallery – Austin, TX
  17. Groove Merchant Records – San Francisco, CA
  18. Plaid Room Records – Loveland, OH
  19. Louisiana Music Factory – New Orleans, LA
  20. Mills Records Company – Kansas City, MO
  21. Originals Vinyl – San Francisco, CA
  22. Radio Active Records – Fort Lauderdale, FL
  23. Boo Boo Records – San Luis Obispo, CA
  24. Park Ave CDs – Orlando, FL
  25. Sig’s Lagoon – Houston, TX

Keep both lists in your pocket with these Yelp Bookmark Collections: Yelp’s Top 25 Record Stores In CanadaYelp’s Top 25 Record Stores in the U.S.

Risa Dickens and Will Simons contributed to this post.