While Austin may be the Live Music Capital of the World®, there are also plenty of record shops for music fans to hunt for vinyl and enjoy recorded music. Austin has a unique collection of independent record stores and music shops that all offer a stellar collection of vinyl and other goods. Check them out below!
While Antone’s Nightclub has a prestigious reputation in Austin, its sibling record shop in the West Campus area is just as important to the Antone’s identity and history as the venue. Founded in 1987, Antone’s Record Shop opened directly across from where the venue once existed before finding its final location downtown. Today, Antone’s Record Shop is one of the best stores that specializes in local and blues records in Austin.
The Antone’s legacy stretches even further with Big Henry’s Vinyl & Gifts. This space, attached to Antone’s Nightclub downtown, is the box office and retail space for the venue that also sells blues, funk and soul records, Antone’s merch, and their world famous po-boys! Crack open a cold one, browse through their small but mighty collection of vinyl, and enjoy some live music next door!
Speaking of small-but-mighty, BLK Vinyl is exactly that. Located on the easternmost end of Sixth Street, BLK specializes in 60's and 70's pop, psych, garage, and prog, 50's and 60's jazz, lounge and exotica, 60's and 70's soul, and mid-to-late 90’s and early 2000s records. Fear not, they also have a carefully curated selection of contemporary vinyl available including some local records. Overall, if you’re looking for a new collectible record, BLK is a great place to start.
If you are looking for a highly varied selection of records and vinyl paraphernalia, Breakaway Records on North Loop will not disappoint. The store features vintage turntables, audio equipment, old and contemporary records, cassette and VHS tapes, stereo systems, receivers, and tape decks. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and will help you find the perfect record or turntable for your listening needs.
On the south side of town, End of an Ear offers a great selection of both vintage and contemporary vinyl, DVDs and CDs. Founded in 2005, this South Austin gem is a local favorite for fairly priced records, knowledgeable and musically tasteful staff, and rare finds. If you’re vinyl hunting, End of an Ear should definitely be on your list of places to visit.
In 2013, Juiceland owner Matt Shook teamed up with Andrew Brown, also known as Soundfounder, a DJ and record collector who now has his own radio show on KUTX 98.9 FM. Together, they started Exploded Records, located inside the Juiceland location at 45th and Duval. The shop features a small but well-curated selection of vinyl records (on top of a stellar menu of juices and smoothies). If you’re looking for refreshing music and juices, Exploded Records is a one-stop shop.
Waterloo Records is an Austin classic. Since 1982, the record shop has been featured on local and national “Best Record Shop” lists, and offers 6,400 square feet of LPs, 45s, CDs, turntables, audio equipment, and a variety of other music-related merchandise. The store attracts visitors from all over the world and for good reason–there’s something for everyone at Waterloo Records!
Out in the neighboring city of Bastrop exists a delightful record shop worth mentioning due to its well-curated selection of rare-yet-affordable vinyl records. While Bastrop is a small town, Astro Record Store has a huge selection. The shop specializes in rare, vintage and unusual LPs, CDs and music memorabilia, and has found itself on the Austin Chronicle’s critics list for “Best Satellite Vinyl Emporiums.”
Living in Stereo, located on South Congress in the St. Elmo area, is a haven for those who are passionate about mid-century modern design and analog stereo systems. This unique vinyl shop provides much more than just vinyl records. The shop offers top-notch guitars, local coffee from El Tigre, a great selection of audio equipment, and most importantly, friendly world class customer service.
Traditional record shops are not always the only places you can find vinyl records. Whetstone Audio in East Austin touts itself as “the best little hi-fi shop in Texas,” and offers high-end audio systems, components, and speakers in addition to a stellar selection of vintage vinyl. If you’re looking to upgrade your current system while discovering some great records to add to your collection, look no further than Whetstone Audio.
Stocked up on recorded music and looking for something in person? Check out our live music calendar to see where you can catch a concert any night of the week.
Contributed by Nathalie Phan.
Nathalie Phan is a local music connoisseur and the founder of On Vinyl Media and SoundSync Music. She is passionate about helping Austin musicians and the local music industry.