San Diego is a city that is synonymous with sun, sand, and surf. However, for music lovers, it is also home to some of the best record stores in the country.
Whether you are a collector, a DJ, or simply looking for some new tunes to add to your playlist, San Diego has something for everyone.
From well-known chains to independent shops, the city is home to a diverse range of record stores that cater to all kinds of music enthusiasts.
From classic rock to indie, hip-hop to jazz, and everything in between, San Diego has a record store for every taste.
But what makes these record stores so special? For one, they offer a unique and personal experience that you simply cannot get by streaming music online.
You can browse through rows of vinyl, flip through stacks of CDs, and chat with knowledgeable staff who are passionate about music just like you.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the best record stores in San Diego. We will take a closer look at what makes each store unique, the types of music they offer, and why they are a must-visit for music lovers.
So, whether you are a long-time resident or just visiting San Diego, be sure to check out these record stores and discover some new music gems.
1. Vinyl Junkies Record Shack
Vinyl Junkies Record Shack is a record store that boasts a mix of new and used stock.
The store is well-kept and has a nice garden area out back. They have a huge variety of genres, including niche world music.
The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, making it a pleasant shopping experience.
The store also has a discount den where customers can find great deals on records. Vinyl Junkies Record Shack is a must-visit for any music lover.
2. Alma Music & Audio
Alma Music & Audio is a top-notch record store that specializes in high-end audio equipment.
Their selection of vinyl is excellent, including rare LPs that are hard to find elsewhere. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, providing exceptional service to customers.
Additionally, Alma Music & Audio has well-set up listening rooms where customers can test out equipment and experience the superior sound quality for themselves.
If you're an audiophile looking for the best audio equipment and vinyl, Alma Music & Audio is definitely worth a visit.
3. Folk Arts Rare Records
Folk Arts Rare Records is a haven for music enthusiasts. The store has an extensive collection of old and new records, ranging from jazz to show tunes.
Their knowledgeable staff is always ready to assist customers in finding rare and essential recordings.
The store's prices are affordable, making it a go-to place for music lovers on a budget. Customers can spend hours digging through their catalog and listening to records on the store's listening stations.
The compact fixture is a legendary shop for uncommon vinyl albums, and it's worth your time to check it out.
4. Red Brontosaurus Records
Red Brontosaurus Records is a record store that offers an impressive collection of punk vinyl and other genres.
They also have a great selection of vintage and new generation video games. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, providing excellent customer service.
The store has a cool vibe and a good mix of new and used items. It's a great place to find hidden gems and to explore different genres.
If you're a fan of punk or video games, this is definitely a store worth checking out.
5. M-Theory Music
M-Theory Music is a vibrant record store with an impressive selection of new and used CDs and vinyl records.
The store is well-organized, making it easy to find what you're looking for. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, always ready to help customers locate the perfect album.
In addition to rock and metal, M-Theory Music also carries jazz, reggae, world music, and more. Check out their turntable setup to test out any album before buying it.
With its diverse selection and excellent customer service, M-Theory Music is a must-visit for music lovers.
FeeLit is a small but impressive record store that offers an excellent selection of vinyl records.
The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and offers great customer service. They also have a good selection of used CDs, local artwork, and clothing.
The shop is well organized, making it easy to browse through the records. The store is also a music venue that hosts live performances.
If you are a music lover looking for a unique and authentic record store experience, FeeLit is definitely worth checking out.
7. Record City
Record City is a top-notch record store with a vast selection of vinyl, CDs, and cassettes.
They offer both new and used items, including rare and original pressings. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, providing excellent customer service.
The store has a great atmosphere, making it a fun place to browse and discover new music.
Prices are fair and reasonable, with a dollar bin containing hidden gems. Record City is a must-visit for any music enthusiast looking to expand their collection.
8. San Diego Vintage Collectables
San Diego Vintage Collectables is a must-visit for any music lover looking for rare vinyl albums. The store boasts an impressive collection of records from different eras and genres, making it a one-stop-shop for all music enthusiasts.
With outstanding customer service, buyers can expect prompt delivery of their purchases without any damage to the packaging.
The seller is reliable and provides accurate descriptions of the records, ensuring that buyers get exactly what they paid for.
San Diego Vintage Collectables is highly recommended for anyone looking for honest and trustworthy sellers who offer the best prices and conditions for vintage records.
9. Flimzy's Vinyl Records
Flimzy's Vinyl Records is a record and music store with a great mix of old and new records at reasonable prices.
The store is easy to navigate and has an amazing selection of original records. Customers have praised the customer service and the knowledge of the staff.
The store has a huge selection of classic punk, ska, and metal records.
Flimzy's Vinyl Records is a must-visit for any music lover looking for a great selection of vinyl records at reasonable prices.
10. Soul Shack Records
Soul Shack Records is a hidden gem for music lovers. With an extensive collection of records covering all genres, this place is a haven for vinyl collectors.
The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, making the shopping experience a breeze. The store is well-organized and clean, making it easy to browse through the records.
In addition to records, they also have a great selection of cassette tapes and vintage turntables. Prices are reasonable, and the quality of the records is excellent.
If you're in the market for some new music, Soul Shack Records should be on your list of places to check out.
11. Normal Records
Normal Records is a must-visit for vinyl enthusiasts. With a great selection of both new and used records, customers can find rare and eclectic finds that are hard to come by elsewhere.
The owner and staff are knowledgeable and attentive, providing helpful advice to customers. The store also offers great deals on used records.
Despite its small size, the store is well-organized and easy to navigate. The community-oriented approach of Normal Records is commendable, with local bands and music acts often performing in-store.
The only downside is the limited parking, but the store's quality more than makes up for it.
FIVESPACE is a hidden gem for music lovers and collectors. The small but impressive selection of vinyl, tapes, and vintage t-shirts is sure to impress.
The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, making it easy to custom order with assurance.
FIVESPACE offers a great selection of classic hip hop and rap, including rare and hard-to-find albums.
Prices are fair for the quality of the product. If you're a serious hip hop vinyl spinner, FIVESPACE is a must-visit.
Soet is a record store with an eclectic selection of rare vinyl records, including punk, electronic, rap, jazz, and psychedelic.
The store also sells clothing, jewelry, home goods, knives, and woodworking items.
The most interesting thing about Soet is the super-friendly and knowledgeable owner who makes every visit an enjoyable experience for serious vinyl enthusiasts.
Cow is a record store that boasts a great selection of new and eclectic LPs.
The wood panelled walls create a warm and inviting atmosphere for music enthusiasts to browse through the extensive collection of vinyl, CDs, and DVDs.
The staff is knowledgeable about their products, making it easy for customers to find what they are looking for.
Despite the cramped storefront, Cow manages to keep their collection organized and in good condition. If you're a vinyl enthusiast visiting the area, Cow is definitely worth checking out.
15. Full Contact Rock N Roll
Full Contact Rock N Roll is a one-of-a-kind record store that offers an eclectic array of music, vintage clothing, and pop culture collectibles.
The owner, Dave, is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly, making every visit a pleasure.
The store is a hidden gem, with hard-to-find records and CDs, as well as spin tables, guitars, and more.
The atmosphere is fun and rock 'n' roll, with a homely feel that makes customers feel welcome. If you're a fan of punk or alternative music, this is the place to be. Highly recommended!
16. Stereo Unlimited
Stereo Unlimited is a record store that specializes in high-end stereo and audiophile grade equipment.
Their knowledgeable staff is always ready to help customers find the right equipment for their needs and budget. The store also boasts an impressive selection of records, including rare and hard-to-find titles.
In addition to their great products, Stereo Unlimited offers top-notch customer service and a welcoming atmosphere.
Whether you're a serious audiophile or just starting to build your collection, Stereo Unlimited is the perfect place to shop.
17. Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters is a trendy chain store that offers a variety of products, including vinyl records.
The store has a hipster vibe and carries a mix of new releases and legacy re-pressings.
The store is clean and well-maintained and has a friendly and helpful staff. The prices are reasonable, and the selection of records is good.
It's a great place to shop for young people who are into music and fashion.