Best Record Shops in London

As Record Store Day approaches, we took a moment to appreciate London's record shops. From small reggae institutions to the shops leading counterculture movements, here are the best record shops in London.

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 12th Apr 2023

We think we can all agree London is pretty huge. So, as you can imagine, the city is overflowing with record shops. But being greeted with thousands of results when you Google “London record shops” is just overwhelming. Instead of getting excited to discover a cool, new shop, you’re stuck trying to figure out which shops are the best. Where do you start? How are you supposed to know which is best suited to your tastes? Well, that’s what we're here to help you with! 

To make your crate digging adventure easier, we made a list of the best record shops in London and what kind of music they’re known for specialising in. So let's not mess about. Here they are!


Honest Jon’s, Ladbroke Grove/Kings Cross


Photo: Resident Advisor (Honest Jon's) / 

Where: 278 Portobello Road, London W10 5TE & Unit 115 Lower Stable Street, Coal Drops Yard, London N1C 4LW

Specialises in: jazz, reggae, world music, blues, soul

Honest Jon’s has come a long way since its opening in 1974. The shop has always specialised in music that might be considered underground or uncommon, and world music. Whatever they’re is definitely working for them as they’ve since opened a second location. And we'd say having regular customers including Damon Albarn (Blur) and Joe Strummer back in the day speaks to the shop's brilliance too, right? 



Kristina Records, Hackney


Photo: Kristina Records / 

Where: 194 Well Street, E9 6QT

Specialises in: independent underground dance music and all its crazy sub-genres 

Techno, breakbeat, jungle, deep house, electronica, nu-disco, EBM, and everything in between - you can find it all and more at Kristina Records. Kristina's is home to old, new, underground, and mainstream tunes that were made to get you up on your feet, although independent, underground tunes are the focus. Perfect for checking out on a calm Sunday afternoon, there’s also coffee, clothes, a wine shop and craft beer. 



Sounds of the Universe, Soho


Photo: Sounds of the Universe / 

Where: 7 Broadwick St, London W1F 0DA

Specialises in: non-mainstream music including reggae, punk, funk, techno, soul, disco, African, Latin, Brazilian, music from all over the world

Beginning as a market stall in Camden, Sounds of the Universe has grown to international recognition and is still situated in Soho. The owner believes the shop has the UK's largest selection of disco, funk, soul, reggae, dubstep, house, Brazilian, Latin, African, and world beats music thanks to regular shipments coming in from all across the globe. If you're looking for something new to inspire you, Sounds of the Universe is the one.



Rye Wax, Peckham


Photo: Rye Wax / 

Where: The Basement of The CLF Art Cafe, 133 Rye Ln, London SE15 4ST

Specialises in: local dance music 

Rye Wax is a lot more than a record shop. When it’s not a crate-diggers paradise, Rye becomes a venue/bar/restaurant/nightclub with regular DJ sets and record label takeovers. Rye’s goal is to bring attention to music that they feel is underrepresented and “provide a space for countercultural movements to flourish”. Deeply involved in music and encouraging scenes to grow, the shops has also recently announced it'll be running and electronic mentorship scheme for young adults. How can you not love Rye? 



Sister Ray, Soho


Photo: Sister Ray Records /

Where: 75 Berwick St, London W1F 8TG

Specialises in: pretty much everything except classical 

After success selling vinyl from a Camden market stall, owner Neil Brown decided it was time to set up a physical shop. Named after the Velvet Underground song, Sister Ray became one of many beloved independent record shops in the area. There are two whole floors to explore - one dedicated to CDs and the other to records - so we recommend going when you have a good chunk of free time. You know how time flies when you’re elbow-deep in a crate. 



Banquet Records, Kingston


Photo: Banquet Records / 

Where: 52 Eden St, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1EE

Specialises in: indie, punk, and electronic 

The go-to record shop for many London-based indie music fans, Banquet has a massive selection of indie bangers and hosts in-store performances by indie icons and newcomers such as Jamie T and Wolf Alice. But this independent shop also has an abundance of modern dance records, punk rock, soundtracks and re-issues of classics. Run by and for music fans, any music-lover will feel at home at Banquet. 



Supertone Records, Brixton


Photo: Supertone Records /

Where: 110 Acre Lane, London SW25RA

Specialises in: reggae, rocksteady, ska, dub, Caribbean music, etc

Supertone opened back in 1983, making it Brixton’s oldest record shop. Starting in 1969, Supertone was originally a reggae sound system playing music all over the UK. Now, the shop is known globally for its contributions and impressive reggae (and all its subgenres) records. Alongside these records, you can also find RnB, calypso, soca, Caribbean music and so much more. A true treasure, Supertone has always been, and will remain, vital to London's scene.



Reckless Records, Soho 


Photo: Reckless Records /

Where: 30 Berwick St, London W1F 8RH

Specialises in: pop, rock, punk, soul, jazz, dance and reggae

Buying and selling records on Berwick Street since 1984, Reckless Records is the oldest record shop in Soho that constantly puts new music on its shelves, so there's something new to discover on each visit. One for the collector who loves a rarity, the shop stocks many deleted specialist and unusual CDs and rare vinyl. Close to two tube stations, there’s no excuse not to check out this iconic little shop. 



Casbah Records, Greenwich


Photo: Casbah Records / 

Where: 320-322 Creek Road, SE10 9SW

Specialises in: 60s/70s rock and pop, indie, alternative, soul, funk, and soundtracks with a cult following 

Preferring to provide a more memorable and enjoyable shopping experience, the staff at Casbah are always up for a chat about music or movies. And as they specialise in soundtracks, rock, pop, indie, soul and funk, we’re sure they’d love to help you find your dream record. While the shop has plenty of records spanning a fair few genres, rock and punk fans are most likely to fall in love as it’s not uncommon to come across rare rock pressings!



Phonica, Soho 


Photo: Phonica Records /

Where: 51 Poland Street, W1F 7LZ

Specialises in: electronic and dance music such as techno, house and disco 

Easily one of the best record shops in London for electronic fans, Phonica has seen a variety of international DJs come through its doors, including Caribou, Four Tet and Floating Points. It’s no surprise really as the shop is known for stocking the best contemporary and classic dance records from just about every sub-genre of dance music. With the seal of approval from some huge DJs and with Record Store Day around the corner (it's very likely they'll have live performances from DJs on the day), it’s the perfect time to check out Phonica



Flashback Records, Islington/Shoreditch/Crouch End


Photo: Flashback Records /

Where: 50 Essex Road, Islington, N1 8LR & 131 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, E2 7DG & 26 Topsfield Parade, Tottenham Lane, Crouch End, N8 8PT

Specialises in: second-hand and rare, collectable vinyl & reggae, soul, and jazz

A crate-diggers heaven, Flashback Records is known for stocking rare vinyl alongside shiny new releases. It’s a shop you need a decent amount of time to dig through, regardless of which location you’re in - Flashback has three shops in Islington, Shoreditch, and Crouch End

The Islington shop has new vinyl on the ground floor and second-hand treasures in the basement. Shoreditch's site has a basement dedicated to soul, jazz, and reggae. And Crouch End's shop is the biggest of the three, allowing more vinyl to be packed in and giving you more space to dig. You might as well make a day of it and visit all three!



Rough Trade East and West, Brick Lane/Ladbroke Grove


Photo: Rough Trade East / 

Where: Old Truman Brewery 91, Brick Ln, London E1 6QL & 130 Talbot Rd, London W11 1JA

Specialises in: indie, post-punk, alternative music and crazy in-store performances 

Anyone who knows anything about indie/punk and similar genres has heard of Rough Trade. The iconic label signed many indie pioneers including The Strokes, The Libertines, The Smiths and, more recently, Warpaint, Goat Girl, and black midi. But did you know the label started as a record shop? The original shop is no longer with us but we still have Rough Trade East and Rough Trade West, two cracking shops with lots to dig through and some stand-out live performances and signings going down in-store from artists such as Temples, French the Kid, and JOSEPH.



So what do you think? Are the iconic punk vibes of Rough Trade doing it for you? Or maybe you’re more attracted to the rich history and enviable stock Supertone holds? No matter which shop calls to you, we’re sure you’ll have a cracking time when you visit. And with Record Store Day just around the corner (Saturday 22nd April!) it’s the perfect time to discover the bucket load of record stores in London!



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.








Header image: Phonica Records /