Top 10 best places to buy vinyl in the Twin Cities

Categories: Lists
Photo By Erik Hess

Within the sagging music industry, vinyl sales represent a rare sign of growth during the past few years, and that trend is healthy in the Twin Cities. Here, a plethora of independent record stores meet the local music community's demand for records -- and then some. They stock Record Store Day exclusives, host numerous in-store performances from local acts, and staff their stores with intelligent folks -- some even contribute to Gimme Noise -- who can advise during a leisurely afternoon of flipping through the endless racks of records.

For those just starting a vinyl collection, hardcore collectors, and everyone in between, here are the 10 best places to buy vinyl in the Twin Cities.

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Photo By Erik Hess

10. Know Name Records
6009 Portland Ave., Minneapolis

While students at the U of M might miss Know Name's presence on campus, the long-standing Portland Avenue location has been in the business of selling records for over 35 years, and the shop consistently delivers music fans a decent selection of both new and used vinyl. They also actively buy used LPs, so their selection of classic, original pressings is frequently surprising and rewarding for the collectors out there.

Photo By Erik Hess

9. Extreme Noise Records
407 W. Lake St., Minneapolis

This punk-focused record shop on Lake Street has sold vinyl to hardcore fans in the area for almost two decades. It's a co-op run entirely by volunteers, with all of the profits from sales reinvested back into the store and the local music community. That unbridled DIY spirit permeates the shop as well as their well-chosen inventory of vinyl, featuring plenty of punk acts that aren't represented in other shops. Extreme Noise also has many live (and loud) performances within their intimate shop, giving area music fans even more reason to stop in.

Photo By Erik Hess

8. Down In The Valley
8020 Olson Memorial Hwy., Golden Valley

While technically not in the Twin Cities proper, it would be impossible to not include this 41-year-old suburban record shop in this list. In addition to their familiar Golden Valley location, Down In the Valley has also branched out to Maple Grove and Crystal, servicing the music needs of those areas as well. Their new and used vinyl selections are well-curated, and if they don't carry an LP you are looking for, they will certainly try to special order you a copy.

Photo By Erik Hess

7. Fifth Element
2411 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis

Fifth Element is a haven for Twin Cities hip-hop fans, providing new vinyl pressings of hot records of the moment, as well as classics from back in the day. The shop also serves as the official Rhymesayers retail store, so you know they'll have plenty of vinyl copies of Brother Ali, P.O.S., and Atmosphere's records, as well as related merch. Tthey also stock plenty of records from other hip-hop artists who help make the scene flourish, while also regularly hosting signings and intimate in-store performances from both local and national rap acts.

My Voice Nation Help

Great list! Some of my favorite records came from Tonka Tunes in Mound. Half vacuum repair shop/ half vinyl and record player shop. He will let you play any record you want to hear and they are all very fairly priced. You can even get your vacuum repaired at the same time!

Dale Burback
Dale Burback

Vintage music company, even though its not vinyl.


Hey Vinyl Fans; They $ELL Records in St. Paul Too:

1. Eclipse Records: Downtown St. Paul (next to Amsterdam) 

2. Rice Street Music: Little Canada

3. Go Johnny Go Records: White Bear Lake

4. Into The Void: Downtown St. Paul (next to Station4)

5. Cheapo's St. Paul (Snelling & Ashland)

6. Mr. Zero's: Roseville (Since 2009)

7. CedarCliff Collectibles: Eagan

8. Discland: Bloomington (Since 2000)

9. Jensen's @ Antique Mall of St. Paul

Yes fans, there is life & Vinyl east of the river .....



For strictly vinyl purposes, you really cant beat Cheapo's selection. I've found so many great records there. Electric Fetus is a cool store and the in-store performances are great, but they really don't have the selection that Cheapo has.. Side note: I've found some hidden gems at Half Price Books in AV. shhh.. 

Jeff Young
Jeff Young

Maybe the year 1985 when I last had a working turntable and LPs were $6.98?

Brian O'Neal
Brian O'Neal

New records at Treehouse, Electric Fetus, or Online - used records at RoadRunner, Treehouse, Cheapo, Electric Fetus

Ellie Ishmael
Ellie Ishmael

Don't forget about the Yeti Records mobile shop!


Good list! Glad to see Down in the Valley get mentioned, they've been a 'secret spot' for many collectors for years. There are over 30 places to buy vinyl in the Twin Cities, which may be more than there ever has been- at least since the days that you could buy records at Snyder Bros. and Byerly's. I've been a buyer and seller to all of these stores at one time or another, and I've always said that most people don't know how good we have it here re: record stores. Per capita, the Twin Cities ranks at the top of the list of Metro Areas (I'm also thinking Manchester and Portland) with quality vinyl outlets- and many here are world class. I've traveled- I know. When you are on the East side of town visiting Eclipse and Cheapo St Paul, you can also check out Mr. Zeros, Rice Street Music Memorabilia, Into The Void, and the *newest* record store in the Twin Cities, Go Johnny Go in White Bear Lake (hosted by yours truly).

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