Portland is a music lover’s paradise, with well over a dozen record stores and enough LPs around town to keep even the snobbiest vinyl fan busy for life. According to Music Millennium owner Terry Currier, Portland actually has more record stores per capita than any city in the U.S. — and more stores, period.
With another Record Store Day around the corner, here are 10 top record stores in Portland.
10. Vinyl Resting Place
The St. John’s store is a jazz lover’s haven, thanks to the efforts of owners Toby Tobiason and his wife. "We inspect everything before we sell it," he told the Oregonian. Not into Davis or Coltrane? The store takes the same care with its rock selection.
8332 N Lombard St., (503) 247-9573
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10 p.m.-6 p.m., closed Monday-Tuesday
9. Tender Loving Empire
Now in three locations, the label/boutique carries its own releases (Typhoon, Radiation City) alongside an always-current selection of Portland’s best new bands. Give the music a spin at a listening station, pick up some artisanal soap and keep an eye on the Hawthorne shop for monthly all-ages concerts.
3541 SE Hawthorne Blvd., (503) 548-2927
Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. daily
412 SW 10th Ave., (503) 243-5859
Hours: 10:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. daily
525 NW 23rd Ave., (503) 964-6592
Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. daily
8. Turn! Turn! Turn!
Aimed toward the evening drinking crowd, Turn! Turn! Turn! (which took over the old Record Room space) is a used record store doubling as a beer bar, a zine library and an upstart concert venue that ranges from DIY touring bands to Portland favorites.
8 NE Killingsworth St., (503) 284-6019
Hours: Monday-Thursday 4 p.m.-11 p.m., Friday-Saturday 3 p.m.-12 a.m., Sunday 3 p.m.-11 p.m., closed on Monday
7. Beacon Sound
The store/label is known for a keen electronic, indie and modern classical selection, as well as ambient and experimental releases from artists such as Peter Broderick and Colleen. It’s also staunchly independent: "You won’t see any Jimi Hendrix t-shirts for sale in the shop," the store announced in a statement about skipping Record Store Day 2016’s big releases. Previously on Northeast Prescott, Beacon Sound is now on the bustling Mississippi Avenue.
3636 N Mississippi Ave.
Hours: 12-7 p.m. daily, occasionally closed on Monday
6. Exiled Records
Known for its unique selections, Exiled is the store to try when something off the wall can’t be found anywhere else–or the perfect spot to crate-dig for something surprising and strange.
4628 SE Hawthorne Blvd., (503) 232-0751
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.- 7 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-5 p.m., closed on Monday
Visit all of Portland’s record stores with our Google Map.
5. Everyday Music
With two Portland locations and a few more spread across Oregon and Washington, Everyday Music is the Pacific Northwest’s largest homegrown music chain. The stores buy as well as sell, so trade in your old CDs downtown before crossing the street for the next Crystal Ballroom concert.
1313 W Burnside, (503) 274-0961
Hours: 9 a.m.-11 a.m. daily
1931 NE Sandy Blvd., (503) 239-7610
Hours: 9 a.m.-11 p.m. daily
4. Jackpot Records
Jackpot also releases its own records (including 2015’s excellent No. 2 reissue), but make the trip to its Hawthorne store for a flawlessly curated selection of new releases on CD and vinyl.
3574 SE Hawthorne Blvd., (503) 239-7561
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
3. Mississippi Records
Portland has several record store-slash-labels, but only Mississippi Records has notched co-signs from Jamie xx (it’s his favorite American record store) and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, who’s released two solo albums and counting with them. As modern as that sounds, the store’s specialties are actually vintage blues and soul.
5202 N Albina Ave., (503) 282-2990
Hours: 12 p.m.-7 p.m.
2. Crossroads Music
Arguably the best used vinyl store in Portland, Crossroads has everything from expensive rarities to dollar-bin essentials, with thorough sections for jazz, folk and world music as well as rock. Crossroads sells on consignment, so allow plenty of time to sort through its overflowing bins.
3130 SE Hawthorne Blvd., (503) 232-1767
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-6 p.m.
1. Music Millennium
The 47-year-old shop is a Portland institution, offering an enormous selection (including CDs!) and special events such as free concerts and album signings. Have a question about Portland music? Ask owner Terry Currier, who’s a local encyclopedia and the president of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.
3158 East Burnside St., (503) 231-8926
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
— David Greenwald
Editor’s note: This story originally published April 2016.