The Best Record Stores in Atlanta
From the classic Little Five Points loop to some major OTP gems, these are the best “mom and pop” record stores in Atlanta.
There’s nothing like holding music in your hand. Not your phone, blasting your playlist from its speakers—but real-deal physical music, from cassette tapes to 12” vinyl records. When you collect physical copies of your favorite songs and albums, each record has its own special story, and every time you play it, you remember where you were and what you went through to add it to your collection. Those experiences and feelings cannot be duplicated by simply going to your preferred streaming app, and that’s why record stores are still around to this day. And as a city that’s renowned for its music scene, it only makes sense that Atlanta is home to plenty of phenomenal independent record stores. The hard part isn’t finding a “mom and pop” record store near you—it’s finding the right one for you. With everything from full-fledged record lounges to record store-comic book shop hybrids spread throughout the city, there are a lot of local shops to choose from, so to help you out, here is our guide to the 10 best record stores in Atlanta.
If you’re an Atlanta native, then your vinyl collecting journey almost undoubtedly started here. Criminal Records is one of the city’s largest and most recognizable record stores, and since its opening in 1991, this independent shop has been a trusted source for new and used records. In addition to having an enormous selection of 45s, LPs, and CDs, Criminal also houses a mini comic book store, complete with the latest issues of your favorite series, new and used collected trade paperbacks, and independent comics from local creators. This is a store that you can get lost in for hours, but try not to stay too long because it’s just one of the four amazing record stores that Little Five Points has to offer.
Although it is more than 60 miles away from its original Athens location, the Wuxtry Records on North Decatur Road has still managed to leave a great impression on Atlanta since its opening in 1978. Fans of jazz, soul, and rock will especially love Wuxtry’s massive selection of new and used LPs and CDs, and unlike many other contemporary record shops, Wuxtry keeps its prices pretty low. Combine that with its immediate proximity to one of the best coffee shops in Decatur—ChocoLaté Coffee, if you’re wondering—and Wuxtry Records makes for the perfect afternoon or weekend outing, and you can always expect friendly service while you purchase some new wax.
If you’re going to go OTP to look for records, one store that’s worth visiting is Comeback Vinyl. The historic downtown Alpharetta shop doubles as an online store, so whether you want to go visit in-person and manually thumb through the records or check out its website and click through its selections, it’s entirely up to you. Comeback Vinyl boasts a selection of over 20,000 new and used records, so if you’re looking for a record store with incredible variety that’s also shoppable online—with free local pickup!—this is the one for you.
Wax 'N' Facts
Another one of the record stores in the Little Five Points four-shop loop is Wax ‘N’ Facts, a modest and cozy little nook that’s oozing with great vinyl, CDs, and cassettes. Wax ‘N’ Facts is definitely one of the more intimate crate-digging experiences that you’ll find in Atlanta, but once you get a feel for the space, you’ll be in heaven as you and your fellow local music lovers thumb through records side-by-side. The owners and staff are extremely knowledgeable about pretty much everything inside of the shop, so when you go to check out, don’t be surprised if the person helping you fans out about the record you’re buying or suggests some other low-key gems to go with it. Wax ‘N’ Facts is also an official Record Store Day shop, so if you want to get your hands on any of those rare RSD releases, save yourself the chaos of bigger stores and pull up to Wax ‘N’ Facts early for an easygoing experience.
Disorder Vinyl hasn’t even been around for a full year yet, but as the store quickly approaches its one-year anniversary in October, it’s already safe to say that Disorder is a more than welcomed addition to Atlanta’s record store circuit. Not too pretentious and not too limited in selection, Disorder Vinyl keeps the spirit of independent record stores alive with an intimate crate digging experience. Plus, this official Record Store Day affiliate is known for having some mind-blowingly rare items on hand. Disorder has carried invaluable gems like Young Thug’s Jeffery, The Academy Is…’s Fast Times At Barrington High, Odd Future’s The OF Tape Vol. 2, Descendents’ Milo Goes To College, and more, so enter Disorder Vinyl under the assumption that you might just stumble upon your all-time vinyl grail.
Another record store that is more than worth a trip outside of 285 is DBS Sounds. The independent Black-owned shop is nestled into a Riverdale shopping strip, and it’s home to arguably the best reggae record section in the Metro Atlanta area. Founded by Tobago Benito in 1994, DBS Sounds is still feeling like a lively young record store, nearly three decades after its opening. The selection of new and used Hip-Hop, R&B, jazz, and reggae vinyl and CDs is impeccable, and beyond maintaining its awesome stock, DBS Sounds regularly holds huge artist signings, release events, and special giveaways. In 2022 alone, the shop has welcomed artists such as Kehlani, Gunna, Nav, Kali, and Yo Gotti into the store for packed-out events, so make sure you tap in with DBS Sounds to shop its records and keep up with its latest happenings.
If you are a music industry professional, this shop is calling your name. While it does offer a nice amount of new and used LPs, 45s, and 12-inch singles, Beatlab isn’t your typical independent record store, especially in contrast to its L5P neighbors. Beatlab specializes in DJ equipment (turntables, control vinyls, and portable vinyl storage), producer equipment (microphones, beat-making machines, keyboards, and mixers), and—interestingly enough—spray paint. From DJing to tagging, Beatlab embraces Hip-Hop culture in so many ways, so be prepared to enter a whole new world when you walk up that staircase.
Alongside Wax ‘N’ Facts, Fantasyland Records is the oldest local record store featured in this roundup, and there’s a reason why it’s still one of Atlanta’s best “mom and pop” music shops nearly 50 years after its opening in 1976. From used items dating back from the 1950s to brand-new contemporary releases, Fantasyland has a way of staying current while retaining its old-school feel. This oldie-but-goodie has multiple rooms for vinyl lovers of all genres to explore, and if you’re really a hardcore music collector, you’ll be thrilled to learn that Fantasyland also has rare 8-tracks from time to time.
The final record store in the four-part L5P crate-digging tour is Moods Music, and at this vibrant and groovy Black-owned record shop, R&B reigns supreme. Even though its selection is smaller than many of its neighbors, the LP and CD sections are carefully curated with classic R&B and Hip-Hop albums that you probably won’t even see in any of the aforementioned L5P shops. Furthermore, Moods is a part of the larger Soul Village store, which specializes in goods from Black-owned businesses and brands, including books, housewares, body products, apparel, and more.
JB's Record Lounge
Record stores don’t just have to be places where you buy music, and one local independent shop that fully understands that is JB’s Record Lounge. The West End hangout spot originally started off as a quarterly crate digging party in owner Jonathan Blanchard’s basement, and eventually those events blossomed into a full-fledged record store. In its first five years in business, JB’s Record Lounge has continued to supply guests with great new and used vinyl while regularly holding events (like the recent date night event earlier this summer with live DJs and cocktails), and as of September 2022, JB’s Record Lounge is officially an RSD-affiliated store.