The 100 best shops in London â music shops
The best music shops in London, including Rough Trade East and Phonica
Follow the professional DJs to Soho’s Phonica or feast your ears on the huge selection of sound at the Rough Trade East megastore off Brick Lane: either way, London’s sounding good.
The best music shops in London
Number 5 in the full list, Old Truman Brewery, Dray Walk, London, E1 6QL
Bucking the trend for record shops to curl up and die in the face of the digital onslaught, Rough Trade surprised everyone by opening this massive music shop off Brick Lane. It’s now the best place in the capital to stock up on sounds – in the form of vinyl, CDs and live performances from new indie acts and cameos from audio leviathans such as Radiohead. Read more about Rough Trade East
Number 58 in the full list, 51 Poland Street, London, W1F 7LZ
One of the last men standing in a part of Soho where there were once record shops fighting for space, Phonica is a music shop for proper musicians. Come mid-week and you’ll see top DJs flicking through for new vinyl, and taking advantage of the generous listening stations. Staff really know their stuff, and once they get a feeling for your taste, they’ll bombard you with new and old records they think you’ll like. One of the capital’s last and greatest record shops. Read more about Phonica
Number 85 in the full list, 4 Denmark Street, London, WC2H 8LP
In the 1960s, this specialist guitar shop was a tiny studio where The Rolling Stones recorded their early EPs, finding the cramped space gave their music a unique audio quality despite its uncomfortable set-up. Now a cash desk stands where the mixing desk once was, and the shop is one of the capital’s most specialist guitar retailers, with a vast stock of very special Fenders on offer. Newly taken over, the staff are knowledgeable and passionate about their weapon of choice. Read more about Regent Sounds Studio
Number 92 in the full list, 44 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 7XJ
This groovy little record store run by the three Js – Jack, Jason and James, who met working in another record store – eschews the rough-edged interior of traditional used-vinyl stores in favour of clean, contemporary lines, wood and concrete fixtures and fittings, and the odd weekend live performance. You can also sell on your old vinyl for cash and exchange. Read more about Kristina Records
Recommended by: Fred Butler.